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Sell Me On: Feeling Strongly About Lunars

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  • #76
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
    Hmm, I was ready to suggest that two general purpose Lunar discussion threads going on at once was redundant, but then I thought... the other one actually has a decent basis of speculation on their future at the moment, and for some of the discussion going on here to end up there would drown it out.

    So yeah, it should be kept here.
    I agree. I'm still catching up to 3E, so it's safer to answer "why do people feel strongly" but not "how do we move forward".

    And by the way - you post a lot - but man, you keep it interesting. I hope to be as brief-yet-effective as you.

    Irish person of that time is living, to their detriment, in the world that English conquest made
    You are shrewd to wield history against me - my heart! I love these comparisons.

    But my quibble is that Irish-Americans eventually assimilated into the majority. Irish-Americans don't usually speak Irish anymore. Many aren't Catholic. Few (especially in the US) recall how Anglo-Americans considered them a "sub-race" and "non-white". Despite being raised from birthas "Irish", they have slowly seen that identity erode with each generation until now in the US they are merely "white". This is actually something I see come up a lot in recent Jewish-American plays - preserving one's racial identity against assimilation into other foreign categories.

    Am I suggesting Lunars will see themselves as Terrestrial Exalts? No.

    But Lunars aren't raised from birth within "the Silver Pact" - which is why I scream "artificiality!" A Solar & Lunar duo from Sijan will both be equally Sijanese - another duo from Lookshy will both be equally Lookshyan; a duo from Nexus will have Nexus-derived-values. The "Silver Way" reeks of artificiality. You don't spend 20-30 years of life in a city - and then shed your identity after 3 months of a prolonged camping trip.

    And linguistically, Clawspeak just sounds like an insult to one's intelligence. Plus it's rarely spoken to outsiders - so what good is a cypher or psuedo-tongue that only 299 other souls in all of Creation can understand, if statistically there's little chance of meeting them especially if we live in a city. Claw marks in Chiaroscuro's architecture are more likely to attract the Wyld Hunt than to inform the 1-3 Lunars who might never walk those streets (I go back to my praise of Dim Irrelevancies Unveiled & co - Infernals can find each other better).

    I mean, there are roughly 2,200 Billionaires according to Forbes - that's x7 as numerous as the Lunar Exalted - but would anyone pretend to Bill Gates, Xiang Wang, Daniela Sirtori-Cortina and Muhammad Cohen would sit together to learn "Richspeak" for the express purposes of only talking to each other? Are they going to claw-up the streets of New York, Dubai, Hong Kong and Madrid for the off-chance that one of the other 2,199 billionaires will walk that specific street and notice that specific marking and see a non-time-sensitive message?

    Imagine a claw up "Danger" on a certain neighborhood - but within a decade, that neighborhood's population and demographics changed (war, new migrants, better policing, name it). Do urban Lunars then apply spackling paste to fix the walls they disfigured?

    but in this Edition, they might just not. Whatever the basis of reincarnated Exalted having their past life memories curated,
    This and everything else you wrote make me see how much more I need to read on 3E. They can't print fast enough!

    Originally posted by Saipjas View Post
    Salagimsim I think you are undervaluing the aspect of lunar mentorship/teaching in inculcating the concepts of hatred to the Realm. Remember, most lunars are exalted both in luna’s presence and/or find themselves called to lunar domains right after exaltation, when the new Exalted is most impressionable.
    I'm not undervaluing "lunar mentorship in inculcating hatred to the Realm".

    I'm saying "I don't need Silver Pact help to fight 800-year old grudges"
    if I "am not an 800-year-old Lunar who wants Silver Pact membership & grudges"

    Casteless Lunars are the coolest for me. As is.

    But they're the only splat to simultaneously combine:
    - "you're mechanically inferior - unless you join us"
    - "actually, our bosses give us rewards if we rescue you"
    - "actually, stay rogue too long and you threaten yourself - we want to save you"
    - "actually, stay rogue too long, you turn Chimera - we want to save those around you"
    - "actually, we're just here to remind you the Realm really hates you"
    - "okay, fine
    - they got 300 Solar Essences to hunt - but somehow they give you special attention"
    - "okay, fine - you're a shapeshifting demigod - but they'll find you - somehow! just join us, please"

    If Ma-Ha-Suchi & Raksi needs lackeys in 50 years, they can retry me then!
    I don't play shapeshifters to have less freedom than a nascent Solar.


    Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion.
    It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom.
    Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood.
    - Their Eyes Were Watching God

    Comment


    • #77
      I certainly don't mean to say that Lunars should be regarded as anything other than horrifying murder-beasts in the eyes of most of Creation. Certainly many (most?) Lunars will have murdered to further their own goals, or even just to acquire a few more guises.

      I mostly meant to argue against the position that the mere existence of any other alternatives to murder necessarily undermines the archetype of the Lunar predator.

      Comment


      • #78
        Salagimsim I understand where you are coming from. I’m talking lunars as a collective not individual edge cases (which is where you seem to be coming from). I am mostly working from an in universe setting level not an individual narrative perspective. As an aside I would argue that sids would see lunars (generally) as a greater threat due to their unity. Even if an individual may have no care about it, as an antagonist group the sids would see a lone isolated lunar (especially a low essence lunar) as a juicy target. I think however this does not have to apply to your edge case IF the ST doesn’t want it. But that is one of my issues overall which is all of this is ST dependent:

        Comment


        • #79
          Originally posted by Catastronaut View Post
          I certainly don't mean to say that Lunars should be regarded as anything other than horrifying murder-beasts in the eyes of most of Creation. Certainly many (most?) Lunars will have murdered to further their own goals, or even just to acquire a few more guises.

          I mostly meant to argue against the position that the mere existence of any other alternatives to murder necessarily undermines the archetype of the Lunar predator.
          With this thought firmly in mind, I imagine writing Scenes in which the Lunar "hunts" her prey and takes a shape in a broader sense.

          Maybe she could hunt a courtesan by outdoing her popularity at court, or by sabotaging her age-staving cordial to render her ugly. Thus assuming her status and position rather than literally face and appearance.

          Maybe she could hunt a magistrate by exposing his corruption or letting a bunch of his past-convicts out of the gaol. Thus taking on his reputation and authority in the form of robes and seal.

          Just thinking out loud (out type?) while enjoying the thread.


          Check out Momentum Exalted!

          Comment


          • #80
            Originally posted by Simon Darkstep View Post
            [...]rather than literally face and appearance.

            [...]taking on his reputation and authority in the form of robes and seal.
            I'd replace "rather than" and "in the form of" with "in addition to". Taking Heart's Blood, (at least as I understand it) allows the Lunar to take the form of their prey, before all else.

            My take on it is that by taking possession of these things, which are as crucial to the respective prey-humans as their own heart's blood, the Lunar takes, consumes, and transforms something of what would have otherwise been merely destroyed by the Lunar's machinations. This definitely allows the Lunar to take on their faces and forms, in addition to whatever else happens in the narrative.

            The analogy here would be that taking a mighty cave bear's Heart's Blood should give the Lunar an awesome bear-form, in addition to a big pile of bear meat. My conception of Lunars is that their magic makes the metaphorical/mystical very literal and visceral, so both things should happen.

            Comment


            • #81
              Originally posted by Salagimsim View Post
              I hope to be as brief-yet-effective as you.
              Phhhahahahahahahhahahaha

              ​Ah yes, I am infamously brief and to the point in my posts.

              Anyway, for the other stuff, I'll say that of course history is big enough to contain counterexamples to any given thing in it. I'm not saying that the scenario presented in the books is the only possible one that they could go with.

              ​But it's credible and creates compelling drama and hooks the Lunars directly into the setting (the lack of which has always been a major issue that the fans have had with them), and that makes it valid as an approach.

              ​The cultural thing has a few aspects. When it comes to conflict in the Realm, those would include how whatever culture they belonged to before has probably also been detrimentally affected by the dominance of the Realm, and that there can be something to the methods employed by Lunars to those newly inducted into the Silver Pact to see merits in their agenda, especially when that's packaged in empowering and seductive narratives.

              ​As a few writers have said, it's not necessarily a hard pitch to make when you're telling people that they're entitled to rule the world.

              ​Another aspect to that is the question of just how much a given Lunar is attached to their native culture, when part of the criteria is being somebody who is a bit of an outsider or iconoclast, who struggles against constraints put on them socially. Not every Lunar will have the same answer to that, but it's a premise in which some, maybe a lot, will readily distance themselves from that old life.

              ​As for Clawspeak, I have no idea if that will even still be a thing. I have some doubts, but there are a few arguments in its favour. It's still mostly a fringe element of Lunars.

              Originally posted by Salagimsim
              The "Silver Way" reeks of artificiality. You don't spend 20-30 years of life in a city - and then shed your identity after 3 months of a prolonged camping trip.
              ​Hyperbole (and possible assumption that Lunars are still going to by ideological primitivists) aside, some people do. People join cults. Hell, there are Americans who have left everything they ever knew and lived with to go join ISIS.

              ​Question is, is there a selection bias in the people who are Exalted as Lunars that would make whatever attitude more apparent among them?

              And last, to break a few things down:

              Originally posted by Salagimsim
              But they're the only splat to simultaneously combine:
              - "you're mechanically inferior - unless you join us"
              - "actually, our bosses give us rewards if we rescue you"
              - "actually, stay rogue too long and you threaten yourself - we want to save you"
              - "actually, stay rogue too long, you turn Chimera - we want to save those around you"
              - "actually, we're just here to remind you the Realm really hates you"
              - "okay, fine
              - they got 300 Solar Essences to hunt - but somehow they give you special attention"
              - "okay, fine - you're a shapeshifting demigod - but they'll find you - somehow! just join us, please"
              ​Being given a Caste is not dependent on membership in the Silver Pact.

              ​There is no longer a detriment beyond lacking Anima powers and Caste Attributes to being Casteless; degenerative chimerism is no longer a thing.

              ​The background of the Silver Pact is based on a world in which Solars were mostly gone with no expectation of returning. I presume one can play a Lunar at character creation who has been active for a fair few years longer than their return, and that the Lunars book will address the subject of how the return of Solars changes expectations for the future of Lunars in the long term.

              ​Lunars can shapeshift, but there's a question of what else they do. If you're never using your powers in a manner that has a possibility of getting the attention of the Realm and Sidereals, there's a question of how fulfilled that character is, and if they are doing so, there's a question of how far disguise will get you, especially when the opposition has powers of their own.

              Also, the Silver Pact really isn't going to be approached like an organisation now; more of a collective goal, and a network of favour trading.


              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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              • #82
                Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                stuff
                I've gone from being angry at 2E to clamoring to buy 3E Lunars.
                Ugh. I need sleep. And a weekend of reading. Thanks for all the info.


                Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion.
                It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom.
                Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood.
                - Their Eyes Were Watching God

                Comment


                • #83
                  I bid 4 Solar XP for anybody mapping this thread as an Ex2 social combat.


                  Check out Momentum Exalted!

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    Originally posted by Simon Darkstep View Post
                    I bid 4 Solar XP for anybody mapping this thread as an Ex2 social combat.
                    I tried but at some point I drew my Daiklaive and accidentally my namesake

                    ...

                    While having Lunars have the ability to acquire forms non-lethally doesn't undermine their themes of predation (thanks for pointing that out Catastronaut) , I think the line in what gives forms permanently is certainly a valid hill to die on when defending those themes. I'm perfectly fine with form acquisition from non-lethal sources existing as long as it's not permanent. I just draw the line at "If you want this forever, someone has to die"

                    That at least maintains the drama of "do I quick murder or go through a lot of work not to kill this person to get their form temporarily". It just seems to me like the presupposed "easy/bad" way to acquire forms should simply be more attractive because that's how you create internal conflict and drama. Killing being just "easier" isn't enough for me.
                    Last edited by ParanoiaCombo; 03-08-2018, 04:16 PM.

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                    • #85
                      Originally posted by ParanoiaCombo View Post
                      I think the line in what gives forms permanently is certainly a valid hill to die on when defending those themes. I'm perfectly fine with form acquisition from non-lethal sources existing as long as it's not permanent. I just draw the line at "If you want this forever, someone has to die"
                      This seems reasonable, but is probably where we diverge. (De gustibus non disputandum est, and all that.) I think non-lethal sources are fine, even for permanent acquisition, so long as the action required constitutes, in some sense, a destruction of the person in question.

                      Stealing the voice of a random peasant or bureaucrat: insufficient. Stealing the voice of a singer, renowned throughout three kingdoms for their golden voice: sufficient.
                      Seducing a soldier in a tavern: insufficient. Seducing the scion of a noble family, literally born and raised to seal by marriage an alliance decades in the making, the night before the wedding: sufficient.

                      And I don't think that all of these alternate modes of predation should be available to all Lunars by default. I think it only fitting though, that some such paths should be available to certain Lunars who express their predatory nature in different ways.

                      I think it is fine for the path to Heart's Blood through killing to be the only path available to all Lunars, and for it to be a path that is always open to each and every Lunar.
                      Last edited by Catastronaut; 03-08-2018, 04:26 PM.

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                      • #86
                        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                        I can't effectively quote Saur Ops Specialist, but I will say that I actually disagree with his points contesting a desire to associate a Lunar with Underworld iconography, and think that some of them are a bit pedantic. To my eyes, whether it's a Lunar who wants to harness certain animalistic mutations as a means of disguise and infiltration with the Underworld, or who identifies with the Underworld strongly enough that they go in heavily for animals associated with death or the incorporation of mutations that capture that image, it's perfectly valid as a thing for a specific Lunar character to want to do and be.
                        Hey, if I could edit the point by point out now, I would. I was caught on whether or not I should have one instead of just mass-snipping and cutting to the point of Lunars being more mythic in EX3, but though that I could follow it up later. At least, follow it up easily and without much fuss.

                        I still don't think that mutation effects are likely to look like worn armor rather than thick hide, exoskeletons and what have you, though, or yield corpse-like appearances. The former seems like it's some other Exalt's territory, and the latter seems to specifically be Liminal territory. If you have an association with the Underworld and you've gone whole-hog in diving into necromancy (now in the Onyx Circle!), I'm guessing that you just look like a foreboding example of your totem beast(s).

                        ​I wouldn't see it as a "Lunars as walkers of all the worlds, and partaking in all of their natures" thing, but I would see it as a possible path for the Lunar desire for freedom and pursuit of self-expression and identity. That Lunar might not specifically be of the Underworld, but they can still go there and look the part, I think.
                        I'm suggesting that they look like something aside from ghosts, revenants, or Abyssals. Something that may look like it's at home there, but isn't any of the above, or actually dead.

                        Comment


                        • #87
                          Wait, before I get into anything else:
                          Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist
                          Don't complain when bestial shapeshifters are obviously bestial shapeshifters in their hulk-out forms. Just saying.


                          ​Well, there's no need to complain, because this is simply incorrect now. Eska of the Seven Blades' hybrid form barely looks bestial, and can easily be mistaken for something else. When she first showed up in the comic, people were uncertain if she even was a Lunar; I know I wouldn't have thought she was if she didn't turn into a bird at the end. That precedent is established, and it is perfectly valid for any future Lunars.

                          ​Hell, give Eska's mutations to something other than Extra Arms and keep the skin tone, and she'd look damn corpse-like herself.


                          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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                          • #88
                            Actually, Salagimsim, while I do agree myself that hybrid body mutations taking the form of something that resembles clothing or external armour is taking things a step too far, a Lunar could just wear soulsteel armour. They wouldn't be able to use it to its fullest power (unless it happened to have an additional basis for Resonance that the character fulfils), but they wouldn't be any weaker with 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)

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
                              I'm suggesting that they look like something aside from ghosts, revenants, or Abyssals. Something that may look like it's at home there, but isn't any of the above, or actually dead.
                              Sidereals don't get Abyssal charms.

                              But Black Ice Shadow - a Chosen of Endings - was marked for incarnation as a Ghost-Blooded, grew up in an Abyssal manse within a Shadowland and he self-initiated into necromancy. He wields soulsteel short daiklaves.

                              Solars don't get Terrestrial charms.

                              But Jencir of Chanos - a Night Caste in 1st Edition - was "a loyal child of the Realm, member of the All-Seeing Eye" before he Exalted. Are Solars prohibited from using the "Gem of White Heat" (Oadenol's, pg 94) that "perfectly emulates a Fire-aspected Terrestrial animal power"? Are Solars prohibited from wielding red jade or learning elemental-themed MA?

                              I understand that "superficial, broad, splat-specific aesthetics" - but in practice, the edges exist to accommodate spy games. Why should Lunars be less-competent than Solars at stealth?

                              This is all about mimicry and emulation, not "necrotic taint".

                              Pretend to be Abyssal?
                              Beast-Power Concentration - let me use DBT powers while remaining human.
                              Subtle Chameleon Practice - is a Permanent charm to prevent Peripheral essence.
                              Outland Navigating Guile - lets me apply "Wyld Sensing Instincts" to the Underworld.
                              ...and my "ink-blot shadow Tell" is magnified by BPC and emulates Resonance

                              Add more psuedo-Necromancy?
                              Wasp in the Labyrinthe Trick - that lets me animate corpses via parasitic drones
                              Thousand Wasp Dance - to vomit up insect swarms that bite people
                              Ash and Tears Banquet - lets ghosts become valid targets of the sacred hunt.
                              Limb Shielding Growth - grow forearm bone-carapace shields

                              DBT as Deathly Ubermensch?
                              Perfected Hybrid Interaction! DBT requires "animalistic features" that "represent the admixture of spirit shapes" - but PHI only exists to "ignore DBT's guidelines" when picking mutations, with the psuedo-social-penalty that "many Lunars consider this Knack a step along the road to chimerism and view its possessors with deep suspicion" Terrifying Beastman Alteration then adds even more mutations.

                              I can pick subtle mutations like "Inexhaustible" (Wyld, 146), "Air Adaptation" (Wyld, 145), Chameleon & Toxin (Core, 289), "Disgusting Scent - rotted meat" (Lunars 207), . Altogether, a psuedo-zombie form that is ice-cold, never tires, no sleeps, discolored skin, toxic bite, etc.

                              I can pick super crazy mutations like the "Stone Body" (Abomination, Wyld, pg 148) - but instead of "cooled lava rock, never melting ice" etc - I manifest my armor as "blood that drips from my pours and solidifies into sanguine-armor" or "eruptions of bone-plate". Add in fangs, broken-bones-as-claws, bone-carapace shields. I don't have Abyssal Resistance charms but I can do a hell-of-a-job emulating them!

                              Are these not all Lunar powers?

                              At no point do I have the mechanics that Abyssals, Liminals, Chosen of Endings and similar splats have for their themes. I'm just emulating them. Like my totem. Because "camo" isn't just about blending in with the scene, lots of animals use camo to emulate more dangerous species.

                              And then I haven't even touched death-flavored Martial Arts, Necromancy, Abyssal Hearthstonesm etc,

                              Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
                              though, or yield corpse-like appearances.
                              As above, I'm not "eating a zombie, looking like a zombie".

                              I'm using a dozen death-emulating Lunar-powers and animal-mutations to seem corpse-like. There's an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to animals pretending to be dead as a survival mechanism. There's even a fish look dead so it can then eat scavengers (and is "evolving" to favor more death-like colorations)..

                              Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
                              I'm guessing that you just look like a foreboding example of your totem beast(s).
                              Except Perfected Hybrid Interaction lets me completely and forever ignore my "spirit shapes". The octopus-as-spirit-shape can forever be a spiritual symbol (as my Lunar camos to hide amongst Abyssals) without ever needing to turn into Ursula.
                              Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                              Actually, Salagimsim, while I do agree myself that hybrid body mutations taking the form of something that resembles clothing or external armour is taking things a step too far, a Lunar could just wear soulsteel armour. They wouldn't be able to use it to its fullest power (unless it happened to have an additional basis for Resonance that the character fulfils), but they wouldn't be any weaker with it.
                              Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
                              I still don't think that mutation effects are likely to look like worn armor rather than thick hide, exoskeletons and what have you,
                              I agree with you both "in so far that" I knew I should check with the ST first - to see how far we agree on the mutation.

                              But "chitin armor" doesn't mutate my limbs either. I'm still human.

                              And PHI specifically "ignores DBT's guideliness" - which includes "animalistic features" - so with that, I imagine the Stone Body Abominatoin (that is clearly non-animal) works. But instead of asking for "hardened lava-plate or unmelting-ice hide", I'm still going biological with blood or bone (like other Lunar bone charms) - or even keeping the black-chitin armor, but asking for PHI to "bend and curve it" to less literal interpretations.

                              Check out this Chitin Armor Cosplay (from Morrowind). They used giant insects as pack-animals - and their hides as armor-plates. It's not quite what I went for but it conveys the idea of "oh yeah, large bug-plate-armor.... but if I disguise the joints, they won't realize it's literally grown from my flesh".

                              Or better yet, this black centipede and then this, this, this and this. Full-body black-chitin as psuedo-plate. Nothing demands I need extra limbs or elongated bodies. Or maybe I build a warform of obsidian armor via "pathwork" of mutations. I wish I knew if/where I saved my character art.

                              But TLDR - I don't expect to shapeshift full plate on. I'm totally down with biological themes like blood, bone or black chitin. I'm just really big on the idea of collaging mutations until no one can claim I'm "a bug person" (or if my human-bits will have side-effect mutations, I hide my face within a chitinous psuedo-helm altogether).

                              Lesson Learned - don't google "human centipede" when seeking centipede armor ideas.
                              Last edited by Salagimsim; 03-08-2018, 10:31 PM.


                              Through indiscriminate suffering men know fear and fear is the most divine emotion.
                              It is the stones for altars and the beginning of wisdom.
                              Half gods are worshipped in wine and flowers. Real gods require blood.
                              - Their Eyes Were Watching God

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                Oh yeah. With the new Hybrid Body Transformation, I could choose a bug totem and have a Guyver or Kamen Rider-like battle form. Neat.


                                Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

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

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