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  • So looking through the new DB charms, how many building fires do you think get started because Hesieh's Discerning Tongue causes the poisoned thing in the DB's mouth to immediately catch fire before they spit it out?

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    • Originally posted by Aredin View Post
      Given that they have actual schools for learning and using charms strategically
      I would actually be very interested in how the Dragon-Blooded talk about and codify their essence-use techniques within the setting.

      Previously, I had assumed they approached them in the same way they did Martial Arts; you had savants and sifus who had dedicated their lives to understanding their Exaltations and how to draw forth its power, and they were heirs to centuries of savants and sifus who did the same thing. So, like, you'd get things like "If you do these exercises, and meditate on the nature of your essence and your Exaltation, and align your essence in the proper ways, you will eventually learn to call it forth in the manner prescribed by our illustrious ancestors as the most puissant Charm known as the Become-the-Hammer technique. It is only through mastering this Charm that your essence will be enlightened sufficiently for you to attempt to express it in the ways prescribed as the Charms Pounding Surf Style or Water Dragon's Coils. Now punch this basket full of sand eight thousand times while meditating on the sutras I have taught you."

      But this isn't the case; the book goes out of its way to say "Charms aren't codified techniques." And it's like... okay. If they're not codified techniques, how on earth do you even begin to teach them to people? MANY people at a time; Dragon-Blooded are educated in classroom settings. How do you measure their success and progress? How do you tell a struggling student "no, that won't work; you need to do THIS instead." How do they talk about this stuff? How do the savants and sifus who delve into the mysteries of the Exaltation and the practical matters of educating the next generations of Princes in their use?

      We used to know that in prior editions, but now we do not and it bothers me.


      "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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      • I'm pretty sure the schools teach people how to actually do the things their Abilities enable them to do, and their success is measured by their actual success in learning those things. You don't learn 3 War Charms at the House of Bells, you learn how to wage war, and the new ways your Essence helps you do that are manifestations of your excellence in that arena. Or something like that!

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        • What VioletDreamer said.

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          • Originally posted by nalak42 View Post
            So looking through the new DB charms, how many building fires do you think get started because Hesieh's Discerning Tongue causes the poisoned thing in the DB's mouth to immediately catch fire before they spit it out?
            This is why DB's tend to build things out of stone.


            ....

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            • I'm playing around with some houserules, because the "Just Hatched" rules don't really do what I'd want with school-aged campaign

              Recently Exalted tweens:

              - attributes 6/4/3
              - 15 ability dots
              - 2 specialties
              - 5 Merit dots
              - 4 Charms
              - Essence 1
              - 10 bonus points

              Late teens, 5 years or so into their education (if applicable):

              - attributes 7/5/3
              - 20 ability dots
              - 4 specialties (1 from school or background if applicable)
              - 7 Merit dots
              - 10 Charms (none at Essence 2 without spending bonus points)
              - Essence 2
              - 15 bonus points


              Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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              • Where does it say that schools teach Charms?

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                • Originally posted by VioletDreamer View Post
                  I'm pretty sure the schools teach people how to actually do the things their Abilities enable them to do, and their success is measured by their actual success in learning those things. You don't learn 3 War Charms at the House of Bells, you learn how to wage war, and the new ways your Essence helps you do that are manifestations of your excellence in that arena. Or something like that!
                  This carries with it the implication that learning to master your essence is a direct outgrowth of learning to do the thing in the same way mortals do, and to educate a Dragon-Blood to master and express their essence you just teach them to do the thing the way mortals do it and they'll pick up everything else a non-mortal can do on their own.

                  And I mean, it is clearly true that Exalts can self-educate, that all Exalt types have a great deal of ability to figure out how to master their essence to do the thing without someone instructing them or helping them to do the thing. This has always been a thing, it's how the vast majority of Solars have always come into their power.

                  But I'm not sure it makes sense that this is the ONLY way to learn to do the thing?

                  Like... okay, to pick an ability at random. Craft. Let's say you want to build stuff. A worthy ambition for a Prince of the Earth, Pasiap would be proud of you. You begin to learn woodworking.

                  You pick up the actual craft of woodworking relatively quickly, but you struggle with harmonizing your essence with it. Everyone else in the class can do that thing where they just... pick up a block of wood and carve it into what they want using their bare hands and their essence. You can't do this; you just break a lot of blocks in wood in half. You go to your sifu and say "Sifu, I can carve this block of wood with knife, rasp, and plane in a skillful way; you yourself have nodded at my work and pronounced it acceptable. But I cannot express my essence to aid me in the way that you can and that my fellow Princes of the Earth can. You are my sifu; what am I doing wrong? How may I do better?"

                  It seems like the sifu should have an actual answer for them that's relevant to them as an Exalt. They should be able to identify the specific way the younger Exalt is attempting to express their essence and give them specific techniques and guidance that are relevant for them to be able to do the thing. The Dragon-Blooded care very much about education their next generation; so do the Sidereals, for that matter. It seems both logical and desirable that they'd have invested considerable resources into figuring out the best ways to do so that are relevant to the special things they can do as an Exalt that mortals cannot.

                  Staying with Craft... Craft has Ephemeral Form Composition. Ephemeral Form Composition is very specifically just straight-up magic. You literally, not figuratively, turn your anima, something that, as an Exalt, you have unique control over, into a three-dimensional blueprint that you can manipulate using only your mind. No mortal is ever going to teach you how to do that, but it seems, I dunno, like it makes sense that your Exalted sifu ought to be able to teach you the technique through methods other than "just... get real good at regular blueprint drawing and it'll come to you."

                  This isn't just relevant to a classroom setting; the younger Exalts are going to look at their elders and see them perform miracles, and the elders are telling the younger ones that these miracles are their birthrights. The younger ones are gonna go "Teach me how to do that one!"

                  Originally posted by TGUEIROS
                  Where does it say that schools teach Charms?
                  It doesn't directly, except for the Heptagram. (Learning Sorcery requires at least ONE Charm.) But the secondary schools exist for the purpose of education Dragon-Blooded Dynasts. Presumably they are... taught to express their essence at them, to master and control their might as Princes of the Earth.

                  I don't think I'm out of line for making the assumption.


                  "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."

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Murcushio View Post
                    It doesn't directly, except for the Heptagram. (Learning Sorcery requires at least ONE Charm.) But the secondary schools exist for the purpose of education Dragon-Blooded Dynasts. Presumably they are... taught to express their essence at them, to master and control their might as Princes of the Earth.

                    I don't think I'm out of line for making the assumption.
                    The Heptagram doesn't teach a Charm, it tries to teach you sorcery. That's an important distinction that's more consistent with the other material. Exalted and unexalted both learn sorcery with the incidental expression of that on the game's mechanical end being a Charm and a Merit.

                    EDIT: I think for your other point that their education doesn't really work that way? And that given the way charms are described and how the core set is not exhaustive that there's an idea that the Chosen express their excellence in myriad ways. The manifested excellence of the group in the classroom would probably take on half a dozen different forms abstractly, and it wouldn't be about how to acquire HIS mastery or HER mastery, but simply about unlocking your own potential through your excellence, and whatever they come away with is true to them, or some kind of thing like that.

                    But I also think that if that kid really wants to learn how to do that thing that his friend did, he'll probably just gain that capability or something like it ultimately, and the Secondary Schools don't push for it.

                    I'm sure if it really mattered and they felt like it, they could probably articulate this process, but I understand how it really might not be that important.

                    I think the important thing to just keep in your head is that these schools are teaching Dragon-Blooded how to excel in real things like actually winning a war. The Charms are game widgets that abstractly represent their essence further buoying that real endeavor. I don't think the deed is parsed seperately from the person who does it.

                    EX. Your Sworn Kinship has a member aligned with the blessed element of Mela who can whisper commands to her soldiers on the winds. That's a valuable skill, but not one coerced from her Essence, it's an outgrowth of her personal excellence. Others with similar capabilities are seen the same way. This is not a thing people do, it's a thing that Tepet Nisana does.

                    I recognize that this is kind of a rabbit hole though, so I guess I'll just say that's what I imagine to be a potential way to understand the way third edition is approaching this sort of thing. I'm largely of the opinion that it doesn't really matter.

                    The House of Bells teaches you how to wage war, knowing fully that you will display your own personal excellence and that will bring you victory. They can't control for how that is expressed, and don't. If you are excellent at war, your essence will demonstrate excellence in warfare. How that looks varies for each of the Princes of the Earth.

                    It kind of reminds me of reading about certain schools of painting in ancient China actually!
                    Last edited by VioletDreamer; 04-11-2018, 10:50 PM.

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                    • Originally posted by Murcushio View Post
                      It doesn't directly, except for the Heptagram. (Learning Sorcery requires at least ONE Charm.) But the secondary schools exist for the purpose of education Dragon-Blooded Dynasts. Presumably they are... taught to express their essence at them, to master and control their might as Princes of the Earth.

                      I don't think I'm out of line for making the assumption.
                      It's safe to assume dragon-blooded learn charms in school.
                      But it's incorrect to assume the school teaches charms.


                      The charms are well codified for the players. While a charm always does the same thing, and can be more or less recognized by an appropriate expert, it might not be how it's expressed in-setting. Even the same charm can appear as different things just by being used in different contexts.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by VioletDreamer View Post
                        EDIT: I think for your other point that their education doesn't really work that way?
                        A strong possibility, but if it doesn't I really want to know how it works, in the same way I can understand how, say, Martial Arts training would work.

                        I think the important thing to just keep in your head is that these schools are teaching Dragon-Blooded how to excel in real things like actually winning a war. The Charms are game widgets that abstractly represent their essence further buoying that real endeavor.
                        I don't think this is the case. The effects that Charms have on the world are very, VERY concretely described in many cases. They don't seem like abstractions at all.

                        If they were, speaking only for myself, I would kind of really fucking hate that. I understand that we're dealing with fictional kung-fu magic superhumans here who do not have real-world analogues and so true understanding of them will always elude us. But like... I don't want the cool-ass magic shit that they do and that they are to be weird abstractions. I want to know that when they're doing the thing, it's the thing I think they're doing.

                        I don't think the deed is parsed seperately from the person who does it.
                        Well, you can never wholly separate any deed from the person who does it, but also, most things that people do aren't weirdly unique to them even for truly exceptional people.

                        Almost nobody can execute a jump shot like LeBron James does, and in that sense his jump shot is a unique deed that cannot be parsed separately from him. But the basic mechanics of how to improve your own capability to execute a jump shot are well understood, because people have invested a shit-ton of time and energy into understanding how to make the human body do that, and that has resulted in exercises and techniques that will allow you to execute your own jump shot. It won't be the jump shot of LeBron James, but it will still be, recognizably, a jump shot.

                        This applies even to things that are abstractly creative. You're never gonna be Picasso; his work was uniquely his in a way even stronger and more personal than what a skilled athlete does. You cannot be taught his unique genius.

                        But you can be taught his technique. That's been studied and analyzed and dissected, as have the techniques of the other great artists. In teaching you those techniques, they can teach you to draw forth your own unique excellence. The paintings you create will not be Picasso's paintings, but they will still be paintings.

                        EX. Your Sworn Kinship has a member aligned with the blessed element of Mela who can whisper commands to her soldiers on the winds. That's a valuable skill, but not one coerced from her Essence, it's an outgrowth of her personal excellence.
                        It's both, isn't it?

                        Others with similar capabilities are seen the same way. This is not a thing people do, it's a thing that Tepet Nisana does.
                        Presumably other people will very much want to do those things. Tepet Nisana may even want to teach her thing she does to other people; that's a thing. Some people are all "I can do the thing! The thing is awesome. I want to teach other people to do it as well!"

                        Originally posted by Synapse
                        It's safe to assume dragon-blooded learn charms in school.
                        But it's incorrect to assume the school teaches charms.
                        This implies that any mastery over their essence (or whatever terminology you want to use for "a Charm") a Dragon-Blooded learns at school basically happened by accident and without guidance from their teachers. I'm... not sure that's the case, and I'm definitely sure I wouldn't WANT it to be the case.




                        "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."

                        Comment


                        • Things are nuanced. Dragon Blooded are Ability Based Exalts, the fact that they learn their Abilities at school is a way to stimulate their Essence, they instruct and push their students and each student expresses their Elemental Nature in a personalized way. Each Dragon-Blooded is an elemental demigod urging to imprint the world with their mark. The same lesson can coax a Dodge Charm for one Student and a Resistance one for another. People have the same mechanical Charm, but the aesthetics in world could be very different.

                          The teachers teach the Abilities, and the students learn and develop their Elemental Essence in a directed, but not controlled way. The school doesn't pride itself that every graduate can use "Hopping Firecracker Evasion". They pride themselves in teaching elite evasion skills, with which their students may awaken a certain potential they have in their Exaltation.

                          Nothing keeps you from using Charms are Techniques reality in your games though, it is just not how the 3rd setting is presented. But whatever rocks your boat.

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                          • I always assumed that while charms in general are not techniques, there are techniques that are charms. For example, the Actually a Doombot charm is not a technique, it's a narrative effect stating that there was a doombot there all along. You aren't suddenly replaced by a doombot with doombot replacement jutsu. On the other hand, this whispering commands to soldiers on the winds? Totally a technique that you could learn, if you put your mind to it. Most charms exist somewhere in the middle, like excellencies or other dice tricks, which are just "I do the thing better." There's a million different ways you could be doing things better, but we just lump them all into excellencies and things like Excellent Strike (sorry for using Solar charms, haven't read the previews yet even though I have them).

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                            • Originally posted by tonberrian View Post
                              I always assumed that while charms in general are not techniques, there are techniques that are charms. For example, the Actually a Doombot charm is not a technique, it's a narrative effect stating that there was a doombot there all along. You aren't suddenly replaced by a doombot with doombot replacement jutsu. On the other hand, this whispering commands to soldiers on the winds? Totally a technique that you could learn, if you put your mind to it. Most charms exist somewhere in the middle, like excellencies or other dice tricks, which are just "I do the thing better." There's a million different ways you could be doing things better, but we just lump them all into excellencies and things like Excellent Strike (sorry for using Solar charms, haven't read the previews yet even though I have them).

                              I'd generally agree this is true, except I disagree with the assumption that IN-UNIVERSE any Solar has the ability to learn any given Solar charm based discrete power if they try hard enough, or same for Dragon-Blooded and their techniques, etc. Some people have inherent talents different than others. No amount of practice would let Heracles play music like Orpheus. As a player you can buy any Charm you want and build your character up with xp however you want, but that's because you have control over their narrative that they don't in-universe. So no institution can standardize what Charms they train, hence there not being a defined list of Charms that House of Bells graduates wield. They train in combat and strategy and tactics, and their powers manifest along those lines based on their own essence and personalities.


                              Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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                              • I'm reminded of the episode of Steven Universe where Steven is trying to figure out how to summon his shield. He asks the gems how they summon their weapons, and all three of them give him a different answer.

                                I suspect it's a similar situation for Glorious Solar Saber and other "technique" charms. There's a known thing exalts can do, but how they do it varies slightly.

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