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BrilliantRain reads Dragon-Blooded: What Fire Has Wrought

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  • #76
    Looks like you got your wish. It's not a standalone book, though.

    At $221,000 in funding - HEIRS TO THE SHOGUNATE – REALM EXPANSION #1: War in the West – A section dealing with the impending war between House Peleps and House V’neef will be added to the Dragon-Blooded Companion PDF.

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    • #77
      Originally posted by NullApostle View Post
      Looks like you got your wish. It's not a standalone book, though.
      Yup. I’m very excited.


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      • #78
        So, I ran out of time, read over the rest of Dynasic upbringing without taking notes, took a few notes on outcastes, and went back and made a few notes on Lookshy politics. So, I’ll post what I’ve got here presently and then move on to the new chunk.

        I’m not promising any notes on the charms. I’m not even promising to read anything but Archery, Craft, and Dodge.


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        • #79
          Lookshy

          Politics

          Ok, so generally speaking, I think the Isolationist faction and the Purist faction were both likely to see Lookshy become a Satrapy within a decade or two. Well, or a smoking crater. To keep out the Realm Dragon long term, you need a highly prepared military with plenty of their own DBs, something of similar power, or enough distance from the Realm that it’s not worth it. Lookshy sits on the Realm’s doorstep and their troves of First Age magic are dwindling by the day, so that military might is really the only thing that stops them becoming a cadet house at best. Shrinking the military and going into business with the Realm is pretty much saying “sure, we’ll be glad to be a satrapy.” Alternately, sending the military out to fight a bunch of wars to “purify the River Province” is a good way to waste your military strength and alienate/destroy historical allies so that you won’t be able to hold the Realm back the next time they show up.

          However.

          That was then. Now... I honestly can’t say that inviting House Tepet to rejoin the Seventh Legion or whatever the Imperialists want is inherently a bad idea. And, once the Realm Civil War starts, between the fighting and aftermath they’ll be unlikely to be able to field another major war for decades. So, temporarily diverting some military spending into the civilian budget for a few years to help grow your economy right now could pay off big time. Or, you could build up the military even more, preparing to strike at the Realm or “cleanse” the River Province at the right moment.

          All of those could be viable tactics at this point. It’s not clear.

          (Arguably you could even try to find a couple of Solar Anathema Artificer-Sorcerers and hire them to try to fix Lookshy Manse and anything else that’s broken, but that’s dangerous and heretical on so many levels that no-one would agree to it without being hella desperate, so forget I said anything.)


          Ok, so I was liking Gens Amilar right up until they mentioned tactical uses of poison and disease which is ...yeah. Not that war is ever pleasant, using poison gas on a tactical level produces such horrors that anyone who doesn’t regret it needs a new conscience. Granted, Creation has weapons that turn cities into glass and crystal, demons that can call forth endless night over a region, sorcerous magic that can bring life to a desert or destroy the fertility of the soil, and even native charms that can blow up a battlefield. In the face of such things, a canister of chlorine gas might almost be seen as a merciful option, I suppose. Or at least no worse.

          So, Karal Fire Orchid is going to be deeply embarrassing to this house, possibly to the point where the only way they can keep their status above reproach is by finding and killing her before anyone else finds out. Let’s hope that the artifacts she found in the Tomb of Dreams are enough to even things up against her siblings and cousins when they come for her.

          So, I think my Lookshy character is going to be an Air aspect from Gens Maheka. That way I can personally push the envelope of engineering a bit without being in a family that ignores ethics in their research. I’m not big on tradition, but I am big on ethics and examining the problem in depth.

          I suspect that you might be able to move the Maheka mountain towards the Purist stance, but it would be very difficult. Might be easier to just ...remove their seat at the table.

          Honestly, even if the The Gunzota Incident hasn’t been considered suspicious, anyone who was involved with the conspiracy could notice how it decapitated said conspiracy and might well go “hmmmm.... that was effective. I wonder if we could do something like that again, on purpose?”


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          • #80
            The Wanasaan

            Ok, Jusenkyo Springs has gotten pretty metal now.




            The Temple of the Reverent Whisper

            I love that there’s a temple/bordello in Great Forks where gods can pay DBs for specific and complex ritual prayer. It is just so perfect for this game.

            And now I want a Zenith to start their own competing service and just see what happens.


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            • #81
              Chapter 5

              Fun chapter fiction. I think it might have been previewed.

              I kinda want a QC writeup for Fear Eater now, just for the cool Eclipse keyword charms.

              Attributes and abilities are same as for solars.

              Dbs get five favored abilities now. Cool.

              Three free specialties

              Get two more specialties based on your background.

              13 dots of merits

              ...and five more merit dots if you’re a Dynast, Lookshian, etc. that you can spend on stuff appropriate to your station, like resources, contacts, languages, influence, etc.

              15 charms to start with. Can swap them for MA charms, Evocations, and Spells as appropriate.

              18 bonus points

              Looks like the same BP table as the core.

              You start with Essence 2. There’s a sidebar on playing newly hatched DBs.


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              • #82
                And here’s chapter 6. No timeline on charm comments.

                Chapter 6

                Fiction is interesting. Even the patricians are considering getting in on the whole “conquer the Realm” thing. Which is actually a very good point. It’s easy to delude oneself into thinking that the Great Houses are the only important people in the Realm, but that’s not true. They have the dragon’s share of the Dragon Blooded, yes, but they’re also wasting their strength fighting each other. If all the patrician houses united to “keep order” in the Imperial City at the right time....well. The Great Houses might have a big problem on their hands, especially if the rest of the Realm rebelled against them too. This plan is ...not bad, necessarily.

                Alternately, maybe they’re working with Nellens too and those legions might come to their aid. Or Cathak, depending on how loyal to the empty throne they actually are.

                I’m assuming our Monk will get chapter fiction for the MA/Sorcery chapter.

                Anyway

                Merits

                Notes on Corebook merits and any relevant changes. Among other things, the Dynastic stipend is Resources 3 and they note how that looks to people.

                Sobriquet - you’re well known in Creation for your deeds and have a name that people know you by, like the Roseblack.

                Well-Bred is a two dot merit that grants benefits at the marriage negotiation table and Thin-Blooded is a flaw that grants penalties at said negotiation table.

                Sidebar on Breeding and Exaltation, giving the usual exaltation rates for couples and noting that, while merits and flaws can improve chances, there have been some wildly improbable events and it’s ultimately up to the ST if a kid exalts.

                ....which, I suppose means I’ll be nice and let all of V’Neef Vala’s kids Exalt. Though, maybe no wood aspects. Put that in your punnet squares and smoke it!

                Anyway, two page spreads.

                Air!

                https://youtu.be/d1EnW4kn1kg

                Air aspects are dreamers, visionaries, and subtle planners, always looking at what could be instead of what is. Air is the spiritual element (which is odd because Black Jade is associated with spirits). In the Kinship, they push others to be what the Air aspect knows they can be, driving towards the future.

                Everything seems in order. Good writing, but nothing unexpected.

                Earth, in contrast, is resolute, unmoved, and enduring. Stable. Calm. Firm. Unchanging. Lasting. In the Kinship, they are the pillar of stability that holds the center, keeping everyone balanced and harmonious.

                Air’s tendency to reject tradition and Earth’s tendency to uphold it seems like it would tend to drive them against each other. That said, I could see a cool dynamic where the Earth aspect keeps the Air grounded and the Air keeps the Earth from getting too stuck. Could be a great buddy cop dynamic.

                And now I wanna create an appearance 5 Earth Aspect who looks like an exquisite marble statue come to life.

                Fire is passion and intensity, If you were stoic before, you’ll be emotional now, If you were passionate before, Be careful not to burn yourself out now, Anything they do, they do wholeheartedly, They are the energy that wants to spread and burn the world, That said, they can do subtle, because they are as much smoke and shadow as fire and fire can smolder unnoticed or creep into unexpected places, Stopping is what’s hard for them, They’re driven to do things, not to consider, contemplate, stand, wait, they gotta go, go, go, go!


                Given how at least three of the other elements are described as being forces of change, I’ve gained new respect for the Earth aspects. If everyone else wants things to be different, just for the sake of things being different, you really do need someone to hold things together, prevent things that work from being broken, and insist on properly testing things as you go.

                So, water. Water moves, insinuates, creeps, it goes everywhere. If it can’t go one way, it goes another, wearing new paths into places, until it reaches its destination. It conceals many things within its depths and tends to have little regard for the method of travel as long as it ultimately arrives. Morals, scruples, ethics, these things are dams for water to tunnel under, flow over, or wear down. The raging river will not stop for insurmountable obstacles, it simply flows around them. They are persistent and adaptable. They have a thousand plans and no plan, for plans are brittle and break easily. Understanding the situation and being ready to adapt invites fortune to show you the gap through which you can flow unhindered. They’re troubleshooters and problem solvers who learn from failure how best to approach next time, granting these insights to their Kinship.

                Hmmm... Should Koyomi’s hair act like she’s underwater at all times? It’s visually cool, but it seems like a problem for an undercover agent. Her skin should have a deep green-black tinge certainly, to signify her exceptional breeding. Also a very fluid grace to her.

                Wood is gardener and garden all at once. They love life, but tend to have few compunctions about returning something (or someone) to the cycle when they think it is time. They love all experiences for what they are and learn to savor everything, but likely prefer some over others. They relish opportunities for growth but like too grow in specific ways. They live, unlike the other elements, and love life but accept death.


                Anima Flux only kicks in at the iconic level now and only does a die of Withering damage or decisive to crashed people. Or one die of lethal per minute outside combat. If you have hardness, you’re immune. Seems kinda useless now really.


                Being able to manipulate your element in minor ways is always fun. It’s one of my favorite powers to get in any game really.

                Can an Air Aspect use their leap to disengage without rolling? When else would they be rolling to move?

                Interesting. Evocations and Sorcery costs 2 extra xp for DBs.

                Dragon XP is about as expected, though you can get it by RPing the Great Curse too.


                The Great Curse

                When the slain enemies of the gods pronounced their death-curse against the Exalted, the brunt of it fell upon the Solars who led the Divine Revolution. The Dragon-Blooded were still accursed, but to a much lesser degree. Consequently, unlike the Solars and other Exalted, Dragon-Blooded don’t possess a Limit track or experience Limit Break. While the Great Curse still influences their behavior, its manifestations are determined solely by the player of a Dragon-Blooded character.

                Roleplaying the Great Curse well is rewarded with Dragon Experience (p. XX). However, while a Dragon-Blood’s excesses or warped judgment might cause problems for her fellow characters, it’s never an excuse to ruin other players’ fun at the table. If a dramatic moment caused by the Great Curse isn’t something that the entire group can appreciate, it doesn’t award Dragon Experience.

                The Great Curse manifests differently in each elemental Aspect of Dragon-Blooded:

                • Air Aspects: An Air Aspect’s Great Curse can lead her to react with excessive anger, frustration, or despair when the world fails to live up to her idealistic visions of it. She may become so caught up in her high-minded idealism that she ignores the consequences it has for others or the suffering that it causes, or hold such confidence in her intellect and vision that she’ll brook no insult without retribution, or take truly foolish risks not believing that she could be wrong.

                • Earth Aspects: An Earth Aspect’s Great Curse may render her ruthless or cruel in defense of her cherished institutions and traditions, or leave her single-minded and immutable, refusing all counsel and closing her heart. She may respond to any insult or challenge to an important tradition with earthshaking anger or abject despair.

                • Fire Aspects: A Fire Aspect’s Great Curse intensifies her emotions and desires to the point of dangerous excess. Depending on the circumstances, she might be overcome with overwhelming zeal for her cause, self-hatred over any imperfection she displays, reckless fury against hated foes or in defense of those she loves, or self-sacrificing despair when those she loves suffer.

                • Water Aspects: A Water Aspect’s Great Curse makes her perseverance a liability as she goes to unnecessary extremes to overcome obstacles or protect allies, or faces down impossible obstacles refusing to believe she can be defeated. She might take any underhanded shortcut or employ any plans, no matter how convoluted, in the pursuit of her own triumph.

                • Wood Aspects: A Wood Aspect’s Great Curse might intensify her sensuality into hedonistic excess, dangerous thrill-seeking, or wild binges that leave her overcome by guilt, regret, or the desire to atone. She may instead become overzealous in her attempts to nurture the people and societies around her, becoming overbearingly controlling of that which she protects or mercilessly pruning away undesirable elements.


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                • #83
                  Chapter 7

                  Nice to see more of Novia. I like her.

                  I would know more of Glafira.

                  Mnemon... is arrogant and dismissive, but I do like that she is rebuilding this place rather than leaving it to suffer or wither. I would have liked some regret for her satrap’s part in this whole thing, but you don’t have a lot of words available in these things, so it’s ok.

                  Now. Charms.

                  Hmm. If you can build special MA styles to interact with Aura mechanics, why can’t you build more of them or artifacts or anything specifically to interact with Aura mechanics? Or can you, if you do it on purpose?


                  Archery

                  Ok, so. My understanding is this.

                  I can combo Unobstructed Hunter’s Aim, Sky-Calming Draw, and Life-Swelling Sap Strike to make a distract gambit out to long range, but I have to aim first and I don’t end up with an aura at the end of my turn.

                  Is the aim action needed to make a shot at medium+ range distinct from the one needed for Sky-Calming Draw? If not, if I’m in Air Aura, does that mean I can use Sky-Calming Draw to shoot people without aiming?

                  Arbor Sentinel Technique is very cool.

                  If I combo Drawing Lightning Style and Sky-Calming Draw, do I still have to spend an action aiming?

                  Would an upgrade that let you apply Dragonfly Finds Mate to ranged attacks targeting people in close range of you, or short if they’re Sworn Kin, be ok?



                  In previous editions, Swallows Defend the Nest let you defend against lots of ranged attacks. Would a charm that let you defend other using half your dex+archery against ranged attacks for any allies in close range be ok? Maybe it provokes an ammo check too?

                  ....ok, just saw Seven Year Swarm Volley. Never mind.

                  I’m a little confused why Arrow Rain Tempest is a Water charm sitting deep in a tree full of Wood charms. I’m assuming it’s because the charm is absurdly powerful, so making it amazingly difficult to set up is necessary, but is that the actual reason?


                  So, it looks like the Air archer is a sniper who can put a perfectly aimed arrow nearly anywhere they want on the battlefield at ranges that are simply ludicrous.

                  The Wood Archer, on the other hand, will never run out of ammo and likes to prove their bounty by sending as much of it down range as quickly as possible. They become as a machine gun nest/defense system. Because they can also become a missile defense system at high essence.

                  Other elements are good for a few tricks, Fire has a couple of Firewand charms that are usually also Wood aspected, but this ability is mostly Wood with some Air.

                  http://www.nuklearpower.com/2009/01/...-exalted-feat/


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                  • #84
                    Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
                    I would have liked some regret for her satrap’s part in this whole thing, but you don’t have a lot of words available in these things, so it’s ok.
                    ​"I regret that you aligned with an Anathema and rebelled in a manner that forced me to tear down your blasphemous and conceited towers."


                    Originally posted by BrilliantRain
                    If you can build special MA styles to interact with Aura mechanics, why can’t you build more of them or artifacts or anything specifically to interact with Aura mechanics? Or can you, if you do it on purpose?
                    ​I suppose that a Martial Art based on emulation of an Immaculate/Elemental Dragon gets a special dispensation there, when nothing else would.

                    Or are the Dragon Styles supposed to be a special refinement of the Dragon Blooded Essence?

                    ​Surely we'll get the answer when we have the Martial Arts chapter, and I imagine it will be something credibly unique to those particular styles.

                    Originally posted by BrilliantRain
                    I’m a little confused why Arrow Rain Tempest is a Water charm sitting deep in a tree full of Wood charms. I’m assuming it’s because the charm is absurdly powerful, so making it amazingly difficult to set up is necessary, but is that the actual reason?
                    ​I think that in a few cases, the Element of a Charm was as simple as "what does the effect of this Charm look like". It's a Charm to make it rain arrows, hence, Water.

                    ​Every Charm of a different element besides the Signatures is interspersed through Charms with the element of the Ability's associated Aspect.


                    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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                    • #85
                      Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                      ​"I regret that you aligned with an Anathema and rebelled in a manner that forced me to tear down your blasphemous and conceited towers."
                      I don't see any indication that the satrap herself rebelled; a satrap is not a prince.


                      Developer for Exalted.

                      Want to write for Exalted? Look at the freelancer submission guidelines.

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                      • #86
                        I was more bemused by the image of Mnemon feeling regret about correcting a wayward satrapy. I'm not actually sure myself what BrilliantRain meant by "the satrap's part in this". The quote was meant as something directed towards Jiara, not Mnemon's subordinate.


                        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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                        • #87
                          Originally posted by Eric Minton View Post
                          I don't see any indication that the satrap herself rebelled; a satrap is not a prince.
                          Some of the background we had before indicated that Jianara's Mnemon Satrap basically decided that the best way to get the artifacts under Jiara's capital city was to bulldoze the most ancient and respected places in the city, some of which might have been designed by Mnemon herself. This decision did not go over well with the populace and eventually resulted in Perfect Soul's Exaltation.

                          All I was referring to was that I'd have enjoyed finding out what she did to that idiot, but this particular bit of fiction was not really the time nor place for it.

                          That's also assuming the backstory remains true.


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                          • #88
                            Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
                            some of which might have been designed by Mnemon herself.
                            I don't really see that. Mnemon seems to have nothing but contempt for the native architecture; I can't imagine her seeing its demolition in the course of extracting resources for the House as anything other than a bonus.

                            Originally posted by BrilliantRain
                            All I was referring to was that I'd have enjoyed finding out what she did to that idiot
                            ​I feel as though that would be the same logic of "sorry you were so offended" response. Like, unless one took the Perfect Soul write-up to suggest that the Mnemon representatives went about it in an especially cloddish manner, exploitation of the satrapies is literally what they're there for.




                            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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                            • #89
                              All of the architecture Mnemon is knocking over to get at the newly-discovered artifact stores predates House Mnemon and, I suspect, the Great Contagion itself.

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                              • #90
                                Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                                I don't really see that. Mnemon seems to have nothing but contempt for the native architecture; I can't imagine her seeing its demolition in the course of extracting resources for the House as anything other than a bonus.

                                ​I feel as though that would be the same logic of "sorry you were so offended" response. Like, unless one took the Perfect Soul write-up to suggest that the Mnemon representatives went about it in an especially cloddish manner, exploitation of the satrapies is literally what they're there for.

                                https://www.facebook.com/notes/john-...53822735365909

                                Jiara has long been a subject state of the Realm, complete with a governing satrap, making the Khidara nobility little more than a puppet. In recent times, House Mnemon has forced hard taxes on the Jiaran people, with brutal consequences for withholding. This problem only intensified in the last five years, when extensive First Age ruins were discovered around and beneath Jiara.

                                The satrap Mnemon Jerof incensed the people by turning families out of their homes to tear up streets and buildings. Temples were even demolished to get at the ruins, an act that served to cow the gods rather than stir them to wrath—but only with the help of Immaculate Monks who moved to intervene, no thanks to Satrap Jerof.

                                Rather than conduct discrete surveys with local temple authorities, Jerof decimated ancient spiritual centers for the Jiaran people. Rather than order the princes of Jiara to host people displaced by excavations, he seized the properties of those whose land was suspected to be above ruins and gave those estates over to sycophantic patricians from the Realm. When the people began to stir with unrest, Satrap Jerof set a garrison inside the city, enacted a curfew, and began forcing any Jiaran protester or any citizen in violation of curfew to work on the excavation of Jiaran holy sites.

                                Because Jerof employed experts of dubious ability to head the excavations, and because he under-budgeted and rushed the works, the excavation went disastrously more often than not. Dig sites were often in the wrong places, temples torn down for no reason, while other ruins were buried in collapses triggered by careless engineers.
                                "Cloddish" doesn't really begin to describe it honestly. That said, I dunno if that's all still accurate or not, since it's from John Morke's notes and not official text in a game book or anything.


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