Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

A Closer Look: Solars vs Dragonblooded

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #91
    I think a lot of the antipathy toward the solar charmset can be (from anecdata) be really narrowed to 3, maybe 4 charmsets. 1) Craft: this charmset has been probably the most continentious in the game, along with the craft system in general. Robert Vance in the Q&A board noted feedback on it directly influenced his design of DB craft. 2) Presence: A large amount of dice adders in the front end of the tree can make it uninspired/Bloated. 3) Performance: similar reasons though I feel compelled to point out this depends on what you are going into performance for imo (Wizard of Oz made several good points on both in the Perception thread). 4) I would argue could be awareness, specifically because how that tree parses out the sense.

    These ones stand out because the are central to many concepts (crafter, face, and different versions of the “I see all the things” char).

    As an example of where imo the solar Charmset shines is 1) Brawl 2) Occult 3) Linguistics 4) Athletics 5) Archery

    This is not to say concerns about solar charm bloat are invalid, but rather that the factors of being first out the gate and the bloat concentrating in a few critical trees, changes the perception of all of the solar charmset.

    Comment


    • #92
      Originally posted by ffanxii4ever View Post
      Gotta say DrLoveMonkey, that I love your comparisons of the charms between Solars and Dragonblooded. I will probably be using these as examples to show my players when we get back to Exalted.

      Keep up the good work!
      Originally posted by Beans View Post
      Anyway, this thread is really great! Besides simply mapping out what's what with the DB power scale, it also points out all the interesting character and feel to the DB charmset. Honestly, I think DBs have spoiled me. Their charmset feels really tight and flavorful (and even though there's evidently a hunk more charms to be given in the companion because word limit, I still doubt it'll make the charmset too huge), and now Solar charms, despite having bigger and shinier numbers to flail around, just feels... bloaty and comparatively less interesting.
      Awww! Thank you very much, I definitely appreciate it!

      I've come to the conclusion basically that if you want to play a game about the world ending and hopping from direction to direction fighting directional war gods and massive demon invasions Solars are the way to go, but for the scale of games I prefer to play in and run DBs are looking a lot better. Smaller charms that don't reach as high, but go broader.


      Okay lets get back to it

      Ride

      Ride is an interesting one from the Solar perspective. This is one of those trees like sail, where it's less about the actual ability to ride things and more about the archetype of a horseman. Or Sailor in the case of sail. It's got some cool stuff to give you a real solid bond with your mount, almost like a familiar, and draw strength from that bond. It's also got quite a few combat movement charms, along with the classic Solar "I do this amazing" thing.

      Something you might immediately notice about the DB charm tree is that a lot of the capabilities to make your mount do things exist here in the form of discreet charms, whereas in the Solar tree it's just taken care of by letting your horse use athletics charms as though it were you. Afterwords though we get a lot of interesting stuff that sets it apart. One thing is that there's more utility in this tree than in the Solar one.

      Basically the Solar one just lets your mount go anywhere really damn fast with maybe a few combat tricks. Here we've got your mount adding a huge bonus to it's strength for FoS and damage, running under water, and leading a huge charge of stampeding animals. There's also some combat stuff in here, including a charm that aids horse archers, but the big one here is the charge. There's more than a couple of charms that give a bonus to an attack performed after a rush, or after a movement, and they can be pretty cool. One even gives it's benefit to all nearby allies in Charge of One Hundred Generals, one of my favourite charm names.

      We also see a really cool effect here where a DB can actually mark their steed with their exalted blood and kind of demi-exalt it. This is the first case I've seen of a DB being able to share the power in their blood, and it's pretty cool. The charm is just solid too, it just improves your mount in almost every way.

      It's an easy to understand tree that gets a lot done with just a few charms, it seems.

      Sail

      Solar sail I have to say I don't like much. Mostly because with almost no credible antagonists to a Solar captain the sail system totally falls apart, and a very good chunk of this tree relies on that system. I mean Solars in general can suffer a problem of not having anything to challenge them but there's nothing in the corebook that mentions sail based antagonists at all. The rest of the tree is cool though, a lot of nice salty sea captain charms that make you a good leader, hardy and wary.

      The Dragonblooded one fixes that problem. Almost all the sail charms here that interact with the sail system ALSO do something else. So bam, now Solars have a credible enemy to fight AND the Terrestrial tree is useful to groups who don't like the naval combat system! This tree is also home to some of the most epic effects since Dragon Vortex back in lore. Probably because ships are just big things, but it's got stuff like setting the seas on fire, using your vessel to demolish structures, and creating a huge fog bank or maelstrom that can swallow a ship. Wood also gets an instant healing effect again, but this time the living wood of your ship.

      Otherwise it's got some of the same sort of effects to avoid hazzards and be an old salty dog, just with less power but nicely condensed so you're not spending 15 charms to do it all.

      Socialize

      Socialize! Man the Solar tree is big. A huge section of it is dedicated to the Persona charms, which lets you assume a different character basically. It's all about reading intentions and social norms otherwise. Stopping people from reading your intentions, reading a whole room yourself, and a bunch of tricks therein to get motes back and stuff.

      With Dragonblooded it almost seems designed for people who want to go into a nation and turn everyone against eachother. You infiltrate their culture, observe them while being inscrutable, stop them from using intimacies of loyalty to protect one another, use magic alchohol to lower their inhibitions, and finally turning them against eachother or a sub-culture/outsider. BUT something you might not immediately realize is that's also the exact skill set you need to pull apart a corrupt organization too. You infiltrate the local branch of the Imperial government, find out who's corrupt, turn those criminals against each other, and then finally turn all the remaining people against them.

      Overall though it's got some great charms that interact perfectly with high class intrigue and political drama. It's usable elsewhere for sure, there's nothing that says you can't infuse the grog in a dingy seaside pub with Sweeten the Tap, but it's home is lounging coolly on the veranda while you sip wine and decide the fate of nations.

      Stealth

      Oh boy Solar Stealth. It's got a lot of stuff that's just straight power, like giving penalties to your opponent while banishing certain senses from detecting you at all. It also makes you a real ninja with a few combat charms for ambushing, and eventually being able to do pretty incredible things like teleporting through shadow.

      The DB one has much of the same, like being able to be perfectly silent, as well as mute charms. The muting thing is kind of required for all exalted stealth though, so it's not surprise. The silence is cool though because it has a teamwork affect of being able to make a whole area silent, which also means you can have an entire battle in a room with all your allies and none of the guards outside will hear a peep. It's also got some cool stuff like performance which is reminiscent of illusion magic, there's stuff here to make you invisible and even have an insubstantial decoy of yourself.

      There's also a few charms that aid sneak attacks, but overall it's standout for the straight impossible things it can do. The capstone, for instance, lets you kill somebody by willing the air from their lungs from stealth. That's just a classy way to do an assassination.

      Survival

      Solar survival is about two things. living in the hardship of the elements, and playing Beastmaster. More seriously there's a few charms in there for tracking and stuff too, but like half the tree is dedicated to making a familiar of yours into that-which-devours-gods. A powerful familiar properly enhanced might be more powerful than a Dawn even.

      With dragonblooded the running theme is power over nature itself. There's some tracking charms, some teamwork charms to give your allies a solid boost in harsh climates, but the real eye catchers are how it interacts with the elements. Like diverting a raging forest fire, earth bending a landslide clear, or forcing a spring to erupt from the ground. When a DB survivalist seeks shelter, nature accommodates her.

      One of those elements you can interact with though, is beasts. Yep, familiar charms here too, but they feel a lot more cooperative than the Solar ones. Getting the familiar requires you to do some convincing and training, acts of kindness and mutual respect will lead to a companion that defends you, and eventually to things like a twin attack charm where you both launch a finishign move together that succeeds or fails as one.

      I wouldn't have expected DB survival to be this cool. With it you don't so much feel like a super woodsman like you do with Solars, but more a master of the elements themselves.

      Thrown

      Solar thrown is a great combat tree that's full of going first, and disabling your target. It's got a ton of things that do everything but kill the person you thrown knives at, luckily it's got a ton of things that kill them too. And help you get your knife back.

      DB thrown looks to keep that up with a good few charms that stack the penalties on. It's also got this cool charm where you throw a weapon and it takes on a life of it's own after it leaves your hand, it's on initiative track and everything, and I can't let this go without pointing out you can use it with Elemental Bolt Attack to have an autonomous bolt of lightning leaping around the battlefield while you continue to fight.

      There's also this interesting thing that happens near the end of the tree where you create a whirlwind as a shield around you that also has it's own initiative track. It surrounds you and defends you from ranged attacks while you sit back and rain death down on the battlefield. It's got a few upgrade charms even.

      It puts an interesting twist on the Solar style of doing it for sure. I encourage anyone reading through the thrown charms to always keep in mind that Elemental Bolt Attack can be used with any of there, making for invisible strikes of water from underneath a river, or flaming exploding shards of rock.

      War

      Solar war benefited a lot from the much better new mass combat system of 3e. Unlike the sail system this one has seen a lot of use all over and the charms integrate better with it. It leans a bit heavy on the strategic maneuvers, which I haven't seen used much, but overall it's effective at conveying a powerful and intelligent general. It gives big dice bonuses to those maneuvers anyway as well as buffing your mass combat unit's stats.

      Dragonblooded focus less on the strategic and more on the tactical. They've got more charms for boosting command rolls and rallying them when they falter. What charms they have that end up interacting with the strategic side of the mass combat are big elemental expressions. Reshaping the battlefield with earth, raining down lightning with air, flooding the field with fog from water. I think it works well, there's enough support there for the big strategic battles, while letting, I think, the more common aspect of a captain with a small force who uses it like a second weapon in combat shine.

      Definitely a fan of war, even the more simple dice charms and stuff do more of what I want from it.



      And there's the end of abilities! I might go on to talk about the coolness of the new MAs and those tantalizing artifacts in the book as well. Something that's come up in this section is the sort of presumption of authority. You see it in socialize and even a bit in sail and stuff, and I think that's a great way of making DBs stand out, since basically no matter where you go in creation they're at worst powerful heroes and at best divine messengers, so that's cool to take advantage of in the official charms.

      Something else in these trees is that we've got some really really overtly big magic things going on that stand out huge from the Solars. Solars have a million successes on the dice roll, sure, but there's nothing you can even roll to fill a forest with fog before a battle, or divert a wildfire. These effects are really interesting and cool to get because they don't just take something you were going to do anyway and make it better/easier, but they give you some real options to do the impossible in big ways.

      Anyway, that's it for now, be back later with MA and Sorcery!

      Comment


      • #93
        Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
        Thrown

        [...]
        DB thrown looks to keep that up with a good few charms that stack the penalties on. It's also got this cool charm where you throw a weapon and it takes on a life of it's own after it leaves your hand, it's on initiative track and everything, and I can't let this go without pointing out you can use it with Elemental Bolt Attack to have an autonomous bolt of lightning leaping around the battlefield while you continue to fight. [...]

        It puts an interesting twist on the Solar style of doing it for sure. I encourage anyone reading through the thrown charms to always keep in mind that Elemental Bolt Attack can be used with any of there, making for invisible strikes of water from underneath a river, or flaming exploding shards of rock.
        Sadly, this isn't actually the case; both Elemental Bolt Attack and most of the really cool Thrown charms are Simple.

        Comment


        • #94
          Originally posted by Parabola View Post
          Sadly, this isn't actually the case; both Elemental Bolt Attack and most of the really cool Thrown charms are Simple.
          Awwwww piss you’re totally right, I forgot to check that.

          I should stop doing these at 5am.

          Comment


          • #95
            I belatedly realized that DBs have to take four Occult charms before they can get Sorcery, which is at least mildly a bummer.


            Abyssals: Whom Death Has Called, a PEACH-as-heck attempt to make an Abyssal 3E holdover.

            Where I try to make Artifacts. When I finish them I'll probably post them in the Artifact Workshop thread so people can help me hammer them into shape.

            Comment


            • #96
              Originally posted by Beans View Post
              I belatedly realized that DBs have to take four Occult charms before they can get Sorcery, which is at least mildly a bummer.
              Well.. mechanics aside it makes sense, from a lore standpoint, that DBs would learn a few Occult charms before sorcery because they exalt pretty young, generally before attaining sorcerous enlightenment,
              Last edited by DraMaFlo; 05-02-2018, 02:15 PM.

              Comment


              • #97
                Hm. So to summarize: Solars have "do stuff good" charms that are powerful and (not bland, so much as "you need to decide how your SPECIFIC hero looks using these"). DB charms have lots of built-in theminess, generally less powerful except in specific areas, instead of "do stuff like a boss" have "get the elements to do stuff for you like a boss", have attack & defence options in noncombat trees so every DB can be in the army. And DB have some teamwork-synergy charms, although the details so far are kinda vague - one or two team-useful charms per tree? And DB have more "loyal warrior" and "klingon team" social charms, vs Solar being more "I am so mightily awesome you do what I ask"

                And it satisfies one of my 2E peeves re the Usurpation - I can now see mechanically how the DB could have pulled it off, without making Solars so weak they seem like chumps. Basically, even if half the DB stayed loyal, you could send a 5-person strike team against every regular solar or lunar, and 15 against every Beast Solar (using roughly 10k DB, 300 solar, 300 lunar). From your calcs (4WP per death blossom), sounds like the Beast might wipe out two 5-man-bands, but go down to the third. Nowadays you just don't have enough DB to afford that kind of attrition war, Solars are traveling in packs, and both sides have to use mortals for onslaught-meat.

                As far as shoutouts - I see Voltron and Dr Who charms so far.

                Comment


                • #98
                  Originally posted by Beans View Post
                  I belatedly realized that DBs have to take four Occult charms before they can get Sorcery, which is at least mildly a bummer.
                  Yes that's true, although at least one is the excellency that you'd definitely pick up anyway. I recommend Fivefold Resonance, Seed and Salt Warding and Spirit Detecting Mirror for the others if you're going pure sorcerer.

                  I think the reasoning for this might be that DBs are less powerful and more restricted, and that's compounded by Terrestrial Circle Sorcery being one of the best charms in the game to just dip into. Almost the only reason not to do it is because you don't like how it fits the character.

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Originally posted by DraMaFlo View Post
                    Well.. mechanics aside it makes sense, from a lore standpoint, that DBs would learn a few Occult charms before sorcery because they exalt pretty young, generally before attaining sorcerous enlightenment,
                    It's more that one of the Solar keystones is sorcerous excellence, so they get immediate and cheap access to it, while the DB have to invest a good chunk of development to it.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

                      War

                      Solar war benefited a lot from the much better new mass combat system of 3e. Unlike the sail system this one has seen a lot of use all over and the charms integrate better with it. It leans a bit heavy on the strategic maneuvers, which I haven't seen used much, but overall it's effective at conveying a powerful and intelligent general. It gives big dice bonuses to those maneuvers anyway as well as buffing your mass combat unit's stats.

                      Dragonblooded focus less on the strategic and more on the tactical. They've got more charms for boosting command rolls and rallying them when they falter. What charms they have that end up interacting with the strategic side of the mass combat are big elemental expressions. Reshaping the battlefield with earth, raining down lightning with air, flooding the field with fog from water. I think it works well, there's enough support there for the big strategic battles, while letting, I think, the more common aspect of a captain with a small force who uses it like a second weapon in combat shine.

                      Definitely a fan of war, even the more simple dice charms and stuff do more of what I want from it.

                      Reading this made me realize that both splats war trees slot in fairly well with the general Idea of how the Primordial war went. Solar focus on Stratagems and big picture stuff vs. DB's larger emphasis on the Tactical battles fits into the idea of "Glorious Golden General directs the campaign while the 5 Dragon Lords oversee the various fronts". In strategy game terms, the Solars are your faction leaders, while the DBs are hero units, though both have the capacity for either role.

                      Which makes me very curious for Lunar Mass Combat Charms and Sidereal War.


                      "Life before Death, Strength before Weakness, Journey before Destination."

                      "I will protect those who cannot protect themselves"

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Marros56 View Post
                        Which makes me very curious for Lunar Mass Combat Charms and Sidereal War.

                        Lunar War is probably going to be 'I am the army!' and the Sids might be something like enhancing the way the army works together(communication, orders, etc) or interfering with the other army in the same way.

                        Comment


                        • I feel Lunars would have limited support for commanding battle-groups above a certain size or beyond a certain range. By all means, a Lunar can assemble and lead (or simply unleash) a massive horde of screaming barbarians, but no one said they should be any good at making sure such a force wins. Indeed, the corebook talks about how the Lunar Exalted use such hordes as canon fodder, sacrificing them to bleed the Realm.

                          A Lunar could roar like a lion-god to make his orders heard across the entire field, and inspire courage in his followers and fear in their foes as he personally tears enemy heroes and battle-groups apart, but that's about it. Social Full Moons and physical Changing Moons using Charisma or Appearance to lead from the front.

                          On the open battlefield, a No Moon might be contributing mostly through casting spells, especially Celestial Circle ones.

                          Intelligence-based Lunar warfare, being primarily strategic, may be less about War than it is about Larceny. Spying out strategically vital targets, planning daring infiltrations, and then leading, small, intimate, well-trained, and specially-prepared strike-teams that no one sees coming and may not even realize is there until after they've left.

                          The strategic Lunar experience is about REALLY playing into the situations that normally only grant bonus dice on Strategic Maneuver rolls:

                          "General has spies and informants within the enemy’s ranks", "General has a high-placed traitor within enemy ranks", "The players have roleplayed one or more scenes in which they obtained some concrete advantage over the enemy or harmed the enemy army (stealing its secrets, devastating its supply lines, killing a famous hero of the opposing forces, etc)."

                          Strategic Lunars would be especially good at successfully employing the Demoralized strategy.


                          Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

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

                          Comment


                          • Lunar war makes me think of 40k assassins. The shapeshifter that backstabs the enemy general in the chaos of battle. The blender of berserk death that both sides run from. Those two at least feel Lunary, the other two assassins (anti-psychic there so maybe anti-FairFolk here, and the supersniper), not so much.

                            Hm. Solar War gets "Tiger Warrior training technique". Lunars get "warrior into tigerman technique"?

                            Actually, Lunar war could lean towards guerilla warfare. American Revolution "The Swamp Fox" Franis Marion, who exploited detailed knowledge of the local swamps. Vietcong tactics. Mao's Long March. Mongol's use of "barbarians can travel fast and light so we can attack from behind" and their feigned-retreat-turning-into-an-ambush.
                            Last edited by SpoonR; 05-02-2018, 11:10 PM. Reason: real ideas

                            Comment


                            • And now I'm imagining an outcaste general using Hidden Thorn Treachery with an allied Lunar as the infiltrator. If that isn't worth at least +5 on the strategy roll then I don't know what is.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by SpoonR View Post
                                Actually, Lunar war could lean towards guerilla warfare. American Revolution "The Swamp Fox" Franis Marion, who exploited detailed knowledge of the local swamps. Vietcong tactics. Mao's Long March. Mongol's use of "barbarians can travel fast and light so we can attack from behind" and their feigned-retreat-turning-into-an-ambush.
                                I think you mean gorilla warfare. Eh? Eh? That joke's never been made before...

                                Anyway yeah, any exalt is better than mortal at whatever they want to be really good at, even if it's not really their splat's thing. I see Lunar tactics as being more outside the box. Even the DB stratagy charms are kind of staightforward and obvious in their application. The Lunar ones I feel would be less so. Like I fully expect them to have an ambush charm where you don't even realize you're about to fight a battle and then a massive horde bursts forth from woods that seemed just too small to contain them. Like they used their essence and command ability to hide a whole army up trees, just on the other side of sight or something.

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X