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  • #16
    Originally posted by Wise Old Guru View Post


    Like...if my PCs haven't seen Kung Fu Hustle, I just steal the setup-you're all in this poor neighborhood and the Axe Gang shows up, then you drive them off, then they hire increasingly badass villains to deal with you, then finally and endboss. Bam, first Exalted story arc, three to five sessions of play, done.
    Once again, I have to ask... How in the world would that last 3-5 sessions? That sounds like one session at best.



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    • #17
      Lukkychukky how long are your typical game sessions with your group in other systems? The reason I ask is even relatively short exalted combat can take 30min to 1 hour depending, especially as you are learning the system.

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      • #18
        When I run my Pathfinder game, the session lasts for about four hours. And it takes roughly 4-6 sessions to complete an adventure. Keep in mind I'm running the pre-written AP's. 4-6 sessions is about the right length. So, when someone posits that a cascading wave of enemies could fill 3-5 weeks of play... That just seems crazy to me. No offense was intended, BTW. I genuinely don't see how that could occupy a group for that long. Sounds super boring.


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        • #19
          The "increasingly badass series of villains" take up a bunch of time because combat eats time. They come on successive days so there's time for "what do you guys do for the rest of the evening" shennanigans players love to go themselves into. Your PCs are gonna maybe want to interact with the landlords and might pick up some clues that they're more than they seem, which takes yet more time. It's Exalted, somebody might want to forge the folks of the neighborhood into a fighting force or use Medicine to treat their injuries after the initial attack.

          The PCs being PCs, they're probably gonna take the fight to the Axe Gang after the second attack establishes these baddies aren't just mooks to get the party together (late second session). Have the endboss being busted out by the leadership elsewhere when they arrive so you can cat and mouse for a bit.


          So I'm making God-Kicking Boot, an Exalted webcomic, now. Updates on Sundays. Full-color, mediocre but slowly improving art. It's a thing.

          The absence of a monument can, in its own way, be something of a monument also.
          -Roger Zelazny

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Lukkychukky View Post
            Those are all great suggestions! Thank you! but my concern is that those sound like arcs which could be solved/wrapped up fairly quickly. For instance, I ran the D&D 3.5 AP Age of Woerms, taking the group 13 months to complete and carrying them all the way to 23rd level. It was so great! But it seems like some of the story ideas you mentioned wouldn't be suitable for long-term play. How do you address that and make sure play can go on for more than a handful of sessions?
            Start by introducing the PC's the overall setting what they'll be playing as, God Kings who often start at something akin to most adventurers retire at. You can shake the world apart, make that person who snubbed you into your bitch, conquer an entire army singlehandedly. Characters can do this at the start.

            After that read the book and break down the directions your PC's can play in. West is Pirates of the Carribean, South is Arabian Nights, East is Sengoku Japan/Three Kingdoms China, North is Skyrim, and the Center is "I Wanna be the Guy!" difficulty.

            After have players make their backstories about how they exalt durin chargen. It doesn't have to be a multi-page novel but a good idea to explain some backstory because you can use this to tie into the game. Alternatively plan around what the PC's want to do.

            To you and everyone else who has questions in this topic I made an ST guide some time ago. Its old but I feel the advice in it is still solid and goes into great length about how I run a game anywho.

            https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...LkmMshw3Q/edit

            Oh and make sure your players pay the pizza tax. That's important.


            Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
            Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

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            • #21
              So I didn't want to clog this thread, but I started a thread asking for some setting advice for a chronicle I am gearing to run here any thoughts from the peanut gallery appreciated!

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              • #22
                In principle I'm keen to throw my hat into the ring to act as an ideas-bouncing-board, because I love that kind of discussion, but my availability is patchy and my timezone is unlikely to be compatible with people in America and Europe.

                As for Lukkychukky's question ... don't plan a series of events and then get hung up on how long they'll take. As others have said, set up a situation for the PCs to interact with, but don't assume a certain course of action. Understand the motives of the key players and consider how they would react to the developments that happen in game. That will generate plot.

                The situation you choose isn't your starting adventure, it's your setting, and the ongoing events within it. Choose one that reflects the scope of the campaign you intend to run. For a short game with new exalts, "We live in a slum, the Axe Gang keeps having people who defy them killed in various wacky ways" is fine. For a longer campaign, the situation might be "The Dark Lord needs only this ring to cover all the lands of Middl-er-Creation in a second darkness" or "Long ago, the four elements lived together in harmony. Then, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked." Create some hooks to get your players involved in this unfolding situation (or give them a synopsis and ask them why their character is involved during chargen to get them to make their own hook).

                Now, think of this as the main quest from Skyrim. The grand events of the world are unfolding, and you have opportunities to participate, probably starting small and gradually becoming more of a force to be reckoned with, but most of your gameplay is likely to come from exploring the setting and finding other things to do that you find appealing or important. But, and this is the key, even if you decide to ass about with the Thieves' Guild for most of your play-through, you're still doing that in the context of the civil war and the return of the dragons. In a tabletop game, without the constraints of videogame storytelling, you have added flexibility, and the situation can develop in many more ways. Maybe instead of mastering the Thu'um your PCs decide to just get really good at punching dragons in the throat, or make a deal with the Night Mother to throw all the Brotherhood's mystical murder resources at assassinating Alduin. Whatever you do, there's going to be a dragon problem until someone takes care of it. The setting-defining situation is the main thread that informs all of the others, and gives your campaign a touchsone and end-goal: resolving that situation in some way.

                Then, seed your setting with elements that play off either that main thread or something of interest to the PCs, as indicated by their backstories, Intimacies, and Merits. Some might be relatively static unless the players get involved (the neighbouring kingdom would make great allies if you can overcome the cool reception you'll get because of the last border war, but otherwise they're likely to leave us alone). Others will be dynamic and will grow and advance even if the PCs don't interact with them, but might take interesting turns depending on the waves the PCs make in the setting (a cult plans to summon their demonic patron on the first night of Calibration, a plucky young mortal hero is stirring up a revolution against the crown, a dragon-blooded matriarch has waited centuries for vengeance against the royal family and her plans are coming to fruition - all she needs now is a distraction).

                The "side-quests" come in a few varieties. The first is when you have a cool idea you want to try, in which case you do so, and hope the PCs like it too (oh man I have a cool idea for a manse (me every time), I wonder how these people would act if they got amnesia for a few days?).
                The second is when you take inspiration from something relevant to one or more of the PCs and create a plot around that (give the healer an opportunity to heal, the politician an opportunity to scheme, the guy who wrote a missing sister into his backstory a clue to her whereabouts or ultimate fate, etc).
                The third is when established, ongoing elements of the setting (which the PCs may or may not have discovered) reach a stage where they create complications (the tournament announced last month happens, the scheming vizier perfects his elixir, the delegation from the neighbouring kingdom arrives with an assassin hidden in their entourage, the Fair Folk queen's daughter comes of age and seeks a husband).
                The fourth is when your PCs do something which makes waves in the setting, and the situation evolves. This is often the most fun and frustrating as an ST.
                Some, maybe even most plots, will meet several of these categories. When you can, tie them to the "main quest" but don't feel as if you have to. What matters is that the players care about what is happening.

                Remember that you can cheat. Anything not yet known to the players isn't canon yet. It's okay to decide a key component of the vizier's elixir only grows is the demesne the PCs just claimed, as a way of forcing a confrontation. Maybe the clue you really wanted the PCs to find isn't in the city they just left, it was entrusted to the sage they're about to visit instead (or she tells them something that sends them in the right direction).


                "Measure of Hope is right about everything." - Wise Old Guru

                Currently running an Exalted 2.5 Abyssals game in a homebrew modern shard because I value neither my time or my sanity, and I'm loving almost every minute of it.

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                • #23
                  I'd like to jump in on this myself. I've been running Exalted since the 1st edition corebook and GMing for about 28 years. I have a weekly 3rd edition game I run every week and was one of the playtesters for 3E. I'm not a real active poster but I'm happy to offer advice on running the game, particularly how to deal with Exalted's unique quirks. It would also be great to have other GM's to bounce stuff off of as I still learn new stuff from these forums no matter how long I've been doing this.

                  On a related note, one thing I'd like to start putting together with help is a collection of Dragon-Blood antagonists. I don't know about you guys but I always need more stat blocks for my Solar game.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Therian View Post
                    On a related note, one thing I'd like to start putting together with help is a collection of Dragon-Blood antagonists. I don't know about you guys but I always need more stat blocks for my Solar game.

                    We can make that a thing.

                    Are you thinking in statblocks only, or would this be more ambitious?


                    Evocations for the demonic tattoos gained from the Pact with Mara sorcerous initiation || Pyre-Kindler (Soulsteel and Red Jade Grimscythe, Artifact 3) || Tenebrous Descent (Stormcaller's Black Jade Reaver Daiklave cousin, Artifact 5)
                    Advice for running the corebook shikari antagonists

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post


                      We can make that a thing.

                      Are you thinking in statblocks only, or would this be more ambitious?

                      Well I think to begin with, the most utility might come from just making a bunch of QCs people could draw from to build a Wyld Hunt, Sworn Brotherhood, or House Legions. Like different builds of different essence and aspects. Or I guess since we're not limited by word count they could be full stat blocks. The difference in play between full stat blocks and QCs is something I ponder a lot actually. I mean if we could add more depth to some of the characters that would be great but sometimes you just need some combatants.

                      BTW the tactics you gave me in an old thread for the corebook shikari was super useful. Stuff like that is gold.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Therian View Post
                        Well I think to begin with, the most utility might come from just making a bunch of QCs people could draw from to build a Wyld Hunt, Sworn Brotherhood, or House Legions. Like different builds of different essence and aspects. Or I guess since we're not limited by word count they could be full stat blocks. The difference in play between full stat blocks and QCs is something I ponder a lot actually. I mean if we could add more depth to some of the characters that would be great but sometimes you just need some combatants.

                        BTW the tactics you gave me in an old thread for the corebook shikari was super useful. Stuff like that is gold.

                        Thank you for the kind words!


                        I'm not entirely convinced that making a bunch of statblocks is necessarily the most useful thing for the community. Attaching a personality and social context to the statblock makes it immediately more usable, because people who play in a different edition or system also get something out of it, and it still functions as a statblock for others just fine. (Not to mention that if you strike gold, a throwaway character idea may light somebody's imagination on fire, and might spark an entire campaign or story arc, which is a lot better than just having a stat block - admittedly, this is difficult to accomplish.)

                        However, number-crunching is easy while words are hard. Lord knows I have so much stuff on my hard drive that might never see the light of day because I can't be arsed to write proper fluff for it. The writing on my White Elephant submission took three entire days of work; when Crumplepunch's A Clutch of Dragons came out, I immediately wanted to create an antagonist repository of the exact kind you propose, and gave up almost immediately because I just couldn't get the damn characters up to the standard I expect from a work put up for community consumption.

                        Therefore, restricting the scope of this project to statblocks only (until we have enough that we start hitting diminishing returns) seems like a good idea from a "getting shit done" perspective. When you write fluff, whatever you write has to be better than the reader could've come up with on their own in five minutes, otherwise you're just wasting their time. On the other hand, a complete stat block only has to be functional, since you're already saving people hours of work spent cross-referencing books even if it's something they could do on their own.


                        So, what should we start with?


                        Evocations for the demonic tattoos gained from the Pact with Mara sorcerous initiation || Pyre-Kindler (Soulsteel and Red Jade Grimscythe, Artifact 3) || Tenebrous Descent (Stormcaller's Black Jade Reaver Daiklave cousin, Artifact 5)
                        Advice for running the corebook shikari antagonists

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post
                          Lord knows I have so much stuff on my hard drive that might never see the light of day because I can't be arsed to write proper fluff for it.
                          I can be arsed to write fluff. Believe you me.

                          Post or message me a stat block and I'll consider it a writing prompt. I can't think of a better way to dive into Dragon-Blooded.


                          Sidereal Jumpstart (3e fanwork Charmset)
                          Cascades (the above in flowchart form)

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post
                            Attaching a personality and social context to the statblock makes it immediately more usable
                            Are writeups in this style what you're implying by 'personality and social context'?


                            Sidereal Jumpstart (3e fanwork Charmset)
                            Cascades (the above in flowchart form)

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                            • #29
                              I think both have utility. Having a statblock for "Dragonblooded Threshold Noble - Wood Flavour" or "Veteran Shikari Earth Dragon Stylist" allows Storytellers to apply their own fluff over the top. But it's not like you can't grab a statblock and refluff it, so even in that case I can't see the fluff being a problem. In my opinion, having the fluff is often better, never worse, not always necessary, never unwelcome. The only reason not to include it is the extra work.

                              I don't see why this collection can't include both types. I would totally be up for contributing.


                              "Measure of Hope is right about everything." - Wise Old Guru

                              Currently running an Exalted 2.5 Abyssals game in a homebrew modern shard because I value neither my time or my sanity, and I'm loving almost every minute of it.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post


                                Thank you for the kind words!


                                I'm not entirely convinced that making a bunch of statblocks is necessarily the most useful thing for the community. Attaching a personality and social context to the statblock makes it immediately more usable, because people who play in a different edition or system also get something out of it, and it still functions as a statblock for others just fine. (Not to mention that if you strike gold, a throwaway character idea may light somebody's imagination on fire, and might spark an entire campaign or story arc, which is a lot better than just having a stat block - admittedly, this is difficult to accomplish.)

                                However, number-crunching is easy while words are hard. Lord knows I have so much stuff on my hard drive that might never see the light of day because I can't be arsed to write proper fluff for it. The writing on my White Elephant submission took three entire days of work; when Crumplepunch's A Clutch of Dragons came out, I immediately wanted to create an antagonist repository of the exact kind you propose, and gave up almost immediately because I just couldn't get the damn characters up to the standard I expect from a work put up for community consumption.

                                Therefore, restricting the scope of this project to statblocks only (until we have enough that we start hitting diminishing returns) seems like a good idea from a "getting shit done" perspective. When you write fluff, whatever you write has to be better than the reader could've come up with on their own in five minutes, otherwise you're just wasting their time. On the other hand, a complete stat block only has to be functional, since you're already saving people hours of work spent cross-referencing books even if it's something they could do on their own.


                                So, what should we start with?

                                I can say for me, that its often easy for me to form a character in my head while working or driving or whatever, and then jot down a few notes about it later. What I can't do while working or driving is look up a bunch of charms and write down stats. So if I've been really busy for the week, its gonna be those stats that are stressing me out. That's the reason I think it would be so helpful to start compiling something like that. Even better would be a small section like they have in the monthly's and your shikari write-up about how to best use it. Once those are set up I think it would be enjoyable to add fluff similar to the antagonists write-ups in the core, but at a more leisurely pace.

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