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  • #46
    divine monsters that Luna unleashed against the enemies of the gods, shapeshifting tricksters and world-walking witches, sacred beast-god guardians and terrifying horrors that stalk the night.
    Monsters, Tricksters, Witches, Horrors alongside Beast-God? (eggplant emoji)

    The Protean keyword sounds dope. As someone who often disparaged animal forms - the concept sounds enticing. Less "I'm going to do battle.... as a silver garden snake!" and more "ha, I shift into a serpent (and do a preternaturally horrific thing to you) and I shift into a spider (and do another thing that no natural spider should do), etc. There's an incentive to use these shapes beyond "I just need 1 bird and 1 fish for travel - the rest can be human faces for espionage."

    Has there been any mention previously about Lunars taking the shape of other creatures (like demons, ghosts, raksha, etc)? Those were good costumes in 2E - but some felt "hollow" without the proper supernatural trick to emulate whatever we're pretending to be. I wonder if the Protean keyword provides a self-contained way to empower those shapes too (without the Lunar needing actual spirit charms or whatever).

    Either way, super excited.

    Also, creepy, Ebon-armor-plated Centipede Lunar inc.

    Silver Pact, the mutual aid society that protects young Lunars from the Wyld Hunt and which organizes the centuries-long war against the Realm
    Oh how I've hated and yet longed to love you. I neeeeeeeeeeeed this in my life. I'm eager to see what it's about. And how social dynamics (if any), communication, travel, etc are coordinated (for such a far flung group).

    Then again, if I can be a full-fledged monster/horror/witch without people arguing I should look more like a blatant Satyr or Werewolf, then I won't even mind the Silver Pact in whatever shape it takes. Why should Infernals get all the shapeshifting fun?


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

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    • #47
      While "civilisation" was part of it,* I was more thinking that, due to its position, the Realm finds it easiest to conquer and control land near the Inner Sea. Due to their less extreme weather, these are also the parts that support the highest population/land ratio**. The Realm's control doesn't extend very far into the North, it doesn't even reach Whitewall or Gethsemene, but the frozen wilderness has far less people than places like Cherak or those slave states. Similarly, their control of the South is mostly just a thin strip from the Lap to Harborhead, but that probably has more people than the entire vast desert that the Realm does not control.

      *I guess it's kind of correlation not causation. Whether or not "civilisation" is required for high populations, it's certainly more likely to be found in high-population areas.

      **Except the River Province, which is big, fertile, and not in the Realm's control. Which is why I'd be inclined to agree with you, that it's may be a sizeable minority of the world's population, rather than a majority. I just felt it was an interesting point to raise that if the Realm controls, say, 40% of the world's population, they probably only control about 25% of its land, or whatever.
      Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 06-07-2018, 04:32 PM.


      "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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      • #48
        Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
        The Realm's control doesn't extend very far into the North, it doesn't even reach Whitewall or Cherak
        As a point of information, Cherak is on the Inland Sea coast and is a Realm satrapy.


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        • #49
          Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
          The Realm's control doesn't extend very far into the North, it doesn't even reach Whitewall or Cherak
          ​Wait, isn't Cherak the home of one of the Cadet Houses of the Scarlet Dynasty?


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          • #50
            Whitewall was also historicall a satrapy, just one of the long line of "A satrapy but..." satrapies we got through most the previosu couple editions. Fajad is pretty far away too, note.


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            • #51
              Oops, that was a typo. You can see I also mentioned Cherak as one of the places they do control (with the slave states).
              I meant to write Whitewall and Gethsemene.

              I'll edit that.


              "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Blaque View Post
                Whitewall was also historicall a satrapy, just one of the long line of "A satrapy but..." satrapies we got through most the previosu couple editions. Fajad is pretty far away too, note.
                Was it? I don't remember that. Though yeah, 2nd ed was full of these "satrapies" where it was pretty meaningless because they were so awesome. Or "allies" instead of Satrapies (Linowan, Wavecrest, etc).

                Fajad is far away, but it's on the coast so controlling it is more feasible for the Realm. Whereas attacking somewhere like Gem or the Saltspire League requires them to march deep into the wilderness away from their easy supply lines.


                "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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                • #53
                  I thought the situation in previous editions was that the Bronze Faction was advising the Empress against conquest of Whitewall, because the Syndics were threatening the Health, Peace, and Luck of the Realm as leverage.

                  Of course with the Legions under the command of the Houses now it might be much harder for Chejop to stop one of them from unknowingly breaking that understanding.


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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post

                    Having read the dev diary yesterday, I was thinking about what I would like to see in this book, and what I really thought was more stuff in the diagonal areas. There's the whole new Dreaming Sea region, which has a fair amount of detail in the book (and, in the case of Prasad, in the DB and Realm previews), but also the Cinder Coast, which just has a little info in the book, and the North-East as well. I would like to see more stuff for those two areas.
                    (And then there's the North-West, but I suppose most of that is just blank water? There's Fajad and Wu-Jian I guess, if you count those as North-West rather than North and West respectively)

                    So anyway, that sounds good to me.


                    Oh please yes. I already have two books that tell me about Gethsemene, Whitewall and the Haslanti League, I wouldn't buy a third one.

                    With the ones that you're doing again, is your intention to write them again, but better/more detailed/more 3rd ed style/with a different emphasis, or actually change them significantly?


                    Yeah, the 3rd ed Core is full of this stuff and its great. The only book that really did it in 2nd ed was part of Compass: North. But it really makes me much more interested in running a game in places.
                    I never wanted to run a game in Gem previously, because it was an isolated city in the middle of the desert. But now it's in the middle of a collection of city-states (there's the one with the giant library, the one with the talking lions, the one haunted with demons, etc) and tribes.
                    Not only that of course, but a lot of an area's internal influences and cultures are related to what's near them. You couldn't write a book with, say, medieval England as a setting, without mentioning France, Scotland, Jerusalem and Rome.



                    One last note: the thing I was most happy in the Dev Diary about, honestly, was that they're going to work on Heirs to the Shogunate after Lunars. I was a bit nervous about people pledging so much that the Devs had an enormous extra Dragonblood book to write before Lunars. I mean, don't get me wrong, I would like a big extra Dragonblood book (and did pledge for it in the end), but I'd like Lunars first.


                    Yeah, the revamped Gem was one of my favorite writeups in 3e, largely because of the neighbors and additional context. I used it as my model when I built my chunk of the setting for the 3e game I'm running.

                    Hearing that we're basically gonna get a whole book like that is very very cool.
                    Last edited by BrilliantRain; 06-07-2018, 11:29 PM.


                    ....

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Prometheus878 View Post

                      That may have been unintentional hyperbole due to inference from statements like this:



                      Emphasis mine.

                      I would not be surprised if the true number were somewhere between a quarter and half the world's population, but still.
                      I'm pretty sure that the Realm's definition of civilized and OUR definition of civilized don't actually match, so there is likely a good chunk of the map and the world's population that doesn't bow before the Realm and has things like steel even if the Realm would consider them barbarians. Much like China and England each considered the other backwards and uncivilized during the early 1800s.
                      Last edited by BrilliantRain; 06-07-2018, 11:27 PM.


                      ....

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                        Whereas attacking somewhere like Gem or the Saltspire League requires them to march deep into the wilderness away from their easy supply lines.
                        ​For Gem, at least, a plausible alternative might be to sail down the coast and cross the mountains. Not exactly easy, but possibly less hard than extending power along the Diamond Road.

                        ​Mind, that's the kind of target that I would think of largely in terms of an ambitious new authority in the Realm trying to consolidate power via a new wave of conquests with.

                        Originally posted by glamourweaver
                        I thought the situation in previous editions was that the Bronze Faction was advising the Empress against conquest of Whitewall, because the Syndics were threatening the Health, Peace, and Luck of the Realm as leverage.


                        ​I feel as though this constitutes an argument for not identifying the Syndics with those gods specifically.

                        ​One thing that What Fire Has Wrought gave me an impression of is that the imperialism of the Realm is in a somewhat more dynamic state than it was in prior Editions; there's still room for new satrapies to be acquired, in addition to having neighbouring powers that engage in the kind of warfare that provides business to the military Great Houses. Probably not as dramatically expansionistic as the empires of the Southeast, but enough to lend some scenarios of ongoing conquest.

                        ​In light of that, a free Whitewall could be a matter of something regarded as a target for the future, whereas for the time being it's strong enough to not be worth the energy expended in taking it.


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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                          I thought the situation in previous editions was that the Bronze Faction was advising the Empress against conquest of Whitewall, because the Syndics were threatening the Health, Peace, and Luck of the Realm as leverage.
                          That's what I thought too.

                          ​In light of that, a free Whitewall could be a matter of something regarded as a target for the future, whereas for the time being it's strong enough to not be worth the energy expended in taking it.

                          I can definitely see that, and Gem as well.

                          You've got areas that are pretty easy for the Realm to support an invasion of because they're next to the coast: Chiaroscoro, An-Teng, Wu-Jian, Cherak, Paragon, Jiara, Thorns, Marukan, Medo, Varang, Cherak, etc.

                          And most of those have already been conquered, though a few places have managed to fight off the Realm again and again thanks to magical help (for example, Marukan, thanks to its alliance with Lookshy).

                          Then you've got places that are hard but not impossible for the Realm to reach with a properly-supported invasion, as they're deeper into the Threshold but still within striking distance of somewhere the Realm already controls: Greyfalls, Whitewall, Gem, Wavecrest, Linowan, Coral, the Saltspire League, Ember, Fajad, etc.
                          They've managed to conquer a few of these (Greyfalls, Wavecrest, Fajad, etc), but tend to have less control over them than the places nearer the Realm (Fajad is a Satrapy, but they can't take on the Anathema who may live in the tower; Linowan was in previous editions an ally rather than a Satrapy).

                          Then you've got places that are so deep in the Threshold that supporting an invasion is just really not feasible. For example, to conquer the Haslanti League they'd have to either send ships through leagues of frozen sea, or across a massive frozen wilderness. To conquer Mahalanka, they'd need to send an army through huge jungles where two-thirds of them would die of disease.

                          The last ones the Realm doesn't really consider; the second set are potential future targets. The sort of place that Realm generals wargamed invasions of. And some ambitious house leaders might be planning such an expedition to prove their house's fitness for leadership, or acquire resources. But, with the Houses consolidating their forces, the Legions are already finding it difficult to keep control of what they already have.
                          I can definitely see there being a number of furious generals with whole invasion plans for places in the middle-threshold ready and waiting to go, only to find that the Deliberative just won't let them.


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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                            ​I feel as though this constitutes an argument for not identifying the Syndics with those gods specifically.
                            Yeah in Scavenger Sons the Syndics were sinister figures who exiled two dozen people a year to certain death and would resort to snatching innocent people if they were behind on the quota and allies of the Realm who wouldn't shelter Solars. It's impressive how much of that changed in Bastions of the North.


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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Lioness View Post
                              Yeah in Scavenger Sons the Syndics were sinister figures who exiled two dozen people a year to certain death and would resort to snatching innocent people if they were behind on the quota and allies of the Realm who wouldn't shelter Solars. It's impressive how much of that changed in Bastions of the North.
                              From the 3e corebook description it sounds as though they may be returning to this version.

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                              • #60
                                I'll admit to a bit of disappointment in Ma-Ha-Suchi being described as a major figure of the Silver Pact. It's not a deal breaker or anything, but it definitely would have been interesting to have an ancient, powerful and venerated Lunar specifically not be a member.


                                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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