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1st ed Dragonblood, Outcastes and the Aspect Books

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  • 1st ed Dragonblood, Outcastes and the Aspect Books

    I've just received my 1st ed pdfs from being a backer. Some I've read before in detail, others I just read a bit at a friend's house. So I thought it would be good to have a discussion thread about them, since I imagine a fair amount of other people have just got them too.

    So I think the main things to discuss are:
    1)What are your favourite bits?
    2)Which bits do you think would be good for 3rd edition?
    3)Which (fluff) parts do you think should not make a return in 3rd edition?

    For me, my favourite bits are the Aspect Books' sections on the Shogunate and First Age. There's a lot of interesting, slightly mysterious stuff going on there. I especially like the Shogunate stuff. Of course, some of it is quite magitek, not sure that'd be good to keep.


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  • #2
    Ah man, the magitech aspect is what really does it for me personally. I'd love to see some more of that return to 3E!


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    • #3
      I’m cool seeing more magitech (without using that word) eventually, but I think they made the right call doing a firm foundation of conventional artifacts first, so that when magitech stuff appears it’s particularly noteworthy rather than Creation’s default, which is the impression that 2E accidentally gave by publishing Wonders of the Lost Age as the first book after the core and not doing Oadenol’s Codex till much later.


      That said at my own table, Lookshy always has at least one airship circling overhead. Not that their fleet is actually that sizable anymore, but the Realm, Mask of Winter, and other powers don’t have to actually KNOW THAT!
      Last edited by glamourweaver; 07-01-2018, 04:58 PM.


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      • #4
        I read these books awhile back and my memories of them were that they were good, but I hated the Lintha as presented in Blood and Salt (largely because it felt like they took a fairly reasonable plot hook of Pirate Mafia and turned them into ULTRA HARDCORE DEMON WORSHIPPERS, which I found just terrible. I know I’m in the minority here) and that AB: Water was fairly weak and tended to assume all Water aspects = Sailors, much like CB: Twilight assumed that Twilight = Sorcerer, so there’s less difference between the people discussed and everyone was kinda forgettable.

        I remember liking AB: Fire a bunch and it made me really fond of Sesus Rafara to the point that, next Realm game I do, there will be a mention of how her mother fell overboard and was eaten by siaka. Which, admittedly, would be easier to do if she had a name, but I don’t think she was ever given one.

        The Forest Witches in Outcaste are very interesting and weird. I look forward to hearing what other people think about them, especially those reading that bit for the first time.

        I’ll have to look over these again and see if my memory of them holds up very well or if I need to apologize to AB:Water (Blood and Salt is dead to me).


        ....

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        • #5
          Outcastes: I like that both the Forest Witches and Eos/Ossia were focused around Dragonblooded who were a little (to a lot) changed by other magical forces in an organic and authentic way. I think that's quite an interesting play option to have out there actually. Though it's not specific to the Dragonblooded themselves, actually, and more general to Exalted as a whole but whatevs.

          Lookshy I don't have too much interest in; I'd be more interested in them if they were not supposed to be the foil of the Realm, as it forces things into a certain kind of duality that I disprefer. I think it would be nice if 3e could make them more than a foil to the Realm, and instead a state with their own interests more.

          Aspect Books: I mostly like the characterisation, which is what they're all about. I dunno; there aren't a lot of specific elements that I can draw on there beyond that.

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          • #6
            The Aspect Books are some of the best RPG material I've ever read.

            ...Or are they?

            They definitely are some of the best RPG material to read. How much of the writing contained between the covers is actually useful at the gaming table is another matter entirely. By all rights, I should hate them - it's material that was meant to be read rather than played, and that sort of "theoretical roleplaying" drives me up the wall.

            However, I don't, because I think they actually do serve a useful function - they teach a lot of things to the budding GM purely by example (which I believe is the best way to pick up GMing skills). There's a tremendous amount of setting information in there for the reader to pick up by osmosis (actually one of the things I'm most impressed about in WFHW is how much of this information they write down explicitly in the relevant chapters). More importantly, there are a lot of characters who present themselves one way, but then in a different chapter you get an outsider's perspective on them, and suddenly the character is put in a completely different light. This teaches so many useful things: that you should always strive to write characters-as-mysteries, with multiple layers of depth to them; that it is not enough to write a character, you should also think like them, including the ways they delude themselves, misinterpret available information and fail to see the big picture; and that there can be a massive disconnect in how a character sees themselves versus how the world sees them.

            These are all incredibly useful lessons and the Aspect Books deliver them with a lot of subtlety, which - in my opinion - actually makes them excellent gaming books.


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            • #7
              The Aspect Books are great for tone but they can be misleading without the proper context.

              A good example of this is when Cathak Cainan describes his father going totally apeshit and almost killing his mother because his brother exalts as a Water Aspect it's wildly inconsistent with how the rest of the Realm material of all three editions treats infidelity with no real acknowledgement that his parents were in a different situation to most Dynasts or that his father was in the wrong.




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              • #8
                Fluffwise:
                I disliked the Aspect Books. Immensely. I found the content utterly uninspired, with boring narrative and one-dimensional characters.
                I found most of The Dragon Blooded very good, if occasionally a bit overwrought: e.g. who cares about Immaculate monks being allowed masturbation - p.75?
                Outcaste went from so-so (Lookshy) to good (Eos & Osissa, Outcaste in the Realm) to truly wondrous (the Forest Witches).

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                • #9
                  My favorite part of the Aspect/Caste books was simply the first person accounts of sections of Creation, which were wonderful for helping to introduce new players to parts of the setting. I also tended to like the, "Other's Views" segments of each Caste book which would frequently give the viewpoints of mortals, or spirits or other individuals in Exalted, many of whom had different perspectives on the earlier, first-person account that was given to us by a specific NPC.

                  Those sections really helped to make Exalted come alive in comparison to the often more clinical, third person overviews of the setting that we would typically get, especially in 2nd edition.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nessuno View Post
                    who cares about Immaculate monks being allowed masturbation
                    Well, monastic lifestyles are so comprehensive, and they're an important class of characters both in and out of the Realm. I'd say that's one area in which details on how they live are appropriate.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nessuno View Post
                      who cares about Immaculate monks being allowed masturbation
                      (raises hand)

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                      • #12
                        It's actually come up in our games.
                        That... probably doesn't speak well of us.


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

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                          It's actually come up in our games.
                          That... probably doesn't speak well of us.
                          Why not? There's nothing shameful about masturbation.


                          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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