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  • #46
    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
    The ingredients of gunpowder aren't (besides charcoal) stuff you can just find lying around
    Actually, you can just find saltpeter lying around; it's extracted from manure. You can even sometimes find crystals of it in old manure piles.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Verzio View Post
      Actually, you can just find saltpeter lying around; it's extracted from manure. You can even sometimes find crystals of it in old manure piles.
      There was a whole episode of Star Trek about that, in fact!

      Originally posted by Aliasi View Post
      In addition, the "I build assault rifles and win every fight forever" is a fallacy in and of itself, as Shards of the Exalted Dream set out to demonstrate.

      Exalted don't stop being Exalted because someone has a gun. I don't expect Shards to ever get a 3e update, but I think the philosophy still holds. Wuxia isn't the only ingredient in the stew, and "Kung fu fails before guns" is not a thing in Exalted. All that happens is you give some bright person the idea to start inventing Firearms charms.
      From context, it was clear that Grabowski knew that’s a fallacy—which is exactly what would have made it so unbearable for people to keep throwing it at him as something that ought to be possible for as long as he ran the gameline. So he did an end-run around it by doing small flamegout weapons instead. The issue is as much how people expect guns to work as it is how guns actually work, and he estimated that bringing in rifled slugthrowers would inevitably invoke the myth of the gun as the great equalizer against which all elites must fall, and he just didn’t want to deal with saying “No, that’s not how it works here” over and over again.
      Last edited by Stephen Lea Sheppard; 07-14-2018, 08:24 PM.

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      • #48
        Pretty much this, yes. Mechanically, we know that Exalts shrug off bullets with no more difficulty than arrows or crossbow bolts or ballista shots. It's What They Do. But then fans of the Gun as the Great Equalizer That Made Men Equal And Tamed The West Blah Blah Blah BLAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH would get persnickety about why they weren't living up to what said fans believe Guns should be, the weapon that renders martial arts invalid because Indiana Jones shoots a swordsman rather than fighting him proper-like, etc.

        So the core game created weapons that share certain aesthetics with guns [barrel, trigger, chamber, click large flash] but are distinctly NOT guns [no projectile, flame burst, short-ranged] to allow people who want some of the aesthetics of guns to have weapons that match those desires while heading off the loud obnoxious "But why aren't guns unparryable unblockable weapons that do 50 levels of damage and don't reset initiative?" fans at the pass.

        (Yes I'm hyperboling how obnoxious the excessive gun fans tend to be but we've seen gun fans in D&D, "double the damage of a greatsword, isn't that kinda low?")

        To put it another way: The mythos of the Gun is like the scene of the Last Samurai where swordsmen charge riflemen by the hundreds and are cut down in great ranks scoring almost no harm on their opponents. People going in expecting that mythos willl be incredibly disappointed when one DB with a spear spins it and deflects the entire volley before plunging into the rank of riflemen and scattering them.

        It's not meant to be a discouragement to a sane, rational actor. It's meant to be a means to shut off rabid gun fanatics.
        Last edited by Meianno Yuurei; 07-15-2018, 01:28 AM.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Meianno Yuurei View Post
          (Yes I'm hyperboling how obnoxious the excessive gun fans tend to be but we've seen gun fans in D&D, "double the damage of a greatsword, isn't that kinda low?")
          It's not even as much of an exaggeration as you think; back before Aya Tari got banned, his suggestion for modeling guns was that they doubled your accuracy and damage dice pools, and ignored Soak and Hardness. That happened.

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          • #50
            You *can* have Exalted still have the advantage with guns, but genre wise I think at best you end up with John Wick or cyberpunk badasses. No really so much the kind of martial arts genre you're (or at least I am) originally looking for in Exalted.

            Whether guns *would* close the gap at all... maybe an Exalt vs mortal with a firearm is relatively disadvantaged compared to the same situation with guns, maybe not. I think you can't be too dogmatic about it.

            In the wider sense, when it comes to technology I've come to feel that trying to enact a "Law of Preservation of Exalted Advantage" is something that should be treated with skepticism and flexibility. It's probably better to limit the kind of technology that is allowed to enhance mortal capabilities in Creation, than to say, "Well, we'll allow it in spades, but this lifts Exalted equally" to compensate. For example, if you allow mortals to achieve Exalted level skill due to cybernetic enhancement, it's probably not a good idea to boost the Exalted up again, because this will do strange and distorting things to the genre and power levels the setting operates at.

            (Thoughts brought on by that discussion of Exalted vs The Culture many moons ago, where it some asserted that superhuman godlike AIs who can do anything+Solars would somehow be more potent than superhuman godlike AIs who can do anything, in order to preserve the axiom of "Exalted supremacy". Which was a bit of a reductio ad absurdum, effective counterargument on the whole thing to me.)

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Verzio View Post
              Actually, you can just find saltpeter lying around; it's extracted from manure. You can even sometimes find crystals of it in old manure piles.
              I kind of half-remembered that, but wasn't sure so went to check, and couldn't find enough about it, so thought I better be conservative.

              The point is, the ingredients of gunpowder are much more available and easy to make (if you know what you're doing) than firedust is.


              So, having firedust instead of gunpowder means Exalted warfare is forced to stay at, absolute maximum, about the 15th or 16th century level, where there's some cannons and arquebuses, but warfare is still mostly about men-at-arms, archers and knights, rather than reaching the 17th and 18th century level where warfare has to change significantly to deal with all the musket lines, and heavy cavalry basically vanishes.


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

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                To have titles with bad grammar?
                Titles normally have bad grammar (and use their own, actually quite complex and confusing, capitalisation rules). Go look at newspaper headlines, they regularly ignore basic grammar and use words in ways you wouldn't normally. Book titles are not as bad, but they do bend the rules a bit (articles are generally occluded, for example).


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

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                • #53
                  Why would a Solar be at a disadvantage against a mortal with a gun? They can already use their kung fu to block streams of fire, "colorless ribbons of force",, and sonic attacks (Sillver-Voiced Nightingale) with their bare hands, at no penalty. I'm pretty sure they got this.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                    the 17th and 18th century level where warfare has to change significantly to deal with all the musket lines, and heavy cavalry basically vanishes.
                    Heavy cavalry became less armoured, but in the sense of cavalry forces intended to mass up into huge shock forces to charge through weakened or vulnerable infantry formations, those definitely persisted through at least the beginning of the 19th century (having several prominent roles in the Napoleonic wars).

                    Heck, some of the most famous heavy cavalry forces in history date to that time, such as the Polish Hussars.


                    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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                    • #55
                      That's why I said heavy cavalry specifically, there was plenty of light cavalry. My great-great uncle was given a horse when he volunteered to fight, and that was in 1901. But no armour, because it's not much use against snipers in urban warfare (I guess armour might have been useful against the martial artists, but they preferred to wait and use their snipers, and I imagine if he'd got close to a martial artist they'd have killed him easily, armour or not, since he was just a translator, not a martial artist).
                      The horse saved his life (because he ate it).

                      But anyway, I think that English civil war, American revolution, or Napoleonic-style warfare, with large battalions of musketmen, plus units of light cavalry and pikemen, isn't really what people expect in Exalted. They're expecting "bronze-age warfare" with phalanxes, legions with tower shields, chariots, barbarians with axes, maybe horse archers, etc. And then maybe a few wacky heroes or units with weird and unusual weapons, like Cherakian bashi-bazouks with their giant spiked wheels, guys riding raptors, people on giant owls dropping rocks, berzerkers on skis, half-demon assassins with blow-darts, and nobles armed with strange alchemical weapons that shoot fire.

                      (I should also say that I'm giving a very Euro-centric view of warfare by ages. Middle-Eastern and Indian warfare was more complex due to the political factors relating to gun production, and there were plenty of places where hardly anyone used guns in the 17th century. But I think that most people reading this can get what I'm trying to say.)
                      Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 07-15-2018, 08:25 AM.


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

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                        That's why I said heavy cavalry specifically, light cavalry was still very common.
                        Your definition of heavy cavalry does not seem congruous with the one generally used in military history discourse.

                        When you assemble a column consisting of several thousand very large men riding very large horses armed with thick, reasonably long swords or actual lances for the purpose of having them charge straight into and over a large group of people, that ain't light cavalry.

                        Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz
                        We Brits used plenty of sabre-wielding scouts and light cavalry.
                        ​You also used the Scots Greys. These Scots Greys.



                        Now that portrait may be a bit of an embellishment of that specific battle, but it probably still accurately represents the image of the last thing that, for instance, several thousand Jacobite rebels would ever see.

                        As I said in my prior post, heavy cavalry is about battlefield function, not how heavy you literally are. Light cavalry is for scouting and skirmishing, heavy cavalry is for shock attacks to smash through lines and turn flanks.
                        Last edited by Isator Levi; 07-15-2018, 08:28 AM.


                        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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                        • #57
                          I'll admit, military history wasn't the area I studied (I studied economic, social and political history. And the history of organised crime). I was using heavy cavalry in terms of armour, not function, you're right.

                          But what I'm talking about is the look of it.
                          I think with Exalted, people want to see cavalry like Byzantine cataphracts, Roman cavalry, Samurai, Mamluk cavalry, etc, who wear armour, (plus of course, Mongol horse archers, etc, who may not be so armoured).
                          And while this is about cavalry, the same applies to infantry.

                          I don't really think 18th and 19th century warfare really fits the aesthetic of Exalted, and a lot of the reasons that 18th and 19th century warfare is quite different from classical, late antiquity, or medieval warfare is because of guns.
                          So, I think it's worth Exalted avoiding the mass use of guns.

                          Which comes back to firewands, which are kind of like guns, but have short range and very expensive ammunition.* So you're not going to have armies of a million men each with a musket (at which point armour is mostly just a way of making your soldiers tired and hot). But if you want to have the occasional gun, you can.

                          *It's still expensive, but not so expensive, in the South. Of course, in the deep South, soldiers aren't wearing a ton of armour anyway... it's too hot! So it doesn't matter much.
                          (Though of course, they are probably wearing some, as you can see if you look at pictures of Mamluk soldiers.
                          We did some research actually on how to let PCs' soldiers wear medium or even heavy armour in their battles against the Realm, a barbarian horde, each other, etc, when it's so hot. Fulgens, Warlord of the Djala, has 100 heavy-armour wearing warrior monks grown in a magic manse, and Queen Enhenduanna wanted to have an elite unit of armoured axemen in the centre of her army.
                          Apparently it's all about tabards. I never really thought about that before, I thought tabards were just for show, but they were copied from the Fatimids and Turks by the crusaders to keep them cool when in armour.)


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

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                          • #58
                            The Scots Greys don't seem to, at least not in that picture, but 17th to 19th century cavalry were referred to as "cuirassiers" for a reason.

                            I referred to the Polish Hussars, who not only wore armour, but had those elaborate clacking wings attached to the back of them.

                            In some respects, it's possible that the kind of armour you got in the 18th century was of better quality than what you might have gotten in, say, the 12th.

                            (Probably less than the 14th and 15th, but you're probably not getting large cavalry formations equipped with full plate anywhere in Exalted anyway)


                            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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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Amayad View Post
                              Why would a Solar be at a disadvantage against a mortal with a gun? They can already use their kung fu to block streams of fire, "colorless ribbons of force",, and sonic attacks (Sillver-Voiced Nightingale) with their bare hands, at no penalty. I'm pretty sure they got this.
                              Mechanically, they shouldn't be. Thematically, by the themes of Exalted, they shouldn't be.

                              But this is a "Who wins, a Solar with 1,000 XP or Squirrel Girl / Saitama / Goku" question. The answer to those questions is "whose themes have primacy" more than any logic or mechanics question. The rabid gun fans that Flame Pieces and Firewands are an end run around, are the ones wanting the themes of Guns (Tamed the West, Colt Made Men Equal, Ended An Age) to have primacy over the themes of Exalted. The ones who were they fans of something else, would want Saitama to be able to punch out a Resistance Supernal Solar with 1,000 XP in a single hit, because that's what Saitama does, punch out anyone, in a single hit, no matter how stupendously powerful they are. That's his themes that they want to assert primacy over the themes of Exalted (Solar infinite capability and tremendous power, etc).

                              And as stated above, Grabowski - who recognized this - knew that the rabid gun fans who would constantly harangue him over it would never be satisfied with any guns in Exalted until those guns Ended the Age of the Exalt and Made Mortal and Exalt Equal according to said themes of Gun mythos, so he said "Nah, no guns in the core setting, here's the nearest gun-analogue so STs who don't want Guns to Make Mortals and Exalts Equal and End the Age of the Exalt can point to them and say "This is the closest Exalted has to guns for REASONS".

                              These are not meant to discourage RATIONAL gun fans, who will happily work out with their ST having a simple crossbow-equivalent slugthrower that is comparably difficult to reproduce en masse for mortal use, one that isn't overpowered and just lets them have an iron on their hip without trying to overthrow the setting's conceits with an overpowered weapon forcing its' themes on the world.

                              That make sense? Anything not make sense about this?

                              Edit: To summarize my argument: Firewands exist to provide an aesthetically gun-analogue weapon without opening up the potential for automatic weaponry or sniper rifles to those not wanting to deal with the consequences of such. STs are of course perfectly welcome to let their players create slugthrowing weaponry, and even automatic or no-charm extreme range slugthrowing weaponry, as powerful or weak as they desire, but the base system and setting excludes them in order to allow an emergency brake on 'logical escalation' where a PC may want to 'logically' create firearms beyond what the ST wants to allow in the setting, upgrading a hypothetical barrel-loading musket that takes 5 turns to reload after firing into a fully automatic rifle by means of "TWILIGHT", one that is protected by the setting rather than "Wah my ST is 'just being mean' and won't let me create a BRRRRT A-10 Warthog cannon that can kill 1,000 dragonblooded per second!"
                              Last edited by Meianno Yuurei; 07-15-2018, 10:03 AM.

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Meianno Yuurei View Post
                                That make sense? Anything not make sense about this?
                                Yeah, why didn't he just stat a gun, make it no stronger than a good bow and say that's the best you can do with guns? I mean, even for an exalt a gun wouldn't be much better than a slightly stronger bow. It seems like the issue has nothing to do with guns and more to do with the aesthetic of guns. You already have ballista cannons and other weapons that imitate conventional warfare but they also look a lot more medieval than a modern canon does.

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