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  • #61
    Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
    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.
    He wanted something Different so that a PC wouldn't whine to and harangue their ST that they couldn't make this basic Cap and Ball Pistol weapon any better. He felt that saying "Guns don't work in Creation unless your ST says otherwise" was better than "Guns work in Creation, but your Twilight can't match the GENIUS of Samuel Colt in making a better gun than this shitty revolutionary war era thing".

    Maybe he was right. Maybe he was wrong. Maybe any number of other possible answers was better. Maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe.

    What happened is what happened which is how we got firewands as opposed to barrel-loading early pistols. "Creation doesn't work to allow it, unless your ST says otherwise" is a hard pill to swallow but less so than "your Twilight just isn't smart enough to do what we, mortal, humans, did with guns", for many people.
    Last edited by Meianno Yuurei; 07-15-2018, 10:11 AM.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Meianno Yuurei View Post

      What happened is what happened which is how we got firewands as opposed to barrel-loading early pistols. "Creation doesn't work to allow it, unless your ST says otherwise" is a hard pill to swallow but less so than "your Twilight just isn't smart enough to do what we, mortal, humans, did with guns", for many people.
      I mean, shards did modern weapons and it wasn't that much better than baseline weapons. It certainly wouldn't have stopped DB's from wiping the floor with a normal knife against a gunman. Shards was years later though with a different mindset. I just prefer the idea that guns have an aesthetic issue over a gameplay one. That implies that a gun is better than an exalt. Which is factually untrue and goes against the idea of a primordial slaying being losing to a simple weapon.

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      • #63
        Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post

        I mean, shards did modern weapons and it wasn't that much better than baseline weapons. It certainly wouldn't have stopped DB's from wiping the floor with a normal knife against a gunman. Shards was years later though with a different mindset..
        That, and Exalted evokes themes from ancient history and mythology (with some anime and JRPG and pulp for flavor), and the back-of-the-napkin world history course states that whenever guns meet the ancient world, guns win and the Age of Valorous Heroes dies.

        Shards evokes straight-up unadulterated anime and JRPG stuff, wherein it's just a Known Thing that not only can swords stand up to guns, against worthy opponents the guns are probably at a disadvantage.. In that context, sword vs. gun fights are understood to play out like Virgil vs. Dante rather than Indiana Jones vs. that unlucky dervish.

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        • #64
          Grabowski tended to like the idea of the mortal level rules being "hard" or "simulationist", and of some level of that also throughout the ruleset (hence daiklaives doing huge damage, even damage levels above what the 3rd devs decided was a good thing for the rules, because they're sharpened bulldozer blades).

          So I'd presume he probably would have made early or good firearms pretty good compared to other mortal levels weapons (would've felt he had to), and their Exalt equivalent artifact forms pretty good compared to powerbows and such. And even if we choose that this doesn't affect Exalted vs mortal power balance, it changes just about everything else.
          Last edited by Ghosthead; 07-15-2018, 12:41 PM.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by Amayad View Post

            That, and Exalted evokes themes from ancient history and mythology (with some anime and JRPG and pulp for flavor), and the back-of-the-napkin world history course states that whenever guns meet the ancient world, guns win and the Age of Valorous Heroes dies.

            Shards evokes straight-up unadulterated anime and JRPG stuff, wherein it's just a Known Thing that not only can swords stand up to guns, against worthy opponents the guns are probably at a disadvantage.. In that context, sword vs. gun fights are understood to play out like Virgil vs. Dante rather than Indiana Jones vs. that unlucky dervish.
            That doesn't really change the fact that it's more aesthetic than setting reason. You can set the values of any weapon of any value. The choice to bypass it, just seems like he got into a personal argument and got tired of it.

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            • #66
              Shards also came in the twilight of 2e, and was a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, distinct setting book. "Here's how guns work in a gun-fu action movie game context" is very different from "here's how modern automatic weaponry works in a bronze age sword and sandals aesthetic". If you cannot understand or refuse to acknowledge this then I don't know what else I can do to persuade you as to why it was done the way it was done.

              Yes, it was "Grabowski didn't want to have to deal with people demanding AK-47s that one-shot DBs". It was, very much, that. And I'm fine with that. Do you know what you need to do to get guns in your Exalted game? It's not "Climb the seven highest mountains in the world" or "undertake a fifty-year long quest". It's:

              1) Talk with your ST about wanting guns. If you are the ST, talk with your players about introducing guns.
              2) Create rules for the guns you and your ST or players as appropriate find to be adequately balanced FOR YOUR GAME, be they "barely better than crossbows" or "ultimate doomboomsticks".
              3) Add them to the game.

              WOW! It's almost like there's no hurdle to be found in this! Unless, of course, your ST doesn't want guns in their bronze age aesthetic spear and sandal game.. But if your ST doesn't want guns, GUESS WHAT: Their word is final on this matter. The game doesn't at base have flintlock guns for you to use or to have your twilight upgrade into .50 cal antimateriel rifles.

              Interesting how having not had guns in the core book, instead providing an adequately aesthetically gun-analogous weapon that nonetheless isn't a gun and so doesn't have all the assumptions of guns associated with it, opens this possibility while still protecting the ability to not have actual guns.
              Last edited by Meianno Yuurei; 07-15-2018, 01:54 PM.

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
                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.
                Because the history of attempting to stat guns in D&D is the history of people complaining that guns with reasonable stats are underpowered, and he didn't want to deal with people complaining that his no-stronger-than-a-good-bow Creation guns were underpowered.

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                • #68
                  This has always been one of those tricky questions.

                  Exalted as a setting has always been a combination of "kickass Exalts doing their kickass Exalt thing" combined with "but we're also trying to model societies, culture, and human nature as accurately as we can in the outrageous world we've created, which is why so much wordcount is dedicated to things like how the Realm and the Guild use economics to reave all the wealth out of creation, how young Dragon-Blooded are inculcated into the doctrine of Empire, and so on and so forth." It's why we've had threads where people have an earnest discussion about how the structure of the Realm, which has institutions and logistics more like a modern nation-state, leverages those institutions to subdue Threshold nations that, even if you totally discounted the Dragon-Blooded, do not have professionalized legions of highly trained soldiers, but instead have feudal levies.

                  This combination has been extraordinarily successful in appealing to an extremely broad number of people for an extremely long period of time, as evidenced by the fact that it's fifteen years later and we're now into the Third Edition, as opposed to Exalted being a footnote, a "hey, you remember that weird kung-fu game that was meant to be the prehistory of the World of Darkness that had, like, two sourcebooks and then died? Wasn't that weird?" kind of thing.

                  Even without all the weird gun mythology-slash-pathology surrounding guns here in the real world that has been ably detailed by better writers than me upthread, if you wanted to drop firearms into Creation you're looking at some serious military and cultural changes if you want to maintain the second part of Exalted's particular formula, where you try and model societies and culture and human nature as accurately as possible. Exalts aren't going to care that much about guns; they're going to develop Firearms Charms and keep on keepin' on, living in an action movie the same way they've always lived in action movies. The rest of the setting... wouldn't. It would change. It would change a LOT.

                  I mean, hell. I seem to recall that part of the reason the crossbow was conceived as particularly rare, a secret of the Haslanti, is because the crossbow has a similar sort of "leveling" effect that people attribute to guns. (I could be wrong here, it's been awhile.)

                  There's absolutely room for a game like Exalted that just has, say, mid-nineteenth century firearms in it. But it isn't this setting. Creation is more "Hyborian Age" and less the "Half-Made World." There's nothing wrong with the Half-Made World, but it isn't this setting.

                  I've run games where people basically used firewands as guns. The Plasma Tongue Repeater/Flametongue Repeater basically lets you play a gunslinger. (I forget if the Flametongue Repeater made it into 3e or not; it was in the leaked document but was cut from the published core, I don't know if it made it into print anywhere else.) It usually works just fine, because an actual mature player wants to play the Righteous Devil, who fits into the setting, and not The Punisher (or, if they're a Twilight, John Browning) who does not.

                  I will say that I think the playerbase as a whole might have moved on from such things to a larger degree than when Grabowski conceived of the game many years ago. I am not saying such people are nonexistent now, that's ludicrous, they're always gonna be with us. But they seem less prevalent. These days when I see an RPG released that just says point blank "we've statted guns like we've statted guns because the themes of the setting break if we do it another way; don't think real life, think Action Movie" folks largely go "okay, cool" instead of arguing endlessly about it. Endless arguers do still exist... but not such a vast horde of them.


                  "SEX NOVA is the kind of person who, after being chosen as the divine champion of the god of heroes, decided to call himself SEX NOVA."

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                  • #69
                    Flamepieces are frustrating because it is obvious that Exalted as a setting is chomping at the bit to have a lot of the aesthetics and sociopolitics of early firearms but don't want to deal with the baggage of people trying to advanced firearms. Frankly, I think that the solution to this would be to note that guns exist in that state in part because the chemistry of the setting doesn't allow for the creation of the gun propellants that make modern firearms possible, and in part because of aesthetics. Then, I would advise following this up by noting that discussions on this topic are overdone on the forum and that anybody who wishes to have them can find another venue to do so.


                    Exalted is an aesthetic.

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                    • #70
                      the Flametongue Repeater did not make it into the final corebook and haven't appeared in print since. I think they were conceived of as the Artifact version of the Flame Piece when they were in the leak, but ultimately Arms of the Chosen has a new take on that. Artifact Flame Pieces still function like normal Flame Pieces, but they're called Devil Casters, which is a pretty cool name!

                      You could probably write Flametongue Repeaters into the setting again or as an individual artifact and the like, but I'm sort of skeptical of them being printed in any of the sourcebooks going forward.

                      Given the operating definition of First Age Artifice having to do with stuff that warps the setting, I think my personal take would be to make them into FAA artifact flame pieces in a way that's similar to how power armor is adjacent to real artifact armor. That's just my two cents though!

                      Just chiming in with that!

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                      • #71
                        I feel like a Flametongue Repeater could work as an individual artifact. Basically a design that would justify some evocations for quick reloads, attacking multiple targets, and for stunting lots of attacks.


                        Exalted is an aesthetic.

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post

                          Because the history of attempting to stat guns in D&D is the history of people complaining that guns with reasonable stats are underpowered, and he didn't want to deal with people complaining that his no-stronger-than-a-good-bow Creation guns were underpowered.
                          To add to this some, this was being written in like 1999-2001, where the RPG landscape was as I understand it even more prone to such stuff than probably now with nearly 20 years of games like Exalted making cinematic over simulation things more common.


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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Accelerator View Post

                            Or the master, in preparation for such an eventuality, trains himself in the iron-body technique, letting him shrug off the bullets and slay the 11th.
                            Except that the majority of martial arts movies set during those periods usually make guns the one thing that can consistently break Iron Body


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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by SamuraiMujuru View Post

                              Except that the majority of martial arts movies set during those periods usually make guns the one thing that can consistently break Iron Body
                              Kung Fu Panda 2 used an immobile cannon to kill Master Iron Bull.


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                              • #75
                                I actually like Devil Casters in this context more than Flametongue Repeaters, for reasons such as thinking that they stylization of Artifacts aligns fairly well with primitive pistols, a sense that a flame piece in the form of a basic revolver just winds up being kind of silly, and that greater significance to magical material provides alternative avenues of quick-shooting.


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