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2e: Biggest problems fix ?

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  • #31
    And first hit kills so you get the same problem Exalted used to have.

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    • #32
      Cut the Night Caste...

      Hear me out, we have an entire Solar Caste who specialise in killing from the shadows and are basically why "I want to kill my opponent before they even know what's happening" has to be taken seriously. Of course there's assassins among the other Exalt types but if the Night Caste didn't exist they could probably be given a glorified backstab type ability and told to make do.
      Obviously the Day Caste have the same problem so cut them too.

      Scourges don't have the same conceptual problem so Infernals get rebranded as the Adorjanical Exalted.

      Now we'll see who thinks I'm being serious.


      Onyx Path Forum Moderator
      Please spare a thought for updating the Exalted wiki.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Cruzwindt View Post
        As we all know, the 2e game mechanics is greatly flawed.
        From my point of view, 2.5 is somewhat flawed, but well within my "I only aproximate the mechanics anyway." Ex3 might or might not be good, but it doing the wrong things for me.

        I'm using the Ex3 map and the "social combat system" (I've not even bothered to do much of an integration, more just tossing out the 2e social combat and just just crudely welding the new one on).

        But then, I'm going with a very different RP paragdim than this:
        Originally posted by Elfive View Post
        Here's what you have to remember about withering. Exalted isn't just a game, it's a story. And in a story, powerful characters never go down in one hit.

        You're not just trying to simulate your dude trying to murder another dude. You're choreographing a fight scene.
        However, I think that if what Elfive wrote sounds right, then there probably isn't much salvageable from the mechanics in second edition.

        For me, getting good use out of 2.5 is more about handling expectations.

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        • #34
          For my game, I did a few things:
          • Decoupled mote regen from stunting and used a flat 5m per round like 3rd ed does. This reduces the pressure to keep stunting at all costs even if you're out of inspiration, which actually helps inspiration flow better, leading to better stunts, as well as speeding up the game because no one is dithering with trying to describe their umpteenth sword swing tonight in a unique way just so they can keep using Charms.
          • Adapted battle groups from 3rd ed in place of 2nd ed's "you wear them" rules, which were a lot of bookkeeping. This resulted in surprisingly few Charm tweaks.
          • I don't think I've ever called for Join Debate. We let roleplaying decide when a social check is rolled, and it works fine. Trying to "mirror" a combat system with a social system is something I've never seen done well. On the occasions when I have formally structured a social engagement, I've used my own rules based on the particulars of the event they're attending. For a summit involving several nominally allied factions with their own agendas, I had mechanics for resolving what happened on the debate floor, as well as giving each character a number of "back room" actions per day to approach and engage with other delegates, forge alliances, conduct espionage, etc, which then impacted the main event.
          • We have a gentlefolks' agreement to not use perfect combat defences. At all. I don't throw perfect-spamming foes at them whose mote pool they have to whittle down before most of their Charms become relevant again (and damn, did trying to come up with a cool stunt while knowing in advance the attack was just going to be summarily thwarted suck, right?). They don't use perfects, so I don't need to always use surprise or Shaping etc to challenge them, so they don't feel forced into a specific build to avoid being constantly "punished". Abyssal snipers notwithstanding, lethality hasn't been a huge problem, because ...
            • I buffed their soak. I made sure they found a cache of silken armour early on, which stacks with normal armour in 2e. Now they can easily stack an extra 5L soak under their normal armour.
            • The 2.5 rules made Piercing pretty manageable.
            • I de-emphasised massive two-handed weapons with base damage in the teens. I didn't houserule them out, my antagonists just tend not to use them because in a modern setting they're actually bloody inconvenient.
            • My antagonists tend to fall into a few categories: juggernauts (deal massive damage, but require a lucky hit because their accuracy is low, mostly a threat to allies with lower DVs than the exalts), needlers (hit reliably but don't have high damage, so on all but the luckiest hit they generally roll minimum damage), glass cannons (accurate and hard-hitting but with very poor defences, allowing the PCs to take them out before their side is devastated), and puzzles (cause just enough damage and mayhem to put the pressure on the PCs to defeat them, but mostly just stubbornly hold their own until someone finds the trick to defeating them).
            • Allies to provide support and take the heat off the PCs when it's needed. I prefer to keep allies in the background dealing with other threats, but they're available to step in if you want to rebalance the encounter mid-fight. Also, if your players are emotionally invested in your NPCs, threatening one of them provides all the tension you need without risking a PC death with every swing of your antagonist's weapon.
          What I wish I had changed but it's too late now:
          • Grappling. It should not automatically deny the grappled party their action, just apply a penalty to anything but breaking free. It should not deny them their defence altogether, just penalise it heavily, while still allowing them to use defensive Charms. I've had a PC who knew countermagic use grappling instead to interrupt an enemy sorcerer, because it's cheaper, and almost as reliable if you're good at it.
          • The tiered Intimacy system from 3e, including variable defence modifiers. I like the rest of the 3e social system but this is the part I would port over to 2.5e because it just really helps flesh out a character in a way that having one tier of Intimacies and a motivation doesn't get across. Charms that create Intimacies would need to be houseruled to include the level of Intimacy they create (but I think defaulting to Major for most mind-control effects would be a good rule of thumb). Motivations would be removed in favour of Defining Intimacies and Virtues would no longer effect MDV. I don't think I'd touch Virtues otherwise because they're too baked into the system.


          "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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          • #35
            I ran a two-year-long game of 2.5e in a custom setting that was broadly "mortals with TMA, TCS, and thaumaturgy," and while that meant I didn't have to deal with perfects at all, I still made several changes that helped a lot:
            • Everyone had -0 health levels equal to Stamina.
            • Blocking/Parrying used Strength instead of Dexterity.
            • I rewrote clinches to be loosely based on GURPS Technical Grappling. They were progressive, with successes penalizing the target's Strength- and Dexterity-based rolls (except for opposing the grapple), and if the clincher accumulated more successes than the higher of [Strength/Dexterity] + [Athletics/Brawl], then the target was immobilized.
            • Artifact weapons and armor were just Perfect versions of mundane weapons with the 5MM bonus on top of that.
            • Surprise attacks halved DVs, they didn't completely ignore them.
            • Mundane flurries didn't exist. Or rather, I ruled they could only be used to attack multiple separate targets, rather than multiple attacks on a single target.
            • DVs didn't refresh unless someone took the Guard action, with the goal of encouraging people to be a bit more cautious.
            • Shields had a pseudo-perfect in that anyone using one could ignore all damage from one attack in exchange for the shield breaking, but no PC ever used a shield so it didn't come into play.
            Even with several PCs not wearing armor due to the martial art they picked, I didn't have any fatalities or even anyone who hit Incapacitated. though there were a couple month-long downtimes due to serious injuries. Since this was a mortals game, though, most pools were in the 5-10 range, and the assassin who built his character specifically to murder people caused gasps around the table when he once rolled twenty dice for damage. Those fixes worked great but might not be scalable even up to Dragon-Blooded, nevermind Solars.


            Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: Glorious Tree-Felling Prana and All-Encompassing Liquid-Carrying Methodology.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Dorchadas View Post
              I ran a two-year-long game of 2.5e in a custom setting that was broadly "mortals with TMA, TCS, and thaumaturgy," and while that meant I didn't have to deal with perfects at all, I still made several changes that helped a lot:
              • Everyone had -0 health levels equal to Stamina.
              • Blocking/Parrying used Strength instead of Dexterity.
              • I rewrote clinches to be loosely based on GURPS Technical Grappling. They were progressive, with successes penalizing the target's Strength- and Dexterity-based rolls (except for opposing the grapple), and if the clincher accumulated more successes than the higher of [Strength/Dexterity] + [Athletics/Brawl], then the target was immobilized.
              • Artifact weapons and armor were just Perfect versions of mundane weapons with the 5MM bonus on top of that.
              • Surprise attacks halved DVs, they didn't completely ignore them.
              • Mundane flurries didn't exist. Or rather, I ruled they could only be used to attack multiple separate targets, rather than multiple attacks on a single target.
              • DVs didn't refresh unless someone took the Guard action, with the goal of encouraging people to be a bit more cautious.
              • Shields had a pseudo-perfect in that anyone using one could ignore all damage from one attack in exchange for the shield breaking, but no PC ever used a shield so it didn't come into play.
              Even with several PCs not wearing armor due to the martial art they picked, I didn't have any fatalities or even anyone who hit Incapacitated. though there were a couple month-long downtimes due to serious injuries. Since this was a mortals game, though, most pools were in the 5-10 range, and the assassin who built his character specifically to murder people caused gasps around the table when he once rolled twenty dice for damage. Those fixes worked great but might not be scalable even up to Dragon-Blooded, nevermind Solars.

              By mortal you mean no excellencies ? Because if so, I can understand why there was little to no lethality. I've read , and come to notice, that D10 systems are pretty hard to get successes unless you exponentially augment your dice base, specially if the dif is >6. So I would have no surprise if you got rid of Excellencies in the lethality department, I suspect that if you had simply increased health levels and nerfed clinches you would have had the same results without the other rules.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Cruzwindt View Post
                By mortal you mean no excellencies ? Because if so, I can understand why there was little to no lethality. I've read , and come to notice, that D10 systems are pretty hard to get successes unless you exponentially augment your dice base, specially if the dif is >6. So I would have no surprise if you got rid of Excellencies in the lethality department, I suspect that if you had simply increased health levels and nerfed clinches you would have had the same results without the other rules.
                Yeah, no dice adders at all other than those provided by individual martial arts or through sorcery. Some enemies got them, mostly spirits, but only in specific circumstances.

                What it taught me is that the main problem with the Exalted 2.5e ruleset is the presence of the Exalted. It makes for a fantastic gritty sword-and-sorcery game.


                Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: Glorious Tree-Felling Prana and All-Encompassing Liquid-Carrying Methodology.

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                • #38
                  I didn't like 3E withering/decisive model at first but reading wuxia/xianxia novels finally got it to click. I've been looking at taking many of certain Eastern Cultivation type aspects and converting it to a Western perspective ie Mana is a type of Dao and mages are also cultivators, etc... anyways.

                  In one novel, the MC fights with a spear and it describes how his attacks are still lethal but the true intent is to build up momentum to suppress his opponent and deliver his final blow. Fights are determined by fortune and momentum. In combat arms, we call this violence of action. Don't give the enemy time to react, to counterattack. They will of course, but if your momentum is strong you can steam roll them. So as SLS was saying about the colloquially use of initiative, in this case initiative is the abstract measure of momentum. Withering attacks reduce your enemies' momentum while increasing your own. You're setting the conditions for your attack. Much like moving your pawns on a chess board to make way for your killing move in order to cause a brilliant checkmate. And your decisive attack is where you capitalize on that momentum to strike down your foe. It is the checkmate. Of course that doesn't mean you pull it off. Maybe there was an opening you missed or something similar. They had enough momentum to ward your attack. Maybe you botched your roll and your gun misfires/jams. Maybe their Destiny reinforces their momentum. Who knows.


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                  • #39
                    My biggest tip for "fixing" 2e's combat issues is to just make sure people are on the same page regarding combat, especially the ST. For some reason Exalted players seem to think that every combat is going to include an invisible ninja stabbing them five times in the same flurry. This is the same as assuming every D&D session is going to include an ancient red dragon making flyby breath attacks, even if you're level 3.

                    We ran out of the box Exalted 2e, then updated to 2.5e, for the duration of most of 2e's life cycle and well into 3e's development cycle. We never had a PC death that hadn't been discussed with the ST beforehand. Because he never sent Abyssals with Grand Goremauls making six attacks per round to murder us in our sleep, or whatever it is that other Exalted games seem to inevitably run into.
                    Last edited by HighPriest; 09-09-2018, 12:07 AM.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by HighPriest View Post
                      My biggest tip for "fixing" 2e's combat issues is to just make sure people are on the same page regarding combat, especially the ST. For some reason Exalted players seem to think that every combat is going to include an invisible ninja stabbing them five times in the same flurry. This is the same as assuming every D&D session is going to include an ancient red dragon making flyby breath attacks, even if you're level 3.

                      We ran out of the box Exalted 2e, then updated to 2.5e, for the duration of most of 2e's life cycle and well into 3e's development cycle. We never had a PC death that hadn't been discussed with the ST beforehand. Because he never sent Abyssals with Grand Goremauls making six attacks per round to murder us in our sleep, or whatever it is that other Exalted games seem to inevitably run into.
                      The flurries and grand goremauls, however, are trivial to acquire for most character types, so that's why they kept popping up in games and conversations. If you agree not to use them, that's solving the problem, but also functionally equivalent to writing out flurries and changing allowed damage sums for weapons, but letting everything run unrestricted.

                      (Also, a D&D game might well have an ancient red dragon show up at level 3, but it tended to allow circumstances like "the dragon blackmails you into doing their bidding" and other such scenarios of surrendering or failing forward instead of being an assumption of a battle to the death).

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by HaplessWithDice View Post
                        Fixing perfects is simple. Limit perfect attacks and defense to once per scene. Their use becomes a lot more reasonable.

                        But what about lethality. That can be fixed by offering the player a chance to have their character take a permanent wound (ie loose a hand/arm/eye/ear/nasty scar) in that way a character doesn’t die as often.
                        Second the ability to “walk it off” Spend a willpower to halve damage from the rest of the activation.
                        That is about as far from a fix as you can get. It just results in you using your perfect defense in the first flurry anyway and then as soon as the first hit you take cripples you your opponent uses the rest of the flurry to crush you body into bloody paste. Arguably, it makes the situation worse not better.

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