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  • Exalted Adventure Discussion

    So with the news that Exalted will be joining the Storyteller’s Vault at some point, people are likely going to be tossing up prepackaged Adventures.

    This thread is for telling us what you’d like from an Adventure supplement, to discuss what you’re planning on making in your Adventure, discussing what an Exalted Adventure should look like, and so on.


    ....

  • #2
    I’ll go first. I’m brainstorming a Heist Adventure. But I’m having trouble deciding on some of the big details, so nothing is flowing well. So, I figured I’d see what people were interested in.

    Would people rather have a Solar adventure or a DB adventure?

    Would you rather be heroic thieves who are kicking the Realm out of a region or would you rather it be more of a big revenge plot, ala the Count of Monte Cristo? Or should I combine the two?

    What direction do you like? North, South, East, West, Center? One of the corners?

    Some place we’ve had written up before or some place entirely new? Or split the difference and take a place that’s only gotten a few paragraphs and spin it into a big adventure location?

    What do people think of An-Teng?


    ....

    Comment


    • #3
      1: Solar, but not by a large margin, I like DBs too.
      2: Mix of both.
      3: Either the Southeast, or the Southwest mainland coast.
      4: Take a briefly described region and put more detail into it.
      5: I like An-Teng pretty well.


      Literally any gender pronoun is fine, don't worry about it in my case.

      Comment


      • #4
        It just occurred to me that building an Exalted Adventure would be much simpler if pregenerated characters for the players to use were included. That way, you don’t have to take into account the myriad options that are possible with Exalts, just the fairly narrow set of powers available to those characters (well and maybe a few more, if some minor customization notes were included).

        Would people like that? Or is creating your own unique character one of the big selling points of the game for you?


        ....

        Comment


        • #5
          It might be best to write for Volfer etc and then, in what Night's Black Agents calls "DVD commentary", indicate what parts of the adventure have been written to fit those characters and how they might be changed to fit new characters.


          But sexually.

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't really like the pregenerated characters. But for sure, it's difficult to take into account all the PC's powers. For example, I tried to made them play SAS Daughter of Nexus. The only way to "try" to keep the storyline was to introduced a lot of NPC's and to developp their intimacies so they interact with (but more ofently against) the PC.
            My opinion for Exalted Adventure is to have a lot of NPC with well defined Intimacies and goals that drive PC and ST for the different chapters of the story. And to think about how these NPC would react to the PC's actions (What would they do ? What ressources they have ? What alliance can they make ? etc....)

            Comment


            • #7
              I think I tend to prefer Exalted adventures more as "here's a neat setting and a bunch of neat NPCs with agendas your PCs will blow up."

              Like... here's how the dominoes are set up, here's different chain reactions for how the chain reactions go if you knock them down in different ways.


              So I'm making God-Kicking Boot, an Exalted webcomic, now. Updates on Sundays. Full-color, mediocre but slowly improving art. It's a thing.

              The absence of a monument can, in its own way, be something of a monument also.
              -Roger Zelazny

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
                I’ll go first. I’m brainstorming a Heist Adventure. But I’m having trouble deciding on some of the big details, so nothing is flowing well. So, I figured I’d see what people were interested in.

                Would people rather have a Solar adventure or a DB adventure?

                Would you rather be heroic thieves who are kicking the Realm out of a region or would you rather it be more of a big revenge plot, ala the Count of Monte Cristo? Or should I combine the two?

                What direction do you like? North, South, East, West, Center? One of the corners?

                Some place we’ve had written up before or some place entirely new? Or split the difference and take a place that’s only gotten a few paragraphs and spin it into a big adventure location?

                What do people think of An-Teng?

                1. Depends on how many players you're writing the adventure for. Five Solars can demolish pretty much anything and you will have an extremely difficult time challenging them. Five Dragon-Blooded is a lot more workable. On the other hand, if you limit yourself to three players, Solars can work pretty well.

                2. I'd prefer more of an open-ended approach ("here are these guys, they have Fat Loot, you can take it off of them if you want and cook up your own justifications post-hoc").

                3. Whatever works best for the concept you have!

                4. I strongly advise against taking a barely detailed adventure location and embellishing it - your adventure will age very poorly when the (probably conflicting) canonical information comes out.

                5. An-Teng is as good a location as any, albeit I find myself questioning the wisdom of putting the direction up for vote if you already have a strong idea in mind.


                Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
                It just occurred to me that building an Exalted Adventure would be much simpler if pregenerated characters for the players to use were included. That way, you don’t have to take into account the myriad options that are possible with Exalts, just the fairly narrow set of powers available to those characters (well and maybe a few more, if some minor customization notes were included).

                There's nothing wrong with pregens - quite the opposite actually! By writing the adventure to fit known quantities, you can ensure that every participant can have their own subplot, that everybody's skills fit the challenges in the adventure, that everybody can feel equally useful and have their own time to shine, and that nobody brings a character whose only way to interact with the carefully orchestrated heist you have planned is to do something completely different that will make most of the adventure completely useless (either because their skillset is such a poor fit or because they have some weird h4xx0r ability that was printed in a splat four years down the line that you could never have foreseen and which obviates a large part of the originally planned challenge).

                If you write a strongly guided adventure, you should definitely use pregens.


                Evocations for the demonic tattoos gained from the Pact with Mara sorcerous initiation || Pyre-Kindler (Soulsteel and Red Jade Grimscythe, Artifact 3) || Tenebrous Descent (Stormcaller's Black Jade Reaver Daiklave cousin, Artifact 5)
                Advice for running the corebook shikari antagonists

                Comment


                • #9
                  Rather than pre-gen characters, having a list of templates or traits that players can choose for their character that ties it directly into the story would allow for more freedom. For example, if the mayor of the town is a big part of the story, one of the campaign traits could be to be the child of the mayor. Gives you some premise intimacies, some bonuses in dealings with aristocracy, etc., but also means you’re invested in what happens. Multiply that by the number of characters to fully integrate and cement them into the story.


                  Host of The Deliberative Podcast
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                  Original Creator of the complete nWoD conversion of Fantasy Grounds 2

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Wise Old Guru View Post
                    I think I tend to prefer Exalted adventures more as "here's a neat setting and a bunch of neat NPCs with agendas your PCs will blow up."

                    Like... here's how the dominoes are set up, here's different chain reactions for how the chain reactions go if you knock them down in different ways.

                    I totally agree

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My concept for the adventure was pretty much “Here’s a rich and powerful jerk, here’s their intimacies (including a couple of major ones that are good for leverage), here’s some stuff they might have done to attract your ire, here’s where said jerk lives, here’s their stuff (including something that could be used to ruin this person), here’s what their security looks like, and here’s the big fancy party they’re planning for next week (including guest list and other info.” And then include a couple of ideas for possible heist plans that the ST can toss to the players if they need help and a general timeline.

                      I think that can work pretty well, since you could theoretically approach the adventure from a number of ways, including an armed assult on the building, conning your way into the party, conning the jerk, sneaking in, etc. but the goal and ultimate outcome is the same.

                      The issue I was having was trying to spin it out into a series.

                      Would you like a series of heist adventures or would you prefer if it was a different format each time?

                      I was considering maybe doing a heist on each satrap of a region, stealing info or resources that could be used to help free said region. Does that sound interesting or would people prefer to join armies or stir up revolts or the other aspects of building a revolution?


                      ....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
                        My concept for the adventure was pretty much “Here’s a rich and powerful jerk, here’s their intimacies (including a couple of major ones that are good for leverage), here’s some stuff they might have done to attract your ire, here’s where said jerk lives, here’s their stuff (including something that could be used to ruin this person), here’s what their security looks like, and here’s the big fancy party they’re planning for next week (including guest list and other info.” And then include a couple of ideas for possible heist plans that the ST can toss to the players if they need help and a general timeline.

                        I think that can work pretty well, since you could theoretically approach the adventure from a number of ways, including an armed assult on the building, conning your way into the party, conning the jerk, sneaking in, etc. but the goal and ultimate outcome is the same.
                        That would be awesome

                        The theme of the series sounds really interesting to me. With single adventures I always find a way to connect them to the campaign I've created. Series may be more difficult to connect but are more interesting as the mains NPC can come back many times and become Nemesis of the PC

                        So both of them could really interest me

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'd been thinking on writing Exalted adventures, and I believe that Exalts are way too plot-destructive to truly script ahead of time. I wouldn't say this is thought-through, but this is what I've been pondering.

                          I think I'd like to see adventures that are more like a rough flowchart or decision path of Scenes. Each with a short description, a behind the scenes description, necessary rules, and debugging (old edition Shadowrun modules, I'm looking at you guys)

                          Then I think I'd like a whole section of tilts and modifications and options. Maybe even arranged onto cards or some such format. These would have a bunch of optional modifiers for each Scene or antagonist NPC, to adjust around the miraculous plot derailings available in Exalted. I think I'd separate them like this, so they can be added to any Scene as needed, but if you, as a Storyteller, play them that way they probably shouldn't come back - though they might still be in effect. If you collect more of these modules, maybe you can put all the mod cards in a deck together.

                          So, for example, you might have a Circle who's at about the expected Essence / Charm Count / XP / whatever level for your adventure. Perhaps they have more than expected extra armies on hand, or familiars or bodyguards to that bring too many threats for the expected NPCs to handle. You might play a card in one Scene with a distraction that separates followers and armies for a while. Then in another Scene, play different cards representing defensive fortifications and additional armies reinforcing the villains.


                          Check out Momentum Exalted!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            So, back when I got into Roleplaying, I started with AD&D 2e. And one of the best adventure creation advice books I got back then was The Complete Book of Villains. It was what introduced me to the idea that an adventure could be more than a flowchart, that you could have a sandbox (the book refers to those as matrix adventures) and that you could really enable choice and agency in the players without needing to plan for everything they might do.

                            The examples are pretty D&D specific, but other than that it’s very system agnostic, and I think it could be pretty helpful to anyone wanting to write an Adventure for Exalted.

                            That said, I’ll grant that The Alexandrian blog has similar advice on it for free, and I’m sure there’s plenty of other places that you can get GM advice. Still, it was a very useful book for me and I think it could be useful for you.

                            https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...=44827_0_0_0_0
                            https://thealexandrian.net/wordpress...otted-approach


                            ....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Simon Darkstep View Post
                              I think I'd like to see adventures that are more like a rough flowchart or decision path of Scenes. Each with a short description, a behind the scenes description, necessary rules, and debugging (old edition Shadowrun modules, I'm looking at you guys)
                              I agree, and it is why I think the GUMSHOE model of adventure writing could be easily adapted to Exalted. To those not in the know: Gumshoe adventures (I have experience mainly with Nights Black Agents, tho I guess Trail of Cthulhu also uses a similar structure) consist of a bunch of scenes with leads to other scenes. Usually there's one scene in the beginning of the adventure, which branches out to several scene groups that can be played in any order the players like. Each scene usually has exits to multiple different scenes. In the end there's a Capstone scene, where every earlier scene ultimately leads.
                              For example, if the adventure is about hunting a murderer, you can have a scene about casing the latest murder scene and one about searching the police archives. Both can provide clues towards potential suspects and there can also be a scene where the murderer tries to eliminate/mislead the players. The adventure can have different scenes depending on whether the players captured or killed the perp, chased them or even got captured. Ultimately each scene leads to a final confrontation with the killer. Each scene has a brief description, relevant stats and a summary, where it leads.

                              I think this format would work well with Exalted, because it would be easy to give different scenes to suit different playstyles. This way the adventure could provide different avenues if, for example, the Circle lacked a Dawn caste and thus wasn't adept at combat. Each scene heading could give hints on which Castes would especially shine in them, helping Storytellers steer the adventure in the direction most suited to their group.

                              The biggest problem with using DnD or Pathfinder style adventure design in Exalted is that those games can expect every PC to be more or less capable in combat and with enough skill points that they can find their way around an open skill challenge. Meanwhile nothing in Exalted guarantees that the characters can fight nor that they ever get better at fighting. Sure, most groups will have a Dawn and other fighters, but even their progression won't be even. One might pump all of their bonus points in Melee charms right in character creation, while another might make an all-rounder and develop their combat skills more slowly.

                              I also like the "DVD Commentaries" Ellis mentioned. Most Exalted adventures should have at least an infobox on what abilities/merits could cause problems with the adventure, and how it can be edited to accommodate them. Sure, this is a lot of work for an adventure designer, but nothing that has not been seen already. (For example, Fantasy Flight Games' Rogue Trader RPG had instructions on what to do, if the PC's have an army or ability to teleport, and why every planetside problem cannot be solved with a spaceship. Each of those could be acquired in character creation.)
                              Different Exalted splats are different enough that I'd prefer focused adventures to general ones. It would be hard, if not impossible, to design an adventure that can fluilfy offer challenges for both Solar and Dragon-Blooded, while Sidereals have their own very different playground. (Some pairings sure would be feasible, for Example Solars and Abyssals or DB's and Liminals.) I think one of the biggest weaknesses of Return of the Scarlet Empress (which isn't short on weaknesses) was that it tried to give something for every type of Exalt and for every direction with its limited pagecount.

                              With that out of the way, what kind of adventures would I like to see? It would be really interesting to see a long span Solar campaign, which takes time over several years. (Like the One Ring example mentioned in the Deliberative thread.) I think that the most interesting part of a Solar campaign is not getting power, but using it and the consequences of using it. The adventure could, for example, focus on a Solar-run nation, which the players can govern how they wish and run their own projects. The adventure could provide one adventure a year with consequences that would affect the area and the following adventures. Depending on the writer, this could be less of an adventure and more like a toolbox (in the tradition of Dracula Dossier).
                              Alternatively I would like to see smaller, self-contained adventures with a clear hook-problem-consequences, which could be ran as a oneshot part of a homebrew campaign.

                              With the other splats not being out, I don't really have an opinion on them. (Got the DB preview, but saving myself for the real deal.) I suppose Dragon-Blooded adventures could take pointers from Legend of the Five Rings style fun.

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