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  • #61
    Originally posted by Thesaurasaurus View Post
    If you wish, but I mean...
    He's withdrawn from the conversation, please respect that.



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    • #62
      Originally posted by nalak42 View Post
      Plus I mean demon spiders, and gods only know what kind of horrors a sorcerer could do with a spider. Most importantly though you don't get rid of that spider you just know its going to bite you in the worst area and that's just it for the next week while you're desperatly trying to get people to scratch it since you can't reach.
      Specific case criticism, demon spiders, at least for the demon most commonly known by that name, are not exactly small, easily-crushed pests, unless you yourself happen to have Legendary Size. If one comes in, you're going to notice unless it has yet to materialize, and there are probably Charms to detect the unmaterialized.

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      • #63
        Hey I just thought of something else. You might have a Realm general who's got a little posse of shrews or aye-ayes or something like that who just kind of wander around the tent annihilating the local insect/small animal population. I don't know what happens exactly when an ant-form lunar gets snathched up and is unable to be chewed properly, but you could even train them to bring unchewable insects to them or something like that. Normally impossible but perhaps not for a survival focused exalt.

        Originally posted by Thesaurasaurus View Post

        If you wish, but I mean... if the problem was that young Dynasts saw your homeland as a great place to visit to hone their skills at plunder and conquest, and you made them so afraid that they stopped doing that... that seems like a meaningful win in its own right? Even if the Empire is inevitably going to launch a retaliatory strike, it's not as if they weren't planning to kill you and grind your nation to dust eventually. It doesn't mean you have to Leery Jenkins into the tent of every single Imperial General in your Direction, but I'd expect the main answer to "why don't Solars and Lunars launch decapitation strikes as a matter of course" to be "they do, it's just not always successful and the Realm's organized chains of command mean that they can lose generals without losing the war so your efforts might be better-spent elsewhere."
        Well they might be planning on killing you eventually, if they even know about you, but eventually is a powerful word. Eventually climate change will sink coastal cities beneath the waves and destroy a huge amount of farmland, and you can see how many people don't think that's something that should be addressed with extreme measures. Like let's say the Realm is pillaging a kingdom 2 over from you, and much closer to their boarders. You COULD take initiative and go assassinate their general, which would further the goals of the Silver Pact, but also possibly alert them to your existence, and then the next thing they do might be to come to your kingdom and burn every single dwelling to the ground.

        Not to mention the prospect can be a little scary. You're in the middle of an enemy army, surrounded by exalts, any number of which might be a hard fight. You don't even necessarily know which ones either, that monk over there might be a grandmaster who's reached the capstone of every immaculate martial art. If you do mess up, if somehow they find you out then you're in one of the worst situations imaginable. In a room without backup full of warriors who want you all dead. Earlier that day you might have seen that monk smash an enemy into the earth, where it bound him and him up let her grimscythe wielding companion reap his head like wheat. That's you if you screw up.

        Combine that with the fact that you know the Realm is tricky, and has all sorts of things from all over the world, and who knows how much effect this one dead general is going to have anyway? For all you know she's more beloved by her soldiers than their own mothers, and killing her will just drive them into fighting harder than they've ever fought in their lives.

        All of that together might reduce the numbers of roaming Lunar assassins by enough to make Realm invasions possible without losing Tepet Arada every time he goes to war.

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        • #64
          1. Night Castes are exceptionally rare, and were even more rare until recently. On top of this, many of them are going to be focused on other stuff. If they're worried about Anathema, it would usually be a Lunar.

          2. Anathema are hunted by the Wyld Hunt. Unless the general in question is leading an army against you, spending precious time and energy seeking him out and targeting him is usually a bad idea (it also moves you to the very top of the Realm's shit list.) Generals who are leading armies obviously opposed by Anathema are going to take more precautions (ie. have multiple Exalted or supernatural guards of various sorts, bound demons or elementals, etc.)

          3. Or they die. Sometimes, despite all their precautions, they die. Anathema wouldn't be feared the way they are if they weren't a real threat. A Realm general in hostile territory who is targeted by a Lunar they are unaware of has a very high chance of dying - that's just the reality. Don't be that guy. Know who your enemies are.

          4. Note that there are very few Lunars who go around randomly murdering Realm generals like that. The ones who do eventually get hunted down and killed themselves, or they become known factors. Sometimes they manage to scare the Dragon-Blooded out of the area for a while, especially if it just isn't worth the time and effort and commitment from higher-ups necessary to deal with that headache. But ultimately the Realm has more resources than the Lunars do, so a Lunar who makes too much of a headache of himself to people too high up in the Realm hierarchy tends to get killed, even if they manage to take several unfortunate DBs with them first.

          5. Note that when fighting Anathema, surprise and stealth are often preferred rather than a huge army - the Bull of the North was an exception because he'd already reached the point where a small strike team couldn't reasonably get him. There's a reason the plan for dealing with Anathema focuses heavily on killing them when they're young. (This isn't so much because armies don't work; it's more that in terms of cost / benefit / risk it isn't worth it - especially when dealing with something like a Lunar assassin, who can easily go to ground if they find out you're hunting them. But forcing them to hide so they're no longer hunting DBs is also a victory. If they insist on trying to keep doing it while being hunted, you set a trap for them.) Basically, your best chance to avoid being ambushed and killed by Anathema is to ambush and kill them first.

          6. When it comes to spirits, Exigents, and other supernaturals, the plan is a bit different but has many of the same elements, just with more balance of carrots and sticks. The Immaculate Faith exists to beat down rival supernaturals (they fight spirits more often than Anathema.) In areas where the Realm operates normally, the local spirits are generally already at least nominally beaten down and aren't just going to try to gank a Realm general for the hell of it. If you're leading a campaign where there's seriously angry spirits trying to stop you, you send supernatural forces of your own, including defenses for key personnel.

          7. Spirits are more vulnerable to Occult and Sorcery, as a general rule. Their stealth powers normally aren't great or have limitations that can make them predictable. If you expect spirits attacking you, you lay down defenses and summon bodyguard-spirits capable of beating up whoever you're expecting.

          8. As a general rule, anti-stealth powers are stronger than stealth powers. Mechanically and balance-wise, this is because a stealth power is useful even if it frequently fails the "contested" situation - being able to sneak past everyone except the final guard outside the general's tent is an amazing power, even if that final guard has some sort of anti-stealth that requires a different approach. Whereas anti-stealth is only worthwhile when dealing with the opposed case, so it has to be able to win pretty reliably. Also, the failure state for when players use anti-stealth and don't succeed is often pretty bad (even game-ending), whereas the failure state when the players' stealth is countered is often "interesting." Anyway, this also works out from a setting perspective.

          9. When it is absolutely essential that a particular general survive, the Sidereals place their thumb on the scale to ensure it. This probably doesn't involve an actual Sidereal standing guard unless they are absolutely certain a key Anathema they need to kill is going to pop up there and no other option to kill them seems viable; but fortunately, Sidereals have lots of ways to provide protection without having to be personally present. Mysterious warnings that arrive at key times, fate-manipulation, etc. Having the best astrologers in the world on your side does help against ambushes at crucial moments, even if they're sometimes overworked and are only likely to get involved when absolutely necessary. Note that since only a small percentage of Anathema are going to be ready, willing, and able to actively attack Realm generals, it's actually reasonable for one of the few Sidereals to use a bit of their precious time to stop or at least obstruct them - especially if an Anathema tries to do it multiple times, since those are the ones the Sidereals particularly want off the board. (With Lunars, it doesn't help that the same Lunars who ambush and murder Realm generals probably also ambush and murder Sidereals.)

          10. Again, sometimes generals do die. It happens. Luckily, they're replaceable, up to a certain point. Also, the military leaders who get sent into hostile territory with relatively little support? Are particularly replaceable. And are probably there because someone in the Realm wanted to replace them, so to speak. Sometimes they survive anyway (I'm looking at you, Roseblack), but often, when a Realm general does die in the field, it's because someone in the Realm wanted them out of the way. Sometimes their death may not even have been enemy action at all.
          Last edited by Aquillion; 10-24-2018, 02:49 PM.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
            Hey I just thought of something else. You might have a Realm general who's got a little posse of shrews or aye-ayes or something like that who just kind of wander around the tent annihilating the local insect/small animal population. I don't know what happens exactly when an ant-form lunar gets snathched up and is unable to be chewed properly, but you could even train them to bring unchewable insects to them or something like that. Normally impossible but perhaps not for a survival focused exalt.
            That seems like it would be even easier for the Lunar to sneak in, as they just turn into a shrew and hide among the rest.

            So you're then going to need to release lizards to eat the shrews, then snakes to eat the lizards, then this one species of gorilla that thrives on snake meat, and once winter rolls around they simply freeze to death.


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            • #66
              Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

              That seems like it would be even easier for the Lunar to sneak in, as they just turn into a shrew and hide among the rest.

              So you're then going to need to release lizards to eat the shrews, then snakes to eat the lizards, then this one species of gorilla that thrives on snake meat, and once winter rolls around they simply freeze to death.
              sidereals.txt

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              • #67
                Aquilion's post #64 is pretty much spot-on.


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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Aquillion View Post
                  1. Night Castes are exceptionally rare, and were even more rare until recently. On top of this, many of them are going to be focused on other stuff. If they're worried about Anathema, it would usually be a Lunar.

                  2. Anathema is hunted by the Wyld Hunt. Unless the general in question is leading an army against you, spending precious time and energy seeking him out and targeting him is usually a bad idea (it also moves you to the very top of the Realm's shit list.) Generals who are leading armies obviously opposed by Anathema are going to take more precautions (ie. have multiple Exalted or supernatural guards of various sorts, bound demons or elementals, etc.)

                  3. Or they die. Sometimes, despite all their precautions, they die. Anathema wouldn't be feared the way they are if they weren't a real threat. A Realm general in hostile territory who is targeted by a Lunar they are unaware of has a very high chance of dying - that's just the reality. Don't be that guy. Know who your enemies are.

                  4. Note that there are very few Lunars who go around randomly murdering Realm generals like that. The ones who do eventually get hunted down and killed themselves, or they become known factors. Sometimes they manage to scare the Dragon-Blooded out of the area for a while, especially if it just isn't worth the time and effort and commitment from higher-ups necessary to deal with that headache. But ultimately the Realm has more resources than the Lunars do, so a Lunar who makes too much of a headache for himself to people too high up in the Realm hierarchy tends to get killed, even if they manage to take several unfortunate DBs with them first.

                  5. Note that when fighting Anathema, surprise and stealth are often preferred rather than a huge army - the Bull of the North was an exception because he'd already reached the point where a small strike team couldn't reasonably get him. There's a reason the plan for dealing with Anathema focuses heavily on killing them when they're young. (This isn't so much because armies don't work; it's more that in terms of cost / benefit / risk it isn't worth it - especially when dealing with something like a Lunar assassin, who can easily go to ground if they find out you're hunting them. But forcing them to hide so they're no longer hunting DBs is also a victory. If they insist on trying to keep doing it while being hunted, you set a trap for them.)

                  6. When it comes to spirits, Exigents, and other supernaturals, the plan is a bit different but has many of the same elements, just with more balance of carrots and sticks. The Immaculate Faith exists to beat down rival supernaturals (they fight spirits more often than Anathema.) In areas where the Realm operates normally, the local spirits are generally already at least nominally beaten down and aren't just going to try to gank a Realm general for the hell of it. If you're leading a campaign where there's seriously angry spirits trying to stop you, you send supernatural forces of your own, including defenses for key personnel.

                  7. Spirits are more vulnerable to Occult and Sorcery, as a general rule. Their stealth powers normally aren't great or have limitations that can make them predictable. If you expect spirits attacking you, you lay down defenses and summon bodyguard-spirits capable of beating up whoever you're expecting.

                  8. As a general rule, anti-stealth powers are stronger than stealth powers. Mechanically and balance-wise, this is because a stealth power is useful even if it frequently fails the "contested" situation - being able to sneak past everyone except the final guard outside the general's tent is an amazing power, even if that final guard has some sort of anti-stealth that requires a different approach. Whereas anti-stealth is only worthwhile when dealing with the opposed case, so it has to be able to win pretty reliably. Also, the failure state for when players use anti-stealth and don't succeed is often pretty bad (even game-ending), whereas the failure state when the players' stealth is countered is often "interesting." Anyway, this also works out from a setting perspective.

                  9. When it is absolutely essential that a particular general survive, the Sidereals place their thumb on the scale to ensure it. This probably doesn't involve an actual Sidereal standing guard unless they are absolutely certain a key Anathema they need to kill is going to pop up there and no other option to kill them seems viable; but fortunately, Sidereals have lots of ways to provide protection without having to be personally present. Mysterious warnings that arrive at key times, fate-manipulation, etc. Having the best astrologers in the world on your side does help against ambushes at crucial moments, even if they're sometimes overworked and are only likely to get involved when absolutely necessary. Note that since only a small percentage of Anathema are going to be ready, willing, and able to actively attack Realm generals, it's actually reasonable for one of the few Sidereals to use a bit of their precious time to stop or at least obstruct them - especially if an Anathema tries to do it multiple times, since those are the ones the Sidereals particularly want off the board. (With Lunars, it doesn't help that the same Lunars who ambush and murder Realm generals probably also ambush and murder Sidereals.)

                  10. Again, sometimes generals do die. It happens. Luckily, they're replaceable, up to a certain point. Also, the military leaders who get sent into hostile territory with relatively little support? Are particularly replaceable. And are probably there because someone in the Realm wanted to replace them, so to speak. Sometimes they survive anyway (I'm looking at you, Roseblack), but often, when a Realm general does die in the field, it's because someone in the Realm wanted them out of the way. Sometimes their death may not even have been enemy action at all.
                  I can be down for all this. Probably been focused a bit too hard on the idea that precautions against Lunars have to be comprehensive. Heck, thinking more about it, it kind of plays into the tone of the Realm; the resources to make it as hard as possible for a Lunar to approach exist, but there aren't enough to distribute them at all times, so they have to be applied selectively and intelligently. There would probably be generals who would like to guard against even the smallest possibility, but they know that they need to be more practical. There are almost certainly Lunars who would like to make the legions feel as though they can't safely bivouac without preparing every possible contingency against them*, but that's not within reach of the Silver Pact (and likely to have costs that outweigh the benefits), so they're more discerning about it.

                  I'm revising my consideration of the fact that The Realm will have information on security protocols, both in the idea that the Blessed Isle is likely to be a far more defensible point overall, and needs it a lot more because Lunars would get a lot more out of continuously launching successful raids on the places.

                  And it does bring things back to some of the importance of Dominions; if you can't get within reach of every legion, you create something that is enough of a nuisance that the legions have to come to you (counterbalanced by the fact that you'll then need to contend with legions equipped with the best possible defensive measures against an infiltrating Lunar, so it all becomes a rich dance).

                  * By which I mean Lunars who would either like to be able to kill every legion's officers that don't, like them to be weakened individually by trying to distribute what they have evenly, or like them to fight each other over who gets the vest.


                  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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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                    That seems like it would be even easier for the Lunar to sneak in, as they just turn into a shrew and hide among the rest.

                    So you're then going to need to release lizards to eat the shrews, then snakes to eat the lizards, then this one species of gorilla that thrives on snake meat, and once winter rolls around they simply freeze to death.
                    Oh, yeah, I thought of that. See, you make sure that under no circumstances to the hedgehogs think it's okay to enter the tent/mobile quarters. Spotting an ant wiggling up through the floorboards or creeping in around the corner of the door is both hard to do and not immediately suspicious behaviour for an ant. On the other hand a hedgehog scurrying in the door is hard to miss and totally out of character for your well trained pest control team.

                    Unless the hedgehog was REALLY fast, but I don't think any hedgehog has ever gone that fast before.

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                    • #70
                      "It's a rare blue species from the north. Tricky buggers. Can totally wreck mechanical stuff if you're not careful."

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                        "It's a rare blue species from the north. Tricky buggers. Can totally wreck mechanical stuff if you're not careful."
                        "I understand that, but why do they keep telling me that 'I'm too slow' and stealing chili sausages and buns from mess?"

                        (Shrugs, looks off into distance)

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