Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Exalted and the origins of power

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

    I'm all for this, and am suddenly thinking about amusing ways in which Luna's standards for what counts as being somebody in a disadvantaged position might differ significantly from the Unconquered Sun's.

    Like an heir apparent to a monarch who chafes terribly under all of the social conventions and constraints and standards of etiquette that polite society imposes upon them, culminating in a moment of disastrous personal rebellion that could destroy them (which Luna finds compelling in a manner that she responds to with the Second Breath)… but still possessed and wielded significant power, and bought into any ideology saying that they were entitled to it, and so becomes a bit of a holy terror once they're a mighty shapeshifting demigod.

    Perhaps not often, because I have a picture of Luna being strongly pre-disposed to underdogs, but maybe the kind of thing getting into an idea that Luna is a lot less concerned with righteousness than the Sun is.
    It's also a bit odd, perhaps even funny in a way, that when a Lunar finds power in the Second Breath and presumably gets to tear away what was seeking to bind them, they end up chained to the collective emotional wounds of the Lunar Exalted and hunted by the Dragon-Blooded and Sidereals. Out of the frying pan and into the fire, there's no end to what seeks to chain the Lunars - even their present identity as Lunars and what that means.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

      I'm all for this, and am suddenly thinking about amusing ways in which Luna's standards for what counts as being somebody in a disadvantaged position might differ significantly from the Unconquered Sun's.

      Like an heir apparent to a monarch who chafes terribly under all of the social conventions and constraints and standards of etiquette that polite society imposes upon them, culminating in a moment of disastrous personal rebellion that could destroy them (which Luna finds compelling in a manner that she responds to with the Second Breath)… but still possessed and wielded significant power, and bought into any ideology saying that they were entitled to it, and so becomes a bit of a holy terror once they're a mighty shapeshifting demigod.

      Perhaps not often, because I have a picture of Luna being strongly pre-disposed to underdogs, but maybe the kind of thing getting into an idea that Luna is a lot less concerned with righteousness than the Sun is.

      Not a bad idea - but why not go whole hog? A newly crowned king, who chafes under the traditions and courtly bullshit that ties his hands - and then exalts... and becomes a beast-king who just mauls the shit out of unruly nobles or snobbish courtiers


      Malfeas F'Tagn - go check out my epic MLP/Exalted crossover "The Scroll of Exalted ponies" @ Fimfiction

      Comment


      • #18
        Admiral Sand seems fairly close to an example of a person who built to a crescendo of power and skill during his life and then Exalted in a rage at injustice.

        In terms of the OP, though I think it's an interesting line of ideas, I'd be hard pressed to try and grasp at a real quality underlying Solar Exaltation from inference of the kind of NPCs that a range of writers have expressed preference for though.

        Especially when the reality is that the NPCs are largely formed to spec to demonstrate possible PCs under character creation rules that are quite restrictive to starting Solar PCs temporal power (limited background points). You're at the risk of giving something a kind of depth of moral implication around ideas of pre-existing power and privilege that was really just born from writers putting together things that fit in Solar chargen rules.

        I'm somewhat comfortable with the idea that there can be a Solar who is Exalted as Alexander when he wept that there are no more worlds to conquer (or however the quote actually goes!). (And if the chargen rules don't really support that, I'm not inclined to infer something about the compatibility of Solar Exaltation with a pre-existing trajectory of success from that, so much.)

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post
          In terms of the OP, though I think it's an interesting line of ideas, I'd be hard pressed to try and grasp at a real quality underlying Solar Exaltation from inference of the kind of NPCs that a range of writers have expressed preference for though.
          You're right of course. A better approach is for me to see it as a pattern that I can extend from and find inspirational in my own right, and express to others in a manner that would at least be interesting.

          At least from the side of the Celestial Exalted. I definitely think there's something substantial to the idea that the reliability and predictability of Terrestrial Exaltation allows them to be conditioned to lives of privilege.

          Originally posted by Ghosthead
          Especially when the reality is that the NPCs are largely formed to spec to demonstrate possible PCs under character creation rules that are quite restrictive to starting Solar PCs temporal power (limited background points).
          I don't know... how many Background dots did you ever need, and how much of a strain were they on your character creation assets and bonus points?

          Originally posted by Ghosthead
          I'm somewhat comfortable with the idea that there can be a Solar who is Exalted as Alexander when he wept that there are no more worlds to conquer (or however the quote actually goes!).
          Hmm, that does raise the question at what the nature of one's obstacle is; Alexander can ask Medo how quickly he'll find the boundaries of his world when they're defined by the presence of the existing Exalted.

          Adversity is a relative thing, after all; the model in which I'm seeing things is one in which Perfect Soul would not have Exalted if House Mnemon had not come in to render all of her native power worthless to something of value to her.

          Although, following that line too far might invalidate this model a bit as something that can fulfil my true goal...

          Originally posted by Ghosthead
          (And if the chargen rules don't really support that, I'm not inclined to infer something about the compatibility of Solar Exaltation with a pre-existing trajectory of success from that, so much.)
          Under the current rules? With ten starting Merit dots, and up to 15 in bonus points, I'd say representing somebody at the zenith of mortal temporal power would take up... maybe three Merits at four or five dots a piece.


          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)

          Comment


          • #20
            You wouldn't even need to necessarily spend all those points to have that in your backstory - you could make Solar Siddhārtha, for instance, who turned their back on their old life of power and in doing so attained enlightenment, exalting as a Twilight or Zenith. (Probably you'd want to take some Allies to represent connections that could be used to access your old wealth and power, but you wouldn't necessarily need to have it still be yours in the sense that you can actually reliably access it without depending on the good graces of parents, siblings, relatives and so on who hold it now.)

            Or someone like Watchmen's Ozymandias, giving up your inherited power and position to seek your own fortune.

            I think that metaphysically it is slightly harder to attract the eye of Luna or the Unconquered Sun when you're born into a position of comfort and power. They want to see people who are enduring in the face of adversity and surpassing their limits. It is absolutely possible for someone wealthy and privileged and powerful to meet these considerations, but as it's said, from those to whom much has been given, much will be expected. Feats that impress the Unconquered Sun coming from the lowly Havesh are not going to impress him as much coming from someone who has had access to the greatest of trainers and teachers their entire life, especially since both the UCS and Luna are looking for character more than your current innate capabilities. Exaltation is going to give you the raw power no matter what - what they care about is someone who will use it in ways that impress them.

            Also, it is possible that the Unconquered Sun and Luna have a degree of sympathy for those who are downtrodden and powerless and yet still manage to thrive, simply in terms of their personality and outlook.

            And, of course, Solar and Lunar Exaltations tend to go to those who need them. You have to have a degree of hunger - whether for power, for knowledge, for justice, or something more physical or more abstract - to qualify. People who are fat and happy and satisfied with their lives need not apply. The Exalted are meant to be people who will actually use that power to do great things. While it's certainly possible to already be wealthy and powerful and meet this criteria, often privilege and power will lead people towards a more cautious or conservative outlook, one that makes them a poor fit for Celestial Exaltation.

            Important aside, though. This doesn't apply to all Celestial Exalted. I'm reasonably certain there are several Sidereals who came from powerful backgrounds - and we definitely know many Getimians did. Granted, in their cases Exalting means losing all that. But the Maidens are looking at potential Exalted through a somewhat different lens, and I would say they are probably less emotional in their judgments than the UCS or Luna. (Of course, once you start asking about how Sidereals are "chosen" you get into weird predestination paradoxes where the Maidens will and have already chosen all the Sidereals they were always going to choose. But presumably this follows causality in the sense that the candidates the Maidens will inevitably choose are the ones that they would and will naturally choose at the time.)

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Aquillion View Post
              Important aside, though. This doesn't apply to all Celestial Exalted.
              Yeah, I've kind of alternated between specifying Solar and Lunar and just saying Celestial, out of laziness.

              I can't recall, has it been said that the original patron of the Getimian Exalted was a Celestial Incarna? Or was that one of the three optional ones?

              Originally posted by Aquillion
              Granted, in their cases Exalting means losing all that. But the Maidens are looking at potential Exalted through a somewhat different lens, and I would say they are probably less emotional in their judgments than the UCS or Luna.
              In the case of the Sidereals, since they're not exactly intended to follow personal aspirations, I'd say that any case in which one comes from a privileged background will still specifically select against something that would produce people accustomed to tyranny and personal indulgence.

              Strictly speaking, I imagine that such a person would find themselves disadvantaged in the hierarchy of the Bureau of Destiny, but I can't think of an advantage to including them, and the Maidens of all deities can be fairly discerning.

              Originally posted by Aquillion
              (Of course, once you start asking about how Sidereals are "chosen" you get into weird predestination paradoxes where the Maidens will and have already chosen all the Sidereals they were always going to choose. But presumably this follows causality in the sense that the candidates the Maidens will inevitably choose are the ones that they would and will naturally choose at the time.)
              Not necessarily, if one goes with an idea that the future is a flexible thing based on evolving circumstances in the present. Still, it would be consistent with the characterisation of the Maidens to have them not clarify one way or the other.


              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)

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                I can't recall, has it been said that the original patron of the Getimian Exalted was a Celestial Incarna? Or was that one of the three optional ones?
                The Hearteaters and one of the other two optionals were created by Celestial Incarnae. The Getimians and the third optional weren't.


                Scion 2E: What We Know - A wiki compiling info on second edition Scion.

                Comment


                • #23
                  my own head cannon sure, an exaltation joins with a mortal in that moment they are willing to sacrifice everything for their goal, nothing else matters. that singular need draws an exaltation in just as clearly and precisely as a magnet draws in iron shavings. granted an exaltation has to be available nearby

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Dezeroth View Post
                    that singular need draws an exaltation in just as clearly and precisely as a magnet draws in iron shavings.
                    Soooo in a radiating circular pattern that connects at the poles and spreads outwards?


                    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)

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                      Soooo in a radiating circular pattern that connects at the poles and spreads outwards?
                      sounds a lot like how getting to totemic looks

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Deep in Chronicle prep right now, and this one caught my attention. (Good analysis, btw, Isator)

                        My own line of thinking is more that a Solar tends to align with some sort of principle, goal, or positive statement that writes that intent upon the world. That might be to conquer some place, master some skill, bring some sort of enlightenment, or to demand some sort of attention and adulation. But it's very much a positive, energetic principle, in the sense that it's like a cue ball
                        blasting across the felt - No matter what else, even if it doesn't work out how you expect, things are going to move when it hits.

                        Lunars, to me, are not the opposite of that, but a compliment. Not that they want the cue ball to stop, but that they want to shape the collision that needs to happen, or protect something that doesn't need to be hit. Or to hit something that has it coming. Maybe an antithesis role, and the very wise among the Chosen might recognize that you have to have both.

                        Sidereals feel like an organizing principle that stands aside from the thesis and antithesis of Solars and Lunars and making sure that things work. Whether they tend to the physics of pool tables or check that the table is level depends how far you'd want to strain the metaphor.

                        But what happens when the principles are twisted? Instead of an energetic but understandable collision that moves the world, you have chaos and destruction, obsession, madness, and so on, that move the world in terrible ways. Solaroids play pool with a shotgun.

                        The Dragon-blooded are the ones who get the greatest leeway to decide what they'll be and how they'll be it.



                        Check out Momentum Exalted!

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          I'm kind of wary of the need to differentiate the Exalted by really broad and abstract principles, because they often seem to go the way of extreme stereotypes, and never seem to find a comfortable fit with the variety of things that Solars can do. I find that to be the path leading to people being really insistent that Solar Stealth consists of shouting "ignore me" with the force of mind control, because "Solars are bad at subtlety".

                          Especially in this Edition, where the function of all of their powers is a bit more complicated, and there's a certain eye towards not pigeon-holing their potential accomplishments.

                          Really, I'm not even talking about something inherent or intrinsic, more of an emergent property from certain patterns (especially the idea that it's possible to privilege the people who become Dragon Blooded by virtue of their predictability, agendas that might find value in systemizing them from birth, and the common tendency for people to make their personal successes a legacy thing), and a counter point to a tendency to assume that people that are already the very best are the ones who become Exalted.

                          It also serves my long-standing agenda of finding an alternative argument against somebody who once opted to validate the way that Masters of Jade depicted Brem Marst's successes by saying that they would have "earned him his Eclipse Caste Exaltation (if one had been available)". Th-tha-that there, that's my one-armed man! I'm not driven by avenging my dead family, that was fake!!!


                          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)

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Yeah, that's fair.

                            I'm not trying to silo anybody, to clarify. It's more correct to say I'm sorting out my default base assumption what a particular theme to probably associate with what particular character.

                            I'm not making any claims about how the spiritual works of Creation and Yu-Shan deliver Exaltations to mortals.


                            Check out Momentum Exalted!

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              I don't know if it's something that I already said in this thread, but to provide or reiterate it, another element of my interest is to validate the notion that the downfalls of the Second Age owed a lot to the transfer of power to the Dragon Blooded, in a better way than making it just about their lesser power or implications that there's something inherently wrong with or inferior about them. A focus on the idea that putting a lot of the authorities and responsibilities on them creates an environment for a lot of hereditary power and privilege seems like a rather effective place for that (and one particularly resonant with contemporary issues).

                              Hmm, for a long time, I've had a notion of purity of bloodlines having been less of a concern in the First Age, and right now I've got something of a notion of the old Realm having institutions dedicated to tracking the lineage of the Dragon Blood, even across hundreds of generations and millions of people, so that those who might be Exalted would be readily identified.

                              After all, in the Time of Tumult, the distribution of extremely weak bloodlines is still enough to result in several thousand Exalted. In a much larger population, with a wider distribution of Dragon Blooded, how many might spring up? I propose enough to let a lot of them not be overly concerned with having the very strongest bloodlines. Enough that there don't need to be many organized as dynasties, and those who do are looked on a bit askance (mostly in the sense of being very stuffy and old-fashioned, only occasionally with a concern that they might be up to something). Just for an idea of something largely self-contained to the Terrestrial Exalted that might have meant that, throughout much of the First Age, they weren't as much jerks as the likes of the Scarlet Dynasty or infighting Shogunate houses.

                              Although I'm still not quite sure to make of the Shogunate; Lookshy is a bit of an example, while still remaining its stance of being less concerned with the strength of bloodlines than the Scarlet Dynasty is. I try to think if I can logically reconcile the idea that there were still enough Dragon Blooded then to be less concerned with bloodline strength, with the idea of them being organized into discrete families...

                              Perhaps a transitional thing: in the Shogunate, the need to hold more power and be prepared to fight each other leads to more widespread family organisation, and thus raising children with a privileged status and teaching in preparation for Exaltation, even with a frequent concern for maximizing progenitive Essence before conception, but less severity in matchmaking to cultivate strong bloodlines (assuming much crossover between different gentes at all), less stigma for children born without the highest level of Essence in conception, and a good deal more recruitment and adoption from among the masses. It's only after the Great Contagion, when a lot of the prior numbers and old ways are killed off, that the land of the Scarlet Empress transitions to a total aristocracy in which there are strong incentives to maximize the strength of bloodlines, creating a very high concentration of Exalted, but also one that is insular and elevated (propped up by the Immaculate innovation that the height of Dragon Blooded in the Perfected Hierarchy gives them a superiority that entitles them to rule). The Scarlet Dynasty made the Realm highly powerful, but also internally fragile, and embroiled in a lot of unsustainable practices.


                              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)

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                I did catch where you said that!

                                I don't get the impression that DB's are inferior in their ability to manage empires or hold ground in Creation, in this edition.

                                Purely within my own writing, I'm casting them as actually being somewhat better at it, in fact. If anything, they'll be more Creation-focused and tending to stability, while the Celestials have the ability to adventure in (and take the fight to) hells and wylds outside Creation, and to shake things up within Creation.

                                In that context, I wouldn't automatically say that any grouping of castes or types would have been able to hold the First Age without the others. It's an interesting question, and I think my answer would probably be something to the effect that the First Age simply couldn't be held.


                                I'm curious though: What would you do with answers to the fall of the First Age, or about changing dynamics of pure lineage and population? I could imagine a few interesting story reveals, if you had a game with some emphasis on history, or political intrigue surrounding an inheritance or something.


                                Check out Momentum Exalted!

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X