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What Makes a Good Exalted Novel?

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  • DrLoveMonkey
    started a topic What Makes a Good Exalted Novel?

    What Makes a Good Exalted Novel?

    With the first of the Solar novels coming out this week I kind of wanted to know what the community thought made a good exalted novel. Mostly two things, how much should it bend the rules, and how accessible should it be?

    For the first, for example, should people really familiar with the game try to stick to known charm effects, and in game rules? Or even, as one friend of mine who wrote for Black Library did, actually roll out encounters to see how they should go? The opposite extreme being totally abandoning some of the setting conceits or possible limitations where it suits a good story? I don’t mind doing a bit of the later even in my games but I’m not sure how far I’d like it to go in a novel, more or less.

    For the second point, do you think t would be better to write the novel as a kind of gateway to exalted, where some stuff is subtly explained to people who don’t know the setting very well? Or just make something that uses some parts of the setting but doesn’t really go into explainations past what’s really required, and let imagination fill in the gaps? Or even just totally abandon the idea that anyone is going out of their way to read an exalted novel who isn’t already a fan and just write as though they know most of the setting?

  • Simon Darkstep
    replied
    Originally posted by hippokrene View Post
    One of the first things I had to discard when I wrote an Exalted novel was charm cascades. While the way they're set up may make mechanical sense, when it comes to narrative, I tend to skip charms or smooch a bunch of them together.
    That's basically what happens with my NPCs too!

    Leave a comment:


  • hippokrene
    replied
    One of the first things I had to discard when I wrote an Exalted novel was charm cascades. While the way they're set up may make mechanical sense, when it comes to narrative, I tend to skip charms or smooch a bunch of them together.

    Leave a comment:


  • Simon Darkstep
    replied
    Aha.... yes, that would be a bad game setting novel. Thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • hippokrene
    replied
    *takes notes*

    Leave a comment:


  • DrLoveMonkey
    replied
    Originally posted by Lioness View Post
    Basically if RotSE had a novel series on a par with End Times it'd largely consist of the Scarlet Empress' forces steamrolling everything at a rate that doesn't allow for any satisfactory pacing and canon characters who'd been absent for an edition or more showing up to remind people they existed then getting killed off for non-existent shock value. It's like someone listened to The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny and took it 100% seriously.
    Yeah, the writers were told that everything must die, and so they went around making that happen. Dwarf holds were totally overrun by skaven in a matter of days, and then were purged of the skaven blight by Ungrim Ironfist dying and turning into a giant dwarf head made of fire, then Giles le Breton shows back up I think and teams up with Louen Leoncoeur to fight Archeon, they lose but then Grimgor Ironhide waddles in out of nowhere and punches Archeon in the face, dropping him instantly, and then he waddles off again.

    I thought it was kind of fun, but not because it was good, just because it was a 100% canon, and absolutely absurd end to the world. The less fun part was the realization that all that interesting lore and connected world would never be touched on again.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lioness
    replied
    Originally posted by Simon Darkstep View Post
    Thanks for clarifying!

    I hate to tempt a derail, but now I'm curious how mean spirited you have to be to sour a setting like Warhammer.

    I did (obviously) like RotSE and how it was structured as a bunch of plot ideas. I thought it mainly suffered by being spread very thin to try to simultaneously cover every splat. Maybe splitting it up into something the size and focus of the Caste books? Dunno!
    Basically if RotSE had a novel series on a par with End Times it'd largely consist of the Scarlet Empress' forces steamrolling everything at a rate that doesn't allow for any satisfactory pacing and canon characters who'd been absent for an edition or more showing up to remind people they existed then getting killed off for non-existent shock value. It's like someone listened to The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny and took it 100% seriously.

    Leave a comment:


  • Simon Darkstep
    replied
    Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
    Ok. Well... since this probably is on-topic...

    How does one.... get to the excited, blood-rushing part of Exalted? How does one maintain interest in the protagonist? Because I'm trying to write a fanfiction crossover involving Exalted. But it just. falls. flat.

    Where does it fall flat? If it's a crossover, are your Exalts the ones going out-of-setting?


    A guess here, but maybe revisit the mighty passions and personality flaws (intimacies and limit) of the Exalted, and not only the Charms?

    Leave a comment:


  • Simon Darkstep
    replied
    Originally posted by Lioness View Post
    It's bad.
    End Times was a shitty mean-spirited ending to Warhammer Fantasy Battle that made me at least appreciate that we weren't locked into the events of Return of the Scarlet Empress and that it wasn't the last book in the line, as it was intended to be.
    Thanks for clarifying!

    I hate to tempt a derail, but now I'm curious how mean spirited you have to be to sour a setting like Warhammer.

    I did (obviously) like RotSE and how it was structured as a bunch of plot ideas. I thought it mainly suffered by being spread very thin to try to simultaneously cover every splat. Maybe splitting it up into something the size and focus of the Caste books? Dunno!

    Leave a comment:


  • DrLoveMonkey
    replied
    Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
    Ok. Well... since this probably is on-topic...

    How does one.... get to the excited, blood-rushing part of Exalted? How does one maintain interest in the protagonist? Because I'm trying to write a fanfiction crossover involving Exalted. But it just. falls. flat.
    Hmm I’m not 100% sure what you’re trying to say here. Are you talking about the exalted action? And what makes you feel like your readers will be losing interest in your protagonist?

    One thing I can see being bad in a crossover is that crossovers in general kind of just exist for novelty more than telling a good story. Like hey what if the X-men teamed up with Captain Kirk?

    Leave a comment:


  • Lioness
    replied
    Originally posted by Simon Darkstep View Post
    I'm a long time out of Warhammer. Is that Oh-God good or Oh-God bad?
    It's bad.
    End Times was a shitty mean-spirited ending to Warhammer Fantasy Battle that made me at least appreciate that we weren't locked into the events of Return of the Scarlet Empress and that it wasn't the last book in the line, as it was intended to be.
    Last edited by Lioness; 11-21-2018, 02:19 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Accelerator
    replied
    Ok. Well... since this probably is on-topic...

    How does one.... get to the excited, blood-rushing part of Exalted? How does one maintain interest in the protagonist? Because I'm trying to write a fanfiction crossover involving Exalted. But it just. falls. flat.

    Leave a comment:


  • Simon Darkstep
    replied
    I'm a long time out of Warhammer. Is that Oh-God good or Oh-God bad?

    Leave a comment:


  • Lioness
    replied
    Originally posted by Simon Darkstep View Post
    This isn't a bad thing, but using novels plus supplements to describe a few possible major storylines might be really nice. Imagine if RotSE was accompanied by the Second Edition novel series.
    ...Oh god.



    Leave a comment:


  • Simon Darkstep
    replied
    I used to read every BattleTech novel that came out, back in the day. Shadowrun too. It's been years since I cracked any of them open, but I still have fond memories of the good ones. So here we go!

    A good game-line novel will treat every playable faction with a little protagonist respect. For BattleTech, that meant having protagonist perspective from each of the five factions, plus mercs and so on. Not every novel needs every faction, but no faction was the antagonist faction full of faceless minions. So, for Exalted, I'd like to see a sympathetic treatment of each of the various splats - not that they're all necessarily nice, but that you could relate to them.

    (As I write this, I'm imagining what would turn out if I borrowed the Draconis Combine's Ghost Regiments, and had a young Dynast warlord recruit the Realm Yakuza into a Ghost Legion.... )

    Pushing the boundaries of what's possible in the game rules is good too. Especially if it foreshadows additions to those game rules. BattleTech had some great examples of this. The Star League data core foreshadowed the recovered LosTech - and also set up some ethical choices for how those new goodies would be distributed. The first encounter with the Clans had a lot of mystery about the strange 'Mechs, and led right up to the new Technical Readouts that came hand in hand with those novels.

    Coupling the new ideas in the novels with new supplements is a good idea too. Especially if it can give the overall setting a sense of changing and developing over time. Exalted, as a setting, seems to be fairly static, in that it presents a single default starting point, which doesn't really change as new players join the game. This isn't a bad thing, but using novels plus supplements to describe a few possible major storylines might be really nice. Imagine if RotSE was accompanied by the Second Edition novel series.

    Leave a comment:

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