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Circle of Protection Discussion Thread

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  • Circle of Protection Discussion Thread

    Well, we have a general thread about expectations for an Exalted novel, but it seems it's time to have a thread for actual discussion of our new non-hypothetical Exalted novel, doesn't it?

    I've read the first eight chapters so far. I'm not going to request that this thread avoid spoilers entirely, but I'm going to be circumspect at least in this first post, and I recommend use of the spoiler tags if anyone would like to get more specific. It's best to be courteous, especially given how very new the book is at this writing.

    If you recall Forbeck's story back in the Tales From The Age of Sorrow short story collection, it was effectively a preview of this book (from a different viewpoint), but a lot of specific details have been changed (and, in my opinion, improved).

    For those who may be wary after Tales, I'll say that there are still aspects of the presentation that don't quite mesh with my personal interpretations of the setting, but it's not a jarring sense of this is wrong like I experienced from a few of the short stories, just a quieter this isn't what I'm used to. It's more like... gaming with a different group than you're used to, and just having to adjust to a new set of headcanons. And it's an engaging enough read (so far!) that I don't mind that little extra bit of cognitive effort.

    All-in-all, I'm quite optimistic. It feels like a better book than I ever expected, and it's also succeeded as a piece of tie-in literature: it's raised my level of excitement for Ex3's take on Sidereals, whenever that book may find its way to us.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Ascension View Post
    All-in-all, I'm quite optimistic. It feels like a better book than I ever expected
    I've only started but so far, I've been pleasantly surprised. I wasn't really expecting much going in (especially not after the Fiction Anthology) but I'm finding myself pretty caught up.

    Especially with Palym, she endeared herself to me from the first page.


    Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

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    • #3
      So far I've only read the title. I'm going to need to work hard to not think of it in the context of MtG.


      ....

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      • #4
        Ah, thank you for making the thread. I was going to do it last night but I seem to have drifted off from the computer and went to bed before I hit enter.

        Like BrilliantRain I've only read the title so far but will get at it today I hope.

        Also, it was the Novia book where people were going to get character names mentioned in the book, right? I suppose that's been moved to the other one that will be coming out soon-ish?


        “The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done.” George Carlin

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        • #5
          Gotta say, as someone who hasn't backed Ex3 Core, I'm kinda jealous? The title is a bit... weird, but everything I've heard about the actual book has me really excited to check it out. Looking forward to it going public on DriveThru!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ascension View Post
            All-in-all, I'm quite optimistic. It feels like a better book than I ever expected, and it's also succeeded as a piece of tie-in literature: it's raised my level of excitement for Ex3's take on Sidereals, whenever that book may find its way to us.
            As the second name on the book’s cover, I’m glad to hear this!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Ascension View Post
              For those who may be wary after Tales,
              I haven't actually read Tales but was considering picking it up, what is there to be wary of?

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              • #8
                I'm a bit under a hundred pages in (slow work day) and enjoying it greatly but I absolutely can't get over how the expectation was this week would be the first Solar novel then plot twist: Sidereals! As my favorite Exalt type this isn't a complaint, but was definitely a surprise

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Therian View Post
                  I haven't actually read Tales but was considering picking it up, what is there to be wary of?
                  A few of the stories are (or were when they were initially released to backers) egregiously incongruent with the established setting. Notably, in one a Dragon-Blood Exalts Solar on top of her existing Exaltation, and another portrays a First Age sorcerous academy in very D&D-esque terms.

                  I will say, some edits were made to try to address those issues after the initial release of Tales; for instance, the First Age story was moved to the back of a book, and an "Archivist's Note" was added to explain that it's a legend that's been distorted by time. I'm not sure if they removed the double-Exaltation or not.

                  The following is a spoiler for Circle of Protection, but one of the elements I found surprising in Tales, given what we've seen from Ex3 so far, does persist into the novel...
                  Both the story in Tales that previewed it, and the novel itself, portray at least one black market Exigent as a colossal, inhuman body-horror monstrosity, which is not something I expected... but since the Exigents book isn't out, that might not actually be inaccurate! It's within reach of what you might have expected from a particularly severe Lunar Chimera in 2E, so under certain circumstances Exigents might be able to achieve that sort of transformation.

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                  • #10
                    I don't think it's necessarily something that should always be the case, but as a specific, individual thing... Sure, why not? They are variable, after all.


                    "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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                    • #11
                      So I was up until 2AM this morning reading this because once I got to the climax, I wanted to find out what happened next.

                      Overall, this book is just brilliant, and if I wanted to introduce someone to the concept of Sidereal story play, I'd just hand them this book and tell them to read it. It spreads out basically most of the concepts (from their job to the weird causal way their powers work). And the exposition is fairly elegant and not too clunky (by my lights), so it's great for new readers who have no idea what they're talking about.

                      The banter is very good, which kept me more invested than than previous Exalted long fiction, and overall, the best thing I can say is that I may have these characters cameo in my own game if there was a case where I could. I really like the group presented.

                      Also, the finale was pitch perfect for me, since I kept thinking "oh no, is this where the SRS BZNSS is going to move in to break poor Palym?" and then it subverts it to go to a satisfying conclusion that's right in my preferred scale of grittiness for the setting. Bravo on that. I guessed some of the twists ahead of time, but as Mercury might point out, it's about the journey, not the destination. Also, sneaking the sutras in there in non-obvious ways was a cute touch.

                      In spoiler areas....

                      I think the Exigent seen early on is so horribly mutated BECAUSE it's a Black Flag "Dirty Bomb" Exigent. There's talk later by the cosnpirators of the earlier ones being tests of how to make one capable of killing gods for their plan, and Xiao near the end is able to forcibly return her body to a more humanoid shape once she has better control over her powers.

                      I really like how the Usurpation and factions are handled. Zannen is Bronze, but Bronze and Gold are more historical terms that others take meaning from than established factions, and the Usurpation itself is literally rumor since there aren't many Sids old enough around to have participated, and those that are aren't telling.

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                      • #12
                        I give this book a big thumbs up. The tone, the characters, the banter, and just pretty much everything about it is so close to how our games are and presented by my ST's that it made it even more enjoyable for me I think because it was relatable. I could easily imagine one of our characters being in the background doing our own things, that's how well this could fit into our own campaigns.

                        I would recommend this book, and I am seriously looking forward to the next novel, the DB novellas, and hopefully even more novels.


                        “The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done.” George Carlin

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                        • #13
                          Also if Palym's name is a Palimpsest pun, get out of my head. Because seriously, that's a great way to describe a new POV Celestial Exalted and I'd been waiting on a chance to use it myself as a GM. The Exalted equivalent of 'call me Ishmael' I guess.

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                          • #14
                            Dumb question, at what backer level was the book offered? I pledged at the 55 USD level and didn't get a copy. Or was it one of the optional add-ons?

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                            • #15
                              Check your spam folder, you should've gotten an email notification.

                              https://www.kickstarter.com/projects.../posts/2339191


                              “The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done.” George Carlin

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