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Secrets of the Sidereal charm set

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  • Secrets of the Sidereal charm set

    So I was just listening to the most recent Onyx Pathcast and they were talking about when Jenna Moran wrote the original Sidereal charms she set it up so that once you understood the patterns of the rules there were ways to exploit it. I was wondering if anyone knows more about this and could explain it?

  • #2
    I remember an example - Embracing Life Method was ostensibly for finding information, but it has the side-effect of making a mulberry tree. So, if you needed a mature tree to grow in five days for some reason, you'd just plant a silly question, and bam - tree! Obviously, the tree was written as a mystical method of gathering the spirits needed for the oracle action, and a reason to provide a wait time. But you can exploit that to get a tree, if a tree is what you need!


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    • #3
      In general, the classic Sidereal set demands lateral thinking, what with charms to convince someone you are lying and all. Or the quasi-Google spider spirit charm which can only retrieve public information.

      Which means you can tell when a given piece of knowledge is definitively secret. Which is handy when one of the divisions of Fate is Secrets...

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      • #4
        Name Pilfering Exercise - At first this charm seems somewhat weird. But, the more I think about it, the more uses I can find for it.

        Want to disrupt a nation's war? Take the general's name. Who are the messages going to? Who sent you this order, soldier? With some timing, this can become even subtle.

        Want to send someone on a quest? Take a heroes name, let him despair a little, and then come to him as a wise but odd seer. The seer says that alas, for this past deeds the hero is cursed by the heavens and the only way to get the name back is to do this quest.

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        • #5
          The nature of the Creation, of Destiny and Fate, of the circumstances of its genesis, of the nature of the Maidens, of the Loom, is such that Creation is, depending on how you look at it, an enormous and ongoing narrative, a story. The Sidereal Exalted have the ability to make notes and even to pick up a pen on occasion. All of the Charms are structured around this point of view of Creation.

          The Sidereal Charmset is written such that once you understand the patterns of this narrative and how the Sidereals are bound to it, you can "exploit" the Charms to make lateral leaps and advance your own version of the narrative. Sidereal Exalted don't solve problems. Sidereal Exalted tell stories. Their Charmset allows them to tell stories they find congenial to themselves and their duties.

          You're going to get a lot more mileage out of the Charmset if you approach it that way. Don't think "How can I use this Charm to destroy, subvert, or avoid this obstacle?" That's Solar thinking. Think "What sort of story can I tell such that this obstacle simply isn't relevant to my life anymore, and how can my Charmset facilitate that?"

          Your future-looking Charms let you read ahead. Your "mind control" Charms let you give notes or re-write, which is why some of them are super cheap for the effects they provide. One of the root Charms of Larceny in 2e was "Avoiding the Truth Technique." It's an Essence 1 Charm that for three motes and a roll that isn't particularly hard, even against many other Exalts, lets you force them to disbelieve you. You literally can seize control of their sense of reality! For three motes! Astounding!

          But only actually useful if you want to tell a story with it. The example story that the 2e book tells is "Peleps Deled arrives with the Wyld Hunt in a remote region of the Threshold, and questions the populace about reported Anathema activity in the area. He comes away from his interrogations convinced that the populace are harebrained country idiots who see Anathema everywhere, and there's nothing to be done here. He leaves with his shikari." That's a very boring and short story, but it's also a story that maybe a lot of different people would find astoundingly congenial.

          Avoiding the Truth Technique isn't a mind control Charm. It's a tool for writing stories on the tapestry of Creation with. Once you understand that pattern to the rules undergirding it, you can "exploit" it.

          Another Larceny Charm: Thought-Swiping Distraction. Mind-reading! Mind-reading is generally cool, right? You can gather information with it and use that.

          But look closer at it. Look at the name. Thought-Swiping Distraction. One of its explicit mechanical effects is that you can force people to lose their train of thought. The people of Creation engage in many activities in which maintaining clear, focus, undistracted thought, holding said thoughts and feelings strongly in line for long periods of time, is vitally important. What sort of stories can you tell using a tool that lets you make someones mind go blank at the critical juncture? Lots of them, probably! That's arguably a much better tool than being able to very briefly get at their surface thoughts!

          That's the pattern. Look for it. Find it. Once you see it, you've made your first step into REALLY playing a Sidereal.
          Last edited by Murcushio; 12-06-2018, 06:09 AM.


          "SEX NOVA is the kind of person who, after being chosen as the divine champion of the god of heroes, decided to call himself SEX NOVA."

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