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Which "Virtue" triggers "Limit Break" when it comes to sexual assault? (Heavy Issue)

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Blackwell View Post
    deleted (+10)
    I see you've deleted this after I wrote my response, so I don't know if you mind me responding (I can delete this if you want) but I was going to say that it sounds like a Conviction limit break.

    For example, once our PCs blew up an Autocthonian train bringing soldiers to invade Harborhead. But we're not monsters, so we tried to drag out the wounded for medical treatment. But the Twilight had a Conviction limit-break and just walked down the train burning the wounded soldiers to death with his Plasma Tongue Repeater so they'd never return to threaten us again.
    Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 12-17-2018, 09:57 AM.


    My characters:
    Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
    Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
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    • #17
      As the limit break is a track, and it isn't happening until it has accumulated those ten points, I describe it as a feeling they can't shake off but building up as a pressure cooker. All those previous time, when it just added to the feeling, but not reacting to it could have been milder or worse than the one they do react on.

      Anything connected to a Virtue, and a belief, clashing with sexual assault; and the limit break being a murderous rage would do. Still, the limit break tend to ebb out a bit faster than in those movies.

      In my opinion, a defining intimacy of Ex3 would mean the character wouldn't require said buildup. Having a few other intimacies aligned with using violence, and the skill-set and powers of most Exalts, and the character wouldn't just sit there and wish they would go after the perpetrators.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
        I see you've deleted this after I wrote my response, so I don't know if you mind me responding (I can delete this if you want) but I was going to say that it sounds like a Conviction limit break.
        No worries, I deleted it because I was responding to _you_ but given the timestamps I figured I might have been responding to your response to someone else and didn't want to muddy things. So... fail?

        At any rate, my only real point here is that context, genre, and idiom are important considerations. Going all the way back to the source material, the part of the Rage of Achilles that makes it "Limit Break" isn't when he's killing hundreds of Trojans with military precision, or the fact that he calls out Hector for an honor duel; all that is in-idiom. It's that having won the honor duel his anger is still so great that he *dishonors* Hector's body.* That's the "uncool" part. Similarly, Menaleus isn't in "Limit Break" when he starts a war over his kidnapped bride, nor is Odysseus when he kills all the dudes living rent-free in his house and hitting on his wife. Reasonable responses in real life? Well, no. But in-idiom those things aren't painted as irrational overresponses. "They had it coming."

        Taking the story of Taken and just porting it over into Exalted, if some retired Outcaste spy/commando were living peacefully in the threshold when his daughter was kidnapped by a criminal cartel, would you expect a different outcome? Would you need a Limit Break to justify killing a bunch of extras?


        *Edit: Before the classicists in the audience (and there always seem to be some when you're talking about Exalted), it turns out my memory of the Rage of Achilles was unduly influenced by the Brad Pitt movie, and there was way more murder-rage in the original than I recalled. I still think my overall point is valid but I'll admit I chose a bad example.
        Last edited by Blackwell; 12-17-2018, 01:07 PM.

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        • #19
          If a player for my game would come with the same question, after giving it some thought, I would most likely suggest putting the Great Curse/Essence Fever on the bystanders that took a blind eye or otherwise enabled the sexual assaults. Now, this could be rage, despair, sadness, or a lot of other reactions to the fact others at least knew something wasn't right and did nothing (even if it was out of fear because the perps are gangsters or the like).

          Now, that could be that the rampaging hero taking revenge once in a while breaks down and cry because of the passivity that allows evil to persist; or the "batman" that makes sure there there is more to fear than the perpetrators, with a "there is not middle-ground" limit break.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Blackwell View Post
            No worries, I deleted it because I was responding to _you_ but given the timestamps I figured I might have been responding to your response to someone else and didn't want to muddy things. So... fail?

            At any rate, my only real point here is that context, genre, and idiom are important considerations. Going all the way back to the source material, the part of the Rage of Achilles that makes it "Limit Break" isn't when he's killing hundreds of Trojans with military precision, or the fact that he calls out Hector for an honor duel; all that is in-idiom. It's that having won the honor duel his anger is still so great that he *dishonors* Hector's body.* That's the "uncool" part. Similarly, Menaleus isn't in "Limit Break" when he starts a war over his kidnapped bride, nor is Odysseus when he kills all the dudes living rent-free in his house and hitting on his wife. Reasonable responses in real life? Well, no. But in-idiom those things aren't painted as irrational overresponses. "They had it coming."

            Taking the story of Taken and just porting it over into Exalted, if some retired Outcaste spy/commando were living peacefully in the threshold when his daughter was kidnapped by a criminal cartel, would you expect a different outcome? Would you need a Limit Break to justify killing a bunch of extras?


            *Edit: Before the classicists in the audience (and there always seem to be some when you're talking about Exalted), it turns out my memory of the Rage of Achilles was unduly influenced by the Brad Pitt movie, and there was way more murder-rage in the original than I recalled. I still think my overall point is valid but I'll admit I chose a bad example.
            Essentially, I think the point of the Great Curse is to mechanically enforce the idiom of these stories. So it doesn't need to be something different.
            Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 12-17-2018, 02:39 PM.


            My characters:
            Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
            Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
            Avatar by Jen

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Blackwell View Post
              At any rate, my only real point here is that context, genre, and idiom are important considerations. Going all the way back to the source material, the part of the Rage of Achilles that makes it "Limit Break" isn't when he's killing hundreds of Trojans with military precision, or the fact that he calls out Hector for an honor duel; all that is in-idiom. It's that having won the honor duel his anger is still so great that he *dishonors* Hector's body.* That's the "uncool" part. Similarly, Menaleus isn't in "Limit Break" when he starts a war over his kidnapped bride, nor is Odysseus when he kills all the dudes living rent-free in his house and hitting on his wife. Reasonable responses in real life? Well, no. But in-idiom those things aren't painted as irrational overresponses. "They had it coming."

              Taking the story of Taken and just porting it over into Exalted, if some retired Outcaste spy/commando were living peacefully in the threshold when his daughter was kidnapped by a criminal cartel, would you expect a different outcome? Would you need a Limit Break to justify killing a bunch of extras?
              Some of this goes back to my sense that depicting the Great Curse as something wholly irrational and disconnected hurts its credibility with a lot of people. And sure, a lot of the Flaws come across as responses that a character might have in their own right under circumstances that link directly into them.

              Wizard has the part about the Great Curse being a diegetic explanation for how Greek hero responses consistently happen with characters, but I think there's some good potential in finding ways for it to be the foundation for that aspect of corrupting the Exalted in the long term. For that, I would go to a sense that the power of the curse is acclimatising the character to dangerous emotional extremes over time, conditioning a particular association between them and things like Intimacies and the Limit Trigger, and a particularly insidious element from the idea that the actual Break can occur some time after the Limit track is filled, timed by the magic of the curse for a moment when it might cause some of the most severe damage.

              Still, if it was phrased in terms of something like Taken... I might see the initial call to action as a natural (if still problematic) response, several of the things that he does or encounters build tension within him over the story, and the point where he's threatening to murder an innocent woman to force cooperation from a lead is where he's stepping over the line in a manner that this fiction might present as eased into by the curse.


              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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              • #22
                When I put in something of this nature, its addressed as a non-mechanical scene, with the specific proviso that any player can bail out at any time it becomes unfun.

                I'd also tend to encourage a distinction between real-life adult fears (the harm of one's family) vs. fantasy story ones.


                Check out Momentum Exalted!

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Dex Davican View Post
                  Seconding Isator Levi that this seems like the wrong question to be asking. It might be better to ask why media that wield sexual assault against women as weapons against men are a crucial part of your campaign-planning.
                  Well, you can always analyse why there's a male proclivity to protect females in the first place, making such event an easy way to rile men up. Most of it is evolutionary, though I doubt people really want to talk about that.
                  Last edited by Synapse; 12-23-2018, 06:08 AM.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Synapse View Post
                    Well, you can always analyse why there's a male proclivity to protect females in the first place, making such event an easy way to rile men up. Most of it is evolutionary, though I doubt people really want to talk about that.
                    Uh-huh.

                    Gonna give myself a little early Christmas present of waiting until a holiday interim to deal with this, but yeesh.


                    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 Synapse View Post
                      Well, you can always analyse why there's a male proclivity to protect females in the first place, making such event an easy way to rile men up. Most of it is evolutionary, though I doubt people really want to talk about that.
                      Because evolution isn't a very good way to organise society? Because there are many bad things about society that are the product of evolution?

                      Because people are evolved to care about their sons as much as their daughters, yet you don't get nearly so many films about a dad rescuing his son? (You do get a few. Just not so many)

                      Where are all the films about a badass mum with a certain set of skills who does whatever it takes to rescue her daughter?

                      Look, obviously action heroes need a motive so an action film doesn't seem so ridiculous. And it's not weird that fathers want to protect their daughters. But, while "terrorist have kidnapped the president, and only one man is a bad enough dude to rescue him" is a pretty obvious trope, it's not quite so problematic as "my girlfriend/daughter/the hot girl I want to bang was attacked/kidnapped and I must avenge her."

                      There's quite a lot of films/computer games/stories where the female is purely a framing device for a story about wounded male honour, and a male power trip, whereby the women exists to justify an expression of male violence, and while one or two might just be, you know, the plot of those stories, it builds up this idea that really goes back to the Romans; an attack on a woman isn't about the woman, it's about how you've violated the dignitas of the paterfamilias, and now he's justified in killing you. The issue isn't that it's wrong for a man to protect his family, but that a)women are just plot devices, b)the injury of the woman becomes about the injury of the man.

                      I mean, Taken's not even the worst, at least he's actually rescuing his daughter. The worst ones are the ones where the woman dies at the beginning, and thus it's actually impossible to save/protect her. But it's the framing device for his badassery.

                      A fantasy for men about protecting your female loved ones could be, say, where a Dad teaches his daughter kung-fu and then she beats the crap out of attempted-rapists. Or a time machine where you go back and stop it.
                      But the point of these films isn't that. It's not even about the psychological effects on the family of the victim. It's about him shooting dudes in a badass way because he's so badass. And he needs the girl to be vulnerable so he can show off his badassery. She can't protect herself, because if she did, the film wouldn't be about what a badass he is.

                      I've seen the effects in real life, where guys are more interested in bragging about how they'll totally beat up a guy who's a problem for a girl, and not ask her what they can actually do to help. And of course, it encourages violence which can be the solution, sometimes, but often isn't.

                      Again, if it was just one or two it wouldn't be an issue. But it builds up.

                      Anyway. We didn't really come on here to discuss this I guess. The OP's question isn't necessarily a bad one, but it's worth thinking through the effects of these story tropes, when we as STs (and players) run stories. I try when running games to think about what kind of impressions they leave on the players, and it's not always easy because some problematic tropes are so ingrained in myth. I was running DnD the other day and the PCs met a Hag, who of course was disguised as an innocent girl trying to lure them away (because that's how hags are). But afterwards, I thought, well, this is a myth that is essentially the product of a sexist society warning men to beware of treacherous women. And, you know, of course there are treacherous women, as there are treacherous men (hence vampires and incubuses), but it is worth thinking about this. Stories have an effect on people, including RPG plot, which often frames the PCs as the heroes, so it's important to ensure they are doing heroic things.
                      Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 12-23-2018, 04:10 PM.


                      My characters:
                      Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
                      Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
                      Avatar by Jen

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Simon Darkstep View Post

                        I'd also tend to encourage a distinction between real-life adult fears (the harm of one's family) vs. fantasy story ones.
                        Now, this is an interesting topic... to what extent should games reflect real-life problems? Stuff like killing demons is a kind of ... othering of problems. Escapism from real problems, to fantastical problems with simple solutions. Instead of the complexities about how to deal with real-life issues (like, say, the harm of one's family), you can solve a nice easy problem. Demons attack a village. You kill them with your giant golden sword. Nice. It makes you feel better.

                        Or even your PC's sibling is kidnapped by undead, you rescue them by rolling dice, it's straightforward. Get out your frustration about real-life problems you can't deal with. Beat up sexists, kill rapists, redistribute the evil kings money and solve poverty, overthrow the racist Zebra People who oppress innocent Djala, etc. I knew a guy who at Valentine's Day would run a game where players fought demonic monsters based on their shitty exes.

                        And then of course rpgs can be a good way to think through problems and real issues in a more relaxed and less emotive way. How does one deal with abolishing slavery in a fantasy setting allows you to think, maybe, about how to deal with abolishing modern slavery in the real-world, but at a bit of a distance.

                        It's all worth thinking about. And I think it depends a lot on your players. There's definitely stuff I'd run with some players but not others, whether due to maturity, personal issues, or whatever.


                        My characters:
                        Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
                        Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
                        Avatar by Jen

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                          Still, if it was phrased in terms of something like Taken... I might see the initial call to action as a natural (if still problematic) response, several of the things that he does or encounters build tension within him over the story, and the point where he's threatening to murder an innocent woman to force cooperation from a lead is where he's stepping over the line in a manner that this fiction might present as eased into by the curse.
                          Yeah, that makes sense.


                          My characters:
                          Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
                          Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
                          Avatar by Jen

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            As I said, people don't want to discuss that. You literally ignored it and reiterated the question.

                            That thing. It exists. Whatever you think of it, it exists. And thus it is used, voluntarily or not.
                            You can make whatever judgement you want. But it has to start from the perspective that it exists. Rejecting it only leads to incomplete assessments. Going into "I don't even" commentaries is just petty.
                            Last edited by Synapse; 12-24-2018, 02:57 AM.

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                            • #29
                              (spoiler tags because it got rather expansive and the particulars shouldn't extend into further replies here)
                              Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                              Because evolution isn't a very good way to organise society? Because there are many bad things about society that are the product of evolution?
                              ...kinda? It was pretty decent, until we started developing in ways that just doesn't keep up. A tangent topic though.
                              Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                              Because people are evolved to care about their sons as much as their daughters, yet you don't get nearly so many films about a dad rescuing his son? (You do get a few. Just not so many)
                              Yes and no. Can you affirm for sure that there's no differentiation? Remember we are mostly k-selected and women are responsible for almost all sexual selection. This does mean at some level we value these things differently - which is what I brought up.
                              Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                              Where are all the films about a badass mum with a certain set of skills who does whatever it takes to rescue her daughter?
                              Wish I knew. Is there an audience desire for it? I won't mind any of it, but I can't say for everyone - nor do I think most producers even make such consideration :/
                              Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                              Look, obviously action heroes need a motive so an action film doesn't seem so ridiculous. And it's not weird that fathers want to protect their daughters. But, while "terrorist have kidnapped the president, and only one man is a bad enough dude to rescue him" is a pretty obvious trope, it's not quite so problematic as "my girlfriend/daughter/the hot girl I want to bang was attacked/kidnapped and I must avenge her."
                              Can we actually talk about how problematic these things are or not? The impression here usually tends to be this gets confrontational immediately. But we'll run with it.
                              Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                              There's quite a lot of films/computer games/stories where the female is purely a framing device for a story about wounded male honour, and a male power trip, whereby the women exists to justify an expression of male violence, and while one or two might just be, you know, the plot of those stories, it builds up this idea that really goes back to the Romans; an attack on a woman isn't about the woman, it's about how you've violated the dignitas of the paterfamilias, and now he's justified in killing you. The issue isn't that it's wrong for a man to protect his family, but that a)women are just plot devices, b)the injury of the woman becomes about the injury of the man.
                              This is the core of why I wanted to touch the evolutionary cause in the first place. This tendency exists. It is an easy narrative shortcut. It ties to the OP directly because, well, it happens. What is the validity of the trope? Why is it successful? Why does it raise these particular sets of emotional responses?
                              Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                              I mean, Taken's not even the worst, at least he's actually rescuing his daughter. The worst ones are the ones where the woman dies at the beginning, and thus it's actually impossible to save/protect her. But it's the framing device for his badassery.
                              I'd like to call for you to differentiate "killing her off is problematic" with "killing her off as a baseline is problematic". I say it's important because, well, killing loved ones is a decent framing device, and since humanity works around two sexes about half of those people will be women as a matter of course. A monopoly to either side might be a problem. It's really subtle if the talk is happening from any emotional perspective, so it takes work to notice the difference.
                              Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                              A fantasy for men about protecting your female loved ones could be, say, where a Dad teaches his daughter kung-fu and then she beats the crap out of attempted-rapists. Or a time machine where you go back and stop it.
                              But the point of these films isn't that. It's not even about the psychological effects on the family of the victim. It's about him shooting dudes in a badass way because he's so badass. And he needs the girl to be vulnerable so he can show off his badassery. She can't protect herself, because if she did, the film wouldn't be about what a badass he is.
                              Sure. I can see why that might be grating. What do you propose? Preferably without destroying the trope itself, for you can't really change demand by changing supply. These things tend to only happen successfully when they're gradual and shift naturally.
                              Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                              Anyway. We didn't really come on here to discuss this I guess. The OP's question isn't necessarily a bad one, but it's worth thinking through the effects of these story tropes, when we as STs (and players) run stories. I try when running games to think about what kind of impressions they leave on the players, and it's not always easy because some problematic tropes are so ingrained in myth. I was running DnD the other day and the PCs met a Hag, who of course was disguised as an innocent girl trying to lure them away (because that's how hags are). But afterwards, I thought, well, this is a myth that is essentially the product of a sexist society warning men to beware of treacherous women. And, you know, of course there are treacherous women, as there are treacherous men (hence vampires and incubuses), but it is worth thinking about this. Stories have an effect on people, including RPG plot, which often frames the PCs as the heroes, so it's important to ensure they are doing heroic things.
                              As youi wish. I'll leave this with the note that overthinking is an issue, particularly when the discussion touches on emotional cues (which is absurdly frequent with these topics), and particularly when there's an impression of confrontation. These questions run deeper than anything that was brought up, and I thought to show a little of it by pointing a variable lots of people feel icky to even acknowledge.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Synapse View Post
                                That thing. It exists. Whatever you think of it, it exists. And thus it is used, voluntarily or not.
                                It exists culturally, and reinforces itself through continuous depiction in artistic media without critical reflection. Men are riled up because shit like that trains them to think of things in that manner, not because it's appealing to some deeply ingrained biological need.

                                Originally posted by Synapse
                                You can make whatever judgement you want.
                                Referring to women as "females" in a context like this is quite ludicrous, culturally informed by a place that wants to affect rational objectivity while still managing to lean on dehumanizing women by referring to them in the clinical manner that one might an animal.


                                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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