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Reproducing the Unreproducable

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  • Reproducing the Unreproducable

    This is a thread for speculation. Here we discuss the actions, ideas and aesthetics of concepts from media and our imaginations that seem to not be represented mechanically in Exalted, that we would like to see.

    If you see an idea expressed here, and know of either a published mechanic that can reproduce the effect, or an ‘ask the devs’ response, please quote and provide links.

  • #2
    Caveats:

    -Exalted is pretty good about providing a broad base for us players and storytellers to work with, and our most powerful tool for this is the Stunt. Before posting, be sure your imagined mechanic can’t be reproduced through creative stunting.
    -We all have ideas for things we would like to see, some more ambitious than others. Be sure to treat others with respect, and keep criticism constructive.
    -It is entirely possible that your desired mechanic simply has not been published yet. We still only have one complete book for 3E at this point, so don’t give up hope.

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    • #3
      I’ll start us off.

      I haven’t given the core book more than one read-through, and have since only cherry-picked for information, so it’s entirely possible I have missed this. I cannot think of a way to mechanically reproduce struggles with energy projection. A classic example for anime fans are the Beamstruggles of the Dragonball franchise. How would one replicate such a thing? Would a beam be a straight mote expenditure? If so, would the person better-able to spend notes win every time? Would there be caps on how many notes were spent? Would beam-power be a balancing act of mote totals and spending-caps? Do beamstruggles have a place in Exalted? What do ya’ll think?

      And as an example of ‘asked-and-answered’, I was somewhat annoyed to find that there were no mechanics for weapon-breakage in combat. No weapons designed to shatter your opponent’s weapon, no martial-arts that specialized in punching a blade in half...but then two charms were added in Earth Dragon style, and while they require the practitioner to be a Dragonblooded, the devs said that it would not be unreasonable to create duplicate MA or even crafting charms as custom non-terrestrial variants. So there’s that problem solved.

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      • #4
        What part of beam-struggles do you feel wouldn't be sufficiently represented by the clash rules?

        Also, Miracles of the Solar Exalted added Shattering Clash which can also destroy weapons.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BadassOverlord View Post
          What part of beam-struggles do you feel wouldn't be sufficiently represented by the clash rules?

          Also, Miracles of the Solar Exalted added Shattering Clash which can also destroy weapons.
          I'm going to assume the sustained effort. And that's...harder as a narrative conceit, because the structure of Exalted doesn't lend itself to several mechanical underpinnings. The closest it has (sustained assault, extreme damage, requires time to invoke) is Death Ray, which can't really be whipped up as a quick response to someone else's Death Ray, nor do I think there's a rule for when two people Death Ray each other aside from lots of red mist in all directions. Also, it's limited to characters with Solar Circle Sorcery.

          None of this is a solution, obviously. Just clarifying the problem.

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          • #6
            Beam struggle; (not tested, initial thoughts)

            Extended Clash. This optional rule can help replicate anything from two large energy attacks pressing against each other to two sword wizards locking blades and trying to push each other away to make a decisive follow up.

            When two attacks clash as per the usual rules, compare the threshold successes to the loser’s defence. If it is lower, the winner gains a number of initiative equal to the difference and struggle continues for another round, if it is higher the winner’s attack pushes through with all the usual results of a successful clash attack.

            Each round the clash continues, both characters lose 2i and are at -2 defence against any other attacks against them from additional characters.


            Assisted Extended Clash;
            A character locked in an extended clash can receive assistance from an ally. Resolving this assistance is done on the same way, compare all competing attacks against each other and grant initiative accordingly, or break the struggle once even one character’s defence is overcome.


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            • #7
              I like these ideas, and I’ll have to look at Shattering Clash.

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              • #8
                Terminator Armour.
                I'm struggling to convey a sense of 'weight' I've found that Super Heavy Armour didn't cut it and a human sized Warstrider ran into a different problem where it seemed way too easy to damage it. I'm prepared for most of it's power to be in the Evocations but the base traits just feel lacking.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lioness View Post
                  Terminator Armour.
                  I'm struggling to convey a sense of 'weight' I've found that Super Heavy Armour didn't cut it and a human sized Warstrider ran into a different problem where it seemed way too easy to damage it. I'm prepared for most of it's power to be in the Evocations but the base traits just feel lacking.
                  My solution to "smaller warstrider" was to split health-level damage between the armor and the person underneath (with a remaining health level going to the armor).

                  This represents the superior level of protection relative to other armors AND the inferior level of protection compared to a warstrider, and makes the armor harder to damage than a warstrider while more demanding to employ than "regular" magical armor.

                  It's also important to remember that the armor doesn't need to be First Age Artifice, so it can be more easily repaired than a warstrider, using Craft: Artifact instead of Craft: First Age Artifice, and perhaps with fewer resources required.

                  I think this represents "weight" because these ablative health levels would be the armor's first Evocation, rather than anything which would make it less encumbering or more agile.

                  I don't think you'd actually want to represent weight with GREATER mobility penalties and new restrictions on movement actions, at least outside of an Evocation that balanced those weaknesses with great strengths.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BadassOverlord View Post
                    What part of beam-struggles do you feel wouldn't be sufficiently represented by the clash rules?
                    "Talking is a free action".

                    Normally, characters in Exalted have a limit on how much they can say per round, let alone per tick, but a clash happens in a single instant of one tick, while Luke and Vader can have an entire conversation while struggling to see who wins a lightsaber clash.

                    In that regard, it's more like two characters Grappling each other, except neither chooses to Savage the other. Maybe the one who wins initiative each round always Restrains the other? But if the first to establish a clinch chooses to Restrain, then the other couldn't counter-Grapple.


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                    • #11
                      I think the give and take of initiative would be the struggle part of the beam clash, although you'd need two people that have some sort of beam attack.

                      Round 1, either someone delays or by chance they launch their beam attacks for a (preferably) withering clash. It's been too long for me to recall the specifics of the various beam attacks. Hopefully they aren't all decisive only.
                      Someone wins the clash, and either buying in to the conceit, or by not winning enough initiative to comfortably Decisive Beam clash next round, they delay and clash again for Round 2.

                      Because of how clashes work when one person is Withering and the other is Decisiving (I formally apologize to the English language for what I just did to it), even if the Round 1 clash was enough for the winner to want to Decisive attack, they are at a slight disadvantage, and the beam struggle could swing the other way.

                      Even if they don't buy in for a second round of beam clash, that even works in the fiction, they intentionally break beam struggle dodge, and fire again since they have the advantage.

                      All you need are two players with Beam abilities and a bit of savvy around the combat system. DBs would be easy because everyone can dip for Elemental Bolt, but I don't remember the Solar options beyond the Brawl one and GSB.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                        "Talking is a free action".

                        Normally, characters in Exalted have a limit on how much they can say per round, let alone per tick, but a clash happens in a single instant of one tick, while Luke and Vader can have an entire conversation while struggling to see who wins a lightsaber clash.

                        In that regard, it's more like two characters Grappling each other, except neither chooses to Savage the other. Maybe the one who wins initiative each round always Restrains the other? But if the first to establish a clinch chooses to Restrain, then the other couldn't counter-Grapple.
                        It's not perfect, but this is another thing kind of covered in Miracles. "Talking is a free action" to me is more Wesley vs Inigo. A pleasant conversation while trying to kill each other. Proper social actions (instill/persuade/etc) require a flurry. In the case of Darth Vader vs Luke, Vader is clearly squinting with both social and physical attacks, and the charm Poised Lion Attitude allows you to take full social actions as a free action rather than a flurry for 3m.


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                        • #13
                          If you have opponents who both preferentially clash when the opportunity presents itself, then you could easily stunt each new clash they make as an extension of the old one, locking swords or beams or what have you.


                          ....

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
                            If you have opponents who both preferentially clash when the opportunity presents itself, then you could easily stunt each new clash they make as an extension of the old one, locking swords or beams or what have you.

                            I think the "ongoing clash" idea works pretty well for both "beam struggles" and stuff like duels. However, I'd like to see some mechanical incentive, both for participants in such clashes to engage with them, and to have other people leave them alone. Therefore, a couple of ideas for house rules for that.

                            1) If you were in a clash last turn, you can waive the init cost to delay your action, as long as you again clash with the same target (if you choose to do something else, you must pay the init cost).

                            2) Every round you clash someone, as long as no one else has attacked them in the turn since then, your reward from winning the clash increases. For a withering attack, your base initiative gain (that is the 1 init you get from any successful withering attack) increases by 1 for each round you maintain the clash (if you won the clash on the 2nd turn of clashing by 5, for example, you'd gain 7 initiative. Your opponent would still only lose 5, though). On a decisive attack, for every round you've maintained the clash past the first, you can treat the opponent's Hardness as 1 lower.

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                            • #15
                              You could also write a social Charm that specifically allows you to engage a target in a philosophical debate that violates the laws of time, as long as you're engaging them in a clash.

                              Whoever wins the debate wins the clash, or at least gains an advantage towards winning it.


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