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Mixed Circles so Far?

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  • Mixed Circles so Far?

    So I’m enjoying the Hell out of the Dragonblooded charms, and I’m pleased with how versatile starting Dragonblooded can be.

    Now my big dream will be fulfilled when we get Lunars... *mouthwaters*

    But so far any of you have mixed Exalt Circles? Care to share their compositions? Did you have any issues, or did everyone know what they were getting into and enjoyed it?

    Any suggestions on balancing?

    Like perhaps the Solars can help out the Dragonblooded by making Artifacts for them, even conjure Sorcerous workings to enhance them, like give them a Tiger or owl form, glowing jeweled ghostly hands, mesmerism ect?


    It is a time for great deeds!

  • #2
    The group I'm in has four Solars and one Dragon-Blooded. We haven't made any concessions for the DB that I can recall, and she seems to be doing fine.

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    • #3
      I'm playing one of two Dragon-Blooded in a group with two Solars. I've found that Dragon-Blooded abilities allow them to approach problems in ways that Solars sometimes can't. This can be use of their elemental powers, or just the legitimacy that Dragon-Blooded enjoy with the people. The other DB and I share the role of face, since the people wont get the pitchforks and torches out for us. Dragon-Blooded might not be able to power through everything at the level Solars can, but they provide options an all Solar group just wouldn't have.

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      • #4
        Both of the games I play are mixed.

        One game has 4 Solars, 1 Lunar, an Air Aspect and a Raksha.
        The Air Aspect is quite new. He knows loads of kung-fu, and some Lore charms. No-one else has Lore charms, so that's a bit different. He hasn't got in any fights yet, so I don't know how to rate his combat power compared to the two Stealth-wrestler Nights. It's not a very combat-orientated game; we do have combats, but they tend not to be very difficult (I once lost an arm to a giant worm monster, but my character started the game with Dex 2, Sta 3 and no dots of combat abilities). So, even if he's not as good as them, it probably won't be an issue. I think the fact he uses Air Dragon rather than Brawl will help; he'll be doing something different from the wrestlers, so that'll make it less comparable anyway.
        The Raksha of course is much weaker, but as she's mostly focused on seduction and weird Fae stuff, it's not an obvious comparison of power vs weakness. She's got a side focus on stabbing, and while she's not going to win a fight with an Exalt, she doesn't need to, she just needs to survive combats, and as most of the combats are pretty easy and she's alongside Exalted warriors, she does fine.
        (Weirdly, our group used to be rubbish at combat, and so she was the best, but now they're much better, and I think actually several of the characters would do fine in a game with lots of combat, but are not so great at investigation, which is what we actually need to do in this game.)

        The other game has 4 Solars and 2 Lunars. Our Lunars are much weaker than the Solars, but that's because we have a lot of unspent xp. The game is currently at 425 xp, but there aren't that many Lunar charms released. So even with Martial Arts charms and XP into abilities and attributes, me and the other player's Lunar haven't spent a lot of our XP.
        My one medicine charm is much worse than some of the medicine charms the old Solar doctor PC had before the player dropped out, but it is only a low-essence Medicine charm (though I did use it to save a dying man's life). Maybe when I have a whole tree it'll be more competitive. Though I actually don't expect it be as powerful as his were (that's not why I'm playing a Lunar). I expect it be weirder.


        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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        • #5
          So you guys are roughing it with homebrew Lunar charms and having them be martial artists?

          Man when Lunars comes out I would love to have Solars, Lunars and of a player wants Dragonblooded!

          When Lunars Comes out I will have the strength to wait for Exigents and Sidereals and Beyond! I just NEED Lunars!!!


          It is a time for great deeds!

          Comment


          • #6
            Nah, I don't have any homebrewed Lunar charms. I have charms that have been released so far, or which have been released but not entirely (like, in Eska's write-up) and I've filled in the blanks.
            (This does mean I have some charms where I don't actually know what they do, because they're the prerequisites for other charms I do have).
            But mostly I have martial arts (I have all of Snake Style, and a few other bits).
            Oh, and I spent a ton on attributes and abilities.

            I did deliberately choose the concept of Snake-totem kung-fu doctor as there's some poison and medicine charms out, and of course Snake Style.
            If my concept was, say, super-hot Appearance-orientated Lunar seducer, there wouldn't really be much support.

            Also, this is a new character, I've only played her in 3 sessions, and we only play once a month so I know there won't be so many sessions before the Lunars' KS text is out.

            Anyway. Traditionally Solars+Lunars I find works best in terms of mixed groups. DBs are a bit more awkward, but the fact you can be an Exalt publically without worrying about the Wyld Hunt does make them a good Face character for a mixed group.

            I also think at 0xp Dragonblood do better in mixed games than they do later, because they're already at Essence 2 and can take Essence 2 evocations, which makes them a bit more competitive. Though I haven't tested that.

            At the end of the day though, the best way to have mixed groups of different power levels is to have different focuses. If your 100xp game has a Dragonblood Melee-ist and a Solar Melee-ist, the Dragonblood's going to look a bit rubbish. If you've got a Dragonblood socialite, a Dragonblood sniper, a Solar crafter, a Solar spy and a Lunar berzerker, it's unlikely to be such an obvious issue.
            Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 01-21-2019, 08:36 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

            Comment


            • #7
              With Evocations, Dragon Styles and Sorcery Dragonblooded can be Fun and useful even if others may overpower them. And 3rd ed does a good job of making everyone’s native charms fun, look at Dragonblooded Awarness and Bureaucray, fun and niche filled!


              It is a time for great deeds!

              Comment


              • #8
                I ran a 3e campaign for 2 years with 3 Solars, 1 Lunar (my homebrew), and 1 Alchemical (thanks Sandcat6). Mechanically mostly rules as written, even the crafting system, which my Twilight interacted with on multiple occasions, but was not his focus.

                On the fluff side, it worked great. Being part of different societies gave structure to the arcs of the campaign (Solars hiding in the East, The Patropolis of Ot, Restoring the sunken city of Luthe, Confronting the Mask of Winters after the conquest of Thorns).

                Mechanically, I did have an issue with Lunar Charms, in that the player never really understood the Lunar Charm dice limit stunt mechanic even after about 35 sessions (though this particular player is not very mechanically inclined).

                The Alchemical player was similarly uninterested in the mechanics of their Charms, instead they very much embraced the lore of their communist robot roots. We did the 'Alchemicals return to Creation' arc in reverse (Alchemical showed up in Creation, met party, learned how to phone home), where the player canonically visited the VATS, but never gave me the actual Charms that they purchased there before they exited the campaign.

                The Solars seemed on top of it, and used their Charms to great effect. My Resistance supernal Zenith usually spent the first round of combat becoming invincible in preparation to laugh at the attacks of my Antagonists - only to have the Dawn blitz and counterattack everything to red mist before they could tank - even combats that I explicitly wrote in waiting periods! Like, my Dawn jumped off the ship into a literal boiling ocean (it was the Wyld), and would do similarly death-defying stuff if that's where the targets were.

                I will say that my mixed group in our 'walk the Earth' type campaign was more interested in exploring the lore than running a challenging dungeon (or adjudicating a tense negotiation with rules), which lessens the expectations of rules interlocking with grace across Charmsets.


                The Lunar Castebooks fan project - Complete! (Changing, Full, No, and Casteless)

                Comment


                • #9
                  I’m thinking if the Dragonblooded among Celestials happens to be the Airship Captain or the Warstrider Pilot it can quite simply balance things out. If you are playing a Dragonblooded you shouldn’t mind having some weaker aspects compared to Celestials. 3rd ed does a great job making it seem like if you play a DB with a Circle of Celestials you can still be useful whether it’s providing a Barrage of Arrows from your Bowturned Tree, or you are the Toph or Daredevil hearing/feeling important clues, or your the Politician/Bureaucrat raising a loyal assemblage with staunch traditions.


                  It is a time for great deeds!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yeah, something like that can give them a distinct role in the group.
                    The important thing isn't to make sure they're as good at combat as the Dawn or whatever, but rather that they feel like they do have something to pull their weight in the group, so they don't think "man, I wish I'd played a Solar."

                    For players more interested in the fluff and setting, that's definitely easier than players interested in mechanical optimisation.


                    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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tikor View Post
                      Mechanically, I did have an issue with Lunar Charms, in that the player never really understood the Lunar Charm dice limit stunt mechanic even after about 35 sessions (though this particular player is not very mechanically inclined).
                      Was there a specific issue with it, or they just generally didn't get it?


                      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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post

                        Was there a specific issue with it, or they just generally didn't get it?
                        That happens when you use Lunar Charms only released as sporadic teasers rather then wait till we get the book.


                        It is a time for great deeds!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Possibly, and the book may have more explanation. But I doubt it will change much, as it didn't with Eska. It's interesting from a game-design perspective anyway; my players didn't love it, but I think they understood it.

                          Getting back to mixed circles, I think that, with the exception of DBs, the power difference isn't so huge. I've never seen it be much of an issue.
                          (To be fair, I have had Lunar players complain about the Solars being just better than them. And the Solar players in question complaining that the Lunars were just better than them. So I ignored it.)

                          Engaging with a certain culture can give PCs a unique "hook" that gives them an advantage outside mechanics.
                          Like the aforementioned Alchemical and Autocthonian plot. Or having a Lunar who can make alliances with the Silver Pact, or a Sidereal who can impress gods.
                          Dragonblood of course have the advantage of not having to hide their powers,but that's more an advantage in some games than others. Similarly, your capacity to get them to pull in favours with the Realm is going to vary; the fact they're a Dragonblood in a mixed game likely means they're not in good graces with the Realm/Lookshy/Prasad/etc.


                          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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                            Was there a specific issue with it, or they just generally didn't get it?
                            Generally didn't get it. Like, 'how many dice can I add via my Excellency?' was a recurring question. My awards of stunt-based double Attribute limits (Wits+Charisma for a bitingly true rejoinder, etc.) did not help.


                            The Lunar Castebooks fan project - Complete! (Changing, Full, No, and Casteless)

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