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do the primordials embody their concepts or do they just represent them?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Blaque View Post
    Again, editions matter in this. 2e took very hard to the "Rules are physics" thing, but 1e didn't and 3e explicitly rejects this. Mostly since while "rules as physics' Is a good experiment, it's not actually (I think) a good way to make a broadly usable game setting. It becomes self-serving solipsistic writing rather htan useful for like, playing hte game.

    My own view is kind of hinted at above. If you kill She Who Lives in Her Name, you don't suddenly change Hierarchy. You just canned its greatest advocate. wastevens I think had the best take on it. Hierarchy isn't like, a real thing. At least, it's not something that you can go out and say "That's Hierarchy" in the world like you do an object. At least, anymore in Creation than you can in our universe. It's a relationship, that has some criteria and values to it. The being who probably first emphasized it, recognized it and wanted Creation to engender it, and so on. But it's not like, a thing floating somewhere in a box that didn't exist before SHLiHN and will not work anymore if she's not. It's just that it wasn't able to be expressed until she was around (maybe) and she happens to like it when it emerged in her contributions of Creation.

    A world where there is all these programing analogs that could be analyzed is interesting as a thought experiment, but it ultimately is getting kind of in weeds that don't matter for a lot of games. And I think even starts getting contradictory to a lot of how the game is presented. The Games of Divinity for instance are explicilty nothing to do with mortals. The Incarna are weird in relations to their purviews, but note that the things they are specifically gods of (their various planets) are objects that have symbology. Virtue, light, and whatnot would exist if the Sun weren't there. I would go so far as to say that in 3e, if the Unconquered Sun were to die, the actual like, planet that is the sun would just keep moving, although maybe go off kilter as it requires insane checking and maintenance that the god provided. There's a lot of ways to describe the ways the Incarna are related to their purviews, without having them be some special case where aspects of Creation immediatley break or stop making sense for humans from Earth if they were no longer there, I feel.

    by that logic though it doesn't make much sense that the exalted imprisoned the yozis instead of killing them. I remember one book saying that primordial death had consequences the exalted had learned to fear. Also apparently Salina had a vision of how the universe would be if SWLIHN died.. and she rather liked it

    and what about the shinma? beings similar to the primordials except for the fact that they are the opposite of what they embody. One book explicity said" before the shinma of separation awoke or things were united(or whatever his title is)

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    • #32
      A) That was second edition, which leaned WAY harder into ' Primordials are foundational to concepts'. Even then, it varied from writer to writer.

      B) Even then, the foremost reason given for the Exalted not murdering all the Primordials was because Gaia pled for mercy for her siblings.

      C) The creation of the Underworld is plenty freaky enough as an additive consequence to not need subtractive consequences.

      D) The shinma is 1e we're introduced more as conceptual/philosophical/allegorical concepts, which the base seized on personifying because fans. Which then became ascended fanon in 2e's elaboration on the metaphysics.


      A tinkering effort at bringing Raksha into Ex3: Fair Folk: The Beautiful Thieves

      A tinkering effort at bringing fate ninjas into Ex3: Sidereals: Where Fate Has Led - Album of the Charm Trees thereof.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by mark View Post


        by that logic though it doesn't make much sense that the exalted imprisoned the yozis instead of killing them.
        By the logic of "everything breaks if we kill the Yozis", the gods and Exalted can't be fully ready to execute them before Gaia advocates for clemency. Even Second Edition had that line.

        Originally posted by mark
        I remember one book saying that primordial death had consequences the exalted had learned to fear.
        Yeah, shadowlands.

        Originally posted by mark
        and what about the shinma? beings
        The shinma aren't really beings. More weird abstractions of reality.

        Originally posted by mark
        One book explicity said" before the shinma of separation awoke or things were united(or whatever his title is)
        That was a book that read that Advaita Iruivan was God and assumed that meant it was important, overlooking how it was an aspect of Nirguna, which does not exist.


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        • #34
          "The concepts that underpin Creation are independent of the Shinma. That was the whole point. Shima can be turned on and off on a whim. They're pale imitations of reality the fair folk used to play their games."

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          • #35
            Originally posted by mark View Post


            by that logic though it doesn't make much sense that the exalted imprisoned the yozis instead of killing them. I remember one book saying that primordial death had consequences that Exalted had learned to fear
            When the Exalted killed their first Primordial, it created a rip in reality through to a dimension of darkness. With each Primordial slain, there were more uncloseable holes, and that dark dimension filled with the twisted souls of devas.
            And then it began to fill with spirits that looked like dead humans... And the Exalted realised they'd broken reincarnation itself, damning some humans to be trapped in the nightmares of dead Primordials.
            At that point, they decided to avoid killing more Primordials.

            I'm not massively bothered by Primordials being linked to concepts, but it's not necessary to explain why the Exalted imprisoned them instead of killing them.


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

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            • #36
              Originally posted by mark View Post
              by that logic though it doesn't make much sense that the exalted imprisoned the yozis instead of killing them. I remember one book saying that primordial death had consequences the exalted had learned to fear. ...
              As already noted by others, the creation or at least, linking to the Underworld that the death of the god's enemies caused was probably something they didn't want to add to. Killing a titan need not delete concepts to be destructive. They can just...be destructive, without having a setting suddenly be unrecognizable to humans playing the game.

              There is also the couple-times-referred-to clemency pleas from Gaia, the possibility that killing the ones who were left wasn't any easier than locking up those who surrendered, some enterprising Exalt proposing enslavement of the to-be-Yozis, and so on. There's plenty of reasons to not kill them besides some brain-spidery navel-gazing about a setting that need not have it or is bettered by it.


              Originally posted by mark View Post
              ... Also apparently Salina had a vision of how the universe would be if SWLIHN died.. and she rather liked it
              Of any book to have the "Depends on edition" skepticism to it, Dreams of the First Age is up there.

              Originally posted by mark View Post
              and what about the shinma? beings similar to the primordials except for the fact that they are the opposite of what they embody. One book explicity said" before the shinma of separation awoke or things were united(or whatever his title is)
              Whether the shinma were even real was something that shifted from their original discussion in Exalted: the Fair Folk (where it was not clear they were anything but raksha attempts to describe things we living in a universe of those things take for granted), plus as noted ascended fanon on how they were. And the thing on Advaita Iraivan further hurts this as it was not supposed to be important in the original presentation. There's a reason that the current devs have noted that the shinma might not even be mentioend as the issues they bring aren't worth the wordcount.

              Dharma is the princible of entropy and change. And the absence of that might be Dharma. But whether Dharma is real or the raksha talking about osme mythical thing state that doesn't exist in the universe currently or potentially never has historiclaly, is something originally very vague. And was that until they suddenly were reified in Roll of Glorious Divinity I.


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              • #37
                My position is that the destruction of things wrought by the murder of the Primordials is probably the same reason various stuff blew up during the Usurpation - namely, the creators of the works may well have created inadvertent (or advertent) dead-man's switches into said works. It's not so much that the notion of a thing's existence hinges on the continued existence of a given titan, so much as that Gaia (for example) might have put a little more work into Creation's geomancy than her killers are necessarily aware of. Her death wouldn't cause the five elements to stop existing, but some prominent manses around Creation may blow up because no one knows to regulate the flow of Essence along that dragon-line anymore.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Blaque View Post
                  Whether the shinma were even real was something that shifted from their original discussion in Exalted: the Fair Folk (where it was not clear they were anything but raksha attempts to describe things we living in a universe of those things take for granted)
                  I mean, people with a strictly materialistic worldview might take them for granted. Historically, people have often not taken reality for granted and devised all kinds of theological, metaphysical and philosophical premises underlying and originating it.

                  Heck, even within materialism, some would argue that things like string theory constitute an inability to take basic principles of physics for granted, that there needs to be an essential underlying function to explain why things work the way that they do. Plus that whole conundrum of resolving the temporal finiteness of the universe, and speculating on the subject of how it began, what it means for there to have been a before its beginning, and why the way it currently looks doesn't make sense.

                  As to the shinma, I do accept that part of it is that fantasy fiction in general has a problem with the premise that not everything people believe in needs to be true, or self-evident. I think the First Edition writing understood a lot of that in an understated way, Second Edition often opted to utilise or fill in such things in ways that made them real or evident or accounted for in the simple cosmology, and Third Edition is showing good signs of expressing it more overtly with things like a detailed monotheistic religion that isn't written as somebody's deceptive scheme.

                  With the shinma and the Raksha, I think it ought to be some combination of them having a belief system, and making a show of having deeper cosmological knowledge than the Creation-born (which they're probably lying or deluded about, but maybe not).

                  For the Yozis, considering that a lot of cases won't involve killing them, I think that compelling drama can come from them making convincing (if hard to completely follow) arguments to the effect that doing so will cause fundamental damage to Creation, or reality as a whole. Not even as a bluff to call or a thing to create hesitation around something they might or could do; I think scenes of such strange interactions can be rewarding in their own right, and possibly some resulting Intimacies might shape character/player behaviour in novel and unexpected ways.


                  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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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Blaque View Post
                    Of any book to have the "Depends on edition" skepticism to it, Dreams of the First Age is up there.
                    Yeah, DotFA is situated at a weird ideological turning point in the portrayal of Primordials and kind of a fucking mess because of it.

                    It was when the portrayal of the Primordial War started shifting to a relatively short conflict that the Exalted won because they were battle ready and their opponents weren't, relatively short and a lot of Celestials seemed to approach it like Legolas and Gimili in the Lord of the Rings movies trying to wrack up the most kills (with likely a good portion of the casualties happening because people were more worried about their score). But you can see bits of the older fan perception of self-guided Exaltations and sheer attrition being the secret to victory against vastly superior opponents who could rewrite reality on a whim shine through in places.


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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by wastevens View Post
                      A) That was second edition, which leaned WAY harder into ' Primordials are foundational to concepts'. Even then, it varied from writer to writer.

                      B) Even then, the foremost reason given for the Exalted not murdering all the Primordials was because Gaia pled for mercy for her siblings.

                      C) The creation of the Underworld is plenty freaky enough as an additive consequence to not need subtractive consequences.

                      D) The shinma is 1e we're introduced more as conceptual/philosophical/allegorical concepts, which the base seized on personifying because fans. Which then became ascended fanon in 2e's elaboration on the metaphysics.
                      To be honest the idea that the exalted showed mercy because it was asked of them.. is totally at odds with how they have behaved through history.. plus the primordials were not even similar beings with whom they could empathise

                      Damn, the third edition is still so new(with 2 or three books out?) that i completely forget about it. i'm not sure if it even makes sense to say" this was a second edition thing"

                      i always forget to write this distinction in the original posts...
                      Last edited by mark; 02-06-2019, 08:49 AM.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by mark View Post

                        To be honest the idea that the exalted showed mercy because it was asked of them.. is totally at odds with how they have behaved through history.. plus the primordials were not even similar beings with whom they could empathise

                        Temperance and Compassion were Virtues as well as Valor and Conviction.
                        The Exalted Host has been portrayed as more crazed and more bloodthirsty over time, in part, to subvert the idea of 'shiny happy people in a perfect utopia', but they are human- where the falling angel meets the rising ape. Sometimes, they will smash a country so totally as to erase it from history, or build a mountain of skulls, or dump all the writings of a great library into a river such that the waters run black from the ink. And sometimes, they can show mercy, even to mortal enemies, even beings they cannot fathom save to know that they would not show mercy given the same chance. It's not rational. But it is deeply human.


                        A tinkering effort at bringing Raksha into Ex3: Fair Folk: The Beautiful Thieves

                        A tinkering effort at bringing fate ninjas into Ex3: Sidereals: Where Fate Has Led - Album of the Charm Trees thereof.

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                        • #42
                          Beyond what we are, as a species and people, I think that touches on what we'd wish that we were.

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