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  • #16
    Originally posted by Aiden View Post
    The decision to exclude Sorcery from the usual 'You get to take everything up to Essence 5 in your Supernal' way of doing things. We had an Eclipse Caste with Occult Supernal who wanted to be the world's greatest sorcerer, kinda like the Twilight Caste was the World's Greatest Craftsman and the Night was the World's Greatest Horseman, but they couldn't be.
    I'd argue that a starting Solar who has Ride Supernal isn't necessarily the world's premiere mistress of horses, even if she starts out with fifteen Ride Charms. If she wants to be called the greatest rider in the world, she's gotta, y'know, do stuff, same as the guy who wants to be the greatest sorcerer.

    ​I'd likewise be hesitant to call a Twilight "the World's Greatest Craftsman" before he's so much as created an artifact.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 02-05-2019, 02:35 AM.

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    • #17
      It's time to make... a pro-con sandwich.

      My experience is I played and ran countless games of 2e, and have played in 4 campaigns of 3e, where I ST'd exactly half of them. Also a few test sessions with DBs.

      Pro - Combat System: The new combat system is pretty good. It gives exciting cinematic combat, with a good safety net for new players, while at the same time keeping the same 2e more realistic wounding/healing. It also gives a lot of neat tactical options, reduced lethality, and gave some good scaffolding to link charms to.

      Con - Most other Systems: The crafting system isn't so bad, although Solar craft kind of just breaks it further. The naval combat system isn't totally bad, but it suffers a lot from having absolutely no worthy foes for the Solar to fight. I've found the social system to be a bit too complex and kind of obscure, at least at first. I think I get it better now but I'm still wary about using it properly with like decision points and stuff. Leadership is also not super well defined, not many examples or guidelines.


      Pro - Better Balance: In my last campaign of 2e I played a Dawn battle hydra, which isn't even remotely the most powerful kind of Dawn, and near the end of the campaign a circle of high essence DB martial arts masters showed up. I raised my eyebrow at my ST and he assured me that we wouldn't waste any time rolling it out. So we went from that to a point where if you had 5 immaculate DB grand masters versus even a whole circle of essence 2 Solars, there's a fight there. That combat balance style also applies all over the place with stuff like social settings and even athletics style feats, it's definitely better.

      Con - Some Exalts Still Too Big: That being said, I often have problems working between what the game seems to suggest and what my players are often capable of. I've very often been left with really unsatisfying scenes where at the climax of an epic arc the antagonist gets unceremoniously dumped on, in either combat or social or some other merit like a horse race or something. I have no problem with my players being awesome and smashing through many challenges with the ease that you would expect from epic heroes, but sometimes it's still too much.


      Pro - I like basically all the changes to the setting. Lunars feel more capable and diverse, Dragonblooded feel less chumpy, the split between the near and far north is good.

      Con - The Solar charmset in particular feels a bit bloated, and some of the charms feel oddly specific in their application. I believe the point was that there would not need to be any supplement books after the corebook to augment Solar charms, which is admirable, but it does mean that there is a lot to grind through.


      Pro - I think evocations are cool and actually fairly well executed. They're exactly the right space for a developer or player to say "I had a cool idea for X little thing." that isn't really wide enough in applicability to put into a charmset, and/or has more to do with an item than personal abilities. Later evocations tend to work more smoothly than corebook ones,m though.

      Con - Supernals, while great at what they are supposed to do, can kind of ruin the feeling of character progression. It's not really a problem so much as a trap to fall into, if that even matters to you, but if you take too much right off the hop, you'll not really become a much better X as you gain xp, but just get better at other things.


      Pro - Dragonblooded Book: I'm bias of course, but I really liked how they made great houses feel like distinct factions, like running a Ledal game actually makes sense, not just a Dynasty game. Also their charms put them in range for me to do a lot better with the NPCs and guidelines.


      Hopefully sometime soon I can get a proper DB game in, and see if my gut feeling is right, or if there's hidden problems.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Gonzo View Post
        I think we had very similar experiences with Ex3 Croakamancer.
        Mmm... we're at a similar point though we took different paths to get here. You praise the setting as best take so far, I spent weeks upon discovering the edition in progress ranting at almost every quote about the setting in What We Know. But I take your point.

        Reading this thread is interesting, especially the number of people praising combat. I'm wondering how my experience here is so different from the norm, and will try and rethink my approach a bit. Kinda stand by what I said for the moment though: rocket tag has a ton of downsides, but if you aren't just twinking and optimising Ex2 could get visceral, immediate, tense and exciting. I stand by this one memory of a fight that had me on the edge of my seat. Ex3... the withering/decisive split makes moments like that way harder to do. And that's a shame. The engine is fun, but it's tough to get it to 'exciting'

        *hums* I'd kinda be down for a Power Combat variant in the STG. Maybe make all withering attacks against a crashed target do direct damage - like a Battle Group? *hums* May wanna spin this out into a thread later.

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        • #19
          I frankly don't understand the complaints that you can't have sudden, visceral, lethal combat in 3E. Even without taking into account Trivial opponents or treating NPCs as a size 0 battle group, my players have, on numerous occasions, decimated opponents round one.

          Its not hard at all to crack 7 initiative turn one, and there's tons of things that futz around with the Join Battle roll to get well in excess of it. That can set you up with enough dice to kill most things that aren't fellow empowered beings or critters with Legendary Size.

          Thrown and stealth are both very good at laying insane amounts of first action hurt on someone, and my Brawler Eclipse caste riding limit break dropped the five ox-body Dawn straight into Incap with a single punch.


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          • #20
            Originally posted by SamuraiMujuru View Post
            I frankly don't understand the complaints that you can't have sudden, visceral, lethal combat in 3E. Even without taking into account Trivial opponents or treating NPCs as a size 0 battle group, my players have, on numerous occasions, decimated opponents round one.

            Its not hard at all to crack 7 initiative turn one, and there's tons of things that futz around with the Join Battle roll to get well in excess of it. That can set you up with enough dice to kill most things that aren't fellow empowered beings or critters with Legendary Size.

            Thrown and stealth are both very good at laying insane amounts of first action hurt on someone, and my Brawler Eclipse caste riding limit break dropped the five ox-body Dawn straight into Incap with a single punch.
            Hey, what was that whole thing about 'mortals totally matter now'? :P

            Yeah, you can eliminate trivial opponents fairly quickly, even if you don't use the rules entitled that. My complaint is more trying to create a sorta excitement/sudden fear/despair in PCs, evoking that key moment when things could turn around against them. If a fight in Ex3 turns against the PCs, it's gonna be a slow grind down as they struggle to claw some initiative back. It's much harder to get that one sharp, shocking moment, that one key attack. Because any key attack has to be preceeded by one, if not more withering attacks, or possible a strong Awareness roll. I miss the feeling that every blow matters.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Croakamancer View Post

              Hey, what was that whole thing about 'mortals totally matter now'? :P

              Yeah, you can eliminate trivial opponents fairly quickly, even if you don't use the rules entitled that. My complaint is more trying to create a sorta excitement/sudden fear/despair in PCs, evoking that key moment when things could turn around against them. If a fight in Ex3 turns against the PCs, it's gonna be a slow grind down as they struggle to claw some initiative back. It's much harder to get that one sharp, shocking moment, that one key attack. Because any key attack has to be preceeded by one, if not more withering attacks, or possible a strong Awareness roll. I miss the feeling that every blow matters.
              Hitting an initiative shift (which is pretty doable when you hit someone in Crash with a decisive and get reset) creates that feeling pretty effectively, IMO. As can Clash attacks.


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              • #22
                Originally posted by Croakamancer View Post
                Hey, what was that whole thing about 'mortals totally matter now'?
                Still on the table. Not all mortals will be trivial opponents, and not all trivial opponents will be mortals.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by wastevens View Post

                  Hitting an initiative shift (which is pretty doable when you hit someone in Crash with a decisive and get reset) creates that feeling pretty effectively, IMO. As can Clash attacks.
                  Yeah, I generally find that, or to a lesser extent with Initiative Breaks.

                  People jump from Crash or a few initiative to loads of initiative, while their enemy drops from a significant amount into Crash.

                  One thing I noticed that I thought was interesting, was that I ran a number of fights where it felt to me that the PCs were never in any significant danger, as none of them actually took any damage. But the players felt they were in danger, sometimes even fleeing (I never saw anyone flee in 2nd ed), because they went into Crash and their enemies got lots of initiative.

                  I know that to me, as ST, players using Heavenly Guardian Defence felt unassailable... but to the players they didn't, because they kept running out of initiative.

                  So it seemed to create the feeling of back-and-forth tension and danger without actually doing any damage to the PCs. Which is rather different, and I think kind of good in terms of enjoyment (it's a bit complicated).


                  Anyway, one thing I'm finding interesting reading this thread, like Croakamancer mentioned, is how different people's experiences of the same game have been.

                  For example:
                  Originally posted by Croakamancer
                  My complaint is more trying to create a sorta excitement/sudden fear/despair in PCs, evoking that key moment when things could turn around against them.
                  I get this a lot more with 3rd ed than with 2nd, where perfect-spam leached out the excitement... or suddenly out of nowhere PCs died (I can think of at least three times that PCs killed other PCs without meaning to, to everyone's surprise).

                  Originally posted by Aiden
                  The combat system was fairly intuitive for the players to pick up on.
                  My players found it quite unintuitive. They're used to it now, but it took a while.

                  Originally posted by Aiden
                  but when one of your players is a Twilight Caste with Craft Supernal who is doing their utmost best to (and mechanically, can) churn Artifacts out and has a bunch of ideas
                  I've been disappointed with how few artefacts crafters have made. In fact, I regret taking Craft on one character, and really regret taking it with another character. Almost a total waste.

                  Originally posted by Eldagusto
                  Can’t have quick simple combat anymore, it is now always an investment of time.
                  Originally posted by Croakamancer
                  Combat is slooooow. It can get molasses level when opponents are roughly evenly matched.
                  I don't find combat very quick, but it's significantly faster than 2nd ed. About the same as DnD, and more interesting. And I suspect it'd be faster if I wasn't playing such high-xp games where the players can't remember all their charms well.

                  Originally posted by Aiden
                  4) The decision to exclude Sorcery from the usual 'You get to take everything up to Essence 5 in your Supernal' way of doing things.
                  For me, this was a very good decision.

                  Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey
                  I think evocations are cool and actually fairly well executed.
                  I kind of agree... but the thing is, I'm just generally not very interested in magic weapons.
                  I got Arms of Chosen, and basically felt it was a well-written book with a lot of good ideas... that I just wasn't very interested in.
                  I liked some of the weirder ones, like Asphodel or Gorgon, but most of them, as far as I was concerned, were just another combat tree, and there's plenty of combat trees as-is.


                  There's stuff others have said that I agree with too, of course. The Solar charmset is too bloated, Supernals can eliminate character progression as a kind of trap (though I think the character gen that lets you take a rating of 5 dots in seven different abilities already kind of does that), there's too much management (motes, wp, resets, onslaught, initiative, Aura, etc), the changes to the Dragonblood house fluff is good (to my surprise; I thought I'd hate it, but I don't), the combat system is good, the social system is good but a bit difficult, etc.

                  Anyway, I'm not saying "you guys are wrong!" Just that a lot of stuff seems to be things people have quite different experiences of, and I think that's weird, but also interesting.


                  One final thing:
                  Originally posted by Gonzo
                  I don't get why gaining momentum and advantage towards an enemy lets me throw a powerful decisive attack to another enemy over which I hold no tactical advantage... I may be playing it wrong I don't know, see #1 of this list.
                  Nope, that's how the rules work.
                  It's kind of weird. I had great fun harvesting initiative off a mortal guard who thought he was trapping me until his Dawn boss arrived, and then I hit the Dawn for a 52-dice damage roll. I think the Dawn's player was a bit irritated though, because it's kind of stupid.

                  But I think it probably works like that because a)it comes up less than you'd expect, and b)tracking it seperately for each character would be a big hassle. And Exalted already has enough stuff to track.
                  Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 02-05-2019, 02:53 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

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Boston123 View Post
                    *most* of the issues posted so far in this thread effectively go away once you stop playing Exalted and start playing mortals. Im not kidding
                    I believe you. TBH, that's like 2nd ed. Most of the problems people complained about in 2nd ed went away if you played a mortal game.
                    Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 02-05-2019, 02:54 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

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                    • #25
                      So, my own quick pro-con list...

                      Pros:
                      • The combat system,
                      • certain Solar charm trees (Investigation, Occult and Larceny are big improvements from 2nd ed),
                      • the DB and Arms charmsets
                      • the changes to fluff and new locations (though sometimes I think the lack of magitech robs something unique about Exalted)
                      • the rules for antagonists, such as spirits and monsters.

                      Cons:
                      • Character gen,
                      • certain Solar charm trees (Athletics, Craft and Presence being the worst),
                      • the movement rules,
                      • the sheer number of charms (both in the charmset, and that you start with),
                      • the complexity of the game (which is connected to the number of charms, but not entirely; I liked the ideas of the social system, for example, but in practice it's been a bit too complex for most of the social PCs to really engage with.
                      • the lack of high-level antagonists.
                      A couple of these may not be as bad at low-XP play (presumably 15 charms plus excellencies is easy to keep track of), I don't know, but they're problematic at the high-XP I've been playing/running (40 charms plus excellencies is definitely not easy to keep track of).

                      The Dragonblood charm set and Evocations are much better than the Solar charmset (though the DB one is a bit fiddly for less mechanically-minded players), so I'm optimistic for upcoming books. Hundred Devils Night Parade has generally been quite good, though I'd like more high-powered stuff.
                      Adversaries of the Righteous is similar; I really don't care about mortal NPCs, and even something like the Exigent was interesting but way too weak to be very useful. They're not badly written, I just need more powerful stuff.
                      Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 02-05-2019, 02:47 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

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post

                        I believe you. TBH, that's like 2nd ed. Most of the problems people complained about in 2nd ed went away if you played a mortal game.
                        I’ll second that, I actually ran a 5th campaign that I neglected to mention. It was short, 3-4 sessions, and amaaazing. My mortal PCs battled exalted foes, ancient monsters, flew daring airship chases, it was great. It’s hard to compare apples to oranges but it’s one of my favourite campaigns so far I think.


                        Also as to edge of the seat combat, I also have to say 3rd edition does it more for me than second. In second edition perfects and flurry breakers and stuff makes a large chunk of fighting boring. In third edition though I’ve had countless times where one of two big bad guys got annihilated by our dawn, only to have the other bad guy hammer him into crash and pick up 30 initiative. Then everyone at the table gets that “oh shiiit” look when they realize that if she lands that next decisive hit, they’re dead. Then it’s a desperate struggle to get her initiative down before she lands it.


                        As to mortals mattering, I’d say they do, but in specific ways and times. Like I said, I think this system is way better than last edition although not quite where I’d want it. Most average mortals, like with 2s in their stats, are nothing, even in a battlegroup. The most they usually do there is rack up an onslaught penalty. Where they ARE useful though, is as big mortal heroes, combined with supernatural foes and/or battle groups. If your big bad Abyssal has a powerful mortal lieutenant in command of a battlegroup of 100 archers who are peppering your entire fight with arrows, they’re something you have to deal with. Without sorcery, that usually means wasting a decisive on the mortal and at least one somewhat fruitless withering against the battlegroup. If you don’t they could pretty reasonably get an AoE attack with like 16+ dice to hit against most of your party. Their damage will probably be low enough that the heavy armor people will get chipped at and have an onslaught penalty rack up, where the softer members are going to have to spend motes not to get hit or actually take reasonable damage.

                        It’s not a total game changer, but it does technically matter, where in 2e with Infinite Melee Excellency up they could be ignored to absolutely no detriment.



                        Edit: I should also add we houseruled battlegroups to only give one initiative break per attack even if they get dropped more than one magnitude.
                        Last edited by DrLoveMonkey; 02-05-2019, 04:57 PM.

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                        • #27
                          Not really an exhaustive list on either side, but:

                          Pro:
                          -DBs actually feel like Exalts
                          -Combat is not perfect-spam
                          -Social system has texture without being a combat analogue
                          -Most setting changes
                          -The idea, if not execution, of Evocations
                          -Lunars have a role in the setting

                          Cons:
                          -Crafting
                          -Needing to homebrew charm trees to make Artifacts worth it and, for some characters, to have a useful outlet for half your XP - and not getting a system to help people who aren't good at homebrew (yet)
                          -Crafting
                          -Transferability of momentum (but I'm not sure how to make a comprehensible fix)
                          -Really dull fights between high soak opponents
                          -Deprecating magitech
                          -Crafting

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                          • #28
                            I agree with a lot of that.

                            I'm a bit uncertain about the magitech.

                            On the one hand, sometimes 3rd edition seemed like it was just Magitech, Magitech, Magitech, especially when playing Dragonblood (most of us had Magitech armour, because it was so much better than normal artefact armour). And it kind of detracted from everything else; it seemed like the magitech setting, rather than the Wuxia-Anime-Classical Mythology setting.

                            On the other hand, I started playing DnD again a year or two ago, and I used to play a lot of Qin (the Wuxia game about ancient China). Magitech, essentially, is one of the things that is very distinct about Exalted.
                            (And FFVI is one of my favourite ever games.)


                            Crafting... I thought Crafting was a terrible mess when I first read it. Then later I realised that maybe the issue was the Solar charms. The DB charms seem much less broken.
                            I know some people have found the Craft system very good.
                            And then I tried actually playing a Solar crafter myself (twice), and I found it a)dull, and b)not worth the XP cost of all those charms. Though I went with the XP-generation charm tree (as crafters I saw before were chronically short of craft XP) and I've seen people on this forum call it a trap.

                            I think maybe it could be good with a very different charmset. DB craft is better written, but... well, I found Solar craft not worth the XP, and DB charms are weaker, so... We'll see what Lunar craft is like.

                            Originally posted by squidheadjax
                            Really dull fights between high soak opponents
                            All but one PC I've played/played alongside has had low soak and high damage (most of them had artefact weapons or used Brawl, hardly any had even regular armour, let alone artefact armour).
                            The one guy with (very, very) high soak I did have a fun fight with, but I had high damage, so I guess it balances.

                            I can imagine fights between high-soak opponents are dull, since presumably damage is very slow, but I've not seen it myself.

                            But then, I remember when the two soak-and-regen-build Full Moons in my 2nd ed game fought each other.
                            It took ages and ages, and went nowhere. So dull. They kept doing 1 or 2 damage, then regenerating it.

                            In the end, I just said "you fight for a whole day then drop from exhaustion."

                            So, at least it's no worse than the old edition.


                            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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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                              I agree with a lot of that.
                              I think maybe it could be good with a very different charmset. DB craft is better written, but... well, I f why does he look twice as old as ound Solar craft not worth the XP, and DB charms are weaker, so... We'll see what Lunar craft is like.
                              I have hope for this, mostly because quite a few DB craft charms either do things in addition to acting with the craft system, or are just outside of it. Like supplementing demolition, generating unexpected bonus traits, or making their final art piece act as a social influence roll. That last one I might even homebrew an essence 5 upgrade or something where the effect doesn't go away after a few days. That way you can have an awesome warship from the Shogunate that just exudes fear, or maybe pride.

                              Also it might do the thing that many of the systems do and become more workable when a Solar isn't driving the Solar bulldozer through them. Supreme Perfection of Craft is the reason both crafters in the games I played in stopped even counting points.

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                              • #30
                                Pros:

                                -No raping pens, rape brothels, Yozi rape orgies, Infernal raping contests, or Nexus rape districts.
                                -I can actually run the system without tearing my hair out.
                                -Lunar dominions.
                                -The Dreaming Sea.
                                -The less said about Halta in previous editions, the better.
                                -The fuckin' artwork, man.
                                -Castes mean something.
                                -Human beings don't get treated like interchangeable cogs in a machine the second I want to run an organization or kingdom.
                                -Craft rules that actually incentivize me to craft.
                                -Intimacies are important.
                                -No Virtues to min-max for best mote-to-compulsion ratio.
                                -The Distaff.
                                -Liminals.
                                -Exigents.
                                -Getimians.
                                -The Niobraran conflict.
                                -The Caul.
                                -Social scenes no longer feel like skeevy brainwashing unless you specifically build your character that way.
                                -Solar XP.
                                -More than two Martial Arts Styles in the Core.
                                -More than four Stealth Charms in the Core.
                                -More than enough Dodge Charms in the Core.
                                -More than enough Socialize Charms in the Core.
                                -More than enough Craft Charms in the Core.
                                -More than enough Brawl Charms in the Core.
                                -The Realm can meaningfully oppose Solars.
                                -The Guild can meaningfully oppose Solars.
                                -Sidereals can meaningfully oppose Solars.
                                -Lunars can meaningfully oppose Solars.
                                -Dragon-Blooded can meaningfully oppose Solars.
                                -Sorcerers can meaningfully oppose Solars.
                                -Mortals can meaningfully oppose Solars.
                                -Young Solars can meaningfully oppose elder Solars.
                                -A PC who isn't built for combat can never be accidentally killed by the ST who understands the combat system.
                                -The Orichalcum Rule.
                                -The Red Rule.
                                -Being old no longer implies that an Exalt will have hundreds or thousands of XP.
                                -Artifacts feel unique and powerful.
                                -You no longer need a magical base of operations you may or may not care about just to have a hearthstone.
                                -Sorcerous workings.
                                -Sorcerous initiations.
                                -Starting at Essence 1 and being unable to buy it higher at chargen makes actually getting to 5 feel pretty damned meaningful.
                                -"This Evocation unlocks for free when…"
                                -Karvara.
                                -Great Curse mechanics more in keeping with how the setting's presented it.

                                Cons:
                                -It feels pretty irksome at times to go on forums and see people bad-mouthing the very aspects you're praising.
                                Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 02-05-2019, 07:58 PM.

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