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  • #61
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

    That sounds kind of Draconian as a Storyteller.

    Personal tastes aside, that just doesn't sound like good conduct as a Storyteller. Seems like the kind of thing one ought to move past for the sake of one's players.
    Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post

    That's not fair to the st who wants to run something but can't because of "canon". It's there for setting cohesion but you shouldn't be beholden to it.
    Quite. "My table, my take" is hardly draconian, it's a baseline of RPG play and the DM/Player relationship. Do you think I should feel obliged to ST stories with a version of the setting I dislike just because it's what's in the newest book? Forcing players to read a massive additional setting bible or getting mad about slip ups would be draconian, but asking players to abide by my preferences as a ST is just reasonable boundary setting.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by HighPriest View Post
      1. Far too little official material.
      I did find this to be a big issue when the game came out. Especially as my game was a continuation of a 2nd ed game, so they were at Essence 4 (I argued that Essence 4 was the new 5, to knock them down, but I didn't think I could get away with cutting them down even more), making the antagonist in the back of the book even more useless.
      The only ones I got any real use out of were Elite Soldiers (for Battle Groups) and Ahlat.

      I think it's a lot better now, though I'd still like more powerful stuff. There's some good powerful stuff in Hundred Devils (like the lava-behemoth, I'd really like to see our ST use that, he said he would but so far hasn't) but not enough, and none of the Antagonists of the Righteous are very powerful.

      Originally posted by HighPriest
      I don't have a huge inclination to put down $2 per NPC sheet sight unseen either.
      If you click on "Full-Size Preview" you can see the first page or two. That generally gives me enough information to know whether I want to buy it or not (not always, because I can't see anything about the second Hundred Devils entry, but generally).

      I think it'd help if the description actually said what they were, rather than being a generic description, though.

      3E has been available for sale for almost three years and has exactly two published books.
      I suppose this is kind of true.* You can get Dragonblood on BackerKit though.

      *Though technically it's the Core, Miracles and Arms.

      I think that it's going to speed up now, Vance and Minton seem to be going at a decent rate, but the big gap between the kickstart of the Core and its release, and then between its release and the release of Arms, makes it look pretty bad.

      I'd need at least a new collection of sample non-Solar Exalts to ever consider running 3E again.
      That's what Adversaries of the Righteous basically is, but it's very slow.*

      *Partly because it's slowed to one character a month, but also because sometimes they do mortals, which are a waste of time IMO because I don't need stats for mortals, I can do that myself in 30 seconds. Or even as they need them.
      But the two Dragonblood, Exigent, Sidereal, Lunar, Raksha and god they've done are all decent (well, the Exigent is a bit weak, but I liked her).

      I've had several groups say that the withering/decisive thing still wasn't working out for them after 3-4 sessions, which seems to not really jive with the overall community experience here, so I don't know what we were doing differently.
      For us, I'd say that 3-4 sessions was about the time it took to grok.

      I'm not sure why they even wasted the wordcount on the leadership "system", since it basically boils down to "figure it out yourself" spaced out over three pages.
      People seem to expect it. I've seen people say it's good, and others that they want it to involve even more stuff.
      Personally I skimmed it. I don't see any need for it.

      6. The retention of the difference in Bonus Points at creation and Experience during play. As things stand now, it's really hard for me to not look at character creation as a "winnable" (or more importantly, "loseable") minigame, a state of affairs which I loathe.
      You've expressed my thoughts pretty much exactly.

      Exalted's character gen system is fast (except for deciding on your 15 charms, of course), and straightforward. But it is, as you say, a loseable minigame.

      7. I dislike much of the core book art, at least compared to 2E's core. Though not as bad as the backer draft, I still find many pieces of the art from the 3E core pretty bad, and really dislike the cover. I probably wouldn't buy it in a store if I had leafed through it first.
      I recently went back and looked at my copy of the 2nd ed Core, and yeah, it's way better. It comes off as having a more uniform style, and the Ameri-manga style of much of it immediately tells you what the game is about.
      (1st ed's Core had some absolutely awful art in though. A few nice pieces, but a lot of trash.)

      There are pieces I like in the 3rd ed Core, but 2nd ed does have much better quality art.

      (Though we've laughed for years at that picture of a Zenith killing a dog in the combat rules.)

      Miracles has really good art though, and Arms and Dragonblood are pretty good. There's a particular artist they used a fair bit in Arms and Dragonblood that I really like (I don't know their name though).


      Art, the clarity of the mechanics, how bloated the charmset is, how slow books come out, the small amount of antagonists written up...
      These are all problems that have, frankly, got much better since the Core book came out (unsurprisingly for the first one).
      I'd say the only thing I'd hoped would improve that hasn't is the amount of tracking that needs to be done (since Dragonblood have to keep track of their Aura, which is itself a bit fiddly). Though I don't see that Lunars are going to have stuff to keep track of that Solars don't.

      And, while there are bits that maybe aren't great in the core mechanics of the game, overall I think it is good (though I can see parts are still contraversial). It's certainly way more balanced than 2nd ed. Despite the good art and writing of some of the 2nd ed books (though not all!), the base system was problematic, meaning it needed to be errata'd in big ways.
      I don't think that's necessary with 3rd ed's combat system and social system.

      And this is why I'm really looking forward to Lunars. I'm hoping, maybe next year or something, I can run a Lunars game where the antagonists are Dragonblood, sorcerers, demons, monsters, and the odd other Exalt, and so if there are problems with the Solar charmset it doesn't matter much.
      (And if some people really, really want to play Solars, they'll likely be people who like the Solar charmset rather than those who don't.)
      Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 02-06-2019, 04:53 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

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by Croakamancer View Post
        For 'not trying to be antagonistic' and 'not a personal attack' describing my prefered take as 'sucking on a thematic and ontological level' is... a unique approach. :P
        That's why I included so many disclaimers! I was trying to make clear that I don't think your take sucks--it's just my reading of 2e's canon that Dragonblooded suck. Their inferiority seems to be hammered in again and again, in big and small ways. Compare that to Ex3, where they're presented more as the heroes of their own stories.

        So to more explicitly state why I brought it up and quoted you, I guess I'd like to know either a) why you prefer the 'suckier' DBs of 2e, or b) why you think my priors are incorrect and 2e's DBs aren't suckier at all! (Or any third option, if how we're thinking about DBs in Exalted is completely orthogonal.)

        All my disclaimers are because I'm genuinely interested in your opinion, and I'm trying to make it very clear that I'm not sealioning you.

        Comment


        • #64
          Has anyone tried the naval system?

          Like... that's a new system. It doesn't look very complex. There are charms that are based on it. And my ST was probably going to use it when the Realm invades the land of lakes we're just south of.

          But I've never seen it used, so I don't know how it is in practice.


          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


          • #65
            Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
            Has anyone tried the naval system?
            I rather enjoyed it in my West game. Haven't tried it with Spider or Knight Raiton, though Carter Brus does have dots in Sail, now that you mention it…

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            • #66
              Originally posted by Abakus View Post

              That's why I included so many disclaimers! I was trying to make clear that I don't think your take sucks--it's just my reading of 2e's canon that Dragonblooded suck. Their inferiority seems to be hammered in again and again, in big and small ways. Compare that to Ex3, where they're presented more as the heroes of their own stories.

              So to more explicitly state why I brought it up and quoted you, I guess I'd like to know either a) why you prefer the 'suckier' DBs of 2e, or b) why you think my priors are incorrect and 2e's DBs aren't suckier at all! (Or any third option, if how we're thinking about DBs in Exalted is completely orthogonal.)

              All my disclaimers are because I'm genuinely interested in your opinion, and I'm trying to make it very clear that I'm not sealioning you.
              Hehe. With you, and not mad..

              *hums* Honestly, the text you're talking about is something less direct and clear cut. There's no one para in 2E that flat out says 'Dragonblooded are Lame and Solars are Awesome'. What's generally brought up are those passages from the Manual of Exalted Power that get derogatory about the role the Dragon Blooded had in the First Age. And that never bothered me. Whatever they might have been created to be like, the Dragon Blooded today are the Princes of the Earth, and had centuries to grow into that role. All that stuff about their origins is prologue: the Dragons of the present day were cool to me. If the mechanics didn't back that up, that sucks but just in fluff terms they felt like they ought to be cool. The Vegeta to a Solar Goku if you will.

              Now, the fact that the setting tends to take pot shots at Dragon Blooded rule and loves to go on and on about how awesome our shiny overlords are and how they made things all better and people just all loved them... yeah, that grated on me. I'd like more respect given to the Dragon Blooded. I'd like the Shogunate to be a cool time period that could mean something to players, even if it was far from perfect. I'd like to be able to talk up the Realm as this morally complex thing, an oppressive homogenizing empire that is still capable of doing good, driving back the Fae, defending Creation from actual threats.

              Tarnished bronze. Lesser, corrupted and in need of improvement, but safe.

              Buuuut I don't feel that 3E tackles those complaints. If anything dev commentary seems to suggest the intent is to lean further into the stuff I dislike: that trying to make an oppressive empire morally complex is the same thing as excusing Imperialism. *sigh* That's for a different thread, this is just me outlining my PoV on the edition changes since you asked. (I also kinda think WFHW leaned a little into Flanderization of the Great Houses... but just a little, and some of the new ideas I did like. Kinda evens on that front.)

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                I rather enjoyed it in my West game. Haven't tried it with Spider or Knight Raiton, though Carter Brus does have dots in Sail, now that you mention it…
                This was with Captain... Barbus? Barbar? I can't remember their name exactly.

                I guess a Western game used it a lot.

                What did you like about 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


                • #68
                  Originally posted by Croakamancer View Post

                  Hehe. With you, and not mad..

                  *hums* Honestly, the text you're talking about is something less direct and clear cut. There's no one para in 2E that flat out says 'Dragonblooded are Lame and Solars are Awesome'.
                  No, they put that in sidereals and Yu-shan. However, I feel you should try 1st edition dragon blooded because it was a better written book and is much more favorable to dragon blooded than 2e was. Most of 2e was just a copy and paste.
                  Last edited by Epimetheus; 02-06-2019, 05:20 PM.

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
                    No, they put that in sidereals and Yu-shan. However, I feel you should try 1st edition because it was a better written book.
                    Oh, the 'gods hate Dragon Blooded because they're not the rightful Princes of the Earth' thing?

                    That's BS but that's a sidebar, and IIRC rooted in 1E (at least one of the Aspect books made a thing of Shogunate Dragons not being able to win deities respect for the same reason), Never felt like a core component of their portrayal, and when it came up felt more that it meant the gods were stupid jerks rather than DBs sucked at all. There was also that bit in the Daystar write up about how there was this sacred super sword meant for the leader of the Exalted host and no Dragon Blood could hope to gain permission to wield it.

                    To this day, as a Dragon Blooded fan, I take that as a challenge.

                    (As to 1E... well I've probably been biased against it by all the 3E fans telling me that 1E is superior in just about every way to 2E. I've read a fair amount of it and seldom find that to stack up personally. Did you have a specific book in mind?)

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                    • #70
                      Edit: Ninja'd

                      Yeah, 1st ed had a lot of cultural details that were a bit missing from 2nd ed. Though I still thought 2nd ed Dragonblood was a good book (except for the charm writer's inability to understand Steps and poor ability to balance charms against each other).

                      Originally posted by Croakamancer
                      I also kinda think WFHW leaned a little into Flanderization of the Great Houses... but just a little, and some of the new ideas I did like. Kinda evens on that front.
                      I expected to hate all the new stuff, because I did like the old Houses, but yeah, some of the new ideas actually ended up being quite good.

                      As for flanderisation... yeah, I can see that, but it's not nearly as bad as I thought it'd be when Morke originally was talking about it. I don't know if that's because he was focusing on changes, trying to convince people who didn't like the old houses that the new ones were different, or because it ended up written by someone else, but either way, I was happy with the result.

                      I'd like the Shogunate to be a cool time period that could mean something to players, even if it was far from perfect.
                      I'd like it to be cool, but most of all I'd just like PCs to have learned more than 2 paragraphs about it in school. Even if it's not that interesting, I'd like Dragonblood to know what their own history is. And that needs players to know about it, rather than knowing a ton of ancient Solar pre-history and very little about the Dragonblood's own golden age (which would likely have better preserved records).

                      The new Dragonblood is, I have to say, better in terms of presenting history than the old book, though we'll see how things are in the Realm book.

                      As to presentation of the Empire, I didn't actually find the Dragonblood book to be painting everyone in the Realm as pure evil. It may just be something that was said on forums. But on the other hand, that'd be more in the Realm book than What Fire Has Wrought.


                      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


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Croakamancer View Post

                        Oh, the 'gods hate Dragon Blooded because they're not the rightful Princes of the Earth' thing?

                        That's BS but that's a sidebar, and IIRC rooted in 1E (at least one of the Aspect books made a thing of Shogunate Dragons not being able to win deities respect for the same reason), Never felt like a core component of their portrayal, and when it came up felt more that it meant the gods were stupid jerks rather than DBs sucked at all. There was also that bit in the Daystar write up about how there was this sacred super sword meant for the leader of the Exalted host and no Dragon Blood could hope to gain permission to wield it.

                        To this day, as a Dragon Blooded fan, I take that as a challenge.

                        (As to 1E... well I've probably been biased against it by all the 3E fans telling me that 1E is superior in just about every way to 2E. I've read a fair amount of it and seldom find that to stack up personally. Did you have a specific book in mind?)
                        I still think the first edition DB book is better than second edition and 3rd. Not mechanics obviously but there is a lot of attention to detail that the other two editions never bothered with. Personally, I'm very mixed on 3E but a lot of the core books were handled better in 1e. There are some things I like more in 2e but you have to realize, in the beginning of 2e was just churning out all the books as fast as possible which lead to the sidereal charmset being really poorly ported and the scroll of the monk. Like sidereals are my favorite exalt. I read both editions of that book more times than I can count and I can tell you massive chunks were wholesale lifted and what little wasn't lifted was put into yu-shan. There was a number of things that didn't get ported though, which just made 2e worse in my opinion.
                        Last edited by Epimetheus; 02-06-2019, 05:42 PM.

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Croakamancer View Post
                          (As to 1E... well I've probably been biased against it by all the 3E fans telling me that 1E is superior in just about every way to 2E. I've read a fair amount of it and seldom find that to stack up personally. Did you have a specific book in mind?)
                          I like the fluff of the Aspect Books Abyssals, Blood and Salt, Cult of the Illuminated, Dragonblooded, Houses of the Bull God, Manacle and Coin and Outcastes. In some cases (Abyssals, Outcastes) more than the 2nd ed equivalent (a lot more for Lookshy. I am not a fan of Compass: Scavenger Lands).

                          Scavenger Sons has good and bad bits, but the scale is very bad. Savage Seas I found dull, Kingdom of Halta has terrible demographics, Lunars has a few nice bits but is mostly very one-dimensional. Ruins of Rathess comes off, to me, as a bit silly. Bastions of the North I liked one-third of, and not the other two-thirds. Time of Tumult is mixed. The Caste Books are okay but nothing special.

                          2nd ed Lunars and Compass: North are, I think, much better than their 1st edition equivalents. Masters of Jade is probably better than Manacle and Coin, but Manacle and Coin is still quite good. And a lot of stuff doesn't have much of an equivalent in 1st ed so isn't comparable.
                          And some stuff is basically the same anyway.

                          (The other stuff I don't have copies of. I hear Games of Divinity is better than its 2nd ed equivalents, but I only skimmed my friend's copy once, so I can't comment on that. It's probably hard to rate; I like the Malfeas book but not some of the other demon fluff, I don't love or hate Yu-Shan, I like Glories: Luna and Glories: Maidens but not Glories: UCS, and obviously in 1st ed they didn't have seperate books.)


                          So it's quite mixed.
                          2nd ed has way better art though. I liked the comics a lot more than 1st ed/3rd ed's prose intros.
                          Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 02-06-2019, 05:44 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


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                            I expected to hate all the new stuff, because I did like the old Houses, but yeah, some of the new ideas actually ended up being quite good.

                            As for flanderisation... yeah, I can see that, but it's not nearly as bad as I thought it'd be when Morke originally was talking about it. I don't know if that's because he was focusing on changes, trying to convince people who didn't like the old houses that the new ones were different, or because it ended up written by someone else, but either way, I was happy with the result.
                            *nods* It's not a big deal, like... it feels like we got a clearer feel for each house as a distinct entity, their culture, how they fit into the framework of Realm society and what others think of them, but it came at the cost of making it seem like DBs of a given house had to fit into the ideas of that house, or counterconform. I don't hate the 3E take, and enjoyed reading it, just feel like it's worth taking it with a grain of salt. I might be in the process of planning a game with Dragon Blooded clones, an Albert Wesker expy and lifting the opening scene of Final Fantasy VII (only now with zombies and a Kraken), but even I have a silliness threshold.

                            I'd like it to be cool, but most of all I'd just like PCs to have learned more than 2 paragraphs about it in school. Even if it's not that interesting, I'd like Dragonblood to know what their own history is. And that needs players to know about it, rather than knowing a ton of ancient Solar pre-history and very little about the Dragonblood's own golden age (which would likely have better preserved records).

                            The new Dragonblood is, I have to say, better in terms of presenting history than the old book, though we'll see how things are in the Realm book.

                            As to presentation of the Empire, I didn't actually find the Dragonblood book to be painting everyone in the Realm as pure evil. It may just be something that was said on forums. But on the other hand, that'd be more in the Realm book than What Fire Has Wrought.
                            It's mostly past forumite content at this point. I was trying to say that while I felt there was room for improvement in 2Es portrayal dev commentary (and writer commentary) suggests the team don't see the matter quite the same way I do.

                            Eh. We agree on the need for more Shogunate. (Why wasn't 'history of the Shogunate' a part of Heirs again?) I still don't think we've got much but here's hoping more's to come

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Croakamancer View Post

                              snip
                              Thanks for taking the time to go through all that! I don't agree with all of it, but you definitely make some good points. One of the things I'm hoping for as The Realm and Lunars come out is more of that moral complexity, especially regarding the Immaculate Philosophy where I think there's a lot of room for it. I'd contend that those themes are at least somewhat present--Ledaal is a prime example. It is complicating that the removal of the Thousand Dooms (something I like but you said you weren't crazy about) makes it harder for the Realm to be the "good guys" on a grand scale, just because there are much fewer threats that require a world-spanning super power to solve. I agree that there's room for moral complexity when you can frame the situation as "oppressive imperial overlords vs soul-sucking aliens," but I suppose I'm more optimistic than you are that, as the setting is fleshed out, the devs will handle the Realm in an interesting way. If for no other reason than, if they don't, DBs and Sids look like chumps.

                              I'm surprised to hear you describe the Great House writeups as Flanderization, because IMO most of them became more complex and in-depth. Sesus, though? I'll definitely grant you that one.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
                                I still think the first edition DB book is better than second edition and 3rd. Not mechanics obviously but there is a lot of attention to detail that the other two editions never bothered with. Personally, I'm very mixed on 3E but a lot of the core books were handled better in 1e. There are some things I like more in 2e but you have to realize, in the beginning of 2e was just churning out all the books as fast as possible which lead to the sidereal charmset being really poorly ported and the scroll of the monk. Like sidereals are my favorite exalt. I read both editions of that book more times than I can count and I can tell you massive chunks were wholesale lifted and what little wasn't lifted was put into yu-shan. There was a number of things that didn't get ported though, which just made 2e worse in my opinion.
                                I've skimmed 1e DBs. There were a few bits and pieces there, but not much that I hadn't found in other sources.

                                And heh. I will defend 2E on many counts but mechanics are not one of them. My first reaction to hearing 3E was coming was great excitement: everyone knew 2E was a mess mechanically but we played because we loved the setting. The fact that we were not the target audience was not-fun.

                                Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                                So it's quite mixed.
                                2nd ed has way better art though. I liked the comics a lot more than 1st ed/3rd ed's prose intros.
                                Hefty agreement on that. The comics were really trademark, something that set Ex2's books apart. The fic... does not compare. Ain't even close.

                                It's still really interesting how much we can disagree on stuff. 2E Abyssals was my introduction to Exalted, and while its approach to 'stating' Deathlords was black comedy, a lot of its fluff I love to death. (I defend Resonance to this day as a great idea not quite well executed, but eh. Personal philosophy). Didn't really find any 1E material that wowed me or outweighed 2E. (Cult of the Illuminated was interesting matter, and probably the closest, but I prefer a slightly different take on the Gold Faction.)

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