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  • #16
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

    I'm suddenly picturing a whole session consisting of being holed up with House leadership (are they all part of the same House?), amounting to a series of conversations and negotiations concerning the terms for where and when the Dynasts are allowed to be. Presumably under circumstances where the characters might have gained a bit of prestige, enough to respond to the matriarch with counter offers rather than immediate obedience.

    Maybe with an edge of subterfuge concerning the matter of where exactly their priorities lie.
    Oooh yes, that would be awesome. Especially since there could be so many layers to it. The actual conversation that they're having about where their responsibilities should lead them. Duty to their house, duty to the Empire, the Satrapy, and whatever organizations they may belong to like the Immaculate Order. Then the subtle underpinning of trying to suss out loyalties, what exactly everyone wants behind the facade of being right honourable servants of the house/dynasty. Woven through that there might be a hint that the PCs get, implying one of the members of the house is an agent of the All-Seeing-Eye. Could she be trouble? Made to ally with you?

    Then if they get her on their side, she will help greatly in negotiating what the PCs want, then we do a wrapup scene or two, and just as they leave the city they get a message from her. They now owe her a favour, and she will absolutely not forget that fact. Nice.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Measure of Hope View Post
      For more diversity of character types you could all be part of the same house, united only by that common loyalty, and trying to navigate your family through treacherous times with your diverse skillsets. You probably have less experience working together because you've led different lives since childhood, and might still have conflicting loyalties with the institutions you're part of outside the house.
      All awesome ideas, thank you very much. This in particular will be a hard sell for my group. All being from the same house opens up a lot of opportunities that I like. I could maybe make one house the focus and the odd PC or two could be out? That way there's mega suspicion from other members of the house in the Hearth. Or married into it maybe?

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      • #18
        Yeah, men from other houses married into the main house would work. Or just focus on multiple houses that are closely allied. Probably focus more on a few households from those houses that are all in one area, to keep the focus tight. Like, pick or create a city, create a few households from allied houses that form one bloc in the local sociopolitical landscape. Create some rival households and points of contention, resources or offices they're competing for, etc. A secret spanner no one expects to throw in the works later, naturally...


        "Measure of Hope is right about everything." - Wise Old Guru

        Currently running an Exalted 2.5 Abyssals game in a homebrew modern shard because I value neither my time or my sanity, and I'm loving almost every minute of it.

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        • #19
          Considering the general Realm attitude to Sworn Kinships, it might be valid for somebody to bring their Hearthmates home and get concession for them to come into some family meetings or closed door negotiations of personal matters. Especially if the Hearth has gotten some collective prestige from some accomplishment.

          Maybe a certain internal power imbalance would help as well; most of them are "just" another member of their respective Houses, but somebody there is being groomed for leadership or is the matriarch's granddaughter or currently Mnemon's favourite great-great grandchild who got regularly invited to tea in youth. Somebody who is being more firmly and authoritatively held to account by their House even after they're starting to develop a career.

          So it's like, out in the field, you're just another one of the gang and you're advancing a bit more based on your own achievements and connection, and then a letter arrives and it's "sorry friends, Mater is calling me personally back to attend one of the weddings and schmooze and probably retire to the study for a drink and a conversation about my future". The Hearth insists on going with, the value of the institution makes their way a bit, and they start developing a reputation as coming as a package deal. When time comes for the matriarch to start laying down concrete plans, there's a foundation for including the mates in the discussion.

          I think some of this may be deviating from canon slightly. It depends a bit on how one envisions hierarchy working within Houses; sure, the description says that the matriarch has a hand in selecting things like the schooling of every House scion, but it may be that in a lot of cases any direct involvement that entailed may have dropped off following graduation (not least because there are other children to attend to). It comes back for deciding on marriage, but there may be cases where that occupies less attention, like where somebody hasn't achieved much to distinguish them individually so far.

          But anyway, hierarchy; the matter of not all households within a Great House being created equal. That there might be radiuses of influence from the core of a Houses power in which the nuclear families are arranged. Sometimes that distance is set by actual distance in the family tree, or setting up your home somewhere from which travel back and forth is a bit less convenient. Sometimes it's a home that was bad with money. Sometimes some blunder or misfortune or scandal causes you to fall from favour. When the lady of the house has a child of her own, and turns up to Mnemon to seek advice and instruction, Mnemon will need to take a few moments to remember her (which might be put on). Mnemon might not pull as many connections to get your kid sent to one of the better primary schools. If they get into one of the top four secondary schools, they're not entering with an already established circle of friends. If you don't distinguish yourself by the standards of the Exalted, you've got a few setbacks.

          Really, it's the kind of thing that might get you assigned to troubleshooting in a satrapy in the first place. Not even one of your own House's, your service is paying off some obscure debt. You're a hero of the Realm sure, but you're ultimately an operative, where somebody else is being set up to take leadership. That person got set up with a cushy job overseeing a business interest back on the Blessed Isle.

          Point is, you're not a high priority in your own House, but a well-connected Hearthmate, with whom you wound up in proximity because that person wanted to strike out on their own a bit, that might be the ticket. Probably helps if they're a Cathak, given that House's reputation. Or heck, despite her being my go-to example before, a member of House Mnemon might provide an avenue for advancement beyond your own House, what with how she seems inclined to keeping an eye out for talent. The Realm is matriarchal, but Houses probably still have women of low prestige or promise, and part of how a canny matriarch recoups the investment in them is using them to snare promising men from other Houses.

          On the face of it, that sounds like something for men to advance with, but supposing you're some daughter of Peleps from the margins of that sizable House, the type where the Admiralty arranging a good husband to serve your household is low on the list of priorities. You become Sworn Kin to an up and coming Cathak, you get invited to the big parties and have a place of prestige, make the right impression. Maybe Cainan sends the admirals a letter "hey, that girl of yours has made quite a splash around my parts; I've got some rather accomplished lads over here whom I think would make a good match, if you're interested". Next time you show up at the family barbecue, you're showing off your fancy new husband, who helped cut off some Lunar's fingers and will be putting those skills to service out in the West now.

          Hey, did anybody else here see The Favourite?
          Last edited by Isator Levi; 02-25-2019, 04:31 AM.


          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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          • #20
            That’s bloody perfect. Especially if the focus house is one jonesing for a claim to the throne or some other such thing and the PC from out of house is a man from a house that just wants to be the power behind the throne or have big influence in the Thousand Scales or whatever. Then you’ve got powers on both sides trying to use that connection to gather info and leverage influence.

            Then the wily PCs can use that to their own advantage.

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            • #21
              Riffing on Measure's idea for a generational game...

              There's a King Arthur game where your overall campaign takes place over the course of generations of the Round Table, with stories spaced years apart. The master knight in one game goes on to retire and hands down his armor to a son or nephew. The squire in the same first game has grown to be a questing knight, then on to a master knight, and so on. The overall story grows through the eyes of the younger characters who know of their elders' exploits as legends.

              Funny how the same "troupe-style" topic shows up again lately.




              Also, I had an idea for a dynastic sort of story. Paring it down quite a bit, but....

              In the first act, the young circle returns home from a first mission to find their home destroyed by the united forces of some thought-allied houses. (They're all minor houses that band together.) Forced to flee, they round up the survivors they're able to, and make tracks to escape. They can set up as bandits or mercenaries out in the Threshold, or wherever you'd like the bulk of the Chronicle to go.

              In the second act, they're pursued by a Magistrate who wants to bring them to justice, and his allies, some Immaculates and other troubleshooters. It's been a few years, and the youngest of the survivors have grown, some Exalted, and generally only have hazy memories of their lives back home. The Circle are their elders, even though they're only those few years past the tragedy following their first homecoming. The Magistrate has encountered some weird stories in his travels, and as it turns out is willing to actually hear the Circle out. The younger refugees have a bad case of Essence Fever and a lot of youthful angst and hotheadedness; The Immaculates and the rest are rather more absolutist and want the Circle and all the survivors slain or dragged back in chains for show trials and execution.

              This last part - wanted dead or dead - should strike the Circle as strange. They've been accused of great heresies and/or witchery, and since no one of their former House is left to defend their name, the accusation stands unopposed. This gives them some room to make a few decision points: fight or negotiate? Flee or sneak back home to investigate? What do you do with the younger Dynasts and Patricians - the only other survivors of the House - who are unready to protect themselves or make wise decisions in a hostile frontier.

              In the third act, presuming that they'll want to regain their name, they do some investigation. Whichever way they do it, they come to find out a few things: The minor Houses allied together about a century or two ago. At that time, there was a Circle drawn from those Houses, who undertook some legendary quests, slew some Anathema, etc. Each of their Houses were threatened by the looming possibility of being absorbed by a Great House. Before they returned home, they swore an oath to steer their minor Houses into intermarriages that would form them into a Great House equivalent in a few generations.

              This is what they did, and the minor houses grew closer together socially, militarily, and as intermarried families.

              Unfortunately, just a few years before the final marriages would seal the Houses together, the Houses grew suspicious. The Circle's House had a Sorceress with a particularly strong gift of prophesy. She prophesied that the allied Houses would band together to destroy them. Alarmed by this, they took some emergency actions - including making some loathsome pacts to secure their own survival.

              Doubly unfortunate, the allied houses were just as suspicious. Lacking prophesy of their own, they simply used spies, or interrogated spirits of the lands who revealed the Circle's House's diabolical secret. They rearranged and re-swore their pact, and used the defeat of the Circle's House as the victory over treachery that would mark the beginning of their combined House.

              In the fourth act, the players have to decide what to do. They could make the case of their own innocence, and the Magistrate would accept it. The Immaculates would not, but the best bargain they would accept is that the Circle takes new names as "lost eggs" of the other Houses, and all the rest would join the Immaculate Order as novices with no House names at all. That's the destruction of their House and legacy, but the only other option is to forge a brand new destiny out in the Threshold. Come what may.

              [[ If you manage to swing the ending so that the Circle goes rogue, you can start your next Sidereals game with a 5-dot Command of Dragon-Blooded veterans, who happen to have come into your sway by a doubly-unfortunate twist of fate. ]]



              Check out Momentum Exalted!

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              • #22
                Nice! I could definitely take a few cues from that. Or even make that the capstone story at the end of the campaign.

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                • #23
                  After the Deliberative podcast did an episode on Caul, me and a friend have been brainstorming this one: A Sworn kinship of young and promiscuous Dragonblooded go on a road trip-slash-pilgrimage through Caul. Their goal is to complete the pilgrimage and most importantly to GET LAID. Ready yourself for wacky hijinks, as there's a rival circle of Lunars wanting to woo and/or mess with them for mysterious reasons. Each session they'll try to move along the pilgrim route while not getting distracted by all the interesting sights and love interests on the way. In the end they will have learned many valuable lessons about friendship and love, but will they have lost their virginities?
                  For this to work best, at least one of the players should play a somewhat reserved young DB that wants to finally do the nasty and bump some uglies with their fiancee. The rest can be frat boys/girls, hangarounds and other pals who think the pilgrimage is a good chance to score some.

                  So basically your cliched road trip movie but with Exalted. Sure, you'd have to bend the lore a little for it to work, but it sure would be helluvalot of fun to play.

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                  • #24
                    Those poor kids are gonna get mauled. I guess that's what elemental kung-fu superpowers are for.


                    "Measure of Hope is right about everything." - Wise Old Guru

                    Currently running an Exalted 2.5 Abyssals game in a homebrew modern shard because I value neither my time or my sanity, and I'm loving almost every minute of it.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
                      Newly Graduated Heroes traveling the Satrapies doing “Good.”
                      Would that they could be actual heroes traveling the strapies doing actual good. Alas.

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                      • #26
                        While I have no road-tested advice at present, I have sold my table on running Mecha!WyldHunt, The Campaign. We're finishing up character creation now.

                        I've promised them about an hour's worth of a social scene, an hour's worth of reconnaissance, and an hour's worth of combat per session. I'm planning on running a monster of the week format. Everybody gets free Warstriders and free Warstrider-related specialties.

                        If I happen to recall, I'll post here again after we have our first session with my thoughts of what worked and didn't. We plan to do a podcast/recording of each session.

                        My idea evolved from the 'Walk the Earth' style Solar campaign we just finished. My group meets infrequently enough that there was many a question along the lines of 'who are these people again?' and 'what are we trying to accomplish?' that I suspect a more episodic premise will be better, and any themes/recurrences across sessions will be a happy bonus instead of absolutely mandatory for session progress.


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

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Tikor View Post
                          While I have no road-tested advice at present, I have sold my table on running Mecha!WyldHunt, The Campaign. We're finishing up character creation now.

                          I've promised them about an hour's worth of a social scene, an hour's worth of reconnaissance, and an hour's worth of combat per session. I'm planning on running a monster of the week format. Everybody gets free Warstriders and free Warstrider-related specialties.

                          If I happen to recall, I'll post here again after we have our first session with my thoughts of what worked and didn't. We plan to do a podcast/recording of each session.

                          My idea evolved from the 'Walk the Earth' style Solar campaign we just finished. My group meets infrequently enough that there was many a question along the lines of 'who are these people again?' and 'what are we trying to accomplish?' that I suspect a more episodic premise will be better, and any themes/recurrences across sessions will be a happy bonus instead of absolutely mandatory for session progress.
                          Ah but here’s the real question, in the last act of the campaign will they discover that their warstriders can all combine into one mega warstrider?

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                          • #28
                            They have all stated preferences on exactly which part of Warstrider!Voltron they'd like to be. They use their elemental Aspects in support of said arguments.

                            I have so far been non-committal.


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

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                            • #29
                              I'm doing a two person game about an expedition to Rathess.
                              The expedition is headed by Ledaal Enam genius polymath and renowed explorer and staffed by the superlative quartermaster Cathak Madiha better known by her sobriquet Mother of Legions. Both players are new to Exalted and tabletop roleplaying in general but its been a blast, having only two Dragon-Blooded is easy going for encounters to the point where I can use a single non-legendary sized enemy from the corebook and not have it roll over and die almost instantly.


                              Onyx Path Forum Moderator
                              Please spare a thought for updating the Exalted wiki.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Equitable Remedy View Post

                                Would that they could be actual heroes traveling the strapies doing actual good. Alas.
                                Are these little bitter asides just going to be your 'thing' now?


                                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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