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Liars, Cheaters, and Thieves - new Lunar themes

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  • Liars, Cheaters, and Thieves - new Lunar themes

    The Solar Exalted are the best liars, cheaters, and thieves around... when they train to be. But their talents only allow them to perform these tasks with unsurpassed success... that doesn't mean their talents are empowered by these activities.

    But larceny and dishonesty surely does empower the Lunar Exalted.

    The very Essence of the Sacred Hunt is to steal the Hearts Blood of others. The various alternative methods are either outright new ways to steal Heart's Blood, or enable secret theft by permitting the use of lies, audaciously unbelievable admissions of truth, deliberate omissions of facts, cheating to stack the deck, or malicious entrapment in conditions that the target cannot help but break.

    All Lunars can steal your face. They can steal your life, your home, your identity and place in the world. Some can steal your memories, your language, your skills, your creative inspiration.

    What's more, so many Lunar powers are never so effective as when they are wearing someone else's face. If they want to spread the most terror against their enemies, they would find it more effective to wear a false face and build their fearsome reputation around that instead of their true form.

    Even when bearing nothing but good will towards a kingdom or an individual, they are encouraged to be dishonest.

    Beast-King Dictates doesn't care how legitimate a Lunar's claim to the throne is, or how loyal her people are to her; Beast-King Dictates will not hit hardest unless she is wearing someone else's face.

    Soul-Baring Testament may be about baring your soul, but it's most effective when you hide your face behind that of your Solar Mate, and if anyone catches you they will have cause to question whether they were in the past or are the in future ever actually dealing with your Solar Mate.

    At the most benevolent, a child tells a story of how their tribe's guardian beast waited until his nanny had fallen asleep before appearing to administer to his mental illness (Midnight Soul Reprieve), and then revealed her deception before vanishing at sunrise. Or maybe she didn't say anything at all, and the next morning everyone is asking how the nanny did it. Or maybe the child isn't a child, but a Dragon-Blooded catspaw the Lunar is using against other Dynasts in the area, so she kills his lover so that she can wear her face to cure the Terrestrial of his malaise, pin the murder on his rivals, and sit back to watch the fireworks.


    By comparison, all other Exalted cannot help but seem fundamentally honest and forthright in their heroism, because they are generally more effective at and less burdened by performing acts of heroism without any sort of disguise at all, with their faces and identities clear to see.

  • Dex Davican
    replied
    While I don't claim to be an expert on folklore and culture myths, a look at African folk tales can be interesting and useful. Many of them are trickster stories with less of an emphasis on a black-and-white dichotomy of "honesty" and "dishonesty." "Trickery" in this context is an extension/culmination of virtues like cleverness, situational awareness, and resourcefulness. When you're in a situation that power can't solve, and you don't have the ability to get more power, you use what you have. It is, at the risk of getting in over my head in terms of thematic exploration, a less hegemonic, industrialist viewpoint of culture-heroism and problem-solving. One in which the end result of any given story isn't necessarily resolution, but navigation.

    Lunars use whatever's at hand, including things that strictly speaking do not belong to them. This makes them fairly ideal foils to the Dragon-Blooded, who are naturally more hegemonic and dependent on what they own.

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  • Saur Ops Specialist
    replied
    Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
    Did Saur Ops Specialist really think he couldn't lead with "dishonest habits lead to bad ends", and I would not understand or agree with him?

    There was no need to be coy about referring to the Garou, and there was no need to draw equivalency between Crinos and deception. That just seemed so fruitlessly off-topic that I didn't bother trying to understand the rest.
    I'm not clear on how drawing the parallel between two systems of incentivization was that off. At the very least, not after the first clarification.

    I don't deny the problems caused by deception. I allude to them in my first post, and I outright said that the duplicitous and larcenous side of Lunar Essence isn't something I'm very comfortable with.

    When I said that "deception makes things easier for the Lunar Exalted", readers should understand this within the context established in the first post: "Deception makes [Lunar Charms work better]".

    Short-term ease.
    You also said that it made their lives easier. That seems to stray outside of this context.

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  • TheCountAlucard
    replied
    Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
    Did Saur Ops Specialist really think he couldn't lead with "dishonest habits lead to bad ends", and I would not understand or agree with him?
    I can't say; I can't read minds.

    ​Anyway, this whole line of discussion's got me thinking of that scene in Anansi Boys in which Fat Charlie Nancy speaks with the other figures from Anansi's stories, and how eagerly the Bird Woman agrees to help him out with his little spider problem. I can easily see something similar occurring with a Lunar's Moon-Touched children or beastfolk champions.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 06-01-2019, 11:38 AM.

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  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    Did Saur Ops Specialist really think he couldn't lead with "dishonest habits lead to bad ends", and I would not understand or agree with him?

    There was no need to be coy about referring to the Garou, and there was no need to draw equivalency between Crinos and deception. That just seemed so fruitlessly off-topic that I didn't bother trying to understand the rest.


    I don't deny the problems caused by deception. I allude to them in my first post, and I outright said that the duplicitous and larcenous side of Lunar Essence isn't something I'm very comfortable with.

    When I said that "deception makes things easier for the Lunar Exalted", readers should understand this within the context established in the first post: "Deception makes [Lunar Charms work better]".

    Short-term ease.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheCountAlucard
    replied
    He’s not talking about the Lunar warform, Sunder.

    He’s comparing Lunar tricksters who ruin people’s lives at the drop of a hat, to Werewolf warriors who resort to overwhelming violence at the drop of a hat.

    Yes, Crinos form is not the exact same thing as being a Tricksy Bastard. We know.

    The point is that these may seem like easy solutions to one’s problems, but one can very well end up regretting it, when one finally realizes how pissing enough people off has welded them together into a unit willing to work together to put one’s head on a spike at any cost.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 05-31-2019, 10:44 PM.

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  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    Lunar War Form doesn’t inflict the Delirium or carry greater risks of uncontrollable frenzy, so I still don’t know what you’re talking about.

    I feel like you are on a perpendicular train of thought.

    Why do you keep talking about the Garou when the Lunars are not Garou?

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  • Saur Ops Specialist
    replied
    Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
    This thread is very specifically concerning the ways in which deception and larceny empower and enable the abilities of the Lunar Exalted, in a way that Solar Charms are not.

    Since this doesn't apply to DBT, this thread is pretty war form agnostic.
    Yes. The point about Crinos was in how harmful means get incentivized and characters thus end up harming themselves in the long run by using them frequently. This is the very definition of not making life easier for said characters, which was the point I was contending. Sidereals are in that boat; the only reason their lives don't get more complicated from lying to people about this and that in order to use Charms or descending destinies is that people forget that they exist in the first place.

    After all, the comeuppance that a trickster receives once the dust settles is usually of the brutally harsh type. But if you're willing to risk being bound in place for an age while a magic snake drips venom into your eyes unceasingly, hey, go for it. Maybe you'll get put next to the monkey under the mountain and have someone to talk to until he's up for parole.

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  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
    It makes something easier, just as The Wizard of Oz said.
    This thread is very specifically concerning the ways in which deception and larceny empower and enable the abilities of the Lunar Exalted, in a way that Solar Charms are not.

    Since this doesn't apply to DBT, this thread is pretty war form agnostic.

    Leave a comment:


  • Saur Ops Specialist
    replied
    Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post

    I have no idea what the Crinos war form has to do with lying, cheating, or stealing. It’s huge, blatant, hard to miss, impossible to ignore, leaves a huge mess, and leaves the werewolf more prone to going uncontrollably berserk and making all of that worse.
    It makes something easier, just as The Wizard of Oz said. Specifically, violence, which escalates situations. Deceiving people, in this case with shapeshifting, also escalates situations when it comes to light; it may take a bit of time to connect the dots, but one slip up in an intricate web of lies, and you get the same degree of alienation of allies, gains to what would have been common enemies, and loss of territory that you get with Crinos rampages. Both are the stuff of which tragedy is made. Tragedy is usually something that's pretty common in Exalted, granted, but if you go all in on that train and never apply the brakes, the resulting wreck is going to be obvious to everyone watching.

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  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
    I assume Saur Ops Specialist means doing things in Crinos, because of the stat bonus? Ie you can do things in Crinos, you'll have more stats, but it causes a lot of issues compared to doing things in human form.
    I have no idea what the Crinos war form has to do with lying, cheating, or stealing. It’s huge, blatant, hard to miss, impossible to ignore, leaves a huge mess, and leaves the werewolf more prone to going uncontrollably berserk and making all of that worse.

    Neither is the form’s performance in any way empowered by committing acts of deception, larceny, or fraud.

    Neither is Deadly Beastman Transformation, but I wasn’t talking about that one specific Lunar Charm. I was talking about a new theme expressed in a large portion of their Third Edition Charmset.
    Last edited by Sunder the Gold; 05-31-2019, 11:25 AM.

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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    I assume Saur Ops Specialist means doing things in Crinos, because of the stat bonus? Ie you can do things in Crinos, you'll have more stats, but it causes a lot of issues compared to doing things in human form.

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  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
    You know, there's another game that WW made, which is related to Lunars, where characters have an in-built capacity to do something easier, but I wouldn't say that using it all the time makes the lives of the characters easier.
    You have to be talking about werewolves, but your words still make no sense.

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  • Epee102
    replied
    Lunars this edition feel like a compliment to sidereals, in the same way Solars are to dragon blooded and that’s a comparison that stuck with me a bit

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  • Saur Ops Specialist
    replied
    Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
    Yeah. It's not that Lunar Exalted HAVE to lie, cheat, and steal...

    ...but it's so easy, and makes their lives so much easier.
    You know, there's another game that WW made, which is related to Lunars, where characters have an in-built capacity to do something easier, but I wouldn't say that using it all the time makes the lives of the characters easier. Quite the opposite, really, as it tends to mire them in one complication or another if turned against the wrong target. Now, using shapeshifting tends to result in way less permanent grudges from survivors, but actions influence who ends up associating with you, so I'd imagine that Lunars that end up using shapeshifting for subterfuge might find that the consequence is that no one wants them around, not even other Lunars.

    Also, from a broader perspective, it makes a lot of other things easier. Living off the land, taking shelter in inaccessible areas, keen senses used to track or spot pursuers before they find you... I'm more of a mind to emphasize staying alive in lieu of deceit, even if the latter does occasionally play into the former. I don't like viewing Lunars as "yin to Solar yang", though, since the associations tend to play more into Abyssals. Especially in how yin is the seat of passions, which are strongly associated with the ghosts that Exalted took whole from Wraith.

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