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  • Changing the number of Lunar Exaltations

    I am wondering if it would terribly change the setting to increase the number of Lunar Exaltations to 900? I am think that with 900 Lunar Exaltations, each Solar Exalted would have had one Lunar Exalted consort, one Lunar Exalted enforcer, and one Lunar Exalted general under their authority. After the Usurpation, the majority of the Changing Moons would have been former consorts, while the majority of Full Moons and the majority of No Moons would have mostly been former enforcers and former generals.

    How do you think the setting would have changed with 900 Lunar Exalted? Do you think that it would make things better, worse, or different? Would you want to have 900 Lunar Exaltations in your games?

  • #2
    The usurpation might not have been feasible. That, or you have a majority of Lunars complicit with the Sidereals.

    The question you have to ask is, with 900 lunars, if they didn't side with the sidereals, what did they do? If there is 900 Lunars, then Creation is not in as much danger from the Balorian Crusade.

    If they stepped aside, then what have they been doing? Cause there definitely would be a civilization counter to the Realm. A new nation.

    Having 900 exaltations mean that the characters themselves get overshadowed as well. It is 800 more NPCs who are higher power and been around for lots longer.

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    • #3
      Yeah, I kind of agree with Uknown DarkLord. I don't really see the point.

      Saying that, since it's incredibly hard to do counterfactual comparisons, I think you can easily say "yeah, there was 900 Lunars, but they were fighting 50,000 DBs so they still lost." If you want to, I don't think it's unbelievable. The arguments are going to be exactly the same as for 400 Lunars, tbh.

      I just don't see the point.
      each Solar Exalted would have had one Lunar Exalted consort, one Lunar Exalted enforcer, and one Lunar Exalted general under their authority. After the Usurpation, the majority of the Changing Moons would have been former consorts, while the majority of Full Moons and the majority of No Moons would have mostly been former enforcers and former generals.
      I don't think this really fits with 3rd ed's presentation of the First Age.

      After they cast down the Titans, the Heroes of Sun and Moon battled for control of Creation. Eventually, they signed a peace treaty, sealed by 300 political marriages.
      That doesn't really fit with "Each Solar has some Lunar goons." When Isabella married Ferdinand, Ferdinand wasn't Isabella's goon. When Mary of England married Philip of Spain, he wasn't her goon.

      Also there weren't any Changing Moons in the first age.
      There were five castes: guardians, world-walkers, guides, judges and mystics (obviously that's not what they were called, but that's what they were).
      That doesn't really fit with "each Solar is assigned one enforcer, one consort and one general).

      And one last part: making Changing Moons the "consort" caste just encourages people to think of them as catgirl waifus even more, and there's already too much of that.


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      Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
      Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
      Shadow of Kings, Twilight barbarian scholar, master of lost First Age crafting techniques. Has a lot of clones. Picture by Jen.

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      • #4
        Lunars don't really belong to Solars. Not even in 2e.

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        • #5
          I'm really not fond of the idea. There's already some potential problems with the unbalanced portrayal of the relationship between Lunar and Solar Exalted that the most recent edition has worked hard to undo and/or mitigate.

          As the primary reason I'm currently seeing in your post is to assign more Lunars to each Solar, I cannot see a single good reason that I would have this at my table.

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          • #6
            I don’t think 3rd ed even specifies that Every Solar/lunar has a corresponding “”mate””. Lunars and solars work together well and sometimes that means they form long-term bonds and some of those bonds persist beyond death.
            That’s my read, and the version I prefer. Being someone who actually is fond of the trope, it’s way more meaningful if there’s a particular reason for it than having an assigned soulmate/seneschal/bodyguard, IMO.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Maseiken View Post
              I don’t think 3rd ed even specifies that Every Solar/lunar has a corresponding “”mate””. Lunars and solars work together well and sometimes that means they form long-term bonds and some of those bonds persist beyond death.
              That’s my read, and the version I prefer. Being someone who actually is fond of the trope, it’s way more meaningful if there’s a particular reason for it than having an assigned soulmate/seneschal/bodyguard, IMO.
              Not every Lunar does for sure. The devs have said a few tiems they are using the 1e Storyteller's Companion numbers, which is about 300 Solars and their derivatives, anda bout 300-400 Lunars. Which means there are Lunars who have never had a bondmate, and there might be Solars who never signed-up either.


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              • #8
                Another thing as noted, is that the Lunars aren't for the Solars. The Solar Exalted had no gaurantee to the world after the War of the Gods, with Dragon-Blooded having to be recruited to Solars, and the Lunars fighting the war over the world with them. The entire Bond thing is actually a weird synergistic outgrowth of the Exaltation not in their original conceptions. It's a happy accident, not a hard-coded mandate.


                And stuff.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Maseiken View Post
                  I don’t think 3rd ed even specifies that Every Solar/lunar has a corresponding “”mate””.
                  There are about one hundred more Lunars than Solars.

                  Originally posted by Maseiken
                  That’s my read, and the version I prefer.
                  Your read of the big war at the start of the First Age?


                  I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                  Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                    Your read of the big war at the start of the First Age?
                    Yeah, I’m a fan! A period of fraught conflict and hasty diplomacy is a much better source of deep connection than the sun being upset that his shards aren’t necessarily the best shards.

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                    • #11
                      A few thoughts.

                      1) Reinforcing the idea that Lunars were designed as Solar subordinates has uncomfortable implications for Lunar players, implications that were present in 2E and just dragged things down.
                      2) It just isn't the direction EX3 seems to be going with the relationship between the two groups.
                      3) Lunars aren't *that* far behind Solars in power. Why or how did Luna create three times as many Celestial exalts as the UCS? Is she just that much more badass? Is he really that much of a miser? A third as many extra feels like personal choice in how much she was willing to give of herself. Three times as many feels like the UCS fucked up somehow, or just wasn't trying, which seems uncharacteristically selfish or incompetent, especially when this was his idea. The Maidens have the excuse of something something auspicious something something prescience, but there isn't an excuse that rings true for such a disparity between Luna and Sol.
                      4) It makes the 100 Sidereals look even more drastically under-staffed if the Lunars are almost an order of magnitude more numerous.
                      5) It kinda drowns the setting in Lunars, which takes the focus away from both the return of the Solars AND the importance of young Lunar PCs.
                      6) The destined concubine thing ... can we not?
                      7) Lunar exaltations have been depicted as adapting their Caste to the exalt with each incarnation, rather than each shard being a fixed Caste, making it hard to neatly assign a consort, enforcer a general to each Solar and have that persist over reincarnations.
                      8) As others have said, Lunars had 5 Castes in the First Age, so it doesn't break down as neatly into three groups.
                      9) Why are No Moons usually enforcers or generals in your scheme rather than advisers anyway? They're the brains trust.

                      Now, some of the lore stuff you could ret-con to make fit, since you're already ret-conning the number of Lunars and their relationship to the Solars. But it's not going to be easy to have it all make sense, a change that large has implications and ripple effects you need to address, which several people have already touched on. And some of the lore is there to discourage problems in gameplay, such as making the Bond creepy and unfun to portray. It's worth thinking about that before you do away with it. Maybe you're running a "Solars, fuck yeah!" campaign and no one wants to play a Lunar and no one has problems with the way you've envisaged the Bond and there's no downside for your group. I don't know. It's not a change my group would be comfortable with, I know that much.


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                      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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                      • #12
                        I'm as unconvinced with the core premise of the thread as anybody, but I do feel a need to challenge some of the assumptions in a few other arguments.

                        Originally posted by Uknown DarkLord View Post
                        Cause there definitely would be a civilization counter to the Realm. A new nation.
                        Even with a lot more Lunars, it wouldn't necessarily change the fact that Lunar power does not lend itself as well to governing and harnessing large states as even Dragon Blooded are, nor does it necessarily overcome any advantages in possessing a lot more of the old arsenals.

                        Besides, the world already has plenty of civilizations counter to the Realm. Some of them are even patronised by other Lunars. Leviathan is probably making decent headway on building the peoples of the ocean into an army fit to rise out and lay siege to the Blessed Isle. It probably benefits the Lunar milieu more to be diffuse amongst innumerable societies that can attack across multiples axes, rather than be gathered under a single polity.

                        That said, in the setting as it currently stands, I would not expect all Lunars to gather into a single great opposing nation, but I would think that 300 Changing Moons could exact a really horrific toll on the Realm's capacity to effectively govern almost anything.

                        Originally posted by Uknown DarkLord
                        Having 900 exaltations mean that the characters themselves get overshadowed as well. It is 800 more NPCs who are higher power and been around for lots longer.
                        I feel as though this is too much of an antagonistic way to look at it, from a number of angles.

                        For one, the majority of Lunars as they currently are remain undefined. I don't think it's too much of a thing to say that many or most don't make it past a hundred years, so there's a large section consisting of the relatively young.

                        The problem of being overshadowed can be broken down on two fronts. On one, the setting can still be regarded as large enough that many Lunars are around doing their own thing without much contact with others who have accumulated a lot of power. You're not exactly overshadowed if you're competing on a different front.

                        On another, Exalted power on the whole has been toned down a lot, such that everybody can benefit from having talented and determined subordinates or adherents around them, pooling capabilities or expanding the scope of operations. Leviathan could be the strongest Lunar in the setting, and he doesn't overshadow the goofballs who flock around him. They can mutually enhance one another.

                        For that matter, toning power down also lends itself to not being overshadowed by somebody who is definitely stronger than you. A character's achievements are still their own, and there's a lot of world in which to achieve something; the charge that another Lunar technically could have done it doesn't override the fact that they didn't. Even in a direct competition, thus far there's nothing in the higher powers that is offensively or defensively so overwhelming that another character can't overcome them through cleverness and good choices in split-second decision making and a little bit of luck.

                        This isn't Dragonball Z, there's no confusion underlying Piccolo standing toe-to-toe against Frieza's second form even though a few months ago he was being trounced by somebody about two hundred times weaker than Frieza. Why, the scale for growth in Exalted isn't even big enough for that kind of factor.

                        For the original poster's question, some of the answer defends on how much of the setting surrounding the number of Lunars comes through. The majority of 900 Lunars in a Silver Pact against a Realm of this size in a Creation of this size? Sure, that's going to greatly change the setting. And if you wanted a premise where they're still matched as they are now, you'd need to change a lot of other setting notions.

                        Huh, I guess the answer of whether or not it terribly changes the setting is fairly straightforward after all.


                        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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                        • #13
                          Consort caste - best caste.

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                          • #14
                            I'm personally a much bigger fan of leaving it undefined, I feel saying how many of a thing there is in the setting takes away some of the mystique. Unless you're having all 900 turn up at once or something, just saying there's a lot of every type of Exalt, how many is a lot? How much of this huge world have you seen? It's one of the things that I like about 3E vs 2E, so much more of the world is up to interpretation. If the whole point is to have characters with multiple bonded Lunar partners, just have a character with multiple bonded Lunar partners. Maybe some Solars have multiple, maybe some Solars have none, maybe some Lunars have multiple bonded Solar partners? You don't necessarily have to make it the case for the entire setting.

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                            • #15
                              It's interesting to compare this thread to this one.


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