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  • Originally posted by habitableexoplanet View Post

    Can you explain this? I'm not experienced with the social influence system.
    I'm not sure I agree that you could get Ahlat to actually go to war for you. But what I suspect JohnDoe244 was talking about was this: Ahlat has a Resolve of 5. But one of his Defining Intimacies involves war, and if someone's Defining Intimacy supports a social influence attempt you're making against them, that's a -3 penalty to their Resolve. So assuming that the ST agreed that Ahlat's Defining Intimacies of either "War is the crucible of heroes.” or “I suffer neither cowards nor traitors.” actually supported your argument that he should go to war on your behalf, and that he had no other Intimacies that ran counter to your request, he'd be at effectively Resolve 2. And you only need to equal Resolve to convince someone to do something, and the average result on 4 dice (Charisma 2 + Presence 2) is 2 successes, meaning you'd convince him half the time.


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    • Originally posted by habitableexoplanet View Post

      Well, there are the cool-sounding Charms that require a 4 or 5 Ability rating, only at Essence 1.




      I feel like people have discussed this before, but would it help to lower all the Ability requirements for Charms by 1? Maybe except all Charms whose prerequisites normally require a 5. Would it unbalance anything? It would make the Solar Dodge and Socialize excellencies easier to acquire, I guess.

      Yes. Yes it would. There were arguments around this. It would be better to have a few more charms at Ability 1/2/3 to allow for more shallow dipping.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by habitableexoplanet View Post
        Do you have social forces trying to convince the players to do bad stuff often in your games? In the game we played, it pretty much only came up as part of combat (vs. foes like Loreleis - one of my favorite enemies in the book, by the way) and I have a hard time imagining how it would come up in a game and how it would be fun to play.
        Well in my next campaign one of the first antagonists is going to attempt to convince the PCs that eating people is a great idea.

        Originally posted by habitableexoplanet View Post
        Well, there are the cool-sounding Charms that require a 4 or 5 Ability rating, only at Essence 1.
        That is true, but there’s also often almost nothing in the book, debatably nothing, that warrants specializing as hard as those charms let you do.

        For example, awareness. A Solar with awareness charms against a stealth assassin doubles 9s, rerolls 6s, applies a -3 penalty to their roll, reroll (Essence) failures and then cascade roll for each further success, all opponents 1s count as your 10s, and all opponents 2s count as your 9s which is explicitly doubled by sensory acuity Prana, reroll the whole roll again if failed, and, of course, 20+ dice for an excellency.

        One of most stealthy antagonist is a fair folk Lorelei who has a stealth pool of 11 dice. So it kind of feels like what’s the point? If you just take like, 2 of those charms you’re pretty well safe from the stealthiest assassins in all of existence, at that point you might as well start branching out into other areas.

        Originally posted by habitableexoplanet View Post
        Yeah, that's fairly counterintuitive. I think it's fairly common in RPGs for combat to get less interesting at high levels.
        So not for nothing, in my level 18 DnD game last week the fighter was terribly wounded for the last fight, so he hung back and opted to use some of his other tricks. Unfortunately the final enemy was a balor, who explode on death and would have possibly ended us all if he was allowed to get into a protected fight to take our hp down before the explosion. So the wizard cast enlarge on me, the fighter used one of seven one-use-only gemstones to tear open a crevasse to Hell, the warlock distracted him, and I picked him up and suplexed him into the Hell portal. It was fuckin’ awesome.

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        • Originally posted by habitableexoplanet View Post
          Can you explain this? I'm not experienced with the social influence system.
          Sure.

          Ahlat is Resolve 5. To convince him to do something you need to beat his Resolve and hit an Intimacy that justifies the action you are asking him to take.

          Charisma 2 give you two dice.
          Presence 2 gives you two dice.
          The Excellency gives you another 4 dice.
          Spending a point of Willpower gives you one success.
          Acting out what you say to Ahlat gives you at least two dice. But if you give a rousing speech, the pivotal moment in your chronical where your honest warrior moves the Southern God of War and Cattle with a heart-felt plea, you also get two automatic successes.

          So now you are rolling 10 dice and trying to get two successes. Even without the Excellency, it's 6 dice.

          Only you're not, because you are also hitting an Intimacy which lowers Ahalt's Resolve. But without knowing exactly what Intimacy you are hitting and what he's defending with, things get tricky. But realistically you're looking at needing between -1 (1) and 4 successes -- perfectly doable on 10 dice. Let's say you hit "can't abide a traitor" -- the Realm has betrayed Harbourhead and you're not hitting on his brides or adverse to war or attacking Harbourhead yourself -- even if Ahalt Stunts his Resolve and spends Willpower, you succeed if you roll 1 success on 10 dice (or 1 success on 6 dice if you don't have Excellent Presence). (It's 2 or 3 successes if he level 2 or level 3 stunts, respectively, which becomes a little tricky without the Excellency but is still doable.)

          Heck, with the Excellency, you can outright lie about the Realm attacking Harborhead and take the -5 penalty* (or you could show up at his temple naked and covered in blood) and you're still rolling 5 dice trying to get one success. With Charisma/Presence 3 you could outright lie and show up naked and be rolling 4 dice vs difficulty 1 (with Ahlat stunting and Willpower against you, remember).

          (Oh, and if you are inhumanly attractive (Appearance 6+ or Charms) then you might get bonus dice from appearance. For more on doing nasty things to Ahlat with a high Appearance, see here.)

          *Personally, I agree with Vance that NPCs are not mindless robots waiting for you to hit their Intimacy switches and that the -5 penalty is specific to Instill attempts and you can't just lie to hit an Intimacy on Pursuade. But that's a minority opinion, apparently, and it's a useful point of illustration as to why you don't have to specialize.

          Yes, although I think almost everyone agrees the Kraken's dice pool is set unusually low
          Is there a published antagonist with a better Sail pool? (Genuine question, I can't remember. But I can't think of one.)

          Well, there are the cool-sounding Charms that require a 4 or 5 Ability rating, only at Essence 1.
          I did specifically address this. But if you want concrete advice:

          Take a 5 in your Supernal.
          Take a 3 in everything you are exceptionally good at.
          Take a 2 in everything you are good at.
          Take a 1 in anything you are vaguely interested in.

          If you don't meet the Charm minimums, don't buy the Charm.
          Last edited by JohnDoe244; 12-12-2020, 10:44 AM.


          Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
            Take a 5 in your Supernal.
            Take a 3 in everything you are exceptionally good at.
            Take a 2 in everything you are good at.
            Take a 1 in anything you are vaguely interested in.

            If you don't meet the Charm minimums, don't buy the Charm.
            I actually believe this is the intention behind the high ability requirements. It's supposed to gate characters so that, supposedly, you need to actually be really invested in something in order to add the really powerful charms to it. You won't have three different characters in the party with Iron Whirlwind Attack because you won't have three people with maxed out melee, that's just silly.

            It's just that the assumption that people will take 5s in abilities that aren't absolutely core to their character concept is totally wrong. Just throw in a line in your backstory like "my neighhbor was one of the greatest swordsman in the direction and he trained me while I took beaks from studying the occult" and you're good to go for that 5.

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            • Likewise, I tend to limit characters to a single attribute at 1, and a single attribute at 5. Lunars can have two 5s, naturally.

              I don't really agree that Ex3's combat gets worse with Charms - I run the fights that I post here because I think it can be pretty cool and interesting. The issues are that (1) it's very slow, especially with an actual group, (2) it calls for a level of system mastery that I've seen people even want (much less have) in an RPG, and (3) making appropriate challenges is tricky and the books barely provide any.

              I have a deep fondness for 3E combat, I'd just never run a campaign using it.


              "For me, there's no fundamental conflict between really loving something and also seeing it as very profoundly flawed." -- Jay Eddidin

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              • Originally posted by Chejop Kejak View Post
                Likewise, I tend to limit characters to a single attribute at 1, and a single attribute at 5. Lunars can have two 5s, naturally.

                I don't really agree that Ex3's combat gets worse with Charms - I run the fights that I post here because I think it can be pretty cool and interesting. The issues are that (1) it's very slow, especially with an actual group, (2) it calls for a level of system mastery that I've seen people even want (much less have) in an RPG, and (3) making appropriate challenges is tricky and the books barely provide any.

                I have a deep fondness for 3E combat, I'd just never run a campaign using it.
                For clarity when I criticize 3E combat I don't mean it can't be an interesting strategic challenge. I mean mostly (1), with a dash of (3). It's slow enough that fights, in an actual game, often wear out their welcome, or, conversely, you see something fun coming up on your next turn or the turn after but have to wait a while to get to it. (We didn't have as big a problem with (3) in my game because the ST was willing to build and run enough Dragonblooded enemies to challenge our Solars, but this didn't help with (1).)

                There's also another aspect that differs between campaigns and arena fights - in campaigns you will care about your character a lot more and want to lose a lot less. The fact that a loss for high-level, powerful characters, if it happens, will probably happen slowly (First I'll run out of motes, then the enemies will start hitting me with a lot of Withering attacks, until they build up enough Initiative to hit me with Decisives, at which point I'll start taking Wound penalties, which will make it easier for them to hit me, ...) can create a kind of creeping feeling of doom, in my experience, which I didn't find particularly enjoyable, but which I don't think would be a problem in the arena.

                I actually think Exalted's noncombat systems require more system mastery, in some ways, than the combat system, and this sometimes motivates people to take combat Abilities and Charms - If I get +1 Melee to boost my attacks, I know that will help me every time I get in a fight, but if I get +1 Socialize to boost my Read Intentions, this will only help me if I use the information about Intimacies I glean strategically.

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                • I can see that, but also, when social stuff breaks out, everyone makes jokes (IC or OOC, honestly) while the Social Expert (tm) handles it.

                  Combat doesn't tend to be so opt-in, and therefore everyone needs to have some kind of idea what's going on there. Not unrelatedly, when everyone is doing things all the time, it's a lot more chaotic, and easy for people to miss small but vital details ("oh, wait, that was a Decisive attack? Of course I would have gone with a full Excellency in that case..."), which is a big deal in asystem where push-your-luck mechanics are arguably the single largest factor.


                  "For me, there's no fundamental conflict between really loving something and also seeing it as very profoundly flawed." -- Jay Eddidin

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                  • Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                    Take a 5 in your Supernal.
                    Take a 3 in everything you are exceptionally good at.
                    Take a 2 in everything you are good at.
                    Take a 1 in anything you are vaguely interested in.
                    And if that leaves you with eight ability dots and thirteen bonus points left to spend? Because in my experience the biggest reason for characters having half a dozen 5s is that the only way to not be able to afford half a dozen 5s is to make a character who can do everything.

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                    • I'm going to make a Dawn Caste. Let's make them a knight in shining armor who does battle from the back of their horse.

                      We'll have Strength 3, Dex 5, Stamina 3.
                      We'll have Charisma 3, Manipulation 2, Appeance 2.
                      We'll have Perception 3, Intelligence 2, Wits 4.

                      We'll make Awareness, Thrown, Dodge, Resistance, and Melee Caste, with Melee as Supernal. We'll make Athletics, Ride, Integrity, Survival, and War favored.

                      We'll put 3 dots in each Awareness, Dodge, Resistance, Melee, Ride and War.
                      We'll put 2 dots in Thrown, Athelitcs, and Integrity.
                      1 dot in Socialize, Presence, Linguisitics, and Survival.

                      That's all 28 Ability dots spent.

                      We'll put 2BP to bump Melee to 5. 4BP to raise Willpower to 7. 4BP to take Wits to 5. Let's buy an extra Charm for another 4BP and spend our last BP on... Survival 2.

                      We can fight, we can do a little socailizing, and we're (barely) literate. We can't make arms or armor. We can't treat wounds. We can't run a business, but we're pretty good at surviving in the wild and dealing with animals.We're completely ignorant of the criminal scene, and we'd better hope we don't need any book-learning, because we haven't been to school. Oh, and I hope we don't need to fight spirits.

                      ****

                      Let's make a Zenith preacher.

                      We'll have Strength 2, Dex 3, Stamina 2.
                      We'll have Charisma 5, Manipulation 3, Appeance 3.
                      We'll have Perception 3, Intelligence 3, Wits 3.

                      We'll make Presence Supernal and take Athletics, Integrity, Performance, and Resistance as Caste. We'll have Bureaucracy, Linguisitics, Larceny, Occult and Socialize as favored.

                      We put three dots in Presence, Integrity, Performance, Linguistics, Larceny and Socialize.
                      We put two dots in Resistance, Bureaucracy, and Occult.
                      We throw one dot in Athletics, Awareness, Brawl, and Dodge.

                      That's all 28 Ability dots spent.

                      We spend 2BP on our Supernal, 8BP to take Appearance to 5, 2BP on an extra point of Willpower, and 3BP to take Stamina 3 for the Ox-Body benes.

                      We're really good at social stuff. We can kinda fight (mortals and blood apes beware, other Exalted... not so much). We can't ride a horse, or rough it in the wild, or sail on the ocean. We can commit crimes but not investigate them. We can read, but we don't know much about history.

                      ****

                      Let's make a mortal Dynast who Exalted as a Twilight.

                      We'll have Strength 2, Dex 2, Stamina 3.
                      We'll have Charisma 1, Manipulation 5, Appeance 3.
                      We'll have Perception 3, Intelligence 5, Wits 3.

                      Supernal Craft, with Integrity, Linguistics, Lore, and Occult as Caste. Awarenesss, Melee, Presence, Socialize, and Resistance favored.

                      As a Dynast, we really should have two dots in Archery, Brawl, Melee, Performance, Presence, Ride, Lore, Socialize, and War. That's 18 Ability dots spent on the basic "stuff a Dynast should know".
                      We'll put 3 dots in Craft Armor, 3 in Craft Artifact, 3 in Craft Mechanical Devices, and 1 in Craft Cooking.

                      We'll take Craft Armor and Craft Artifact to 5 for 4BP. Add a dot to Lore to take it to 3 dots each for 1BP. Buy Occult 3 for 3BP. Take Craft Cooking to 3 dots for 2BP. Take one dot of Awareness and Resistance for 2BP. Buy a lot of Linguistics to be literate 1BP. And 2BP in Integrity.

                      Your Twilight can't heal. Has no Athletics. Can't run a business. Can't Investigate crimes. Can't Sail. We've spent all our BP on Ability dots but only have two Abilities outside of our Supernal above 3. Good job we picked Brawl and not Martial Arts.

                      ****

                      I really don't think you're going to struggle to spend all your dots here. There's an example of Character Creation on page 129 of the Corebook that you might also find helpful.

                      But if you find yourself unable to make a character except for a character who can do everything... make a character who can do everything. Put one dot in every ability, and an extra two dots in your Supernal, then spend 2BP on your Supernal and have 1 dot in everything else. Sounds kinda fun. Fifteen Charms, ten caste/favored abilities... you could start with an Excellency in everything.
                      Last edited by JohnDoe244; 02-20-2021, 05:43 AM.


                      Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                      • And without deliberately going out of your way to spend all your BP on anything except what the book itself recommends spending them on?

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                        • Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                          It's just that the assumption that people will take 5s in abilities that aren't absolutely core to their character concept is totally wrong. Just throw in a line in your backstory like "my neighhbor was one of the greatest swordsman in the direction and he trained me while I took beaks from studying the occult" and you're good to go for that 5.
                          This can get hilarious.

                          "My neighbour was one of the greatest swordsman in the direction and whenever I went over on weekends for chess he trained me."

                          "The lady fishmonger was one of the best sailors in the high seas, capable of fishing even in the worst of the storms and treacherous waters, which is how I got Survival 4 and Sail 5"

                          "The old man teaching in the nearby school is a retired government official/ priest who due to political shenanigans had to be exiled. He taught me Occult 5 and Lore 5."

                          "The young woman singing by the roadside is a legendary travelling singer who loved our village so much she decided to stay."

                          You can have an entire village of old retired masters who are pretty much all badasses by any name.

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                          • Originally posted by Sith_Happens View Post
                            And without deliberately going out of your way to spend all your BP on anything except what the book itself recommends spending them on?
                            Well, the book suggests favoured abilities, tertiary attributes, and merits, and in the example character generation they spend 2 BP on getting stealth and melee 4 each. You should pretty easily be able to go down the ability list and find places for those dots.

                            Like if you're a Dawn who Exalted as a soldier when his squad got attacked by a raging beast and he was the lone survivor. You take melee 5 because you're a genius swordsman, but what about war, thrown, archery and brawl? You're a professional solider and nobody ever decided that you should know even the basics of how to shoot a bow, or hurl a sling? You never picked up anything from the inevitable barracks or bar room brawls? No inkling of wider war tactics? No survival based tracking, or scrounging while out on patrol? You want to use a parry defence so you take zero dots in dodge, but you're a legendary warrior, shouldn't at least the basics of Evasion be something you know about? Battlefield triage was never something you'd picked up or forced to learn, never learned to ride a horse in the event that you should be put in a cavalry position, don't know the first thing about moving stealthily in spite of the fact that ambushes are a key part of military strategy. Never been a marine either, you don't know the first thing about boats, and if you have no presence you must have had a pretty weak countenance for a sergeant. Same on integrity, and socialize even for that matter as keeping a poker face is pretty important.

                            Maybe you learned a thing or two from your less upright fellows and so toss a dot or so into larceny, maybe you have a hobby instrument and pick up a dot of performance. Which is all in addition to the things you were going to take anyway, like athletics, awareness, resistance, melee and the like.

                            When you look at it like that it's not that hard to use up the dots and start needing bonus points to get your favoured abilities to 2-3.

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                            • Originally posted by Sith_Happens View Post
                              And without deliberately going out of your way to spend all your BP on anything except what the book itself recommends spending them on?
                              The Twilight spent all their BP on Caste and Favoured abilities. In fact, all these builds spend BP on Caste Abilities. And the Zenith buys Terrtiary Attributes. None of them buy Merits, true, but only because I couldn't be bothered to make a full character -- buying Merits as the book recommends wouldn't give them 5s in their Abilities though. I can't help but feel you are very much mistaken in your statement here.

                              The actual example of Character Creation given in the book spends 8BP on Charms -- something none of these builds does.

                              Willpower isn't quite as cost effective as buying the 4th and 5th dot of a favoured Ability in terms of BP efficiency, but it's a 1:4 exchange which is a lot better than a Charms 1:2. Or a Merits 1:3 -- and the book recommends buying Merits with your BP.

                              Bumping Wits from 4 to 5 costs 16XP: buying that for 4BP likewise isn't dumb.

                              But...

                              Nix the Willpower, Charm and Wits on the Dawn. Take Craft Weapons 2 and Craft Armor 2 so you can maintain your equipment. Take Medicine 2 so you can do field surgery. Take Occult 2 so you can fight spirits and recite the superstitions of soldiers. Bump Integrity to 3 and Presence to 2. Finally we take 2 dots of Brawl. That's every single BP spent on Caste and Favoured Abilities. If you don't like Craft, take Lore so you can recite old war stories for Introduce a Fact, and Stealth ("take the bullets out your gun")

                              We still can't run a business or do anything on the criminal scene. We can move Ahlat with an impassioned speech, warrior to warrior, but we're not exactly built for courtly intrigue.

                              But if my answers are still not to your satisfaction, give me a character concept and I'll build it and run it through some Arena challenges.

                              Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
                              This can get hilarious.

                              You can have an entire village of old retired masters who are pretty much all badasses by any name.
                              To be fair... that does give you a reason to visit the PC's childhood homes. And it's a great justification as to why they don't have a tragic backstory. I'm not against it.
                              Last edited by JohnDoe244; 12-13-2020, 06:44 AM.


                              Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                                But if you find yourself unable to make a character except for a character who can do everything... make a character who can do everything. Put one dot in every ability, and an extra two dots in your Supernal, then spend 2BP on your Supernal and have 1 dot in everything else. Sounds kinda fun. Fifteen Charms, ten caste/favored abilities... you could start with an Excellency in everything.


                                Let's do this! The first think to be careful about is that some abilities don't have an Ability 1 Charm. Unless I made a mistake, there are 8 of these -
                                Archery, Awareness, Dodge, Performance, Presence, Sail, Socialize, Stealth. (I'm not sure if we're counting Martial Arts. Let's not count it, because getting Martial Arts 1 achieves very little when we already have at least a 1 in every combat ability, and get two different Crafts at 1.)

                                We have to have at least three of these as a Caste ability. Zenith gets two and Twilight doesn't get any, so we can't play those, but we can play a Dawn (3 Caste), a Night (4 Caste), or an Eclipse (3 Caste). One thing that's tricky is our Caste XP trigger - being equally good at almost everything, we may find ourselves playing against our Caste type a lot, so we probably want to choose our Essence 5 Ability to be as broadly applicable to the Caste's themes as possible, to push us in that direction - maybe Melee for a Dawn, Stealth for a Night, and Presence for an Eclipse.

                                The funny thing about the Melee version is we could be a Dex 5 Melee 5 god of combat who can also do everything else. That doesn't quite seem to be the point of this exercise, so I'll build the Night instead.


                                We need to take 1 of Athletics, Investigation, Larceny, Ride as a Caste ability. The starting Charms in all these Abilities are really cool, although Master Horseman’s Technique is not great if you don’t actually want to ride a horse (but then why take it as a Caste ability?). I’ll take Athletics, because Graceful Crane Stance doesn’t seem as exciting without the further Abilities that build on it, and getting (eventually) high Athletics and Stealth seems like a good combo for sneaking around. For my last Favored ability, I’ll take Lore, because I don’t like Essence-Lending Method, and I would like to eventually get Harmonious Academic Methodology instead.

                                Supernal: Stealth
                                Caste: Athletics, Awareness, Dodge, Socialize,
                                Favored: Archery, Lore, Performance, Presence, Sail,

                                Charms:
                                Brawl: Fists of Iron Technique
                                Bureaucracy: Frugal Merchant Method
                                Craft: Flawless Handiwork Method
                                Integrity: Enduring Mental Toughness
                                Investigation: Watchman's Infallible Eye
                                Larceny: Seasoned Criminal Method
                                Linguistics: Whirling Brush Method
                                Medicine: Ailment-Rectifying Method
                                Melee: Dipping Swallow Defense
                                Occult: Spirit-Detecting Glance
                                Resistance: Ox-Body Technique
                                Ride: Master Horseman’s Techniques
                                Survival: Food-Gathering Exercise
                                Thrown: Precision of the Striking Raptor
                                War: War God Descendent

                                Abilities: Everything 1, not counting Martial Arts, but counting Craft (Military Engineering) and Craft (Cooking), and Stealth 5. 2 BP spent.

                                Attributes (6 BP spent):
                                Strength 3
                                Dexterity 5
                                Stamina 3

                                Appearance 1
                                Charisma 5
                                Manipulation 3

                                Intelligence 3
                                Perception 3
                                Wits 3

                                Merits: I actually have no clue what to put here to fit with everything else - maybe I'll think about it later.

                                A lot of the Essence 1 Ability 1 Charms are really powerful, and could definitely come in handy even if you don't have much of the Ability (I guess that's sort of the idea...). I think this character would be pretty fun to play, except in a Circle with four other characters that are each much better in 6 of the Abilities, or something like that.

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