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The Supernal-Must-be-in-caste mechanic

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  • #31
    Agree it is constraining to some degree. It seems like if you want to be a crafter of swords as your highest, distinctive character peak, but generally a warrior, or the greatest tactician as your defining peak, but otherwise generally a smart guy who is good at smart guy type stuff (and not a warrior), this isn't really so much a Solar space (at least at chargen), as in previous editions?

    Not to dislike the concept of the Supernal Ability, as pretty cool as a distinctive way to pace the Solar curve - it fulfills the promise that they are "The Best" (tm) at some ability from chargen and paces their growth more around filling out as they get more Essence (which is a distinct curve from just getting better proportionately in everything). But yeah, the 3e characters that chargen pushes your towards seem different than previous editions without further distinction between Caste / Favored. Feature or bug is to taste.

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    • #32
      I'm broadly in favour of Caste Supernal. Its helped me realise some baggage and unspoken assuptions that myself and others have towards the Solar Castes.
      For example, there's this deeply rooted notion of the Dawn Caste as dumb muscle that I still occasionally see signs of when Martial Arts comes up due to a combination of its in-setting connection to enlightenment and RL notions of the scrawny kid learning martial arts to fight back against people who are bigger and hit harder.


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      • #33
        Originally posted by Flare View Post

        Because it means you can't pick up the big Essence 3-5 charms that make the creature immune to being crashed and stuff until you actually get to that Essence ele
        But it's okay for a zenith to do so?

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post

          But it's okay for a zenith to do so?
          The Zenith can't do it to a Blood Ape or other powerful Demon slash Spirit. At least not right away

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Flare View Post
            The thing is that Sail does also include warlike stuff. It includes charms to modify and boost the strategic maneuver actions on Sail, to make your crew into swashbuckling soldiers, and doesn't your Sail score limit your War for the purposes of strategic maneuvers while you're on a boat?
            Sail has no effect on your ablity to do strategic manuevering as I can read on the rules. In fact, once you board a ship and are actually fighting, the rules say to just use normal combat, and that's about it. This seems to tie in with how I think on things a bit. The game rules as they are separate being a good navigator/pilot of a ship from being a good strategist in actual fights. The mechanics as they are separate what it takes to be a good tactical sailor from a good tactician.

            That there is combat applicaiton of Sail and Dawns don't get it is a matter of a few things to me. 1) They wanted eight Abilites for each Caste, Dawns got their original five and the three they got as well are things that are pretty good associations with them and say something of the kind of characters that fit it. And 2) Reality and ficiton don't 1:1 cut along game mechanic joints, and so while there are some things in Sail that have a Dawn-like look, they don't justify giving Dawns the entire Sail Ability carte blanche if there is also a want to make sure a Castes overarching themes fit best besides specifics of mechanical overlap. A bit to me is what the Sail rules to me read as in 3e, where they are about your competence of actually commanding the ship. Being a good tactician tells you you should baord a ship. Being a good navigator/pilot lets you do that. Those are represented separately in the system. Just liike knowing when to hide is good tactics, but the Children of the Dawn are not the sorts who are known to be pinnacle of hiding amongst the Chosen. And the system somewhat shows this a bit. Dawns don't normally Supernal Sail because the mechancis themselves are not really as much about knowing what to do, but you doing them.

            (I'd argue that this is probably actually a flaw somewhat of the Sail mechanics amongst other things they have for being underdeveloped, mathed badly, and having too many Charms that mess wiht that math that break it further but that's another argument).

            To me, Moray as an admiral is the kind of guy who knows when to strike, who picks his battles, and is probably still good enough with the most powerful dice trick Solars have (their Excellency) to get most things done to get to his personal strengths of fights on actual ships and looting. Or, he's good enough that he's able to get navigators and helmsmen that are able to compliment his strenghts as a tactician.

            Sail isn't just about piloting, it has charms for being a fearless swashbuckler and being a captain leading a crew of raiders from the front and being great at forcing your boat opponents into traps. This is a bit why I generally find it kind of a weak arguemnt for the non-Caste Supernal stuff. Moray was likely Exalted because well, he was a good general or warrior, not because he was good helmsman. The system reflects that and I think that there's a conflation of the helmsman with the swashbuckler I'm not sure is warranted here.

            Originally posted by Flare View Post
            Sail isn't just about piloting, it has charms for being a fearless swashbuckler and being a captain leading a crew of raiders from the front and being great at forcing your boat opponents into traps.
            Setting up those traps, and such on the long term are the domain of Strategic Warfare. Once teh ships are like, there and trying to maneuver, that's the Sail Maneuvering system. That's the domain fo helmsmen, not tacticians, although a good tactician might know the best course of action, again.


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            • #36
              Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post
              Agree it is constraining to some degree. It seems like if you want to be a crafter of swords as your highest, distinctive character peak, but generally a warrior, or the greatest tactician as your defining peak, but otherwise generally a smart guy who is good at smart guy type stuff (and not a warrior), this isn't really so much a Solar space (at least at chargen), as in previous editions?

              Not to dislike the concept of the Supernal Ability, as pretty cool as a distinctive way to pace the Solar curve - it fulfills the promise that they are "The Best" (tm) at some ability from chargen and paces their growth more around filling out as they get more Essence (which is a distinct curve from just getting better proportionately in everything). But yeah, the 3e characters that chargen pushes your towards seem different than previous editions without further distinction between Caste / Favored. Feature or bug is to taste.
              I mean, nothing stops a Twlight from being a warrior. You get five Supernals. Unless you mean as generally as a Dawn, probably not. But than again, if you were going to be running around wanting three forms of killing folks as Abiliites, were you actually that interested in having Craft do a lot or are you just spreading yourself thin hypothetically?


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              • #37
                Supernal limits are removed with the greatest of ease.

                There was an idea behind limiting them by Caste. It's not going to be to everybody's taste, and it's not a travesty.

                Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post

                There may exist a problem with Moray Darktide being a Dawn all the way since the Dawn book as an example of how to Dawn. It's not like Sail is super-defining of Eclipses, either; arguably, that would be Bureaucracy, which they nonetheless now share with Twilights (in addition to Linguistics), and Socialize, which is similarly on-dock for Nights.


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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Blaque View Post

                  I mean, nothing stops a Twlight from being a warrior. You get five Supernals.
                  True, I suppose there is the workaround, say, (to go with my other example) you wanted to play the extremely smart Supernal tactician with no other major martial prowess, of playing a Dawn that buys War, spends nothing on any of his chosen Dawn Abilities, and then spends everything on his Favored Abilities, which are Twilight Abilities. It's something that the system is nudging against though.

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                  • #39
                    I definitely think that the "Sail" problem is the naval mechanics more than Solar admirals not being able to take Sail Supernal.

                    Why don't people bring up Solar not having Ride as a Supernal option? Mastering fighting while mounted sounds like a Dawn thing, and there are certainly great warriors for inspiration for a Dawn that focuses on Ride.

                    The reason is simple. A Supernal Melee/Ride Favored Dawn, and a Supernal Ride/Melee Favored Eclipse perform differently at start, but because of the combat system, you don't feel left out going with whichever suits your concept better. If you want to play a mounted spear user, you're going to have high Melee and high Ride, and want lots of Charms from both... your Supernal is just which you start higher up on (and it would be even if it wasn't Caste linked).

                    If War had more impact on the naval mechanics, then the Dawn admiral concept would be War Supernal and Sail Favored, and it wouldn't feel weird at all.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post

                      True, I suppose there is the workaround, say, (to go with my other example) you wanted to play the extremely smart Supernal tactician with no other major martial prowess, of playing a Dawn that buys War, spends nothing on any of his chosen Dawn Abilities, and then spends everything on his Favored Abilities, which are Twilight Abilities. It's something that the system is nudging against though.
                      I mean, in 3e, if you want to be the brainy tactician who doesn't htemself fight...you do that as a Zenith. They can favor Lore and War just fine, and also are good at getting folks to follow them and keeping cool when shit goes awry. Which I think is something to consider a bit too. Castes have quite a lot of gorund they can cover now, including with how soem Abilities that were "Twligiht" or whatever, arne't exclusivley so anymore.


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                      • #41
                        I realize I'm a latecomer to the thread (that's what I get for passing out), but being super-invested in an Ability hardly necessitates getting higher than Essence 1 Charms for it; my Eclipse is Socialize Supernal, but his Investigation dots are equally beefy, and he's done about as much with both. I don't think I've even used all my Socialize Charms yet.
                        Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 04-21-2019, 08:35 PM.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Maseiken View Post
                          Eye of the Unconquered Sun is a charm that reveals everyone and everything that is hiding or concealed in the Solar’s vision, including disguises and disguising magic.

                          How could that possibly serve Dawn thematics more than Twilight? In what way would a Supernal Awareness Twilight be thematically undercutting the Dawn or Night castes?

                          And like, yeah. We can give Dawns Sail and Twilights Awareness and Zeniths Linguistics, and hopefully not mess up the balance of Caste abilities too much, Eclipses would be hard done by, but maybe they could get something else.

                          Alternatively, we could leave caste abilities as they are and just remove a one sentence long rule, trusting that we’ll be able to negotiate thematic characters without that limitation.

                          I think Dawns have Awareness because of its synergy with Archery, which is also their thing. They are Masters of not only close combat but also range with Thrown and Archery. While the Eye isn't really necessary for that sort of thing that Solars would need it, as so far the other charms in awareness. In allowing your sense to extremely expand and allowing you to see through any ambush. That I think fits Dawn.

                          The thing of what I think Supernal is that I like it, I see it fits what it needs to do and its fitting. Now I also understand that it does limit from some other thematic stuff but from the way I see it just allowing it to apply to any ability isn't the way to go about it. Really the way I would do it is just expand the list. Their are 25 abilities and each Caste gets 8, if that is limiting your concept then move it to 10 for example, give everyone 2 more favored abilities. For me, I see Thrown as being very fitting for night, with all its sneakyness in the charms, but I also see that there is few else I see Nights really missing. I don't want to lose the focus that Supernal brings to the themes of the Caste and as people noted out you really don't need that much investment in other abilities to do cool stuff, thats how I would go about it anyway.


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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                            Supernal limits are removed with the greatest of ease.

                            There was an idea behind limiting them by Caste. It's not going to be to everybody's taste, and it's not a travesty.
                            Sure, I mean maybe I’m getting a bit heated about character concepts I find cool, but I’m not trying to tear down Eclipses that can fight things in boats or Dawns that are extremely perceptive.

                            I guess I just can’t see that the intentions behind limited Supernal selection are borne out by the caste distribution and the rest of the book.

                            Protecting thematic caste abilities: There’s nothing more Night Caste than muting your anima, and yet a Supernal Larceny Eclipse is fully capable of muting peripherals used in any larceny action at least twice per scene. For free, at that.

                            Preserving game balance: look this is difficult, I could argue that a Demon familiar is better served by occult charms than Survival, particularly in terms of Materialising. But balance is kind of weird to address when Dawns are and should be the Best Combatant Caste.

                            Like, a materialised Erymanthus with Survival empowerment is formidable. I don’t think it’s quite as dangerous as a Supernal archer with range and a vantage point. Add athletics which is also In caste and the Dawn charm resets and it’s not even a question.

                            That said, if you find it does achieve this goals, absolutely go for it. I literally cannot stop you and wouldn’t if I could.

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                            • #44
                              Athletics isn't a Dawn Caste Ability.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Maseiken View Post

                                Protecting thematic caste abilities: There’s nothing more Night Caste than muting your anima, and yet a Supernal Larceny Eclipse is fully capable of muting peripherals used in any larceny action at least twice per scene. For free, at that.
                                I wouldn't see it as making the Castes feel intrinsically different from one another so much as making the Castes feel more like themselves.

                                Take the Dawn Caste. There are arguably Abilities that might make sense for them as further Caste Abilities, and some might feel that some of those are more fitting than some of the expansions that they were actually given. For the former, I'd say that when the Castes are given only eight, something ends up on the cutting room floor. For the latter, well, not everybody is going to have the same ideas (and maybe there was an intention to not have some Abilities show up too little or too often); I'd say they're easy enough to shift around.

                                But I'd also say that there are Abilities that are fairly far afield from the Dawn Caste, excepting very narrow applications, and letting them be Supernal in place of something for combat would be off. At the same time, Favoured Abilities are something that has value in being a mode for development and characterisation stretching way from Caste.

                                Not everybody has much regard for Caste, but between deeper Anima powers and the significance given to it for experience points, I'd say that it's something this Edition is giving a prominence to. So it's the apparent basis for giving Solars a means of expanding vertically early on.


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