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  • Original Lunar Castes

    The way the lunar exaltation is written up now it sounds like the change from 5 to 3 castes had nothing to do with preserving against the wyld damaging essences and was 100% a strategic choice to focus. The way it's written it sounds like the Full Moon and No Moon were not among the originals any more than Changing Moons. I wonder what the castes were? How were the attributes divided up if there were not any Just Physical, Just Mental, Just Social castes and those 3 all had to be created.

  • #2
    The line describing them as "guardians, guides, world- walkers, judges, and mystics." probably implies those were their 5 castes.
    Thoughts:
    Guardians sounds dex+stamina (both have defensive charms), maybe strength or perception
    Guides fits wits for the form charm.
    World-Walker wants wits for navigation
    Judges - wants perception for scrutiny, maybe appearance or charisma
    Mystics - intelligence, perception, not sure the 3rd category

    Ascetic Concerns: Every Attribute should show up once or twice, no pair of attributes should be together twice, no caste should match a second age caste

    A random attempt to build this
    Guardians: Stamina, Dexterity, Appearance (Good defense, terrify people into not attacking you)
    Guides: Wits, Appearance, Intelligence (Guide people with wits and intelligence, appearance so they actually listen)
    World-Walkers: Wits, Dexterity, Manipulation (Wits to know where to go, dexterity and manipulation to fit in/not be seen)
    Judges: Perception, Strength, Charisma (Perception to know if they're guilty, charisma so people think your laws are valid, strength to beat up lawbreakers)
    Mystics: Intelligence, Perception, Manipulation (Perception to see spirits, intelligence to understand them, manipulation to get them to do what you want/get the civilians to assume you know the few things you're ignorant of)

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    • #3
      My take divides them along lines of sacred guardian beast, insightful and mysterious courtier, ecstatic mystic and priest, challenging and transformative trickster, and deep exploring witch.

      My notion for how Caste Attributes could work for this is to basically give each Caste a wider pool of Attributes to choose from than just three. I've not assigned any directly or worked out any of the maths for what would make an even distribution, but I feel as though this would be a sensible way for the limited number of Attributes to cover a somewhat more diverse array of Castes. The only one I've got specifically nailed down is that Charisma should absolutely, indisputably go with the sacred guardian beast Caste. I mean, look at those Charisma Charms; look at the Essence 5 one. No way that shouldn't go with a First Age take on the Lunars who wield combat prowess in defence of the weak. Has the added benefit of being one of their Attributes concerned with actually commanding armies, y'know?

      Of course, as with Solar Castes (and, well, Lunar Castes as they function now), not every Exalt gets all of their Caste Attributes. It's an expanded pool from which to choose, but an individual has to pick their own array from them. I feel as though that would help let Castes have a wider pool while also keeping all of the actual Lunars from overlapping too much with each other. I'm thinking something like three out of however many Attributes the Caste has.

      Last is my notion that Lunars hence do not have Favoured Attributes. This is partially from a sense that a broader array from the Caste can already afford a lot of variation for members within that Caste, and partially from a notion that First Age Castes were more rigid and specific functions than the rough-hewn, versatile Castes of the Second Age.


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      • #4
        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
        My take divides them along lines of sacred guardian beast, insightful and mysterious courtier, ecstatic mystic and priest, challenging and transformative trickster, and deep exploring witch.

        My notion for how Caste Attributes could work for this is to basically give each Caste a wider pool of Attributes to choose from than just three. I've not assigned any directly or worked out any of the maths for what would make an even distribution, but I feel as though this would be a sensible way for the limited number of Attributes to cover a somewhat more diverse array of Castes. The only one I've got specifically nailed down is that Charisma should absolutely, indisputably go with the sacred guardian beast Caste. I mean, look at those Charisma Charms; look at the Essence 5 one. No way that shouldn't go with a First Age take on the Lunars who wield combat prowess in defence of the weak. Has the added benefit of being one of their Attributes concerned with actually commanding armies, y'know?

        Of course, as with Solar Castes (and, well, Lunar Castes as they function now), not every Exalt gets all of their Caste Attributes. It's an expanded pool from which to choose, but an individual has to pick their own array from them. I feel as though that would help let Castes have a wider pool while also keeping all of the actual Lunars from overlapping too much with each other. I'm thinking something like three out of however many Attributes the Caste has.

        Last is my notion that Lunars hence do not have Favoured Attributes. This is partially from a sense that a broader array from the Caste can already afford a lot of variation for members within that Caste, and partially from a notion that First Age Castes were more rigid and specific functions than the rough-hewn, versatile Castes of the Second Age.

        I'd go "Three Caste Attributes out of these four or five options, and one Favored Attribute" then, to keep the four total the same.

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        • #5
          My notion of the Castes (which would inform any anima powers they get) would be very clearly tying them into a place of prominence and acceptance in the Realm, of being hooked directly into its systems and societies. It would be most obvious in the courtier, priest and trickster ones, and would inform why the warrior one tends to be closely associated with a particular society to defend. Of them all, the mystics are probably the closest analogue to a Second Age descendent; there's not very far to stray from a Caste that comes off as ranging far from society into the No Moon Caste.

          Come to think of it, it would end up kind of forming the basis for the other two Castes and Lunars as a whole. Heh, kind of forms a bit of a through line with the significance the game has often given to the history of the No Moons, and being at the forefront of developing the new Castes. It's not merely a matter of being the ones with the metaphysical insights, but that they're the ones with the perspective of going into survival mode, and being able to divest themselves of rigid commitments. Creating the new Castes entailing a process of teaching the Lunars how to shed their old lives and become self-sufficient.

          I would certainly find it to resonate a bit with the likes of Raksi specifically being at the forefront of developing the new Castes.

          (In this schema, the No Moons wouldn't be a completely straight adaptation; in distilling the Castes into fairly broad and unadorned functions, they end up losing some of the physical survivalist stuff, while also taking on some elements of guide and teacher that once belonged to other Castes; their antecedent was the most survivalist Caste, but in making all of them like that, they become reformatted into the specific mode of survival by mental applications, which is still not a very big adjustment)


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          • #6
            Ok, so I didn't really pay huge attention to the "guardians and guides" thing, and this is mostly based off a crazy headcanon that the first age lunar castes had the same name as the present day abyssal castes because a) they're night themed and luna is supposed to be god(dess) of the night; and b) "moonshadow" is clearly a moon-focused name for an eclipse.

            So with that in mind, I divided up the attributes like so: Dusk got Strength and Wits; Midnight got Stamina and Charisma; Daybreak got Intelligence and Perception; Day got Dexterity and Manipulation and Moonshadow got Appearance and a third favoured ability. Although this was before the kickstarter and having seen the charms each attribute actually gets I might shuffle some of these around.

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            • #7
              Whatever the case, I would say that Lunars ought to get Castes named after the moon phases.

              For one thing, the fact that the moon has phases is kind of the whole basis of the shapeshifter connection.


              I have approximate knowledge of many things.
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              • #8
                Well, yeah, but they do. In the present of the setting.

                Originally they might not have had castes at all. Where are your moon phases there?

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                • #9
                  True.

                  And I like the idea of them originally all being Casteless; it makes sense to me as that's why this is what they start out as when exalting; although I also like the idea that they had completely different castes and have changed themselves so much that they even changed the default. Or that their current Castes are their original Castes, which they've gone back to, although I like the other two more.

                  But I still feel that calling them Dusk, Midnight, etc, is too much "we're just riffing off Solars" and I feel that generally makes Lunars less interesting. So I agree with Isator. They're Moon-exalts, their names should be Moon-based.

                  I actually think the old names of Waning, Half, Waxing (and maybe New Moons rather than No Moons? I can't think of how to change Full Moon, but they don't have to change the name) are fine.
                  Or Gibbous, Half and Crescent.



                  My characters:
                  Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
                  Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Elfive View Post

                    Originally they might not have had castes at all. Where are your moon phases there?
                    In the sky.

                    Seriously, what kind of answer is this? This is a discussion concerning the Castes in the First Age, the question of how they were ever named when Casteless is also quite irrelevant.

                    I'll also note that, while it has an appeal to me, the notion of Primordial War endemic Castelessness is not really something found in the book. I'm not yet sure the extent of Neall's contributions to it, but at the very least he's been a writer who came into a discussion of the subject and said that, whatever Lunar control is held over them, they still derive from their patron shifting through phases rather than being utterly amorphous.


                    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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                    • #11
                      I assume the casteless came from them having to break their essences first. They all come broken but then you choose your caste and they wrap you up in moonsilver circuitry that locks you into the caste you picked.

                      Where was that god of exaltation that fixed up all the essences between incarnations? Is he gone? Imagine his reaction to an influx of horribly broken lunar essences. Apparently broken beyond his capability to fix. Casteless might have been him salvaging what the lunars did so the essences could still work right.

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                      • #12
                        My thoughts as to first age lunars run thusly:

                        Full Moon, Waxing Moon, Half Moon, Waning Moon, No Moon.

                        Each of the five castes grew stronger as their own phase of the moon approached and/or was in full effect. No Moon, Half Moon and Full Moon have points where they are personally at their strongest. Waxing moons gain strength as the moon waxes and loses it as it wanes; waning moons, the opposite.

                        At any given time, at least one of these castes would be either gaining power or at their full potential. For example, at the full moon, the waning caste and the no moon caste will be at their weakest, but the full moon and waxing moon will be at their strongest (and the half-moon will be somewhere in between). At the half moon, either the waxing or waning moon (depending) would be at their strongest.

                        Half Moons hit a good middle ground, where they were only weak as two other castes grew strong. As such, they played a support role to their fellow Lunars. They dealt in making those around them stronger, in lifting up those around them into their greatest potential. (You see elements of this idea in the Silver Pact, but imo it doesn't have anywhere to really come from as the castes currently stand). However, this caste had a very hard time standing on its own without allies to support. With the loss of the Solars and the splitting of the Lunars, such a caste would became detrimental to the Lunars' survival, and so it was phased out (heh).

                        Which leads into the next point: When the old castes were rearranged into their new forms, each gained/lost certain elements that brought them in line with the 4 types of Lunars we know today. Not entirely sure who had what or what would get cut, but I think the three or four castes we have now would be more flexible than their five predecessors. We can see in the Lunar pdf that when a Lunar is inducted into a caste, she loses some flexibility (the cost of non-favored attributes goes up) but gains some power (she now has more Caste/Favored abilities). When you consider the situation the Lunars had gone into (from Stewards to hunted demons) this makes sense; as people grew more civilized, they also grew more specialized. The opposite would also be the case: the less civilized your society, the more generalist you need to be to survive.

                        ...

                        It's not a fully fleshed-out idea and I haven't fully thought through every aspect (like what "more powerful" would mean for each caste), but I think it's a good starting point.


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                        • #13

                          Originally posted by werlynn View Post
                          I assume the casteless came from them having to break their essences first.

                          Setting aside the fact that all three Editions have had it that Lunars always started out Casteless, what's the attachment to the idea that the transition in their Castes constitutes a kind of deficiency?

                          Originally posted by HalfTangible View Post

                          Each of the five castes grew stronger as their own phase of the moon approached and/or was in full effect.
                          Are Dawn Castes also only at their fighting best at the start of the day?


                          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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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HalfTangible View Post
                            Not entirely sure who had what or what would get cut, but I think the three or four castes we have now would be more flexible than their five predecessors. We can see in the Lunar pdf that when a Lunar is inducted into a caste, she loses some flexibility (the cost of non-favored attributes goes up) but gains some power (she now has more Caste/Favored abilities). When you consider the situation the Lunars had gone into (from Stewards to hunted demons) this makes sense; as people grew more civilized, they also grew more specialized. The opposite would also be the case: the less civilized your society, the more generalist you need to be to survive.
                            I don't really see the point of the castes getting stronger or weaker at certain points, but this does make sense to me. And it goes in with what people were earlier saying about maybe having 3 of 4 caste attributes and only one favoured attribute.



                            My characters:
                            Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
                            Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng

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                            • #15
                              Very loose starting idea I was playing with

                              Bright Moons (Guardians) - Strength, Charisma, Perception

                              Gibbous Moons (Celebrant Artists/Priests) - Dexterity, Appearance, Intelligence

                              Half Moons (Generals/Judges) - Stamina, Charisma, Intelligence

                              Crescent Moons (Wanderers/Guides) - Stamina, Manipulation, Wits

                              Dark Moons (spies/puppet masters) - Dexterity, Manipulation, Perception


                              Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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