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  • Haquim
    started a topic 3rd Ed Sidereals

    3rd Ed Sidereals

    What do you think Sidereals should look like in 3rd Edition?

    The core book mentions the following: "control over destiny", "be an inscrutable stranger", "master ancient and powerful martial arts", "command the awe of gods".

    Sounds cool but I worry Sidereals are a bit outmatched if confronted with other exalted. Let's see what Sidereals can and can't do:

    -Sidereals are the the least populous exalts (100 exaltations in existence).
    -Sidereals live long (possibly longer than other exalts, even solars) but unlike those other exalts they can't use magic to prolong their life-span (this was introduced in 3rd edition I believe).
    -Sidereals have fixed amount of charms they may use. They can't create new ones unlike other exalts can.
    -Sidereals have access to celestial circle spells.
    -Sidereals have access to astrology effects, theoretically powerful and all-encompassing but actually really difficult to pull off.
    -Sidereals are supposed to be masters of martial arts. In previous editions they were the only ones who could create Sidereal Martial Arts, the most powerful type of Martial Arts, often capable of altering reality itself. Other exalts could theoretically learn them, but the Sidereals were loath to teach them because those were their trump cards often capable to level the field with other more outwardly powerful exalts. In 3rd edition Sidereal Martial Arts do not exist anymore. This seems to be a huge blow against the Sidereals, as it effectively removes their edge and one of the main lures of playing a Sidereal.
    -As for gods Sidereals do not command them, they can do so under the right circumstances (and crafting those circumstances is a big part of what being a Sidereal means) but that brings resentment from the gods who feel disrespected.

    Considering all that, how do you make 3rd ed Sidereals compete with other exalts when you have to choose the type of game you want to play? Most of what Sids can do Lunars and dedicated Solars can now probably do better (and Abyssals as well, obviously). So, what concepts, abilities, powers should Sidereals have in order to differentiate them from other more powerful exalts? What can make them unique, better suited to accomplish some tasks compared to other exalts?

    To me Sidereals have always been like secret agents working to preserve reality from its enemies and I find games centered around them work better that way. Ideally things should go this way: Receive a field mission. Get in place. Keep a low profile and study the situation for opportunities. Execute the plan. Disappear. Write a report whn you are back at the "office" and deal with internal politics while you wait your new assignment.
    I've had a few great Sidereal games in the past both as Bronze faction agents trying to thwart the Deathlords and as Golden faction recruiters saving solars while still having to do their jobs with people ideologically opposed to themselves. I hope 3rd edition Sids will get to keep their unique flavour and their "edges" in their specific field of specialization.

  • Chausse
    replied
    Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    Whereas I'd hope they wouldn't completely eclipse actual Sidereal Charms or other martial arts. It's hard to imagine a Sidereal player even considering Crane Style (a martial arts style which, I'll remind y'all, was introduced in a Sidereal supplement) when something like Obsidian Shards of Infinity is accessible at character creation.
    I'm fine with that considering I can cover MA with most other splats and had the opportunity to see 2-3 MA in my campaigns already. Furthermore I don't expect SMA to be better than other MA, but I hope they cover narratives and aesthetics regular MA do not cover.

    I don't believe I'm going to convince anyone on this subject, I'm just sharing my hopes for accessible SMA from a requirement standpoint.

    Considering Sorcery and Solars, even Essence 1 Solar shines already in sorcery. Between the reduce cost of Sorcery and the sheer power of the solars, Workings of Ambition 1 Solar are in their range, and maybe even Solar 2 if everyone in the team decides to go for it. But as I stated it doesn't matter, it has more to do with my own expectations than a logical argumentation.

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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    While I'd be happy for SMA to be, say, Essence 3, I think actually an Essence 1 Obsidian Shards (which would obviously be much weaker, as it's Essence 1) might not be a good first choice over Crane, because it's likely expensive, difficult to use, and lacking in bread-and-butter effects (which Sidereals have generally had problems with anyway, a deliberate weakness of their design).

    Though of course, since they'll presumably get 15 charms, and you can only take 2 or 3 Crane charms at Essence 1 anyway, it's quite probable that a character whose concept is all about being a Martial Artist will take 2 different styles anyway, so they've got more than a 5th of their charms as Martial Arts.

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  • TheCountAlucard
    replied
    Originally posted by Chausse View Post
    Which of course incline me to hope they will be available from quite early like other MA
    Whereas I'd hope they wouldn't completely eclipse actual Sidereal Charms or other martial arts. It's hard to imagine a Sidereal player even considering Crane Style (a martial arts style which, I'll remind y'all, was introduced in a Sidereal supplement) when something like Obsidian Shards of Infinity is accessible at character creation.

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  • Chausse
    replied
    My expectations about SMA is mainly because of my personnel experience : I know for a fact with the groups of people I play with that I will never see any of them is they are beyond Essence 4, and it's only a small chance if they are Essence 3.

    Which of course incline me to hope they will be available from quite early like other MA

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  • Blaque
    replied
    I kind of assumed SMA are going to be a bit like Signature Charms for DBs. Something you wont's ee in chargen, but something you can grow into after a game's been going for a bit. Them going Essence 3-5 is aboutw here I expect them since it helps fill in for MAs in general and it allows the Charms toh ave good "Breathing room" in power too.

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    The core book description of Solar Exalted describes part of their essential experience as being mastery of sorcery, and yet Solar Circle still eludes them until Essence 5.

    I find the core book description of the Sidereal Exalted to phrase their relationship with the martial arts in about the same manner. That doesn't mean that Sidereal Styles have to wait until Essence 5, but I do think they need to wait for a while.

    In the meantime, you've got plenty of other very impressive martial arts to manage. As they currently are, they already have qualities based on differing levels of presumed mastery; if Sidereals have a means of using Styles with the benefit of the Mastery keyword, that's already a leg up over the vast majority of Creation's martial artists.

    And as we've seen with Dragon Blooded and Lunars, the fully written up Exalted are informed by the guidelines laid down by the core, but are not beholden to them. Not to mention how the Sidereals book will almost definitely include writers who did not work on the core, some of whom will be assigned mechanics. There's every possibility that between now and then, somebody will pitch an idea for a neat and distinctive additional permutation or elaboration of what Sidereals can do in "regular" Martial Arts with their sutras or something, and it will enrich the image of them as hidden sage masters of the fist.

    I like... the premise and some of the associated imagery of Sidereal Martial Arts, but I feel as though making them available too early risks overshadowing the other Styles, with which I think Sidereals should also have a strong relationship.

    I also think Sidereal Martial Arts need a careful overhaul in which they still feel distinctly powerful with a mandate other than being a substitute for Exalted Charms of Essence 6+, which was its whole other bag of worms.

    Because the other side is that I feel as though Sidereal Martial Arts that are available from Essence 1 while still having that kind of power... it might mess up some setting and balance considerations. I mean, unless they had Essence 1 Charms that didn't do anything too heavy, but that feels as though it belies the point of Sidereal Martial Arts in general, and why people want earlier access to them in the first place.

    Still, I can't help but consider the comparison with Artifacts of different levels; you still get to do some distinctly powerful things from the outset with your Stormcallers and Forgotten Blades, and considerations such as Artifacts having distinct rules and premises from Martial Arts, or the necessary efforts in play or character creation to be granted such an Artifact, do not quite feel sufficient. There might not be a flawless answer.

    But it informs my thinking that Sidereal Martial Arts not being available from the outset is not outrageous.

    As regards Chejop, I don't think that a premise of mastering all or most of the Sidereal Arts is essential to his character. Honestly, it always read a bit perfunctorily to me, informed not so much by him being particularly devoted to the martial arts as the fact that there was literally no other way to represent him being an elder Sidereal. It's just "hey, Chejop Kejak has been Essence 8 for the last 800 years, so he might as well learn all of the Sidereal Martial Arts, because otherwise about half of those dots are going to waste and he's barely distinguishable from a regular Sidereal". It would have made them look bad compared to the presumed space of Lunars of similar Essence.

    Here we have an Edition in which an Exalt of Essence 6+ being indistinguishable in all but the lightest ways from one at Essence 5 is by design, Sidereals are still going to have a closed Charm set but it's promised to be bigger and a bit more diverse, and Sidereal Martial Arts are not pulling double duty as elder Sidereal Charms. I think those considerations warrant reviewing whether or not Chejop needs to be deeply associated with the Sidereal Martial Arts. I don't expect Chejop to be devoid of martial arts, but maybe they're not a deep focus for him anymore, and he could get an Elder Charm based more on prophetic insight and offering firm guidance to authorities such as the Scarlet Empress and the Mouth of Peace.

    Really, in a system where there isn't a presumption that all elder Sidereals need such Arts to have anything worth a damn once they rise above Essence 5, I think it would be valuable to have an elder Sidereal who specifically does not have Sidereal Arts, to convey the statement that they aren't the be-all end-all to upper levels of Sidereal power.

    (A lot of which means that the basic character of Chejop Kejak would probably still function if he was, like, Essence 4)

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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    I guess I can see where you're coming from. I suppose that, as I've played/run like 60 sessions of Essence 4-5 Exalted, and run 4 sessions of Essence 1, I have quite a different viewpoint from you guys.

    I think Essence 1 or 2 would be way too low for the pinnacle of Sidereal power, but I could see Essence 3.

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  • Chausse
    replied
    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post

    Well, normal Martial Arts generally go from Essence 1-3, so it makes sense to me that first you learn a normal Martial Art, and then this enables you to get to the point where you're enlightened enough to grasp the extremely esoteric Sidereal Martial Arts.

    I can't really imagine a young guy, freshly Exalted, using Sidereal Martial Arts. Surely it's for wizened old masters with long white bears.
    I guess time will prove one of us wrong because I don't think I'd appreciate the design of what seems a really fun feature unique to one of the splat behind an Essence gate that high (I'd be good if it was about Essence 2 or any RolePlay limitations "You must first reach the summit of this Glass Tower while blind to unlock your 15th Chakra"), but I'd much appreciate that Sidereals are in nature able to commune with these mystical shenanigans martial arts that no mere mortal can fathom.

    I mean maybe I overthought the importance these SMA had for Sidereals while reading the Core Exalted 3e and I went all very hyped making false assumptions in my head, that could be that as well

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  • Epimetheus
    replied
    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post

    Well, normal Martial Arts generally go from Essence 1-3, so it makes sense to me that first you learn a normal Martial Art, and then this enables you to get to the point where you're enlightened enough to grasp the extremely esoteric Sidereal Martial Arts.

    I can't really imagine a young guy, freshly Exalted, using Sidereal Martial Arts. Surely it's for wizened old masters with long white bears.
    That's true but it does make it unfeasible foe moat games with sucks. E3 would be a little more useful for sidereals.

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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    Originally posted by Chausse View Post
    I didn't read much of Exalted except the splats of 3e, but the core book puts a lot of emphasis on Sideral Martial Arts as being very core to their concepts. If you can't use it before essence 4 (so something like 35 seances I believe) it'd be a mistake I believe, except if they have a special connection so SMA which let them learn it from low essence or something I guess
    Well, normal Martial Arts generally go from Essence 1-3, so it makes sense to me that first you learn a normal Martial Art, and then this enables you to get to the point where you're enlightened enough to grasp the extremely esoteric Sidereal Martial Arts.

    I can't really imagine a young guy, freshly Exalted, using Sidereal Martial Arts. Surely it's for wizened old masters with long white bears.

    Leave a comment:


  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
    My point has more to his ability to be able to defend himself especially versus people who do want to kill him.
    Essence 3-5 can do that.

    I expect Chejop to be higher, but again, that's representative of the scope of the legend depicted in his corebook fiction, not a bar he has to cross in order to do something basic.

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  • Epimetheus
    replied
    Originally posted by Chausse View Post
    I didn't read much of Exalted except the splats of 3e, but the core book puts a lot of emphasis on Sideral Martial Arts as being very core to their concepts. If you can't use it before essence 4 (so something like 35 seances I believe) it'd be a mistake I believe, except if they have a special connection so SMA which let them learn it from low essence or something I guess
    We'll be waiting a few years before finding out how they work.

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  • Chausse
    replied
    I didn't read much of Exalted except the splats of 3e, but the core book puts a lot of emphasis on Sideral Martial Arts as being very core to their concepts. If you can't use it before essence 4 (so something like 35 seances I believe) it'd be a mistake I believe, except if they have a special connection so SMA which let them learn it from low essence or something I guess

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  • Morty
    replied
    Didn't the devs said that Sidereal Martial Arts would start on Essence 4? If so, I figure they'd be Essence 4 and 5, since they don't want to have any Charms that require Essence 6 or higher.

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