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  • Feeling Limited

    So here’s an issue I have run into while role playing:

    Limit and it’s variants are an integral part of Exalted. They are the mechanical representation of the Great Curse, the single greatest weakness of the Exalted. Limit is essential to the setting.

    That said, I find it very frustrating that there is no way (to my knowledge) to lower limit. My character is fairly close to a limit break and I find myself making decisions that mitigate her limit buildup, but might not be the right actions for her to take. The fact that once limit is gained, it cannot be reduced feels very punishing and it is difficult to not metagame when I know the limit is ticking up, but my character has no knowledge of this invisible mechanic.

    My circle has already had one limit break, and it arguably changed the entire party dynamic in ways we are still dealing with a year later, so I am very concerned what a second limit break might do.

    What do ya’ll do to make Limit a roleplaying asset rather than a hinderence in your role-play?

  • #2
    I think, technically, Karvara's evocations have tricks that futz with limit, but honestly, I think that paranoia, fear, and inevitability is actually an intentional part of the mechanic.

    The heroes Exalted is made to emulate do snap, and that's the point. I've had one limit break that nearly led to that PC killing another PC and the entire group dynamic DID change. Everyone now looks at the Eclipse a little sideways. But that inter-circle turmoil has been a boon, not a bane. The best thing I can say is don't fear the strife, embrace it.


    Exalted Behind a Screen of Jade, Savant of the Immaculate Texts, No Moon Scholar, Seeking Awakened, Cloaked Changeling, Disciple of the Antler Crown, Wraith, Good Sitting Dog, Best Lurking Cat with Bones, Pioneer Pooch, Scion with Shield of Knowledge, Director

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    • #3
      Limit break is for playing a game about over-the-top heroes who do ridiculous over-the-top stuff and screw themselves.

      Some players love it.

      Others hate it.

      So firstly, I'd say some groups should just ignore the whole thing.

      Most of my group enjoy limit break, but in the sense of
      a)to show the effect of psychological trauma on the characters
      (For example, when the entire city was invaded by ghosts and zombies who started killing hundreds of people, because we hadn't stopped them, and the Night Caste just broke down and cried instead of going to fight. Or when my Twilight and the other Twilight just finally cracked from the constant pressures of being Exalts and just started wrestling and punching in the middle of the forest.)
      or
      b)car-crash hilarity
      (For example, when one PC stabbed himself to make a fight fair, and was then killed. Or when another shot all the prisoners. Or when one flipped out and murdered a whole village, and then when they realised what they'd done killed themselves. All darkly amusing.)

      And the way to deal with that is... well, to ride it out, basically.

      I have to say, I find limit break to be pretty rare. I've been playing Exalted most weeks for the last... 12 years? And I've seen maybe 5 limit breaks? 6? It's not something that comes up much. (Unlike Resonance, which ramps up like crazy)
      In fact, in the 30 sessions or so I ran of 3rd edition Solars, I'm not sure anyone limit broke. I can't remember one, anyway.
      And while a couple of the limit breaks over those 12 years, were devastating, most were just PCs shouting at each other and getting it out of their system.

      I've got a character on 9 limit now actually, because he's getting more and more stressed and more and more fed up with the other PCs. I imagine he'll soon throw a huge hissy fit and punch a prince repeatedly in the face or something. Which is appropriate, and models his stress nicely. At some point, he's got to get it out of his system.


      I will say though...
      In 3rd ed, unlike 2nd ed, the ST chooses the limit break. I actually don't like this (as both a PC and ST). I mean, I know it's to make it more appropriate, and the ST can choose something that's not going to ruin the game. But I think players understand their characters better than the ST, and a bad (or well-meaning but mistaken) ST could choose something very inappropriate, or something that screws the character, or something like that.

      I think if any of my players limit break in my 3rd ed game, I might let them choose what they think is appropriate.


      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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      • #4
        The default way of reducing limit is to accomplish Legendary social goals. Other ways include the Hero Rides Away Ride Charm and adopting a Mouse of the Sun as your familiar.

        Originally posted by SamuraiMujuru View Post
        The best thing I can say is don't fear the strife, embrace it.
        This. Limit Breaks should be an exciting (if nerve-wracking) part of your character's story, they are not supposed to be a punishment. If you find Limit Breaks destroy your enjoyment of the game, try going over the "Storytelling The Great Curse" section on page 137 of the Core Book with your ST, because chances are you or your ST are approaching Limit Breaks the wrong way.
        Last edited by Epitome; 05-17-2019, 11:23 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Epitome View Post
          The default way of reducing limit is to accomplish Legendary social goals. Other ways include the Hero Ride Away Ride Charm and adopting a Mouse of the Sun as your familiar.
          Aha! I knew there was something, I just couldn't remember what it was.


          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

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Sticks View Post
            What do ya’ll do to make Limit a roleplaying asset rather than a hinderence in your role-play?
            -The Player and ST collaborate when coming up with the effect of the Limit break. Either the Player suggests an effect the ST can then accept or reject, or the ST offers several effects and the Player chooses one among them.

            -Always tailor the Limit Break to the Character. Ideally choose an effect that reflects the way the points of Limit were acquired. For instance, if you gained most of your limit watching an enemy faction attack villages without reacting because there was a logical reason not to intervene at the time, your limit break might be to throw caution to the wind and go attack that faction head-on.

            -A Limit Trigger should tie into your character's personality. If your Trigger isn't something that would legitimately anger, shock or shake your character, it's probably not the best choice. Choosing a character-appropriate Trigger makes the progress towards Limit Break feel much more natural as your character is legitimately being pushed to their breaking point.

            -Don't be afraid to tweak your Limit Trigger as your character becomes more fleshed out. If your character goes through shocking events and you think to yourself "How am I not rolling Limit for this?", it's usually a hint that either your Limit Trigger should be tweaked or that you may need to adopt or strengthen an Intimacy related to those events.
            Last edited by Epitome; 05-17-2019, 12:35 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Epitome View Post
              The default way of reducing limit is to accomplish Legendary social goals. Other ways include the Hero Ride Away Ride Charm and adopting a Mouse of the Sun as your familiar.


              This. Limit Breaks should be an exciting (if nerve-wracking) part of your character's story, they are not supposed to be a punishment. If you find Limit Breaks destroy your enjoyment of the game, try going over the "Storytelling The Great Curse" section on page 137 of the Core Book with your ST, because chances are you or your ST are approaching Limit Breaks the wrong way.
              I have never understood how anyone finds that sidebar useful. There are so many paired contradictions that they may as well just say 'good luck threading the needle'. Make it suck, but not too much, but definitely don't let it happen at a time when it might not suck enough...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by squidheadjax View Post

                I have never understood how anyone finds that sidebar useful. There are so many paired contradictions that they may as well just say 'good luck threading the needle'. Make it suck, but not too much, but definitely don't let it happen at a time when it might not suck enough...
                My main takeaway from that sidebar is that the affected Player's enjoyment is key. Most times Limit Breaks destroy games or characters because the ST had a great story in mind but not one that fit with the Player's vision of their character or the group's vision of the game. So keeping players' enjoyment in mind is the #1 most important thing to do when coming up with Limit Breaks.

                'good luck threading the needle' seems to assume a lack of cooperation between the ST and the Player and to place all the burden on the ST. If you're not confident you have the perfect Limit Break for a character, don't hesitate to discuss the topic with the Player to figure out something what they would enjoy.

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                • #9
                  Your fellow players can be a boon as well. If their PCs know your character well enough, it's easy for them to justify intentionally shielding your character from things that they know to be stress factors. For instance, my costumed vigilante detective PC has a Limit Trigger of "being unable to help suffering innocents," but one of the other PCs has gone a long way to convince him that he is helping Nexus in the long-term. It doesn't make him feel better when he sees a child who clearly hasn't eaten in days, but at least he's able to justify some of his actions to himself.

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                  • #10
                    Honestly, you should embrace it. Limit break is supposed to be part of your character and whatever happens shouldn't be out of character so much as an extreme of your character reacting badly to stress. The hardest part of limit break is accepting it. Once you've done that your character can grow from it.

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                    • #11
                      Well the first thing is you're gonna want to talk to the ST about a potential limit break. You figure your character is the most likely to limit break, so you want to talk to your ST about the concerns on what might happen if/when it does its a reasonable response and will probably enable you to lay down some ground rules. Limit Breaks are kind of a thing that are expected to eventually happen, and you are supposed to deal with the fallout from one, but it is all still supposed to be fun so there's no harm in discussing it with your ST to prevent the fallout from going in a way no one wants to deal with.

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                      • #12
                        Limit hinges on one's appetite for tragedy. It's a spice I like in my stories, and I recommend it to anyone.

                        But, to add to the mechanical question - back in 2e, having an Alchemical around of the proper material can drop Limit accumulation (Manual of Exalted Power: Alchemicals p. 42).


                        The Lunar Castebooks fan project - Complete! (Changing, Full, No, and Casteless)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tikor View Post
                          Limit hinges on one's appetite for tragedy. It's a spice I like in my stories, and I recommend it to anyone.

                          But, to add to the mechanical question - back in 2e, having an Alchemical around of the proper material can drop Limit accumulation (Manual of Exalted Power: Alchemicals p. 42).
                          I highly suspect this is gone in 3e.

                          2e alchemicals we're the prototypes of each exalt type. In 3e no one can make an exaltation except the being who makes the exalt
                          Last edited by armyofwhispers; 05-18-2019, 09:24 AM.


                          Check out my homebrew exalt: The Fabulists - Chosen of the Raksha here

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                          • #14
                            Even though the Virtue Flaw is up to the Storyteller, any reasonable ST will consult the player and pick a break that's within their comfort level. As others have said before me, discuss with your ST and maybe even the whole group. You might discover that others are also treading Limit breaks and approaching them communally will allow you to let go of the anxiety.

                            Not every Limit Break has to be Berserk Anger. The drama a Limit Break creates can also be personal. For example, our Dawn caste was diving into a lake of molten metal, when he triggered Crushing Doubt and the next scene became us trying to coax and cheer him into letting go of a giant chain and climbing back up. Thus far the Dawn had been a juggernaut of confidence, so it was very shocking IC to see him so vulnerable.

                            Our group is very in love with Limit and our ST actually has to veto some of our requests to throw Limit tests. We've had more than one cases of more than one Solars Limit Breaking at once! Last time it resulted in my sorcerer Twilight and her Night apprentice duking it out in a WIZARD BATTLE as they settled their disagreements with spells. We almost totaled Raksi's palace. She thought it was the most entertaining thing to happen in a hundred years.
                            This conflict had simmered between the characters for many sessions, only the Limit Breaks let it loose. Our characters actually treat each other better now that the bad blood has been spilt.

                            I think the best Limit Breaks are something the character might have done even without a break, if they weren't held back by their better knowledge. That way they become another way to express your character rather than something forced on you.

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                            • #15
                              Heh, I appreciate the advice ya’ll have been giving and I really appreciate all the anecdotes and stories you’ve shared.

                              The main theme seems to be ‘talk to your ST and make sure you’re both comfortable with the kinds of limit break you will encounter’. And that does seem like the best approach.

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