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The Realm

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  • #16
    It just means everyone will get a chance to go after typos starting Wednesday, and anyone who purchases the advanced PDF via KS or DTRPG will get the final one when it’s released. I mean, I can’t guarantee that’s how it’ll work, but it’s how it’s always worked before.


    • #17
      Neat book overall. Really goes the distance to make the Blessed Isle more interesting than it was in prior editions where it was weirdly rather static considering there's about to be a Civil War. Here, it really nails the feeling that the Scarlet Empire is teetering and on the verge of collapse into chaos. Also, hey, the Jadeborn don't look like generic fantasy elves/dwarves but look like weird rock/gem people! That's way more interesting.

      Did note an error though; Sesus is referred to as Ragara's "half-brother" in one part of The Realm but in What Fire Has Wrought, Sesus is referred to as "she". I suppose it could be that Sesus is a trans woman but I don't think this would be the best way to demonstrate that, so this seems more like someone just was working off an old draft or something where Sesus was a dude rather than a lady.
      Last edited by SunAndSpring; 05-24-2019, 05:44 PM.


      • #18
        Love the clothing section especially, although the entire section about living standards by class is cool, especially how grand and elaborate Patricians are only to arrive at the Dynasts and find that they prefer simple but high-quality wear. Sort of draws a cool 'old money' versus 'new money' parallel.

        Also, regarding pets, who in their right mind wants to rob a house guarded by giant spiders? I am honestly more intimidated by the idea of a pack of giant spiders that want to eat me than their cranky Exalted owner
        Last edited by Gigaton-Falcon-Emu; 05-24-2019, 07:08 PM.


        • #19
          It is going to be an agonizing wait. I was not active in the Exalted-sphere, due to having lost interest/focus because of the incredibly slow pace of source book releases (that was a big problem with Exalted 3ed until very recently, though I am glad to see it is looking like it moves a bit faster now), so I never realised that there was a Dragon Blooded Kick starter before it was long over.And now that I am back and about to start a new campaign, I feel I need it now at once, haha. So yeah, here is hoping it gets released pronto so I can actually buy it, because knowing other Game Masters are actually reading it now kind of blows hard


          • #20
            Okay, going to have a nice look through the Realm.

            First off, the cover. I really like this one, because it captures a good cross section of what the Realm is about; peasants working the fields while a finely dressed and haughty noble rides past on a well-decorated horse, accompanied by soldiers and officials. All of them in the shadow of a grand city surrounded by vast white walls carved with elaborate traceries. It’s colourful and inviting, and I think it makes life in the domain of the Dragon Blooded have a certain feel of… exposure to power, even while there’s a wall of social separation. I will however slightly criticise the silhouettes in the corner, as they seem a bit out of place and distracting.

            Quick check of the credits… I’m rather excited about the credit given for Lea for “thinking through the mechanisms of empire”, looking forward to seeing a follow up on that.

            Aaaaand I’m going to skip straight past the table of contents, as I want to know all of that stuff as I encounter it firsthand.

            Right, that will do to start.

            I have approximate knowledge of many things.
            Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
   Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)


            • #21
              I'll be posting first impressions as I go through the book.

              The cover:

              - Jesus Christ, the art is on point. That is absolutely beautiful and it immediately communicates the class disparity between Dynasts and peasants. Absolutely amazing.
              - Calling it now, that peasant with the sickle is totally a Lunar and that Dynast is not waking up tomorrow morning.
              - The way the title and the product line are formatted is really cool as well.


              - Major points for quoting Said.
              - Very clear statement that the Realm subjugates and exploits everything it can conquer, and this is not a good thing.
              - Then we get the conflict between the houses.
              - Thinking about it, I like this presentation a lot. To the Dragon-Blooded, the civil war is their immediate concern (unless a Lunar shows up, obviously). To the rest of Creation, the Realm is the problem, and that's what gives the Great Houses something to temporarily unite against until they're secure enough to get back to fighting each other again. It sets the conflicts up nicely.
              - Kinda curious about when satrapies are or aren't considered barbaric. Is it as soon as they swear loyalty to the Realm, or do they need to work to become civilized?
              - Oh God, all that shade at Hero.

              - Banditry on the Blessed Island seems really fucking stupid or really fucking bad? That's (supposed to be) basically suicide for mortals, isn't it? Are they being led by a Dragon-Blooded?
              - Or maybe an Abyssal? This lady seems to like blood a lot.
              - Okay, so no respect for the Dragon-Blooded anymore.
              - I'm guessing this is how Sadaal Exalted?

              Chapter 1:
              - I like how the book frames how easy it is to accept the Empress as an alternative to all the other shitty things happening in Creation.
              - It amuses me that the Imperial City was constructed for the convenience of the Empress' waiting petitioners.
              - Oh, hai there p. XX.
              - I would like to see more of the One-Mind Plague.
              - You have to appreciate how much effort the Empress put into crippling the Realm so no one would ever be able to challenge her.
              - Huh. So two years left before the Empress is officially considered dead and everything goes even more nuts? I like that.
              - Hey, there's a mention of how bandits are able to survive on the Blessed Isle. Sounds really sucky.
              - Thank you for pointing out that slavery is shit.
              - Interesting that the merchants have a lower social standing than the patricians. Says a lot about the Empress' priorities.
              - The political wrangling between patricians and Dynasts is very interesting.
              - Is there a criminal organization that's not backed by one of the Great Houses?
              - Akaya Moda is strangely terrifying.
              - I really like the attention to detail paid to daily life on the Blessed Isle.
              - I have a hard time reconciling House Ledaal zealotry with Ledaal Kes' whoring and cocaine habit. Also, I love to talk about Ledaal Kes' whoring and cocaine habit. He's the best.
              - I like how prevalent the troubles caused by the upcoming civil war are in the Great Houses' writeups. Really shows how desperate for resources they are.

              Chapter 2:
              - Archons are especially interesting. There's a lot of potential there for character concepts. Archon who Exalts after their magistrate is killed treacherously by one of the Great Houses? Yiiiiiisssssssssss.
              - Love all the gatekeeping on the Thousand Scales.
              - There's a sort of Dark Souls feel to how all the Realm's institutions are falling part.
              - On to the All-Seeing Eye!
              - Oh, the All-Seeing Eye has contacts in the Threshold? That is interesting.
              - Burn Notice. Burn Notice everywhere. At least the person in charge is gone, so it's not like the Eye is allowing random old guys to subvert all their operatives and assets for shits and giggles.
              - Love how the Deliberative was established to make democracy not happen.
              - You ever wondered what would happen if a brawl broke out in the Deliberative? Imagine all the kung fu fighting.

              [Ex3] Why Gods Need the Exigence - Plot hooks for Exigent characters of various gods.
              [Ex3] Homebrew Solar Charms - I can see the future, and it is glorious.
              [Ex3] The Glass Library - My Exalted Third Edition Blog (Updated 24/04/2016)


              • #22
                Please. I have to know who wrote the section on the Salt Rate.
                I love you. It’s possibly my favorite bit of the book, and certainly stands testament to the overall goal of a well-thought out, reasonable and believable setting.

                I never thought I’d be able to explain the difference between responsible/irresponsible banking in Creation but it turns out I actually can.

                It’s so simple! The Realm needs Salt to expand, So periods of growth will be associated with a high draw on Salt Harvests. When the harvest is big, the Rate can be lower. Then if the Realm Isn’t expanding, the Salt yield doesn’t need to be as high, so the rate goes up to appease the Salt Gods.

                Which actually makes it a very reliable canary for the overall economy and rate of growth! So on commercial loans you can reasonably set your standard interest rate to the Salt Rate, because it’s already acting as an indicator as to the likelihood of Default, because the Realm ultimately runs on profit, particularly profit through conquest!
                Arg I love it so much!
                And then the additional detail of the gods and banks setting their own rates in the absence of an Imperial Regulator? Genius!
                I am immediately making a Ragara character and giving them “Major: Current Salt Rate (Anxiety)”


                • #23
                  The Salt Rate dates back to Manacle & Coin in 1e, so if you're thanking whoever came up with it, that'd be discussions between Geoff Grabowski and I believe Andrew Wyatt.


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Tiresias View Post
                    - Interesting that the merchants have a lower social standing than the patricians. Says a lot about the Empress' priorities.
                    Tbf, they are part China and the Immaculates are a bit Confucian. It would super weird if they didnt think little and less of Merchants.

                    They are also pretty Roman, so glory and blood being admirable while wealth is just envied is pretty for the course.

                    Can't actually think of that many historical civs that didnt hold merchants somewhere between ambivalence and contempt actually.


                    • #25
                      Wait a minute...

                      Oh gods!

                      Is Ragara Marcus Licinius Crassus?
                      Last edited by Gigaton-Falcon-Emu; 05-25-2019, 01:12 AM.


                      • #26
                        I love this book so much. How the hell did you guys write a section that makes me go "Oh my god, I need to run a short campaign based solely on the party working for the Imperial Post Office, delivering urgent messages through vicious hordes of bandits and along dangerous storm-swept mountain passes.'?


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
                          The Salt Rate dates back to Manacle & Coin in 1e, so if you're thanking whoever came up with it, that'd be discussions between Geoff Grabowski and I believe Andrew Wyatt.
                          Oh dang! Fair enough. Well it’s still great, and unless it was also somewhere in 2e I don’t know about, it’s good to have it back.


                          • #28
                            Love the sidebar on discrimination, a quick and dirty guide to how to RP it in the Realm along with a hefty warning to go over it with players beforehand and make sure everyone is cool. Its especially cool that it goes out of its way to state that it can be as periphery or essential to a given character as the player wants.

                            These are obvious things but it is always great to see them put starkly into books.

                            Its also really great that its portrayed as an encompassing thing that creates harsh expectations as well as real limitations, I appreciate the subtlety.
                            Last edited by Gigaton-Falcon-Emu; 05-25-2019, 02:33 AM.


                            • #29
                              What do people think of the radically redesigned Jadeborn? I like them. Mostly because they're new and different. I'm pretty bored of the old ones.

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


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Gigaton-Falcon-Emu View Post
                                Can't actually think of that many historical civs that didnt hold merchants somewhere between ambivalence and contempt actually.
                                Eh, IMO I would characterize slightly (not wholly) differently; it seems fairly typical to view merchants as better than peasants (and the vast mass of the population, including craftsman and so on in times and places where this sector expanded) but not as good as landlords, warriors, religious leaders and philosophers. From a certain perspective since most of the writing across history is done for an aristocratic or at any right highest status audience that looks like contempt in what see; however it is worth distinguishing from low social standing.

                                China seems like a bit of an exception where the literati-landlord class of bureaucrats (closest in analogy perhaps to what is today our class of civil servants, media and university complex) expended a lot of energy on writing tracts and developing a heavily articulated ideology in which everyone who wasn't either the emperor or part of the literati-landlord class (including, largely, the army, merchants, Buddhist and Taoist priests and so on) and who could present an alternative power base sort of sucked and should know their place, preferably lower and more distant from influence on power than the peasants. Though the extent of this in actual implementation was sharply variant! (Because they needed armies, trade, etc. there's a limit to how much "Good iron doesn't make nails; good men don't make soldiers", and the same for merchants, can actually be practiced or believed).