Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Intrinsic incompatibility methodology

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Lanic
    started a topic Intrinsic incompatibility methodology

    Intrinsic incompatibility methodology

    I like the old setting of Exalted, barring some obvious exceptions. I love the unique, absurdely over-the-top gonzo feeling it carried with it. Magitech, Autochtonia, giant robots, space expeditions, Gaia going in a space expedition, every village having its village sorcerer, dragons 80 kilometres long, power armors, plasma guns, Deathlords bulding fleets of ghost airships, Yozis making serious attempt of getting out of Malfeas (Developers stated in Ask the Devs thread that this is no longer a viable plan). Even the Daystar. I find it immensly awesome.

    The same affects certain mechanical parts of the game: the extreme toning down of Essence 6+ stuff in the game is an understandable move. The developers wanted that the game mechanic caps out at what is actually achievably for player characters and to make sure that Elder tier is no more a separate tier in fact. However, it is not a purely mechanical decision, but a setting change. In the setting, there is no more room for heroes in the setting literally fighting the Ebon Dragon and for beings capable of annihilating the entire world. The heroes are now supposed to be more-or-less around Achilles range.

    Many of the core mechanics in third edition: withering and decisive attacks, gambits, social interaction, sorcerous working are extremely solid, so I wouldn't like just to stick to second edition. However, the game setting actually changed so much that it feels like it belongs now to a different genre.

    Third edition while retaining lots of elements individually, works hard to change the general feel of the setting from admittedly cheap anime to pulp fantasy/classic mythology/wuxia. The developers are rather explicit about their preference to tone things down. However, I feel that it creates certain intrinsic inconsistency in the feeling of the setting. I understand what setting 3rd edition tries to create and I like it, but this is simply different from 2 ed setting, not 2 ed setting dialed back.

    Moreover, I think it creates certain tension in the seetting. Take warstriders: in 2ed we had cool giant robots. People liked them, so they have been ported to third edition. However, tthey clearly do not fit with the general tone of third edition, so the writers tried hard to present them as not-giant-robots and something that generally aways was unique and never was a standard part of warfare. Even more so with airships, where the whole aesthetics tries to strongly convey that they are not airships but rather flying chariots. Essentially, what we currently have is a mix of different settings. Each of them is cool, each is very different.

    As a result, it is hard to understand what even is the supposed tone of the setting. Recently, I was introducing new players to the game and they had hard time understanding what the game is about, when skimming third edition corebook without any exposure to the previous edition. I think second edition was way clearer about it. And I think that this is at least partially fault of this intrinsic inconsistency between the expections from previous edition and the tastes of the current developer team.

    Accidentally, this tension is a reccurring pattern in the games from Storyteller family. The developers tried to push Mage: the Ascension into the stret-level direction with the Revised edition and Vampire with the Requiem. I wonder, whether it wouldn't be healthier for the game to actually be more explicit about the split:

    - make third edition explicitly sword-and-sorcery. Remove any mention of warstriders, power armors, implosion bows, as they do not seem to fit anymore. Make artifacts even rarer.
    - make an official alternative setting for Exalted which retains gonzo cheap comic book feel of second edition.

    I personally think that I would enjoy both of the settings. I liked more toned-down stories as well and I really understand the basic intent of the developers.. What is really painful to me, personally, is the discontinuity. Over-the-top setting was something completely unique to Exalted. I really do not understand why so many people seem so actively rejective about it. I would be extremely happy to see it ported to the third edition, retaining just the things which are unctroversially improvements: core mechanics, more open and bigger Creation. In practice, I imagine that it could amount to releasing a supplement with an official second-edition shard and certain mechanical modifications to support it.

    What do you think about it?

  • Lioness
    replied
    As far as the default Realm year 758 setting is concerned, the only place that’s really been changed by magitech being dialled back is Lookshy. For the rest of the setting a handheld essence cannon wasn't really thought of any differently from a powerbow and it was mostly just a matter of a player's personal sense of aesthetic.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chausse
    replied
    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
    So... are you a Dragon-Blooded or house-ruling? Or A While In The Sun?
    It's a Solar game. I was mastering my own campaign and wished to play, so we exchanged role with the Dawn of my group so he became the ST and I created a Night to play at the table. My players just arrived Essence 2 so the other player that tragically died at the end of my campaign and me created new characters with their own adventures to Essence 2 to integrate into the table.

    Leave a comment:


  • JohnDoe244
    replied
    Originally posted by Chausse View Post

    I just started playing a character with Godspeed Vanguard at creation, Essence 2, and an ally 5 to make the craft and stuff, so I will post a little update on this thread about how it feels. I'm not sure on why they would be so strong though, apart from the Legendary size they are powerful indeed but not "game breaking". The Evocations looks mostly in line with powers of the same Essence Requirement to me, but maybe I misjudged.
    So... are you a Dragon-Blooded or house-ruling? Or A While In The Sun?

    Leave a comment:


  • Angwe
    replied
    Having played the previous editions, and in 3e one campaign up to essence 3, and about to finish one where we played to essence 5 I can report that the OP has nothing to worry about.

    For starters, power level of the PC's. In my opinion, and it may be a controversial one, Solars are not weaker than in 2e. Actually, they are stronger, much, much stronger. And at all levels, from straight out of char gen up to 300 xp ones. In fact, I sincerely believe they are too strong. I remember our group discussing around essence 3 in second campaign that we felt more powerful than our end-game 2e characters, who had close to 400 xp. I'm pretty confident an essence 3 Solar Circle can take on a single Third Circle Demon or Death Lord without losing anybody. Our Essence 5 Circle is... crazy. Capable of so much more mayhem and setting-warping stuff than you could ever pull of in 2e.

    As to the level of gonzo, well, the 1e and 2e settings also didn't start out with armies of warstriders and airships dropping commando's in power-armor facing off against vast Demon armies or hordes and hordes of undead. Sure, there was some of that, but it took PC's escalating shit by bringing factory cathedrals online and all that jazz. Well, crafters in 3e can crank out the most powerful of stuff at amazing speeds from essence 1, unlike in 2e, and without Factory Cathedrals. Wait until we see rules for Manses.

    But Sorcery Workings. Those bring the gonzo level to unparalleled heights in 3e. We had 2 Solar Circle Sorcerers working together and they invested close to all of their Solar xp into Workings. It took only one year after attaining the Solar Circle and Creation (well, ok, the East) was no longer the same...

    Leave a comment:


  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post
    That doesn't seem too interesting to me on the whole. Emphasizing sorcery helps to emphasize that First Age magic is not necessarily about giving humanity access to 20th and 21st century consumer goods, but includes transformation of the quality and kinds of human life that can occur outside that paradigm, and which are still wondrous to us because they are not mundane or regularly experienced by us. E.g. sorcery to give a beneficent climate or reliably awesome harvests or magically more effective learning, etc, but without people using the same forms of consumer goods or living in a way that much approaches 20th or 21st century developed societies.
    This is a very good point; tbh, I think there might have been less of a push-back against magitech if it had stuck to warstriders, power armour, floating cities, etc, and way from things that looked like 21st century tech with essence instead of electricity.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ghosthead
    replied
    Originally posted by The Unsung Hero View Post
    They don't want the past to be like our (hypothetical) future where "here's a 5,000 year old cell phone" is a thing. They want more emphasis on the magic part of it. But "here's a 5,000 year old pair of bracers that I can communicate through across infinite distance" is totally fine, and you can even find one. But you can't turn around and build it because the making-of such a wonder required a world that doesn't exist. Production lines powered by a network of manses in tandem, with multiple types of Exalts collaborating to make it happen.

    So yes, Magitech exists, and the classification of it is "first age artifice" to say that it can exist but you can't make it without a lot of foundational work around the world to get there. But they chose to remove the term to keep people from associating it with refrigerators and washing machines and cell phones. Doesn't mean you can't have those things.
    On a thought tangent to this that, I'd suggest 3e is in practie perhaps more notable actually for strengthening sorcery relative to craft as a whole, more than de-emphasising magitech as an aesthetic.

    If you had a balance which was there the late 2e fanon was and simply de-emphasised a magitech appearance alone, you would possibly just get a sort of "Flintstonesed" version of Dreams of the First Age, where you're still recreating something much like an industrial consumer society, but it's much more, oh, rather than smartphones, here's this magic crystal (nod) and rather than self driving motorbike, here's this self aware mechanical horse (wink). An emphasis on craft and "factory-cathedrals" would still produce lots of consumer goods, of a sort.

    That doesn't seem too interesting to me on the whole. Emphasizing sorcery helps to emphasize that First Age magic is not necessarily about giving humanity access to 20th and 21st century consumer goods, but includes transformation of the quality and kinds of human life that can occur outside that paradigm, and which are still wondrous to us because they are not mundane or regularly experienced by us. E.g. sorcery to give a beneficent climate or reliably awesome harvests or magically more effective learning, etc, but without people using the same forms of consumer goods or living in a way that much approaches 20th or 21st century developed societies.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    The one for running 100mph? It's pretty good, I used it more than of the others. But I think the real power is in combat-stealth. Of course, you don't actually have to take those evocations, and maybe you can't; I'll be honest, I didn't really look at the Essence ratings much, as that game's characters have like 475xp.

    (I recently started a 0xp game. So refreshing! But I do keep being surprised by what effects PCs can't take, because they're Essence 2.)

    Leave a comment:


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



    There's a couple of really good powers. You can get enormous combat-stealth (which combos really well with Blinding Battle Feint), and the power to blind armies is amazing.
    But... yeah, I don't think they're particularly better than other charms of that level. It's possible they're marginally stronger, but obviously you can only use them in the Warstrider. I had about half of Godspeed Vanguard's charms, but I only used them I think once.

    Do let us know how you get on though.
    I know we talked about the fact you are used to high Essence gales, but since we are Essence 2 and this power is Essence 4 and I'm probably leaving in 3 months, I don't believe I'll be able to use it Yeah there is enormous advantage with stealth which seems fun with the premise of being, well, a giant robot. Since I took 0 in Stealth anyway and decided to go full Athletics I believe I'll use the Athletics evocation of the warstrider more !

    Leave a comment:


  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
    At character creation it's borderline "one true build" territory...
    I wish! If I could change one thing about the Night I played, I would have taken a horse instead of a Warstrider.

    Not that a Warstrider isn't good... but it's 9 merit points, plus the cost of maintenance and repair (which is either Ally like Chausse suggested, or in my case a whole bunch of Craft dots and charms. That's a hell of a lot.

    And it's very awkward to actually take around to fights and stuff.

    Saying that, in another game (say, one that was largely about fighting giant monsters or big armies, which we didn't really do in that game) it probably would have been good; it's not that Warstriders aren't good, but, like buying up the Sail or War tree, it's a big investment into something that's very good in particular situations and not others. If you have that kind of game, it's good, if not, it's not.
    (I expected we'd be fighting a lot of armies and Dragonblood in warstriders, but actually it's been mostly a social game with a few small fights against Exalts. There was one enemy Warstrider, but it ambushed another PC when she was alone, I wasn't there.)

    Originally posted by Chausse
    I just started playing a character with Godspeed Vanguard at creation, Essence 2, and an ally 5 to make the craft and stuff, so I will post a little update on this thread about how it feels. I'm not sure on why they would be so strong though, apart from the Legendary size they are powerful indeed but not "game breaking". The Evocations looks mostly in line with powers of the same Essence Requirement to me, but maybe I misjudged.
    There's a couple of really good powers. You can get enormous combat-stealth (which combos really well with Blinding Battle Feint), and the power to blind armies is amazing.
    But... yeah, I don't think they're particularly better than other charms of that level. It's possible they're marginally stronger, but obviously you can only use them in the Warstrider. I had about half of Godspeed Vanguard's charms, but I only used them I think once.

    Do let us know how you get on though.
    Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 06-19-2019, 03:33 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chausse
    replied
    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
    And clearly the devs agree with you. I might just be in the left field here.

    My issue is how much harder it is to get and how much more powerful it is. At character creation it's borderline "one true build" territory. And in play the "I want one" sidebar details how you have to twist tbe game, and ideally the other PCs, into knots in order to make the Warstrider fun for you.

    From an ST perspective it's not a problem. You solve it just by saying "no". Or by crafting an interesting story around the idea. Or by house ruling Warstriders cheaper. So from a game design perspective, I can't fault the devs -- big investment, big reward, plenty of advice on how to manage it. From a player perspective... I cannot imagine ever being audacious enough to bring a Warstrider pilot to a game. But, again, could be my baggage here -- I see other people have.
    I just started playing a character with Godspeed Vanguard at creation, Essence 2, and an ally 5 to make the craft and stuff, so I will post a little update on this thread about how it feels. I'm not sure on why they would be so strong though, apart from the Legendary size they are powerful indeed but not "game breaking". The Evocations looks mostly in line with powers of the same Essence Requirement to me, but maybe I misjudged.

    Leave a comment:


  • JohnDoe244
    replied
    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
    "Really powerful" and "really expensive for PCs to get" seem to be me to be two things that reasonably go together.
    And clearly the devs agree with you. I might just be in the left field here.

    My issue is how much harder it is to get and how much more powerful it is. At character creation it's borderline "one true build" territory. And in play the "I want one" sidebar details how you have to twist tbe game, and ideally the other PCs, into knots in order to make the Warstrider fun for you.

    From an ST perspective it's not a problem. You solve it just by saying "no". Or by crafting an interesting story around the idea. Or by house ruling Warstriders cheaper. So from a game design perspective, I can't fault the devs -- big investment, big reward, plenty of advice on how to manage it. From a player perspective... I cannot imagine ever being audacious enough to bring a Warstrider pilot to a game. But, again, could be my baggage here -- I see other people have.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Unsung Hero
    replied
    IIRC, the removal of the term is because of the baggage associated with it, not the concept itself. Magitech had implications of mass-produced, manufactured wonders. Technology so great that it changes the world but required an industry to produce it. That concept is still there, they just blocked the access to the industry.

    They don't want the past to be like our (hypothetical) future where "here's a 5,000 year old cell phone" is a thing. They want more emphasis on the magic part of it. But "here's a 5,000 year old pair of bracers that I can communicate through across infinite distance" is totally fine, and you can even find one. But you can't turn around and build it because the making-of such a wonder required a world that doesn't exist. Production lines powered by a network of manses in tandem, with multiple types of Exalts collaborating to make it happen.

    So yes, Magitech exists, and the classification of it is "first age artifice" to say that it can exist but you can't make it without a lot of foundational work around the world to get there. But they chose to remove the term to keep people from associating it with refrigerators and washing machines and cell phones. Doesn't mean you can't have those things.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
    What is unsatisfying to me is that magitech exists, is flat out better than other options, but the price of acquisition is so high that the PCs can't use it without derailing the game AND this is a conscious design choice.
    "Really powerful" and "really expensive for PCs to get" seem to be me to be two things that reasonably go together.

    But really, in terms of fluff, there's not a lot of difference between 2E magitech and 3E magitech. I get that there's supposed to be. But there's not.
    I think the main difference is a)that they don't use sci-babble words (essence flux capicatators, motonic physics inducers, etc), and b)there's just less of it in the setting. But you are right that it is still there.

    Originally posted by Morty
    How is magitech a) in the game
    Warstriders, lightning ballistae, essence cannons (not handheld ones though), Gunzota armour, giant metal magi-ships, etc. I think that's John Doe's point; a fight between a guy in a giant golden mech covered in cannons and a unit in power armour armed with flame-rifles is not really very bronze age.

    This doesn't bother me really; I never disliked magitek (I loved FF6 as a kid), it was just kind of everywhere, and our play group got quite bored of it. But I see John Doe's point.

    Leave a comment:


  • Blaque
    replied
    It is also a bit of a leap to say "tone things down" equals "remove". Even the previous devs weren't for removing artifacts with a mechanical aesthetic from the game, just taking away it being its own special category above other artifacts. And while the two warstrdiers are the only artifact N/A things we have seen detailed so far, I think it's notable that the others 1) Fit in the power level of Artifact 5 and 2) Kuvira is actually not as magitech-styled as a lot of stuff of 2e.

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X