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Trying to get a sense of scale with exalted.

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  • PixelPuzzler
    started a topic Trying to get a sense of scale with exalted.

    Trying to get a sense of scale with exalted.

    So while there are many charms that explain part of what a character does and how insane and impressive it is, the difficulty scale only really goes up to 5 in terms of descriptions, and many exalted in their specialty *vastly* exceed that, so... what the hell does 21 successes *mean?* What can that do? Hear the shifting of tectonic plates? Leap 10 stories? In combat it's fairly well explained, but for some of the others it's harder.

  • DrLoveMonkey
    replied
    I'm not sure if performing monkey leap in a tornado would require a roll, would it? Or like on an icy slick frozen lake? You'd have to roll for balance unless you also had graceful crane I suppose but otherwise the charm lets you jump, so you jump.

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  • JohnDoe244
    replied
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
    I for one think there's something interesting in your idea of introducing the odd roll with an appropriate difficulty even to a task that a Charm might otherwise make absolute when it seems to make sense.
    It's Chausse's idea, I'm just helping to model it from my own experience and what guidance is in the books.

    Generally speaking, I'm against rolling. Let the charm auto-succeed as writen and narrate any complications that seem logical. But if rolling adds to the drama, this is the system I'd use.

    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
    There might be times when other people's magic makes things higher difficulty (attacking a Solar whose magic makes his Parry 8)
    Oh definitely. That's the point of the heroic challenge. It should be more difficult to deal a telling blow to an epic hero who is renowned for her magical skill with her enchanted blade than it should be against a mortal swordsman. Beating Mercury in a footrace should not be as easy as beating Beowulf. There has to be scope for difficulties to go above five. It just should serve the drama and not turn into Deathknight of the week.
    Last edited by JohnDoe244; 07-03-2019, 12:44 PM.

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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    Yeah, I agree with your general point John.

    There might be times when other people's magic makes things higher difficulty (attacking a Solar whose magic makes his Parry 8), but for 99% of anything else, I'd say difficulty 5 is going to be the max.
    (I can't think of any rolls I've set at difficulty 5 beyond that... maybe once or twice a difficulty 6 Lore or Occult roll to know some extremely obscure First Age lore? Once or twice in 10 years.)

    I wouldn't want a hard cap of 5, there might be some occasions, but a soft cap seems fine.


    As for doing a Monkey Leap while in the middle of a tornado, etc... I think if there was a roll, it should probably be lower than if you didn't use Monkey Leap. But rolling because you're doing it through a tornado seems fine. Maybe Strength+Athletics difficulty 3 or something.


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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    You're making a lot of sense there, John.

    I for one think there's something interesting in your idea of introducing the odd roll with an appropriate difficulty even to a task that a Charm might otherwise make absolute when it seems to make sense. The increased jumping distance of a Solar Athletics Charm might readily cross a lot of gaps, but in the event where low light, heavy rain and battering wind might knock them off course or make them unable to properly aim themselves, it certainly seems as though there should be something to model the added complications.

    Doing so in the manner of the Charm making the success absolute in all circumstances strikes me as unsatisfying, and significantly curtailing a lot of dramatic situations and potential applications for the powers of enemies in opposition.

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  • JohnDoe244
    replied
    Originally posted by Chausse View Post

    That's interesting you start the difficulties quite low. I'm rather used to start a bit more high because the actual feat is way beyong what heroes are able to do, but considering there is a Charm in play it might make more sense to start the difficulty lower.

    Yeah with all the discussion here about how you shouldn't let people do superhuman stuff without Charms I'm pretty convinced now, I wouldn't let someone do that without a Charm.
    My interpretation of the rules, is that Solar charms are an expression of a Solar's skills enhanced by Essence.

    Anyone (baring disability, injury etc.) can jump a couple of feet into the air. A Solar with Monkey Leap Technique has realised how to jump a couple of dozen feet. With Essence, jumping to the top of a twenty foot wall is no different to jumping to the top of a two foot step for a normal, non-magical human.

    It's less that magic makes the task "easier" than magic makes the impossible ordinary.

    Jumping a trivial distance doesn't normally need a roll. Monkey Leap Technique changes what your character considers a trivial distance.

    You wouldn't be wrong in interpreting it differently. You could say that jumping 8 feet into the air is a "nearly impossible" difficulty 5 feat. Jumping 30 feet into the air is therefore more difficult (difficulty 6), serious complications would make that difficulty 7 (and so forth in that fashion upto difficulty 10).

    There's nothing wrong with that approach. And with the size of Solar dicepools, a Solar acting "in focus" will be able to succeed at epic feats and be challenged by "appropriate" difficulties. It makes dice trick charms more useful.

    I do not favour this approach.

    Higher difficulties makes the game more swingy. It usually means Solars are useless outside their area of focus, which discourages the players from trying unusual, creative solutions to their problems. If you need 6 charms to jump effectively, then no-one without those charms is ever going to try jumping but someone with those charms will try to solve all their problems with jumping. Failing the wrong roll can easily derail the game. And I don't think it reconciles with the fluff -- discounting DB fiction, how often to the signiture characters ever fail a straight difficulty roll?

    Attribute 5 and Ability 5 makes you the best in Creation. That should mean something. If you're still failing half your rolls because your feats are all difficulty 10+ then it feels cheap (and why would you ever take 2 or 3 dice in an Ability if you know you need to consistently hit difficulty 10+).

    Keeping a soft-cap of 5, keeps difficulties in line with the NPC quick stats. If it's difficulty 10 to jump to the top of the tower, but the guards only have a Resolve of 3, then I'd never climb anywhere -- I'd convince the guards to not only let me in but to carry me up.

    I'd be interested in how other people interpret it.
    Last edited by JohnDoe244; 07-03-2019, 12:29 PM.

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  • Chausse
    replied
    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post

    Using page 185.

    Is it the standard fare for heroes? If so, difficulty 1. Not sure why you're rolling this, but hey, it could happen.

    Are there serious complications? The corebook suggests "in the dead of night, without sufficient light, in the midst of a howling storm" (and I read that as an "or" statement, not an "and" statement but YMMV) as difficulty 2.

    So if I want to Monkey Leap, normally I don't roll. But in tenbourus darkness or a howling storm I'd make a difficulty 2 roll.

    A task that would daunt heroes, jumping in pitch darkness as the building collapses into an eternal chasm? Difficulty 3.

    With significant duress? As above but in a howling storm with the Wyld Hunt at my heels, that's difficulty 4.

    Near impossible? The aforementioned jump is 30 feet straight up at the bearest peak of Monkey Leap Technique's reach, that's a 5.

    And, generally speaking, I wouldn't put the difficulty above 5. You could if you really felt you must, but if the complications are any worse than that then I'd say it wasn't possible without bringing in more supporting charms. If the drama absolutely demanded that the task be attempted, I'd usually cut the PCs some slack and keep it at 5. If there's an utterly compelling reason to make it harder (maybe one PC just made the difficulty 5 roll, but another is trying the same feat but with markedly worse circumstances) then you can set any difficulty you like. Make it difficulty 9001 if you like. I'd suggest +1 for each significant factor above difficulty 5, but you're going to want to look at the dots on the PCs sheets and listen to the stunts and justifications being put forth, and not be afraid to use ST fiat to just say "yes and" or "no but".

    I straight up wouldn't allow a character to try to jump 30 feet straight up without a charm like Monkey Leap Technique -- without a specific charm, you're limited to ~8 feet, and I don't care how many successes the Excellency buys you. And, as previously belaboured, I wouldn't generally make the PCs roll to jump whether they had a charm like Monkey Leap Technique (which explicitly includes the line "without having to roll") or not -- unless there's a decent chance that they might fail, and failure itself (rather than the threat of failure) would further the drama.

    (The threat of failure is what makes things interesting for the players. But if they fail when the plot demands they succeed, it's just a headache for the ST. Your narration can provide the threat of failure better than rolling buckets of dice can. Only gamble with what you can afford to lose.)
    That's interesting you start the difficulties quite low. I'm rather used to start a bit more high because the actual feat is way beyong what heroes are able to do, but considering there is a Charm in play it might make more sense to start the difficulty lower.

    Yeah with all the discussion here about how you shouldn't let people do superhuman stuff without Charms I'm pretty convinced now, I wouldn't let someone do that without a Charm.

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  • JohnDoe244
    replied
    Originally posted by Chausse View Post

    I overall agree with you, but I think many of the situation presented have narratives stakes, whether about ressources ("Can you escape the town when everyone is looking for you and you took an arrow in the knee ?&quot or about drama ("I can't let this sacred spear be swallowed by the Wyld Quicksand, we promised we would bring it back !&quot. I just wanted to see what were suggestions about the topic "How do you chose difficulty about an extraordinary feat allowed by a Charm, but that would still require a roll because there are circumstances"
    Using page 185.

    Is it the standard fare for heroes? If so, difficulty 1. Not sure why you're rolling this, but hey, it could happen.

    Are there serious complications? The corebook suggests "in the dead of night, without sufficient light, in the midst of a howling storm" (and I read that as an "or" statement, not an "and" statement but YMMV) as difficulty 2.

    So if I want to Monkey Leap, normally I don't roll. But in tenbourus darkness or a howling storm I'd make a difficulty 2 roll.

    A task that would daunt heroes, jumping in pitch darkness as the building collapses into an eternal chasm? Difficulty 3.

    With significant duress? As above but in a howling storm with the Wyld Hunt at my heels, that's difficulty 4.

    Near impossible? The aforementioned jump is 30 feet straight up at the bearest peak of Monkey Leap Technique's reach, that's a 5.

    And, generally speaking, I wouldn't put the difficulty above 5. You could if you really felt you must, but if the complications are any worse than that then I'd say it wasn't possible without bringing in more supporting charms. If the drama absolutely demanded that the task be attempted, I'd usually cut the PCs some slack and keep it at 5. If there's an utterly compelling reason to make it harder (maybe one PC just made the difficulty 5 roll, but another is trying the same feat but with markedly worse circumstances) then you can set any difficulty you like. Make it difficulty 9001 if you like. I'd suggest +1 for each significant factor above difficulty 5, but you're going to want to look at the dots on the PCs sheets and listen to the stunts and justifications being put forth, and not be afraid to use ST fiat to just say "yes and" or "no but".

    I straight up wouldn't allow a character to try to jump 30 feet straight up without a charm like Monkey Leap Technique -- without a specific charm, you're limited to ~8 feet, and I don't care how many successes the Excellency buys you. And, as previously belaboured, I wouldn't generally make the PCs roll to jump whether they had a charm like Monkey Leap Technique (which explicitly includes the line "without having to roll") or not -- unless there's a decent chance that they might fail, and failure itself (rather than the threat of failure) would further the drama.

    (The threat of failure is what makes things interesting for the players. But if they fail when the plot demands they succeed, it's just a headache for the ST. Your narration can provide the threat of failure better than rolling buckets of dice can. Only gamble with what you can afford to lose.)

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  • Chausse
    replied
    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
    That's what being ST is all about my man.

    But the system exists to facilitate the drama. You want to track resources and risk failure when bean counting and threat adds to the story. You don't want to slow play to a crawl by making characters make Difficulty 0 Intelligence + Resistance checks in order to remember to breathe.

    Look at the difficulty chart on page 185 and look at the dice pools your PCs are throwing down.

    If an unusal case comes up, then as ST you have to adjudicate what roll, or multiple rolls, are appropriate. There's nothing wrong with making a PC make a Dexterity + Athletics check as part of their Monkey Leap. But you need to ask yourself "why are they rolling?"

    The first two questions to ask are:

    Will rolling make a difference to the drama?
    If failure on the roll would make a difference, is it a desirable difference (from a dramatic point of view)?

    If the answer to both of those is "yes" then you set a difficulty and dicepool (looking. at page 185 to get an idea of the difficulty and cooperating with the PC to set the dicepool to their stunt).

    If the answer to either question is "no" (and in my experience that's more often than not) then let them stunt their success and move the story on.

    In the examples you've given, my question is "then what". Ok, I have to jump in the dark. That's going to be a difficulty 2 roll according to page 185. I only have 6 dice, so I'll add five from my Excellency. If I can then rest for 1 hour and get those motes back, then is it really worth tracking?

    Or I need to jump a chasm whilst being shot with arrows. If I fail, I fall to my death and the game stops for two hours as I roll up a new character because I thought Monkey Leap Technique would let me jump the chasm without rolling. Is that desirable? (It might be, if I'm derailing the game or we're playing high lethality stakes, or the players like a sense of danger and the ever present spectre of death. But I generally find it's better if you don't kill off the PCs with random save-or-dies.)
    I overall agree with you, but I think many of the situation presented have narratives stakes, whether about ressources ("Can you escape the town when everyone is looking for you and you took an arrow in the knee ?") or about drama ("I can't let this sacred spear be swallowed by the Wyld Quicksand, we promised we would bring it back !"). I just wanted to see what were suggestions about the topic "How do you chose difficulty about an extraordinary feat allowed by a Charm, but that would still require a roll because there are circumstances"

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  • JohnDoe244
    replied
    Originally posted by Chausse View Post
    Do you never encounter those ?
    That's what being ST is all about my man.

    But the system exists to facilitate the drama. You want to track resources and risk failure when bean counting and threat adds to the story. You don't want to slow play to a crawl by making characters make Difficulty 0 Intelligence + Resistance checks in order to remember to breathe.

    Look at the difficulty chart on page 185 and look at the dice pools your PCs are throwing down.

    If an unusal case comes up, then as ST you have to adjudicate what roll, or multiple rolls, are appropriate. There's nothing wrong with making a PC make a Dexterity + Athletics check as part of their Monkey Leap. But you need to ask yourself "why are they rolling?"

    The first two questions to ask are:

    Will rolling make a difference to the drama?
    If failure on the roll would make a difference, is it a desirable difference (from a dramatic point of view)?

    If the answer to both of those is "yes" then you set a difficulty and dicepool (looking at page 185 to get an idea of the difficulty and cooperating with the PC to set the dicepool to their stunt).

    If the answer to either question is "no" (and in my experience that's more often than not) then let them stunt their success and move the story on.

    In the examples you've given, my question is "then what?" Ok, I have to jump in the dark. That's going to be a difficulty 2 roll according to page 185. I only have 6 dice, so I'll add five from my Excellency. If I can then rest for 1 hour and get those motes back, then is it really worth tracking?

    Or I need to jump a chasm whilst being shot with arrows. If I fail, I fall to my death and the game stops for two hours as I roll up a new character because I thought Monkey Leap Technique would let me jump the chasm without rolling. Is that desirable? (It might be, if I'm derailing the game or we're playing high lethality stakes, or the players like a sense of danger and the ever present spectre of death. But I generally find it's better if you don't kill off the PCs with random save-or-dies.)
    Last edited by JohnDoe244; 06-30-2019, 05:20 PM.

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  • Epitome
    replied
    Originally posted by Chausse View Post
    I know the simple action enabled by the Charm requires no roll. But the situations the PCs are in is rarely "in vacuum". What if there is a howl of wind that makes the jump more complicated ? Or traps, a rain of arrows, or the enrivonment is very tenebrous and the character can't see very well ? I'm not so sure in this kind of situations I should just let the player do it without any roll. Some of them resolve with a different subsystem (If there is fire in the path of the jump, it could be a Resistance check), but not every situation can be refered to these subsystems. Do you never encounter those ?
    I've never had a situation like this in my games, but I think I'd simply split the challenge into 2 rolls. If the Exalt is trying something ridiculously extreme like jumping a chasm that has an active tornado in the middle, then that's 2 rolls - 1 for the jump and 1 for navigating a tornado. The jump automatically succeeds because of Monkey Leap, and then you can make them roll whatever is appropriate for them to navigate a tornado, which might be a second athletics roll or might be something else depending on their stunt.

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  • Tymeaus Jalynsfein
    replied
    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post

    5/5/1/Stunt + Medium Weapon & Mounted gets you to, like, 9. And that's pretty trivial from character creation. But I don't think anyone was trying to argue that 5 is the highest difficulty in the game.

    ****

    Conscripts are 2. Battle ready troops are 4.

    Parry 3 "is the rating of bandits, militia, thugs, low-rent mercenaries, and Exalts who don’t focus on martial prowess."

    Awesome - Point Taken...
    I try not to look too deeply into adversary/opponents stats as I play, rather than GM.
    So... good to know. Thanks

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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    Hmmm... honestly, no, it hasn't come up in my games.

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  • Chausse
    replied
    I know the simple action enabled by the Charm requires no roll. But the situations the PCs are in is rarely "in vacuum". What if there is a howl of wind that makes the jump more complicated ? Or traps, a rain of arrows, or the enrivonment is very tenebrous and the character can't see very well ? I'm not so sure in this kind of situations I should just let the player do it without any roll. Some of them resolve with a different subsystem (If there is fire in the path of the jump, it could be a Resistance check), but not every situation can be refered to these subsystems. Do you never encounter those ?

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  • JohnDoe244
    replied
    I wouldn't make the PCs roll because they're not going to fail the roll.

    Monkey Leap Technique just works. Throwing a "now roll a difficulty 2 athletics check to not fall down" is going to be pretty insulting to the Solar who (at least) has the Excellency along with (probably) 10+ dice in their pool. Unless it's a prelude to something dramatic (like combat or a protracted escape scene) and I want to run down their mote pool, you're just slowing down the game by making the PCs roll checks that they're never going to fail.

    Embrace the awesome. Let them auto succeed with a good stunt.
    Last edited by JohnDoe244; 06-30-2019, 12:12 PM.

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