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[Exalted 3E] Need the advice/help of the mechanics savvy folks...

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Chausse View Post

    This one really hits home, I really despised "small fights" because I thought they were of no interest and cost a huge amount of time compared to other kind of trivial encounters (like climbing, survival, etc ...). I'm still learning to compose my adventures with more small steps, instead of few huge steps like I used to. It's really hard to change paradigm !
    Small fights are great if there's a point to them. If you're building to something and the fights advance the story (as well as running down resources) then it keeps the drama up. But the trick is keeping things interesting as you slog through the dice rolls.


    Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post

      Small fights are great if there's a point to them. If you're building to something and the fights advance the story (as well as running down resources) then it keeps the drama up. But the trick is keeping things interesting as you slog through the dice rolls.
      Definitely. You can throw in one small fight here and there that isn’t connected to a larger thing. Like I dunno showing up in the savanah and being ambushed by a pack of clawstriders outside of their normal territory or something. Rolling out that combat will add a bit to the “oh shit” factor that these deadly predators are ranging outside their normal area, but don’t just have them fight a clawstrider battle every few days of travel in the savanah or anything.

      Likewise a survival check, or series of checks, to safely navigate a jungle to a hidden temple is not something you should really call for if there’s something at that temple to engage with like ghosts or traps or rival groups of exalts ect. Otherwise you might get bogged way down with just too many things and tracking Essence and stuff when it doesn’t really amount to anything.

      DO however have them fight a jungle claw strider attack, make survival checks to get to the temple, social charms to convince the first age living door lock to open the way, fight the temple constructs inside, lift the non-functional collapsed inner door, dodge a series of traps, battle the ghosts of the tombs old guardians, and then fight or flee your way out past the group of house Ledaal plunderers who followed you there. Even if not one of those things would really challenge your players, taken all together they could definitely have an impact. Although be warned sometimes running things like that makes one day of in game time take more than one session.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
        Although be warned sometimes running things like that makes one day of in game time take more than one session.
        That's really what's on my mind. When I rethink ofmy last campaign, Solar Essence 1 to Essence 2 in 10 sessions, I don't think I would have done of what my players did if I went for a more "little challenges to exhaust players" path, and it really makes me wonder what kind of ST I want to be

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Chausse View Post

          That's really what's on my mind. When I rethink ofmy last campaign, Solar Essence 1 to Essence 2 in 10 sessions, I don't think I would have done of what my players did if I went for a more "little challenges to exhaust players" path, and it really makes me wonder what kind of ST I want to be
          Well Solars do advance quickly, it’s why the Wyld Hunt so desperately hunts them down. It isn’t so bad if you punctuate it with periods of downtime though, and some of those big huge days full of adventure and intrigue can make up for a lot of stuff.

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          • #35
            Well said, you all. I agree with you. And this is where i can pretty much relax, because my ST is also not an optimizer at heart. So his opponents will, all in all, not be optimized combat (or other skills) monsters. So i guess, as you suggested, both builds will be very viable overall. And, as JohnDoe said, playing something i like is, in the end more important. I was just hoping that my mind-picture of what is coolest and best is the same as what is coolest and best ^^ Oh well
            As i said, i will think about it for a bit. I mean it is not as if i hate melee or anything...i played a lot of melee based characters in Exalted. Maybe that should be a pointer to me, after all ... i guess it's time to just do that MA dude and see how it feels. I just know that there will always be that little voice in the back of my head going "you could have played the melee dude..." lol ... .

            Btw, JohnDoe, I pm-ed you the link, did you look at it? What did you think about the advice? I think your build is a bit different.

            Also, one question, not directly related - i saw that Ex3E has a lot of dice-gimmicks that the other editions did not have. For example stuff like: "for every one your opponent rolls you can do X" or "for every 6 you roll, you can do Y". Are those options that feel good in play? Do they feel cool/badass? Isn't there a big huge fucking whiff factor to these charms? Because it heavily depends on a certain number coming up, and if those numbers do not show, you kind of wasted your charm and essence for no gain at all. Isn't that going to be a source of frustration really soon (probability being the bitch it is?!) ?

            Thanks again to all of you!

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            • #36
              There is a huge whiff factor where sometimes you’re just going to spend a few motes to reroll 6s, then reroll the one that you get into a 4, and that’s kind of sucks, but if you use them frequently there will absolutely be times when like half of your successes come from rerolling three 6s into two 10s and an 8, and that definitely feels cool. Especially when you roll up, get a crap roll and then kabam, explode at the last second due to your rerolls and get the hit.


              Oh also if your ST doesn’t super heavily optimize your MA build likely actually is better. The combination of your two twin blade styles is punishingly powerful in those instances. There might be times when you go “Man if I’d been melee here I could have done X” but you’ll feel very very powerful.
              Last edited by DrLoveMonkey; 07-08-2019, 10:42 AM.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Mnemon Liranan View Post
                Well said, you all. I agree with you. And this is where i can pretty much relax, because my ST is also not an optimizer at heart. So his opponents will, all in all, not be optimized combat (or other skills) monsters. So i guess, as you suggested, both builds will be very viable overall. And, as JohnDoe said, playing something i like is, in the end more important. I was just hoping that my mind-picture of what is coolest and best is the same as what is coolest and best ^^ Oh well
                As i said, i will think about it for a bit. I mean it is not as if i hate melee or anything...i played a lot of melee based characters in Exalted. Maybe that should be a pointer to me, after all ... i guess it's time to just do that MA dude and see how it feels. I just know that there will always be that little voice in the back of my head going "you could have played the melee dude..." lol ... .
                Or you could play the Melee build and have a voice saying "you could have played MA".

                Btw, JohnDoe, I pm-ed you the link, did you look at it? What did you think about the advice? I think your build is a bit different.
                Oh boy. Here we go.

                Full disclosure: Pick a topic, chances are Tricksy and I disagree. This is not to say I am right and Tricksy is wrong, but we have very different expectations from RPGs. That said, Tricksy's advice isn't bad, it's just a different style. I am a mechanically focused min-maxer and you came here looking for mechanical advice so that's what I gave. Tricksy has given you system advice. Breakdown in spoiler.

                Athletics is important. We agree. Tricksy recommends Bellows Pumping Stride. I don't because it is hard countered by Solar charms and is expensive mote wise. Tricksy rcommends Soaring Leap Technique. Which I don't hate: it's cheap, it has the Balanced keyword... but the mechanics are clunky. Disengage. With a leap. Winning Rushes is important, but I couldn't justify it.

                Tricksy recommends Strength and Wits 3+. I built with 5s. Mechanically speaking, you want 5s and 5 is "3+". Systemwise you don't "need" 5s.

                Tricksy recommends having Melee and Martial Arts at 5. I don't. You can't mix and match charms so pick one and do it well. The MA build has just enough Melee to buy the charms it needs and that's it. You should never be rolling Melee so don't waste points.

                Tricksy is right that Single Point is too expensive for Dragon-Blooded. I agree.

                Tricksy recommends a specaility for each MA style and Melee. I don't. If you are playing the Melee build, you won't have MA. If you are playing the MA build, you don't need a speciality in Melee or Steel Devil because you will never be rolling them. You roll every attack with Fire Dragon Style (this is made explicit on page 427 "Mixing Styles"). Because you can practice Fire Dragon Style unarmed, and because "Swords" is literally called out in the Corebook as an acceptable specaility, there's no real ST dependance either (unless the ST is looking to house rule to make you less effective).

                Join Battle is an essential roll on which combats are won or lost. Systemwise, you can skimp here. Mechanically you need to win. Advice to dumpstat this to buy social skills sets my teeth on edge. Losing Join Battle is a great way to lose your life, especially for a Fire Dragon practitioner or a Melee sword-fighter in heavy armor.

                Tricksy's artifact weapon advice is spot on. Agree completely.

                Same for Ambidexterity.

                Medium Artifact armor isn't worth the cost. Mundane armor is practically worthless. Invulnerable Skin of Bronze gives better protection and upgrades your unarmed attacks. Melia's Coil is one of the best artifacts in the game.

                Dancing Ember Stride is an action. It replaces the effects of a Rush. It's shorter range than Wind Rider Swiftness. It costs Initiaitive. It's a bad Charm that leaves you (potentially out of Aura) next to your target with no ability to do anything. Great if you just Rushed an Archer. Terrible if you just Rushed anyone else. You'll want it eventually but it's very situational.

                Agree completely on Brawl.

                Agree completely on "Melee charms to avoid". I disagree with some of the reasoning on the Melee "must haves" but I agree they're all important charms. The problem is, Tricksy is recommending 29 combat charms (without Ox-bodies or Join Battle enhancers). You want all these charms (system) but you can't afford them all (mechanics). That's why I gave you actual build and play guides over charm analysis (which, ironically, is more system than mechanics but hey-ho).

                Tricksy doesn't seem to get that Blazing Interception keys off the scene long Flame Warden Stance (which, admittedly, is more useful if riding a T-rex) but as such has massively undervalued this charm.

                Tricksy is almost spot on about Fire Dragon Style. But you ALWAYS want to be in Fire Dragon Form (and you get there Reflexively by winning Join Battle, which is why you don't dumpstat Join Battle). And (slight nitpick) you Disengage with Threshold Warding Stance, not Effortlessly Rising Flame.

                The advice on when to use Melee or MA is solid. If you can afford both at 5, with Specaility and supporting Charms. I'm just not convinced you can afford it -- better to have one and use it exclusively.

                Triple Attack Technique is too hard to land. It's nice to have but you don't need it. Otherwise all Tricksy's Steel Devil advice is good.

                "On Parrying" is the second best advice you've received so far. I'm going to copy that out in full -- live this advice: "You'll probably be leaking motes like a sieve with your attacks. Save your parry charms for decisive attacks, and let your initiative ebb and flow with withering attacks. To parry those decisive attacks, the ideal situation is that you are in Fire Dragon form and in fire aura. You may want to use Become the Hammer to improve your Parry DV before you see the attack roll. After the attack roll, you can use Flame-Flicker Stance if you need just one higher DV to succeed (as long as you're still in fire aura). Flame-Flicker Stance keeps you from taking the -1 onslaught penalty if it blocks the attack and Fire Dragon form causes your opponent to lose 4 to 6 initiative on a successfully parried attack." Now if you do pick the Melee build, the advice is basically the same only you'll be using your Melee charms, not Fire Dragon charms.

                (The best advice was me telling you to play the character that interests you, in case you were wondering ;-p )


                Also, one question, not directly related - i saw that Ex3E has a lot of dice-gimmicks that the other editions did not have. For example stuff like: "for every one your opponent rolls you can do X" or "for every 6 you roll, you can do Y". Are those options that feel good in play? Do they feel cool/badass? Isn't there a big huge fucking whiff factor to these charms? Because it heavily depends on a certain number coming up, and if those numbers do not show, you kind of wasted your charm and essence for no gain at all. Isn't that going to be a source of frustration really soon (probability being the bitch it is?!) ?

                Thanks again to all of you!
                Is it worth it if you're a Solar rolling 21 dice? Yes. Absolutely. Cool. Badass. Especially if facing a Dragon-Blooded whose magic depends on you rolling 1s.

                If you're a Dragon-Blooded depending on a Solar rolling 1s? Not so much. Especially if you're buying Successes and not Dice to enhance your rolls.

                Mechanically these charms usually bear out (even the Dragon-Blooded ones by my napkin math), but there's a lot of swing in cost (why is Bellows Pumping Stride THREE TIMES more expensive than Soaring Leap Technique) and big whiff.
                Last edited by JohnDoe244; 07-10-2019, 08:46 AM.


                Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                • #38
                  [QUOTE=Mnemon Liranan;n1322792
                  I am a bit sad that it seems that the Melee build is the better one. Because now i am torn. I like the idea of the martial artist better, it trumps story wise for me. But i wanted to go for the most effective build for once...so Melee is the option. But Melee is so....standard (if i am not-nice, i'd even call it boring) ^^[/QUOTE]

                  Hey, so just a quick "In universe- out of universe" thing here, Creation is FULL of Martial Arts. There are probably 100+ schools of swordsmanship on the Blessed Isle alone. Supernatural martial arts are a set of esoteric, quasi-philosophical practices that work in a special way. But Peleps Jong Yi the Flowing Blade (Melee), White Lotus Tiger (SPSitV), and Red Devil Xheng (Fire Style) are all going to call themselves "martial artists" in universe. In WuXia, that term has no specific meaning beyond "Warrior", because EVERYONE studies at the 8 Trigrams School or the Falling Stone Dojo or under the reclusive master of Black Flame Style.

                  Out of game, we call them "Melee" and "Martial arts", but in game, yeah. Martial Artist isn't that crazy a thing. My Solar Dawn Melee Supernal calls himself a master of the Lost Parivir Style, but he's "just" a Melee+Athletics+Dodge build. The Zenith Resistence Supernal named Iron Chariot is a master of the 3 motions: Flowing River, Iron Wheel, and Leaping Avalanche, but he's "just" Brawl+Athletics+Resistance. Mean while my White Reaper Lunar doesn't call herself anything but "warrior", because she lives in the deep north and her diet consists of Fae incursions and Kaiju.

                  So pick whatever, and call yourself a martial artist. Or not.


                  ..."But I've bought a big bat, I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me"

                  Message me for Japanese translations.

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                  • #39
                    Thanks again to all of you who donated your time here! I highly appreciate it!

                    Sorcerous Overlord - haha...yeah, very well put! But of course, me as a player ("living on the meta-level") will always define what my character is by the abilities he's using. So while you are 100% correct, it's not what i was talking about. I was looking at it from my perspective, not my character's. So it would always feel like "cheating" to me, the player And yes, I know, a very strange "hang-up" to have, I guess.

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                    • #40
                      Do you think this game is going to Essence 4? If so it might be worth looking at some E4 charms that you might want to pick up, and like, if/when to use Breath of the Fire Dragon and Smoldering Wound Attack.

                      Also signature charms specifically since they lock you out of other options. Until Essence 5 anyway where you get another.

                      EDIT: Actually tactics might be a good thing to look at. Your build might not matter as much as how you play it, often. Like for example, when do you Flash Fire Technique and double Naked Fang Draw? Maybe?
                      Last edited by DrLoveMonkey; 07-09-2019, 04:43 PM.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                        Actually tactics might be a good thing to look at. Your build might not matter as much as how you play it, often. Like for example, when do you Flash Fire Technique and double Naked Fang Draw? Maybe?
                        Please don't take this the wrong way, because it's a good idea in theory.

                        But how exactly do you plan on doing that?

                        Without knowing at least the concepts of the other PCs and a basic outline of the story, I don't think I can give much more advice than what I've already said.

                        Now I love making characters. Happy to do it. Like it more than actually playing in some cases. And I'm happy to give general advice on how the game works, but I can't play the game for you.


                        Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                        • #42
                          Oh, i hope that the game will last for a bit. I like longer campaigns. So Essence 4 is hopefully on the table. Maybe even Essence 5? We will see.

                          I guess I will just try out the stuff my character can do and see how it plays and what the effects are. As I said, I never played optimized characters before and I am probably not a very tactics conscious player...I play by what I think is cool and also what I think my character (as a person) would do (I know, I know, a lot of horror stories start that way..."But it is what my character would do ..." but I don't mean it like that ). I mean I appreciate the offer but I kind of think that JohnDoe has a point, this is super hard to do without a lot more info on the rest of the group and the ST and their planned story. Thanks for the offer, though!

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                          • #43
                            So, just for fun, I decided to make the best possible Dragon-Blooded combatant I could at 175XP.

                            Now, a Dragon-Blooded with a Fire Aspect Dragon-Blooded Retainer to back them up is far deadlier than a Dragon-Blooded without a Retainer. And that Retainer get's 10 points of Merit dots to buy their own Legion and Warstrider. Of course a 5-dot Solar Dawn Caste Ally is even more powerful than a 4-dot Dragon-Blooded Retainer. And Realm Dynasts start with 18 Merit points and 15 BP. Meaning you can have 5 Dawn Caste Allies, each with two of their own DB Retainers, each Retainer with their own Legion. There's not much that can stand up to 10,000 Elite Soldiers, 10 5-dot Warstriders and 5 Dawns.

                            But that's never going to be playable.

                            And if want to go "whole hog" then your Allies are 5 Dawns. They spend their Merit/Bonus points on having 5 Other Dawn Allies and so on until you've covered the entire Celestial host.

                            So here's the best DB character I can make that isn't pure cheese.

                            [Edit]

                            This version had a glaring math error where I overspent by 48XP. Corrected version here.

                            Starting Character Sword Fighter - The Invincible Sword Dynast

                            175XP Melee Build - The Invincible Sword-Fighter
                            175XP Martial Arts Build - The Immaculate Sword Fighter
                            Best Possible 175 XP Combat Build - The Invincible
                            Last edited by JohnDoe244; 07-15-2019, 07:57 AM.


                            Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                              And that Retainer get's 10 points of Merit dots...
                              No, it doesn't. Retainers, as NPCs, have what the story needs. If you're going for cheese, why not just say the Retainer starts with the Eye of Autochthon and the hearthstones to the Realm Defense Grid?

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                                No, it doesn't. Retainers, as NPCs, have what the story needs. If you're going for cheese, why not just say the Retainer starts with the Eye of Autochthon and the hearthstones to the Realm Defense Grid?
                                Because the rules specifically state you get a young Terrestrial and what the stats of a young Terrestrial are. If I buy a Retainer, I should be able to make statements like "my retainer is a courtesan" or "my retainer is a warstrider pilot legion lord".

                                The rules don't allow a young Terrestrial n/a artifacts and hearthstones. They do allow 10 points of merits.


                                Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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