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Essence 3+ Celestials - what do you do when you have too much power?

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Inertial Frame View Post

    Alternative answer; Let the players continue to prove The Immaculate Order correct in calling them anathema.
    For me the great inspirations for Solars are (Dustin Hoffman's titular role) Hook, Saitama (One Punch Man), Light Yagami (Deathnote), Ozymandias (Watchmen) and Emperor Palpatine (Star Wars).

    If you're not hitting notes of tragically overcompetent hero tinged with remorselessly efficient monster then you're not playing the same Exalted I am.

    The Immaculate Order is correct. From a certain point of view.

    ****

    "I think a bit of skulduggery would do you good. Take your mind off this ennui business. First thing tomorrow morning, we'll shoot some Dynasts out at Harbourhead."

    "I'm tired of killing Dynasts and Fae. I always kill them. I've been killing them my whole life!"
    Last edited by JohnDoe244; 07-19-2019, 04:06 AM.


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

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    • #47
      Originally posted by webkilla View Post
      that kind of mass brain-washing is sure to attract a ton of attention from neighboring warlords who might start to get really worried. And of course it'll provoke a MASSIVE wyld hunt! Perhaps a whole realm legion!
      3 realm legions.

      Though I think they'd have come anyway. The mind control is fairly subtle, everything else about that sorceress is not.


      And if the players are heavily into mind-controling their population - then consider how robust or weak the mind control is. How exactly is the mind control done? What'll happen if a clever guild merchant shows up somewhere in their nation and convincingly claims to represent the players, demanding all kinds of goods and money turned over to him. Will the players realise that a population without free will is an open invitation for exploitation?
      I did consider impersonating the sorceress, but there wasn't really much point. She was the one we were worried about, not her underlings.

      Hell, if the players become tyrants... maybe they'll attract another circle of solars who want to save the kingdom from the evil tyrants
      Too many social characters it would seem. They invited a lot of Solars to a big conclave. Some they got to join them, others are just grumbling and shouting.

      I should explain that some of the PCs actually do consider the mind-control sorceress a tyrant and would like to get rid of her. Though for now it looks like they're just going to let the Realm do it for them (which will mean the Realm controls a set of mountains right above the other PCs' lands...).
      Of course, they are also tyrants, so it's entirely hypocritical, but in different ways. I'd argue the sorceress is probably only the second-worst.

      - and thus the story can come full circle, especially the players end up going "wait... are we the baddies?"
      Oh, half the players already know that. I mean, one guy describes his character as "Djala Hitler".



      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
      Shadow of Kings, Twilight barbarian scholar, master of lost First Age crafting techniques. Has a lot of clones. Picture by Jen.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
        Perhaps, but I feel 3e has actually largely addressed this issue by cutting out a lot of the "you just win" or "affect giant swathes of Creation" charms that 2e had. Now, you generally do have to get in there and engage with individual NPCs to solve a lot of your problems. For example, if the circle has gained a rep as demon summoners, even someone with Supernal Presence or Socialize can't just wave their hands and say "Actually, everyone feels we're still good". They would have to get out and actually talk to all those people, or, at very least, send competent minions to do so. And that has consequences of its own - every minute spent convincing the common people that you're one of the nice demon summoners is time not spent talking to the envoy from the neighboring queendom who wants a trade deal oh and by the way, what's all this about demon worship? And successfully convincing the people that you're nice demon summoners has knock-on effects too - it makes it easier for someone else to come in and claim that they're nice demon summoners too, or even that demon worship in general isn't such a bad thing.
        That's true, and thank god 3e does that much better than 2e, but you have to admit that it's when the players are running up against things that they can't instantly fix that that the interesting things happen. The difference is just what those things are.
        Originally posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
        Sure, and I'm not advocating for dispensing with those systems. What I'm suggesting, however, is that expecting most interactions with such systems to result in success, often extreme success, on the part of the players should be the default, and that trying to source all your drama and tension on the assumption that they won't succeed is going to be disappointing, because Exalted isn't really built that way.
        I think we might be talking about different things. Generally, I like seeing my players succeed, I expect them to succeed and even in systems like DnD or Call of Cthulhu I can happily complete entire campaigns without my PCs failing once at anything they try to do. Barring maybe inconsequential failures like missing out on a little coin purse with 25gp in it hidden under a bench or what have you.

        That doesn't mean that the puzzles or social scenes or battles were challenging though. They faced truly worthy foes in their stories.

        Where that didn't happen was the third game of 3e that my group ran, where one of the players was a Solar sail supernal who had, I think around 20 sail charms, maybe more, by the end of the game. With all those charms he increased the speed, doubled maneuverability, rerolled 1s, doubled 9s, treated his opponent's 1s as his own 10s, free autosuccesses, negated all penalties, all sorts of crazy stuff and it was just so, so pointless. There's no antagonist in the book, or any book until DBs got released, that could even come close, and even with DBs I'm not sure how close it would be.

        It's fun at first, but it's fun in the way of turning on god mode in a video game is fun and just having a chuckle as you walk around having bullets bounce off of you like Superman. It wasn't very long before even he got bored of it though. Instead of the climactic battle of the Flying Duchman against the Black Pearl swirling around the enormous maelstrom, playing a game of one-upping the other by dipping deeper down into it for more speed, bellowing orders to his crew, guffawing like a madman in the face of certain death as the ships trade fierce blows, what he got was the music starting up, the sky darkening, the two ships bearing down on eachother, and then he blows right through the other in one ram like it was cardboard and the fight's over.

        It is a cold comfort to that player, who never once got to have their fun sea captain adventure of navigating deadly reefs or battling wicked pirates played out, to tell them that the battle was a forgone conclusion anyway and it just fast tracked us to the real game which is dealing with the consequences of it. It just makes so much of the game so meaningless, that you wonder why we bother with it at all when we could just go play the Godsend shard of the Legacy RPG or something, which is totally diceless and just runs off a kind of "You pick a thing, it happens, but maybe other things also happen" setup.


        EDIT: Also apologies if I seem frustrated with you, I'm not, just with mostly former problems with Exalted.
        Last edited by DrLoveMonkey; 07-22-2019, 02:01 AM.

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        • #49
          To echo what some othere people have been saying.
          The illusion of threat is more important than the immediate danger everything posesses. As the Storyteller you control all offscreen variables and you need to find the sweetspot where you're trusted enough to not murder all their friends and loved ones in a temper tantrum but also able to exploit the disparity in knowledge when you know what the PCs can do but they don't know what your NPCs are capable of.


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          Please spare a thought for updating the Exalted wiki.

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          • #50
            Wait what pcs have friends ? Your better of threatening stuff they really care about like things they own. If your pcs are notorious assholes they not going to have any friends.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Beast of Bitter Oblivion View Post
              Wait what pcs have friends ? .

              All PCs in any game I have STed for the last six years or so in any system I have STed? Damn it, in my current Urban Fantasy-Horror campaign, "My NPC sister is transgender and I donĀ“t know how to help her" and "I have a broken heart due to loving the wrong NPC person" are actual, important plot points. Any game worth its salt care for these things
              Last edited by Clophiroth; 07-28-2019, 03:22 PM.

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