Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Who's tried out the new Lunars? How's it gone?

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

  • #46
    Originally posted by Simon Darkstep View Post
    XP awards for setting up an ally to shine is one of the gems from Ex3 that I really like.
    This is actually the main reason my players get the Role bonus. I'd say 75-90% of their Role awards* are for that. It was actually the main argument my friend (who runs a 3rd ed Solar game) used to convince me to try the rules as written (I was going to just give everyone 2 Lunar xp a session).

    *When there's a big combat, most players get an Expression bonus for endangering themselves for the sake of an intimacy. When there's not, they tend to get Expression awards for revealing something related to a Major/Defining intimacy, but this gets less common as the game goes on. Last session two of six got it, for example.
    This tends to mean they get more Lunar xp when it's like a big dramatic session, and less when it's more of a bridging session... which is okay, actually? Obviously the point of it is to encourage players to do dramatic stuff rather than just bumble along.
    Though that's not really anything about Lunars per-se, since it's the same as for Solars.


    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.

    Comment


    • #47
      Originally posted by Beast of Bitter Oblivion View Post
      Human shapes are so overrated.
      They certainly are. That's why they're so useful to Lunars; it's all a matter of finding which shape is overrated by which person, whether it be the shape that is overrated because it's a local monarch or celebrity or the blonde shape that a certain gentleman overrates.

      There's so much about the human shape, whether it be apple or pear or even lollipop, that people overrate, and the Lunar Exalted are specifically equipped to exploit that.

      Still, I cited the shapeshifting stuff because it's what I could remember. The other Casteless role bonuses seem as though they should be trivially easy to acquire.

      Either that, or the lack of purpose and fulfillment is recognised in-character as a reason to acquire a Caste.


      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
      Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
      https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by Simon Darkstep View Post
        Oz mentioned the shapeshifting interaction with dice caps, which is something I'd echo. They've been a difficult snarl for us when we've had to deal with them, though thus far my group has preferred human or hybrid shapes for anything needing dice pools. I'm tempted to rewrite them for clarity, but not entirely sure what I'd change to make improvements.
        Yeah, it gets pretty messy.
        One of my players just made a new character, as his previous one died, and since he's a combat character I just wrote up all his dice pools for him... basically because when I've tried to explain it to people, they haven't understood my explanation. My explanations I think haven't been really good; I tried saying for example "animal dice are like excellency dice" to get them to understand the caps, but then people were like "oh, I don't have an excellency so I guess I can't use them". And there was a lot of confusion about accuracy, which ended up requiring a trawl through Vance's tweets and follow-up questions to him.

        Luckily, this new character only has one animal form, his totem, but you can still see how complex it is:
        Human form withering attacks:
        Claw/Punch/Headbutt: 12 dice to hit (+5 from excellency), +12 damage (+2 from excellency)
        Throw huge improvised object at point-blank range: 9 dice to hit, +16 damage (+2 from excellency).
        Throw huge improvised object at short range: 8 dice to hit, +16 damage (+2 from excellency)
        Throw huge improvised object at medium range: 7 dice to hit, +16 damage (+2 from excellency).
        Soak 7 (+2 from excellency)
        Parry 4 (+2 from excellency)
        Evasion 2
        Rush 8 dice (+5 from excellency)
        Aurochs form withering attacks:
        Horns: 10 dice to hit (+3 from excellency), +15 damage (+2 from excellency).
        Stomp: 7 dice to hit (+5 from excellency), +13 damage (+2 from excellency). Trample (If it hits someone after a successful rush movement, it knocks them down.)
        Soak 7 (+2 from excellency).
        Parry 4 (+2 from excellency). Ignores wound penalties.
        Evasion 3. Ignores wound penalties.
        Rush 10 dice (+3 from excellency, or +1 success and +1 dice)
        Aurochs decisive attack:
        10 dice (+3 from excellency). Other benefits, see rules.
        Deadly Beastman Form withering attacks:
        Claw/Punch/Headbutt: 12 dice to hit (+5 from excellency), +17 damage (+2 from excellency)
        Big horns: 10 dice to hit (+5 from excellency), +19 damage (+2 from excellency)
        Throw huge improvised object at point-blank range: 9 dice to hit, +21 damage (+2 from excellency).
        Throw huge improvised object at short range: 8 dice to hit, +21 damage (+2 from excellency)
        Throw huge improvised object at medium range: 7 dice to hit, +21 damage (+2 from excellency).
        Soak 13 (+2 from excellency)
        Parry 4 (+2 from excellency)
        Evasion 1
        Rush 13 dice

        I was a bit worried he'd be insulted by me doing this, but it was okay. He said he actually thought the animal rules would give him lower dice pools than that.

        Of course, this doesn't include the charm benefits of stunts, which actually make it a lot more complicated than it is above, but luckily he doesn't stunt much and the Aurochs isn't one that would give him more free dice if he stunted (unlike, say, a tyrant lizard).

        It's ironic, because the way the animal dice pools are designed is actually intended to work that way to make it easier, and less complicated, as well as balanced (which the 2nd ed rules were not). But, as one of my players said, because it's a different system to normal, even if it is easier, it confuses players.

        Basically, looking at your own stats, and then comparing it to the animal stats to see how many free dice you get, and then there's some things which relate to your own pools and some that don't, and then your dice cap might change because of a stunt... it's all a bit too much mental load.

        I actually haven't shapeshifted much with my own Full Moon, because I find a character with 35 combat charms already annoying complicated enough.
        I'm probably going to bring back my 2nd ed Lunar to another game soon though, and he was all about shapeshifting. He has very few combat charms though (he just relied on excellencies and turning into a bear or a giant mutant for combat), so that should keep the complexity down.
        I have learnt though that it would be worth writing up his most common combat forms (say, bear) with notes on how it affects his excellencies.

        Originally posted by Simon Darkstep
        I also notice that your critter shapes, apparently including your spirit shape, don't intrinsically improve with experience.
        I think the key is to remember that the way your own true shape improves is mostly by getting more charms, and slightly by getting more dice. Except for damage and soak, improving your true dice pools does make your animal forms better. And nearly all charms can be used in animal forms.
        Basically, I think the key is to think of animal forms as a buff-suit. Sure, your buff-suit isn't really getting better,* but you're better, the buff-suits adding pretty much the same, so it's still worth wearing your buff-suit.

        *Well. It might get worse because it's adding less free dice. On the other hand, if you were already being capped, it may give you more free dice. Also, getting more Protean charms makes it even buffier, as it's no longer buffing your stats but also buffing your charms.


        We're not that far along to decide if spirit shapes are feeling obsolete, yet.
        Honestly, I think it really depends on the spirit shape.
        My owl spirit shape was never obsolete, because it was always the best shape for night-time stealth flying. But it was also always not the best choice for anything else. My snake spirit shape is never obsolete, because it's always an excellent stealth form with a poison bite. (Admittedly, if I could turn into a miniscule form with a poison bite, say, a black widow, it wouldn't be the best stealth-poison-bite anymore, but turning into a black widow costs 1wp.)

        On the other hand, if your spirit shape is a bear, you may find at Essence 4 you're normally turning into a Tyrant Lizard and not a bear, because they're both combat forms but the T-rex is better. Saying that, bears have the Berzerker merit which is great when you're wounded, and you can't turn into a Tyrant Lizard inside a building.
        Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 08-08-2019, 01:19 PM.


        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.

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

          They certainly are. That's why they're so useful to Lunars; it's all a matter of finding which shape is overrated by which person, whether it be the shape that is overrated because it's a local monarch or celebrity or the blonde shape that a certain gentleman overrates.

          There's so much about the human shape, whether it be apple or pear or even lollipop, that people overrate, and the Lunar Exalted are specifically equipped to exploit that.
          Indeed!

          Still, I cited the shapeshifting stuff because it's what I could remember. The other Casteless role bonuses seem as though they should be trivially easy to acquire.
          So far, one of my Casteless players hasn't qualified for any of the Casteless awards, the other has qualified twice for "Removing a major obstacle to the circle's goals by shapeshifting."

          Both have overcome major obstacles, and they've revealed or learned new things about themselves, but they haven't really overcome major obstacles in a way that's revealed or taught them new things about themselves (well, maybe once, I wasn't really sure, but it didn't matter because Jin got the Role bonus for ceding the scene that session anyway so I didn't have to decide).

          They're in the process of making a place for themselves in an institution or community (both are trying to make a place for themselves in the Lunar pack, which I'll count as a community, and Jin is trying to make a place for himself in the kingdom they're in; he's trying to get the King to give him a title of Thane, which I need to remember to do next session; the king's very stressed and distracted so hasn't got round to rewarding them yet), but neither has a Major or Defining intimacy to those yet. Hopefully they will later (Underfoot is keen on defending his people, he's just got to find "his" people. So as ST I need to build connections between him and the locals so he sees them as "his" people. Hopefully he'll meet his long-lost local uncle next session).

          Underfoot does have a Major intimacy to his home country, but that's deep in the forest so they haven't done anything with it in game.

          (I should say that I don't think this is a huge issue; the guy who hasn't qualified for the Casteless bonus has qualified for the Role bonus anyway by ceding the spotlight a fair few times, and he's got the Expression bonus a good amount of times, so he's not behind the other players in Lunar xp or anything. I don't think he's got the most, but I reckon he's near the top. I just found it interesting, and wondered if anyone had thoughts.)

          We've talked a lot about Casteless xp, which is interesting, but how have others found Changing Moon xp? Because, as I said, while one Casteless got it sometimes, I don't think the two Changing Moons have ever got it (though one has only played 3 sessions and the other 5, compared to the No Moon and Casteless players who've played 6).

          I should say that this is not a combat-heavy game. The first session was about networking at a royal party, the second more networking+a hunt, the third travel+investigation+an audience with a raksha queen, the fourth travel+investigation, the fifth a big combat, the sixth travel+investigation+negotiation (but then neither Changing Moon was there in the sixth session).

          Either that, or the lack of purpose and fulfillment is recognised in-character as a reason to acquire a Caste.
          Hmmmm..............
          Do characters know they're not getting Caste XP? And that getting a Caste would get them more XP?

          I guess you could argue that experienced Lunars might know that, say, No Moons tend to grow in intellect and wisdom faster than Full Moons.


          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.

          Comment


          • #50
            On dice pools and shapeshifting, I just finished writing up the combat dice pools for one of my players. Look at this monster.

            Human Withering punch: 12 dice to hit (+4 from excellency), +11 damage (+2 from excellency), minimum 1.
            Human Decisive Attack: 8 dice to hit (+4 from excellency)
            Human Grapple: 5 dice to hit (+4 from excellency)
            Gorilla withering bite: 9 dice to hit (+4 from excellency), +16 damage (+2 from excellency), minimum 1
            Gorilla withering punch: 10 dice to hit (+2 from excellency), +16 damage (+2 from excellency), minimum 1
            Evasion 4 (+2 from excellency)
            Parry 4 (+2 from excellency)
            Gorilla rush: 10 dice (11 when brachiating)(+2 from excellency).
            Gorilla soak 6 (+2 from excellency)


            Stunting involving strength/stamina/wits/appearance/charisma increases all excellency caps by 4, except damage/soak/defence which increase by 2.


            Gorilla withering bite vs crashed: 9 dice and 2 successes to hit. If you do a stunt*, also add another success and you may also buy 2 more excellency dice.
            Gorilla withering punch vs crashed: 10 dice and 1 success to hit. If you do a stunt* add 2 successes.
            Gorilla decisive punch vs crashed: 10 dice and 1 success to hit. If you do a stunt* add 2 successes.
            Gorilla decisive bite vs crashed: 8 dice and 2 successes to hit. If you do a stunt, also add another success and you may also buy 2 more excellency dice. Gets 4 extra damage when biting a clinched enemy.
            Gorilla grapple vs crashed: 7 dice to hit and 1 success to hit. If you do a stunt* add 2 successes.
            Gorrila defences

            Gorilla rush vs crashed: 10 dice (11 when brachiating), +1 success. If you do a stunt*, add 2 successes.

            *Only applies to stunts involving strength/stamina/wits/appearance/charisma


            Bear stats
            Bite withering: 9 dice (+4 from excellency), Damage 15 (+2 from excellency), minimum 1. Wound penalties instead apply as excellency dice.
            Claw withering: 12 dice, Damage 11 (+2 from excellency), minimum 1. Ignore wound penalties. If you do 5+ damage, you can swap the initiative for a reflexive grapple gambit with no need of initiative roll or cost, and it gets +1 on the control roll
            Decisive attack: 8 dice (+4 from excellency). Gets 4 extra damage when biting a clinched enemy. Wound penalties instead apply as excellency dice.
            Grapple: 8 dice (+4 from excellency), (9 dice to control, +3 from excellency) Wound penalties instead apply as excellency dice.
            Defence 4 (+2 from excellency) Wound penalties instead apply as excellency dice, but -4 only gives +2.
            Soak 10 (+2 from excellency) Wound penalties instead apply as excellency dice, but -4 only gives +2.
            Hardness 2
            Stunting involving strength/stamina/wits/appearance/charisma increases all excellency caps by 4, except defence/soak/damage which increase by 2. This means that you can apply wound penalties as excellency dice to claw attacks.


            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.

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
              Hmmmm..............
              Do characters know they're not getting Caste XP? And that getting a Caste would get them more XP?

              I guess you could argue that experienced Lunars might know that, say, No Moons tend to grow in intellect and wisdom faster than Full Moons.
              I don't think that anybody should be conceiving of things in such mechanical terms, but I think that Exalted of all types should have an experience of their Caste or Aspect in terms of something that naturally contains paths of fulfilment and actualisation (or perhaps that having that Caste in the first place is a representation of those paths already being part of your identity), and Lunars especially because they designate a particular point of transition.

              I think of it in these terms partially because the question of how one finds meaning and purpose in their lives is one that is generally of interest to me and in particular for this subject of people with significant power who are capable of living for centuries or millenia* and Caste role bonus seems like a very organic way of integrating it, and partially because I think that it's a straightforward and vivid way to find the significance of Caste in a system that ultimately doesn't make too much proprietary on them. Like, sure, having the Changing Moon anima powers ultimately helps with doing that Caste's thing, but not to a degree that I think can't ultimately be made up for with actual Charms, and XP discounts... I don't know, maybe ultimately the numbers work out in a manner that wind up with a significantly greater number of dots and Charms in those Attributes, but I judge it to not be the most vivid expression of the Caste's distinction, and suspect that both in the game and in-character Castes become a bit indistinguishable in terms of their capabilities on a long enough timeline. Especially for Lunars, when they've only got three Castes and nine Attributes; in terms of their stats and powers is a Full Moon with 3 to 5 and lots of Charms in all the social Attributes very different from the inverse in a Changing Moon?

              Hence, I think the most significant thing about Caste is not what you're capable of doing, but what you choose to do, and how that fulfils and validates you. It's in how you feel and why you try to accomplish things in that way rather than any other, rather than being tied to a particular skill set. Lunar Caste being not your powers, but how you choose and manage to empower yourself.

              I would certainly find that consistent with this Edition's background given for the changing of the Castes across ages; if the Lunars are responsible for outright changing their Castes, rather than reclaiming pre-existing ones that were rendered inaccessible (a thing that was itself made valuable largely by way of saying that being without Caste made you vulnerable to chimerism), I ultimately see that more as defining and committing to a mission statement then something that makes them necessarily better at the clandestine asymmetrical warfare.

              (Dragon Blooded Aspects actually do run a bit deeper with things like how their Animas interact with Auras, what forms their Elemental Charms will take by default, and the capacity to get their Aspect's element as a second Signature Charm. That and how Aspect element tends to predominate in Aspect Abilities, in a way that gives them a unique kind of intersection; a Full Moon using social Attribute Charms doesn't necessarily look any different, but a Fire Aspect using Water Melee Charms will have an aesthetic and thematic difference that is very apparent. I don't think that ultimately amounts to a given Aspect being markedly better at its associated roles than a different Aspect that has those Abilities as Favoured, but there remains a clear visual distinction, and because Dragon Blooded already uniquely consist of a large society of Exalted those differences are going to have a noteworthy effect on how they organise, relate to and label one another.)

              Hmm, this viewpoint is probably mostly just shaped by and appealing to my own preferences and priorities, although in practice... if a player goes with a Changing Moon Caste, are they buying mostly social Charms because they're a bit cheaper, or because they're an expression of the character that they want to play? Like, if you chose that Caste, do you really need to be incentivized to buy the things that let you play it? Or is the idea that you value the Charms first, and assume the Caste that will make it a bit easier to more frequently buy them? Do non-Caste and -Favoured costs slow things down to a massive degree?

              * I finally watched Neon Genesis Evangelion all the way through within the last month, these subjects are on my mind more vividly now than they have been for a while.


              I have approximate knowledge of many things.
              Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
              https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

              Comment


              • #52
                I've been playing a two-person game for a few months. The other player is my solar mate. I'm a No-Moon heavy on the Shaman/Talky stuff; she is a craft supernal twilight. We are bound by our mutual nerdery.

                So far the comparisons have been pretty good. I spent some time diversifying my charm choices to round out my excellencies; so I have a good broad competency. She shines really well in craft and sometimes in combat above me, despite having a similar level of combat investment. I'm much better at combat sorcery, in general, since Lunars have a few charms that actually help sorcery.

                I bring a broad competency and weird charm effects to the table. We both love Devil Pleasing Chiminage and Pack Calling Cry has been really cool from time to time. We've noticed a few weak points for Lunars- their medicine suite isn't as good as the Solar one for healing people of injuries. However, their charms are generally quite fun!

                Recently, we collaborated to build her first N/A Artifact- it's a sorcerous relic that she used to initiate into celestial circle sorcery. I helped assemble ingredients and infrastructure for the final project- it involved a lot of exotic materials that I did some exploring and sorcerous workings to get. (I also made an Orabilis library card).

                I haven't really felt overshadowed- she's very powerful in her area of expertise, but outside of it doesn't have much going on. As a Lunar, I can pull out a lot of dice for almost any roll, even if I don't have many or any dots in the relevant ability. It feels pretty good!

                I've been playing hype-man and assistant for her crafting; that has been extremely fun and satisfying. Soul-Baring Testament has been really helpful to giving her a leg up in social stuff! It's also really exciting to get to see the artifacts, since her player is very creative and she writes them all up.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Zale View Post
                  I'm much better at combat sorcery, in general, since Lunars have a few charms that actually help sorcery.

                  I bring a broad competency and weird charm effects to the table. We both love Devil Pleasing Chiminage and Pack Calling Cry has been really cool from time to time. We've noticed a few weak points for Lunars- their medicine suite isn't as good as the Solar one for healing people of injuries. However, their charms are generally quite fun!
                  I noticed this too. I play a Solar doctor, and while they're not quite as good at it as Solars, I find it good enough, and a bit more interesting.

                  I haven't seen any Lunar sorcerers, but I can see that they'd do well at combat sorcery.

                  Sounds like a good game!


                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    My No Moon is pretty good at combat sorcery as well, thanks to a rundown of effects:
                    1. Cloaked With Moonfire lets her avoid losing the good good Sorcery Juice if she has to not Shape for a round, so long as she's got her anima up. And she absolutely wants her anima up, because...
                    2. The No Moon 5m power to impose a -2 penalty on all visual-dependent rolls against her is quite good if a little mote-hungry... but it's free at bonfire, and at least in the context of our campaign, our characters are able to be openly Lunar, so it's fine for my sorceress to crank up to bonfire and enjoy that free bonus continually.
                    3. In a pinch, she can use the once-a-day power to shed her bonfire anima and add a fistful of sorcerous motes to a spell she's shaping. I used this in a big battle to crank out a Devil-Maw quick and wreck a bunch of dudes.
                    4. You can wring more efficiency out of your Shaping with Penumbra Witch Mastery. At Essence 1 it's 3m for 3 dice and rerolling 1s away, so if you're going to spend at least 3m on a Shaping roll, there's not really a reason not to use this Charm. It also applies to the rolls of spells themselves, which helps.

                    And there's still stuff I've yet to pick up, like Shadow-Hands Invocation letting you flurry Shaping with reduced penalties.


                    Abyssals: Whom Death Has Called, a PEACH-as-heck attempt to make an Abyssal 3E holdover.

                    Where I try to make Artifacts. When I finish them I'll probably post them in the Artifact Workshop thread so people can help me hammer them into shape.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Beans View Post
                      My No Moon is pretty good at combat sorcery as well, thanks to a rundown of effects:
                      1. Cloaked With Moonfire lets her avoid losing the good good Sorcery Juice if she has to not Shape for a round, so long as she's got her anima up. And she absolutely wants her anima up, because...
                      How often do you find this comes up? I've never seen sorcerers stop shaping halfway through anyway.


                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        I haven't had to worry about it so far personally, but I've seen it happen sometimes when a sorcerer gets in a tight spot and needs to disengage or something. I actually saw it come up for an enemy sorcerer in a game a while ago, and delayed her enough in firing off Obsidian Butterflies that she was booted into Crash and trounced before she could finish.


                        Abyssals: Whom Death Has Called, a PEACH-as-heck attempt to make an Abyssal 3E holdover.

                        Where I try to make Artifacts. When I finish them I'll probably post them in the Artifact Workshop thread so people can help me hammer them into shape.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                          I don't think that anybody should be conceiving of things in such mechanical terms, but I think that Exalted of all types should have an experience of their Caste or Aspect in terms of something that naturally contains paths of fulfilment and actualisation (or perhaps that having that Caste in the first place is a representation of those paths already being part of your identity), and Lunars especially because they designate a particular point of transition.

                          I think of it in these terms partially because the question of how one finds meaning and purpose in their lives is one that is generally of interest to me and in particular for this subject of people with significant power who are capable of living for centuries or millenia* and Caste role bonus seems like a very organic way of integrating it, and partially because I think that it's a straightforward and vivid way to find the significance of Caste in a system that ultimately doesn't make too much proprietary on them. Like, sure, having the Changing Moon anima powers ultimately helps with doing that Caste's thing, but not to a degree that I think can't ultimately be made up for with actual Charms, and XP discounts... I don't know, maybe ultimately the numbers work out in a manner that wind up with a significantly greater number of dots and Charms in those Attributes, but I judge it to not be the most vivid expression of the Caste's distinction, and suspect that both in the game and in-character Castes become a bit indistinguishable in terms of their capabilities on a long enough timeline. Especially for Lunars, when they've only got three Castes and nine Attributes; in terms of their stats and powers is a Full Moon with 3 to 5 and lots of Charms in all the social Attributes very different from the inverse in a Changing Moon?

                          Hence, I think the most significant thing about Caste is not what you're capable of doing, but what you choose to do, and how that fulfils and validates you. It's in how you feel and why you try to accomplish things in that way rather than any other, rather than being tied to a particular skill set. Lunar Caste being not your powers, but how you choose and manage to empower yourself.

                          I would certainly find that consistent with this Edition's background given for the changing of the Castes across ages; if the Lunars are responsible for outright changing their Castes, rather than reclaiming pre-existing ones that were rendered inaccessible (a thing that was itself made valuable largely by way of saying that being without Caste made you vulnerable to chimerism), I ultimately see that more as defining and committing to a mission statement then something that makes them necessarily better at the clandestine asymmetrical warfare.

                          (Dragon Blooded Aspects actually do run a bit deeper with things like how their Animas interact with Auras, what forms their Elemental Charms will take by default, and the capacity to get their Aspect's element as a second Signature Charm. That and how Aspect element tends to predominate in Aspect Abilities, in a way that gives them a unique kind of intersection; a Full Moon using social Attribute Charms doesn't necessarily look any different, but a Fire Aspect using Water Melee Charms will have an aesthetic and thematic difference that is very apparent. I don't think that ultimately amounts to a given Aspect being markedly better at its associated roles than a different Aspect that has those Abilities as Favoured, but there remains a clear visual distinction, and because Dragon Blooded already uniquely consist of a large society of Exalted those differences are going to have a noteworthy effect on how they organise, relate to and label one another.)

                          Hmm, this viewpoint is probably mostly just shaped by and appealing to my own preferences and priorities, although in practice... if a player goes with a Changing Moon Caste, are they buying mostly social Charms because they're a bit cheaper, or because they're an expression of the character that they want to play? Like, if you chose that Caste, do you really need to be incentivized to buy the things that let you play it? Or is the idea that you value the Charms first, and assume the Caste that will make it a bit easier to more frequently buy them? Do non-Caste and -Favoured costs slow things down to a massive degree?

                          * I finally watched Neon Genesis Evangelion all the way through within the last month, these subjects are on my mind more vividly now than they have been for a while.
                          This is something I meant to reply to, because I think there's probably some interesting ideas to discuss, but I didn't have time when you posted it and I kept meaning to but didn't.

                          This isn't necessarily all a response or reply to you specifically, but rather ideas you've made me think about.

                          So, firstly on DBs. I think even beyond the aesthetic that you mention, and the mechanics, Aspects are supposed to be deeper. But also in a way more defining...

                          I think there's an important point you raise, that in a way the Caste isn't what defines your character, so much as an expression of the theme you already have. Say, for example, in my Lunar game we have Krove the Tiger-Bull, who loves wrestling and being the strongest, and respects those who show their physical strength; Amira, beauty from a family of merchants who soon becomes the centre of any engagement; and Atal, irritatible swamp-shaman who knows all about herbs, mushrooms, and the local terrestrial gods, and even knows what each god really loves and how to bribe them with unusual incense, etc.

                          Clearly, these are a Full Moon, Changing Moon and No Moon. But Atal didn't become a shaman after he became a No Moon, he became a No Moon because he was a shaman; it's an extension of his character rather than that which defines him.

                          And with Solars of course, it's the same; one game I play features a kid who grew up stealing on the streets, a monk who specialises in exorcising ghosts, and an airship engineer (called Cid, of course). Their castes are pretty obvious.

                          A slight complication is that your Lunar starts out with no Caste, and can later gain one, which obviously you can choose. But I always prefer, and run it as, while the player chooses the PC does not, as their Caste is a natural extension of themselves. For example, my Casteless recently became a Full Moon, I think this is not something she picked, but rather the Caste that in tattooing resonated most with her soul. So the tattooist simply tattooed her, and she became a Full Moon, there was no choice. Otherwise you could get a character who's rubbish at physical stuff and amazing at socialising becoming a Full Moons, which could be interesting, but a)there's min-maxing issues, and b)they could end up being rewarded xp for achieving things that they're rubbish at, and not for succeeding at things the character actually does, which I think will work badly.
                          As you said:
                          having that Caste in the first place is a representation of those paths already being part of your identity
                          There's also the fact that the Lunars as you say, made their own castes for a particular mission statement, but I think this is still fine; a Lunar who commits to dealing with their problems the Changing Moon way becomes a Changing Moon, even if once upon a time they would have become a Crescent Moon or something.

                          There can be issues with the Casteless-Casted dichotomy though, as I said; the devs have written the Casteless rewards almost as a Caste (which is possibly the best way to do it)? So, in our case, one Casteless defines himself via his freedom from definition, his love of shapeshifting, etc. The other is committed to solving problems through socialising and trickery and grifting (his concept is Grifter). Which is how Changing Moons self-actualise.
                          I need to just get him tattooed as a Changing Moon I think basically. Especially as before there was him and two Changing Moons, but one died so there's only one Changing Moon amongst six characters.


                          Whereas Dragonblood get their Aspects by the whims of the Dragons' blood. A student at Dynastic middle-school who is rambunctious and passionate, does well in their elocution lessons and swordsmanship, but is utterly impatient and uninterested in academic subjects, might suddenly exalt as an Air Aspect. A radical student who questions tradition might become an Earth aspect, while a cold and passionless intellectual might become a Fire Aspect.
                          Their Aspect doesn't at all have to fit their personality, it's just the quirks of not-genetics; their parents or grandparents Aspects are the main criteria, although of course even then there's an element of randomness.
                          Once exalted however, their aspect begins to shape their personality.

                          So I think that the Dragon Experience represents both the Aspect and Great Curse shaping the character's personality via a mechanical hook; your character starts however you want, but you're rewarded for "playing to type", which means... you probably will begin to.

                          Whereas Solar and Lunar Experience represents more the self-actualisation and fulfillment of what you already consider your path. The way I get more enjoyment and pride out of being a good teacher than, say, winning a football match, which is something that really means nothing to me.

                          I mean, in reality these two things play somewhat similar, but they represent slightly different things. And I think while maybe there's no great explicit mechanic that means Solar and Lunar players have to play to type and Dragonblood don't, I think I would accept a player coming to me with a concept for Pelleps Delled, a water aspect obsessed with violence and tradition, who will accept little in the way of nuance, flowing around problems, and so forth. Whereas I would not accept Dace, mercenary leader raised by mercenaries who's an excellent commander and swordsman and his concept is Twilight.


                          So, I also want to discuss this because I think it's interesting.
                          Like, sure, having the Changing Moon anima powers ultimately helps with doing that Caste's thing, but not to a degree that I think can't ultimately be made up for with actual Charms, and XP discounts...
                          I honestly don't see either Lunar or Solar PCs use their anima powers that much. Less than in 2nd ed actually. Not sure why.
                          But certainly it seems to be much less of a thing than charms.
                          I don't know, maybe ultimately the numbers work out in a manner that wind up with a significantly greater number of dots and Charms in those Attributes, but I judge it to not be the most vivid expression of the Caste's distinction,
                          if a player goes with a Changing Moon Caste, are they buying mostly social Charms because they're a bit cheaper, or because they're an expression of the character that they want to play? Like, if you chose that Caste, do you really need to be incentivized to buy the things that let you play it? Or is the idea that you value the Charms first, and assume the Caste that will make it a bit easier to more frequently buy them? Do non-Caste and -Favoured costs slow things down to a massive degree?
                          So, sometimes in 2nd ed I wondered what the point was of Castes.
                          I mean, as you say, if you want to play a master craftsman, do you need to have Craft charms be cheaper than other charms? I mean, you shouldn't be punished for them, and have them more expensive than others, but there's no reason they need to be cheaper either. If all charms cost the same, you're going to choose the ones you like for your character.
                          I did find a bit of sense in the way that a master knife-fighter found it cheaper to learn to throw his knives than learn magic, and a master scholar found it easier to learn medicine than develop his skills at enduring being punched repeatedly in the face.
                          But that's not entirely about Castes anyway.

                          And so, actually I felt I saw a lot of castes being picked "wrong", if you will. My very first Solar, Shadow of Kings, (what, 13 years ago now?) was going to be a Zenith (he was a wise sage with high social stats for giving out his sagely advice, also very tough from living in the wilderness as an ascetic). But it was easy enough to make him a different caste, and that Twilight caste power was just soooo good. So the character mutated to fit into Twilight (and also the culture of the area the game started, in order to help the ST a bit). And this led to a sometimes unsatisfying character. Mechanically he was totally fine, but the conception of what he was supposed to be doing got quite twisted up, both for him, me, and the other PCs ("Shadow of Kings, you're supposed to be a shaman, why are you so bad at it?" The answer is that this wasn't originally supposed to be what he was).

                          Other examples my friends played; a master scholar of sorcery and necromancy, Eclipse; a master of Tiger/Ebon Shadow who loved kung-fu duels, Eclipse; an uneducated archer who rode a Tyrant Lizard and sometimes preached about the Unconquered Sun, Twilight; a nice singing martial artist using Silver Nightingale, Night; an amazing athlete who loves punching people; Eclipse. (Eclipses seem to be the worst for this. And also are the most popular Caste. I think those are linked.)

                          Whereas 3rd ed has tried to lean more into your Caste as a role within the party. Which... ought to be better. And for my Lunar game, it seems to be working fine. But for the Solar games I've played/seen, it sometimes seems to work, and sometimes doesn't, as what's supernal, what's favoured, what the anima powers are, may fit a character but the Caste role doesn't, or vice-versa, so that causes characters to get twisted up again.
                          I think it's easier and better to play a character who fits the Caste-role but not the abilities, as you have plenty of other favoured abilities to play either and the character will be more fun (for example, my mental-primary/physical-tertiary Zenith's ability dots look much more like a Twilight, but his whole deal is about stopping Creatures of Darkness). And this will lead to the player feeling that their character is being rewarded for their commitment, character growth, etc.
                          But I can see why people go "my military admiral should be Sail-supernal, I'll be an Eclipse".
                          And as, you say
                          both in the game and in-character Castes become a bit indistinguishable in terms of their capabilities on a long enough timeline.
                          Eventually, it's not going to matter that the military admiral isn't Sail-supernal. I don't even know what the supernals for most of the Solars in the Essence 5 game I play, it's irrelevant. But I can understand that in a 0xp game it's very important and defining.

                          and suspect that both in the game and in-character Castes become a bit indistinguishable in terms of their capabilities on a long enough timeline. Especially for Lunars, when they've only got three Castes and nine Attributes; in terms of their stats and powers is a Full Moon with 3 to 5 and lots of Charms in all the social Attributes very different from the inverse in a Changing Moon?
                          For the Solars, I would say that characters do somewhat lose caste classification. But even at 470xp, if I tell you that the Solar characters are good at bureaucracy+melee+war+resistance, presence+performance+socialise, larceny+linguistics+socialise+presence+integrity, and ride+occult+survival+melee, I think you'll be able to get most of them right. Maybe not 100%.

                          For Lunars... I think there is a fair amount of overlap. My 470xp Lunar has lots of combat charms and lots of medicine and tracking charms. It's probably hard to guess if she's a Full Moon or No Moon (I was going to go No Moon, but I went Full Moon in the end).

                          The 300xp Lunar my friend plays in our other game (she's the only Lunar) is very clearly a Changing Moon; she has Appearance 8, loads of appearance/charisma/manipulation charms, a tiny bit of tracking, and a few combat charms like DBT and silver claws.

                          Over time, while people do branch out, the Favoured/Caste discounts make more of a difference. At character creation all charms cost the same. If you've bought 3 out-of-discount charms that's 6xp. If you've bought 15 that's 30xp, which is more significant.
                          So higher-xp characters do, in my experience, tend to be a bit less focused (because they've experienced problems their focus was poor at dealing with, so had to learn to deal with them). But not so much that they lose all definition.

                          I do think that the idea of what the character is, which hopefully links with the Caste, is still more important than the favoured abilities though.


                          Hmmm... there may be more to say, but that's probably long and rambling enough.


                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            I think that disregarding the text that specifically refers to Castes as things that Lunar characters actively select for themselves removes something that is very distinct and empowering for them.


                            I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                            Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                            https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                              I think that disregarding the text that specifically refers to Castes as things that Lunar characters actively select for themselves removes something that is very distinct and empowering for them.
                              I'm in a two-person Lunar game (currently on hiatus, unfortunately), and the whole first session was dedicated to the other PC choosing her Caste and getting her tattoos. She's a scrawny little urchin girl with a tortoiseshell cat for a spirit shape, who's spent her life running and hiding and stealing to live.

                              Now she's a Full Moon, out to test her newfound strength and seeming invulnerability while still having the learned behaviours of someone weak and defenseless. This choice was the first time she was really in control of her life, even after being Exalted, and I find it to be a uniquely Lunar position to be in.

                              If she had been Exalted to the Dawn Caste instead, for instance, her arc would probably be more about understanding why.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                I just picked up Exalted again and totally missed the kickstarter...
                                Is there any way to get my hands on one of the preview manuscripst? I mean, I will buy the book either way and If I've seen that I would surely have supported it.
                                It would be a huge boon to the new campagin

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X