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"Fixing" a Shadowland?

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  • "Fixing" a Shadowland?

    Most of my players read the Ex3 subreddit but know nothing of the lost art of the forums, so I'm putting this here.

    My players are in a city where the veil between Creation and the Underworld is exceptionally thin. I've kept a tally of their actions and 'rated' the fallout of them against the barrier and, let's just say, the finale is going to bust things wide open.

    However, they want to try to take some steps to prevent that - especially because one of their own has been taken by the Wyld Hunt and is likely to die soon. The thing is, they're going to ask me "what can we do about this" and frankly, I have no clue. The closest I've got is that the go-to guy who knows way more about Exalted (he STed alot in 2nd) than me suggested that because there is an example for an ambition 3 (I think?) sorcerous working which tears down the strength of the veil (it's called the Veil in Exalted also right? Not just VtM?) between Creation and the Underworld. His idea was basically just do that in reverse. Is this "right" or are there other ways I don't know? 2e options welcome as at my table I use 2e as a guide for what's possible in 3e and try to translate the mechanics as close as I can.

    Other than that, I'd like to know about AFTER a Shadowland has broken. See when their Circle member gets executed (at the player's request ooc) in the final session I think that'd be a thematically perfect time to plunge the city into a Shadowland and reveal the big bad, etc. But assuming they win, I'd like it to be possible for them to restore it afterward. So the sorcerous solution is a bit iffy - but could they use that AFTER the shadowland has broken open? How would that work?

  • #2
    In 2E there was a spell to heal shadowlands and the utter destruction levelled by a Greater Elemental Dragon could heal a shadowland. In 1E and 2E the Syndics partially healed a shadowland by conducting weddings and other life affirming celebrations on the boarders of a shadowland and (2E) managed to heal 10 miles over 750 years.

    I think a Working is appropriate.


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

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    • #3
      I recall mention in some book I was looking in the other day, might have been WFHW, about raising a sacred temple to seal a shadowland. Maybe a geomantic project like making a manse could work too.

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      • #4
        Purifying an hundred miles of shadowland (or wyldzone) is listed among the examples for an ambition 1 Solar Circle sorcerous working (Goal number 40). Life affirming ceremonies, wards of salt and grain, menhirs planted along geomantic lines, et cetera, can provide the means and methods.
        Last edited by Greyman; 08-17-2019, 07:05 PM.

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        • #5
          Purifying an hundred miles of shadowland (or wyldzone) is listed among the examples for an ambition 1 Solar Circle sorcerous working (Goal number 40).
          Yeah, the problem is these are Essence 1 (nearly Essence 2) characters. They only have access to Terrestrial sorcery atm. That's 100 miles though, this is like a 1-5 square mile area that JUST flipped. How intense would cleanup be on that? Would it be possible to RP the fight scene after the death of a Solar as the area "in flux" between Shadowland? Like if it breaks all the way is determined by if they stop the force causing it or not? More of a speed of plot type thing.

          I recall mention in some book I was looking in the other day, might have been WFHW, about raising a sacred temple to seal a shadowland. Maybe a geomantic project like making a manse could work too.
          I like this a lot - don't recall how complicated it is to raise geomantic structures in 3E though.

          In 1E and 2E the Syndics partially healed a shadowland by conducting weddings and other life affirming celebrations on the boarders of a shadowland and (2E) managed to heal 10 miles over 750 years.
          This is actually great information to have access to because it gives me the "natural recovery rate" - almost a millenium for 10 miles WITH dedicated life affirming rituals and stuff carried out there. That's interesting.

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          • #6
            On the geomancy thing: it's a craft on its own, and a large and complicated project like that is going to be Superior, for sure.

            I am particularly fond of the idea that shadowlands are unstable, even if lasting. On a "normal" balance of influences, where most days go by as usual without massacres of seeping underworld phenomena, it should fade away over the centuries. By this metric you can think up events and circumstances that would make it grow, or shrink faster. A massive battle would expand it. The local populace engaging in dyonisian festivals covering entire weeks of the year would shrink it.

            Regardless, it's going to be complicated, and you won't do away with it in a month without pulling a vivid miracle.


            Oh, and your terrestrial sorcerers *can* do that working. It just will take years to complete; it will be outrageously expensive and difficult even by solar sorcery standards; and odds are it will be a wild, barely controlled working (check the Core, page 488).

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Loving the Gorgon View Post
              This is actually great information to have access to because it gives me the "natural recovery rate" - almost a millenium for 10 miles WITH dedicated life affirming rituals and stuff carried out there. That's interesting.
              Don't forget 'With assistance of the Gods of Health and Luck'.

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              • #8
                Ex2 but i dont see why it would not still be the case in Ex3.

                In Compass of the terrestial Direction Page 11:

                The Solar Deliberative quarantined Darkmist Isle,
                where the shadowland sat. They were unable to heal
                the world’s wound, even after later research resulted in
                sorceries and geomantic techniques that could banish
                shadowlands from Creation.

                So, sorcery and geomantic techniques seem to be both valid solutions.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Loving the Gorgon View Post

                  Yeah, the problem is these are Essence 1 (nearly Essence 2) characters. They only have access to Terrestrial sorcery atm. That's 100 miles though, this is like a 1-5 square mile area that JUST flipped. How intense would cleanup be on that?
                  Sweeping, kingdom changing sorcery is Solar.

                  Opening a small shadowland is Celestial 3. But as a 2E-head that feels more like Necromancy to me and closing one should be easier?
                  Closing a newly formed one should be easier still. I say Celestial 1. Difficulty 5, goal 25, Three months a roll... they'll have it done in a year.

                  You could ask in the sorcerous workings thread.

                  Would it be possible to RP the fight scene after the death of a Solar as the area "in flux" between Shadowland? Like if it breaks all the way is determined by if they stop the force causing it or not? More of a speed of plot type thing.
                  It's your game. Two things matter: do you want it to happen and does it tell a good story?

                  Sounds awesome to me. I'd have any victory be bittersweet and any failure not be total. Have the successfully averted shadowland work like the Terrestrial 3 underworld communication working. Or have the newly formed shadowland protected by the PC ghost.
                  Originally posted by Synapse View Post
                  I am particularly fond of the idea that shadowlands are unstable, even if lasting. On a "normal" balance of influences, where most days go by as usual without massacres of seeping underworld phenomena, it should fade away over the centuries. By this metric you can think up events and circumstances that would make it grow, or shrink faster. A massive battle would expand it. The local populace engaging in dyonisian festivals covering entire weeks of the year would shrink it.
                  Ah but things do die. I think of it like a dam: if it's not breached it's not breached, but once you get a trickle things are only going to get worse.
                  Last edited by JohnDoe244; 08-18-2019, 04:58 AM.


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

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                  • #10
                    Things do die, and my posited opinion accounted for that. I prefer to think of the related phenomena to be fairly in balance with each other, for if they weren't shadowlands would either expand or shrink much faster. The underworld has some sort of "taint-like" advantage in that race, or at least phenomenal inertia, but a "default" shadowland won't just pop in and expand, something atypical has to be present.

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                    • #11
                      Salt is highly useful in blocking the dead, and can be used to seal off shadowlands in large enough quantities as well. The trick is in paying a small fortune, getting it all where it needs to go, and laying it out.

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                      • #12
                        Even just a Terrestrial working could be used to help reduce the risk of a shadowland forming---or, if that gets overpowered by other factors, hobble its size when it does form (in which case you should arguably refund most if not all the XP cost of the working). Likewise, workings to gradually gnaw away at an extant shadowland seem perfectly workable, especially since we know a Solar working could undo a big swath of shadowland. Geomancy and manses could also be the method themselves, and/or serve as Means.


                        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.

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                        • #13
                          Maybe something to revisit later while putting in motion things to stop it from spreading like life affirming rituals . It’s not really meant to be something easily solved by starting characters. They can certainly get a head start on bureaucracy and logistics of it if they are going to stay there and make it their priority however as long as it’s not spewing out hordes of undead from underworld it wouldn’t usually be a priority for a level 1 circle there are usually plenty of more mundane threats and challenges to solve like rampaging monsters Slavers evil rulers etc. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

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                          • #14
                            Hmmm... If you want a dramatic thing they can do as the Shadowland opens, I’d say that there should probably be some dangerous ghosts on the other side who have been trying to push their way through. This gives some additional opponents to fight and you can say that driving them back will close the breach.

                            Alternately, you could say that there’s a special ritual that can be done with either salt or sprouting grain that can heal a Shadowland if performed before the next sunset. Figure some combination of Occult and Performance rolls might be required. And then you can do some geomantic stuff to firm up the boundary.

                            Abridged Craft rules for buildings and geomancy are in text boxes in the Craft rules section of the 3e core, btw.


                            ....

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                            • #15
                              Containing a Shadowland actually has a nice sort of dramatic for it as a starting point, ensure it doesn't grow larger and limit what can crawl out and such. Then of course they need to do stuff to ensure that the sealing procedures don't just get blown away and the like. Then of course later materials can be used towards reduction or an actual seal on the place.

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