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Exalts and their areas of expertise

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  • #16
    This all feels based on this need to prop up an Exalt by saying how they aren't the other Exalt, which is kind of what I feel 3e is getting away from. I also think the OP is asking something a bit too broad of a question since the different Exalted in this edition I would say are about having area sof expertise save just being really good at doing the things that Exalt is generally themed around, without this real big plan to have it be compartmentalized or have to fit with one another in such away that if a Solar does it, Lunars can't or vice-versa. They just focus on different ways to achieve their goals thorugh their various thematics.


    And stuff.
    My DeviantArt Page // My tumblr // Exalted 3e Houserules

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Alistair View Post


      Not quite. The shapeshifting aspect yes, but not the unbeatable companion part. Lunars are waaaaaaay better at seducing than anyone else is right now. Also at scaring.
      Thousand Courtesan Ways and Rose Lipped Seduction style disagree.


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

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      • #18
        [IMG]https://www.akronzoo.org/Data/Sites/...nda-hero-1.jpg[/IMG]

        Lunars can be red pandas. That´s a power no other Exalt could ever hope to surpass

        Edit: Could someone explain to me how to add images to my posts? It says I´m not allowed to add attachments

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        • #19
          True. The Red Panda Lunar PC in my game was very popular.


          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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          • #20
            My current PC is a Red Panda Trickster, so I may be biased :P

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Blaque View Post
              This all feels based on this need to prop up an Exalt by saying how they aren't the other Exalt, which is kind of what I feel 3e is getting away from. I also think the OP is asking something a bit too broad of a question since the different Exalted in this edition I would say are about having area sof expertise save just being really good at doing the things that Exalt is generally themed around, without this real big plan to have it be compartmentalized or have to fit with one another in such away that if a Solar does it, Lunars can't or vice-versa. They just focus on different ways to achieve their goals thorugh their various thematics.
              I sort of agree in that I feel like there is a bit of this not really needed but still present need to justify non Solars being viable, but am having a hard time articulating my counterpoint.

              Yes we all know anyone who isn't a Solar will never be as good as one when they go hard on a thing and DB are weak compared to them and Lunars. And come Sidereals (and Exigents with their example charm sets too for that matter) we'll be re-litigating this discussion once more. But at the same time I have found the talks help me personally understand the game a bit better. I came on 3e with DB and was never super mechanically savvy so I like the breakdowns and comparisons and niche discussion this prompts. I'm way more bullish on DB and Lunars than JohnDoe is but he and the simian love specialist have probably been some of the best resources for here on this forum to take notes off of.

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              • #22
                I feel like mechanically speaking, Solars are the best at specialization: a solar Melee master might well be one of the best Melee combatants in the world, but they might not be any good with a bow.
                Conversely, Lunars are best at adaptability. Did your sword get flung off a cliff? No problem, I've got a bow. Run out of arrows? Just transform in a bear and maul your enemy. Lunars can use shapeshifting and their attribute-based charms to have relevant magic in nearly every situation, whereas a Solar will require specific tools or situations for their magic to function.
                The Dragon-Blooded aren't the best at anything (they have elemental prowess), but they've got strength in numbers and teamwork.

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                • #23
                  In addition to the mechanical area of expertise, it might be worth considering an Exalted's area of expertise in terms of setting and story. For example a Dragon Blooded, as one of the Princes of the Earth, is going to tend to receive a very different (and probably much better) reception in much of Creation than a Solar or Lunar or Abyssal Anathema or a Sidereal who is forced to don on a Resplendent Destiny or Liminals when their true nature comes out.

                  So I think there could be an argument that, "interacting with the general setting," is sort of an area of expertise for the Dragon Blooded, whereas many other Exalted types are going to encounter various problems (whether mechanical or social) due to their Exalted type when they try to deal with the general setting.

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                  • #24
                    Yeah, I agree. You don't need to use social charms as much when you anima-flare and people consider you an enlightened demigod, compared to the Solar who flares and everyone screams they're a demon.

                    You can also argue that an area Dragonblood excel is money, land, social contacts, and artefacts, that they've inherited or are given. Even Dragonblood who are not nobles of Lookshy, Prasad or the Realm have a much higher than average likelihood of having a great-grandma who was a famous hero and built a fortune, and left them her magic sword which no-one could lift until they took up its power.


                    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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                    • #25
                      Unless, you know, you're playing in the Threshold and you're seen as an oppressor from the evil empire the locals want to overthrow. And the little matter of Deeb anima flares killing the locals and burning their village to the ground.

                      Even teamwork is kinda "meh". Compare War Lion Stance with Flame Warden Stance: a Solar can Reflexively defend her team mates, scene long, cancelling all Parry penalties whereas a Deeb is spending 2i to use a Simple charm for that scene-long, cancelling only Onslaught penalties and only if the Parry was successful. Solars are WAY better at teamwork than Deebs in 3E -- look at their training, spirit tag-teaming and protection from the Wyld Charms if you're still unconvinced.

                      Deebs are king of having +80% Merit points at Character Creation. Which, sure, you can leverage into social advantage or artifacts. And Fangs makes a nice #NotAllTerrestrials point about Lunar enmity (they don't hate Deebs, they just hate The Realm and the Heirs To The Shogunate... oh... wait...). But in my experience you're no more likely to be loved (or less likely to be feared and hated) because you're a Deeb not an Anathema. (And you've got all the baggage of Terrestrial politicking, especially Dynasts.)

                      Dynasts are best for games about politics and intrigue (privilege, prejudice and power). But they're not the best at politics and intrigue -- and that's a big distinction. Likewise, Deebs need teamwork to survive, but now Terrestrial Reinforcement is gone, they're not the best at teamwork.


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

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                      • #26
                        I think maybe better than talking about where each exalt shines in terms of powers, exactly, it might be better to say what kinds of stories they're good at telling, because their entire charmset and place in the setting are written towards THOSE ends. So with that in mind...

                        Solars

                        Solars are really best at telling big stories, like super mega huge stories. They're stories about major players doing things, often alone, that could end the whole world. Either that or stories about fighting the whole world. If you want a tale about a group of 4 people descending into the world-body of a dead titan and breaking its hold on the underworld that's a Solar thing. It isn't trivial for them to do so, there are many powers in the world of Exalted that can crush a Solar, but with a careful application of their strength, patience, and some luck they have a better chance than most. Especially with their Supernal powers they can bring to bear strengths unmatched by anyone currently in Creation.

                        They're also good at stories involving returning power, but that's not always a good thing. As antagonists a Solar is an ancient threat that's slumbered in the world for 2000 years. Think of them like the Exalted equivalent of the pillar men, or some ancient race awakened on a newly discovered island. Sometimes those themes can even be crossed if you're Solars fighting other Solars. Two supreme returning powers clashing in a world that wasn't ready for them. Maybe the only thing that can stop the bad Solars is the good Solars, the ancient evil and the ancient protectors are one and the same. It's an explicitly stated theme for Exalted.

                        Of course another common trope is to have ancient factions at odds with one another sideswept by unexpected and underestimated newcomers. See the Terrans in the Starcraft universe. Or another way it might go is that now, without a place for the Solars, things like the Silver Pact are in a perfect position to not let them regain that kind of power. Never before has there been a huge bloc of elder lunars ready to receive, guide and manipulate an entirely fresh faced Solar host. The world has changed.


                        Lunars

                        Lunars have an enormous and wide variety of powers that let them go and be where they please, and be at home there. Shapeshifting is a big part of it, of course. For Lunar circles to take to the sea, or the air, or climates so cold that exposed skin will suffer frostbite in less than five minutes, or forests so dark and tangled as to be a labyrinth of green, it's all the same. Even if they don't already have a form for it they can hunt one easily enough. So their stories just go anywhere.

                        It isn't just shapeshifting though, or the boundaries of inhuman climates. They infiltrate into any and every place that they want, and twist things as an outsider within. It can make them heroic tricksters just as much as terrifying face-stealing foes. They are also particularly good at telling stories with deep connections. You can have Lunars who are so connected to the land that it hurts and dies when the Lunar does, or so connected to a culture that she becomes the living avatar of all that culture means.

                        So with Lunars the stories almost always have an element of freedom and mobility. Nothing is off limits, and the characters don't have to choose anything because they can do everything. They're also in unique positions in the setting to be able to do this, as their nations are outsider groups from the only superpower in the world, living beyond the horizon. Even their style of governing mimics this, groups of ad-hoc respected elders gathering for councils of equals and squashing debates between peers. It's a system with only two official levels and that can cause some friction.


                        Dragonblooded

                        Terrestrial exalted are kind of the polar opposite of Lunars for most of their stories. Each individual DB is a big fish in the ocean of the Realm or Lookshy, if those are the DBs you're making. Their charms don't give them the kind of universal power that Solars get, or the refreshing freedom of Lunars. They have strong elemental ties, almost making them 5 related exalts rather than 1 exalt split up five ways. They sacrifice versatility for power even within their own charmsets, or visa versa, and often rely on teamwork or the environment.

                        Institutionally they're powerhouses. As members of Realm or Lookshy mobility they won't ever really lack the power to do anything, the challenge comes in wielding that power. The cogs of bureaucracy, politics, research, duty and blood ties are all tangled up with eachother so much that it makes it hard to focus. Because of that each Terrestrial character finds things like lineage, personal ties, history and reputation to be incredibly important.

                        From the antagonist side it makes them a monolithic enemy. The Realm isn't just a bunch of elemental samurai, they have a vast network spies, an expertly trained and disciplined force of priests to enforce their religion, obscene resource and revenue streams that allow the purchase of almost anything, ships, ancient artifacts, and forgotten sorceries. They can use that to hit you with a thousand fists at once, buying allies away from you, taking away your land, and just smashing legions through your heart. Which is pretty bad coming from the outside like Lunars and Solars do, but for DB protagonists it gets a lot hazier since alliances are easier and more common, and you have others close to you to think about, always.




                        None of that is to pidgeonhole any one type of exalt into any one type of campaign, but it is harder. Dragonblooded are badass, but they just lack the kind of raw, personal power to challenge a Great House without help from big groups of people and often other exalts, and a Solar trying to play Realm politics has the sword of damocles hanging over her head because impersonating Dragonblooded is hard and if found out she'll die.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                          Unless, you know, you're playing in the Threshold and you're seen as an oppressor from the evil empire the locals want to overthrow. And the little matter of Deeb anima flares killing the locals and burning their village to the ground.
                          I feel like that's a problem with the books portraying the Immaculate Faith from a very Solar perspective. The Realm book is WAAAY better at presenting it from a Realm perspective at least. Basically everyone in the Realm, and most of the people in Realm satrapies are earnest believers in the Immaculate Faith. In fact even a lot of places that hate the Realm believe in the faith, they just think that those particular dragonblooded who've been put in charge of them are not following the right path. Or like Prasad, which has an immaculate heresy but they still worship the dragonblooded.

                          Playing way out in the hinterlands far beyond Realm reach is where Solar games should be taking place without too much fear. Anywhere else though and the fact that you can't flare your anima banner should feel oppressive. I remember a few 2e games I played in where somebody messed up and flared in a city and we spent months, both in and out of game, keeping as low a profile as possible as to not get caught out.

                          That's a really really weird thing to ask of a ST who's new to exalted though, and even ones who aren't might be hesitant to enforce that because it feels punishing. "Okay, so your PCs here, everyone in the world hates and fears them, if they show signs of their power in any populated area somebody WILL rat them out to an authority in the Realm, who will proceed to send a cadre of professional assassins after them immediately. Possibly with the assistance of Sidereal Exalted. So basically they only get to use their fun anima powers deep underground or such places, and only when alone." Like that just feels like the game is telling you to be a shitty DM, coming from DnD.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post

                            Thousand Courtesan Ways and Rose Lipped Seduction style disagree.

                            You clearly have not seen Lunar seduction Charms in action if you think those two are better than what they have. Rose Lipped works to seduce things that would normally not be seduce-able, and TCW is a mess in how it works but let's assume it lets you flurry two social influence actions at once without penalty, as long as one of them is seductive.

                            Meanwhile, Lunars make everyone out to Short or Medium range from them attracted to them (or if incompatible, friendly), can cause immense bacchanalias just by inspiring people with lust, can make someone love them so much that they become unable to form any memories that are not related to their time together, can call people in love with them to their side in dreams or otherwise create long-term mental connections with them, can ruin them so that all other Ties of love and lust are eroded until only obsession for them remains, and so on so forth. Solars don't come even close.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Alistair View Post


                              You clearly have not seen Lunar seduction Charms in action if you think those two are better than what they have. Rose Lipped works to seduce things that would normally not be seduce-able, and TCW is a mess in how it works but let's assume it lets you flurry two social influence actions at once without penalty, as long as one of them is seductive.

                              Meanwhile, Lunars make everyone out to Short or Medium range from them attracted to them (or if incompatible, friendly), can cause immense bacchanalias just by inspiring people with lust, can make someone love them so much that they become unable to form any memories that are not related to their time together, can call people in love with them to their side in dreams or otherwise create long-term mental connections with them, can ruin them so that all other Ties of love and lust are eroded until only obsession for them remains, and so on so forth. Solars don't come even close.
                              While it's probably not good for me to get into a discussion of 3e Lunars, the fact that Solar Charms are, by this point, really damned old might play into this discrepancy. It's been four years or so since the core dropped for backers, and there's been a change in the approach of writing Charms. Solars are defined by being incomparable in human endeavors, so it would stand to reason that they probably wouldn't lose out to Lunars in a "seduction arena" in any edition if that's a Solar's focus. As the parody Star Trek TNG twitter had it, "A delegation of alien hummingbirds secretly plans to drink Wesley. It's difficult, but Riker manages to hook up with one."

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Alistair View Post


                                You clearly have not seen Lunar seduction Charms in action if you think those two are better than what they have. Rose Lipped works to seduce things that would normally not be seduce-able, and TCW is a mess in how it works but let's assume it lets you flurry two social influence actions at once without penalty, as long as one of them is seductive.

                                Meanwhile, Lunars make everyone out to Short or Medium range from them attracted to them (or if incompatible, friendly), can cause immense bacchanalias just by inspiring people with lust, can make someone love them so much that they become unable to form any memories that are not related to their time together, can call people in love with them to their side in dreams or otherwise create long-term mental connections with them, can ruin them so that all other Ties of love and lust are eroded until only obsession for them remains, and so on so forth. Solars don't come even close.
                                I think some of those are a bit atypical of how the term "seduction" would be applied.

                                I think some of what you're talking about touches of of my point that Solars can go for a thing with more directness and less arcane setup. If a Solar wants to seduce a person, here defined as a one on one interaction in pursuit of initiating intimacy, they've got a few specifically focused Charms and a number of other social powers that can combine to make their capacity to do that very powerful. The Charms don't elaborate on the subject any more than that.

                                The characteristics of the Lunar Exalted are more concerned with a kind of sexual magnetism, and so make it more apparent in their Charms, but are the parts concerned with socially initiating it stronger than what Solars have? Are the more esoteric parts not often things that Solars can do similar to with a broader applicability? The past about inducing obsessive mental illness I'll grant does not have a comparable Solar power, but I'm dubious about framing that as an indication of being a better seducer so much as interpreting seduction through the lens of being a night monster.

                                Mind, Solars can use sex to instill a temporary Defining Tie of lust, so make of that what you will.

                                I don't think it translates to a thing that Lunars are better at so much as something with a bit more elaboration and a framework in which some general social skills are depicted, because it's part of the distinct Lunar picture. Not superior, just casting about it more.

                                That said, I think the "consort" angle holds more water in terms of ways in which Lunars relate to and empower others in a way that doesn't quite translate to Solars. That's a side where is look on it in terms of Solars being seductive and sexual for the sake of pursuing intimate relations, and Lunars doing that stuff in pursuit of a wider variety of ends. I wouldn't phase that in terms of one being better than the other, since I find that reductive and creating skewed expectations.


                                I have approximate knowledge of many things.
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