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  • #61
    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
    Incidentally, DO you prefer your Lunar games to be set in the heart of Dragonblooded power? Like if given the choice to play a game set in The Empire of the Bear or the Imperial City would you just not bother with the former?
    The Threshold is the setting for me. I'm mot saying the game has to be set in the Scavenger Lands but it has to be someplace dynamic where [I'm/the PCs are] not going to be overshadowed by elder Exalts.

    I like the idea of a game set in Iscomay (which claims to be descended from the Shogunate so kind of an odd choice), because True Voice isn't in charge. You can realistically make big changes.

    A game set on the Blessed Isle has a lot of inertia, whether you're a Deeb or a Lunar. Your campaign is likely to be fruitless. No fruit for John. It's not an interesting location to me.

    (But if you're running a game about finding your way into the Imperial Manse, then count me in -- that's exactly the kind of baller move I want my character to be making. Solar, Lunar, Dragon-Blooded -- yes to all!)


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

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    • #62
      Other than the end of my 2nd ed game, where the PCs chased Walker in Darkness and his Abyssals through the Imperial Manse, past the Silent Legion, traps, and a whole bunch of dead Sidereals who'd murdered each other...
      I've never sent my Celestial PCs to the Blessed Isle.

      I used to play a ton of Dragonblood, and we had some stuff in the Blessed Isle, but actually even those games were mostly in the Threshold, defending satrapies or conquering lands to make satrapies.
      (To be fair, 2nd ed Blessed Isle was really dull. 3rd ed is much better... but I suspect DB games will still have a majority of their action in the Threshold)


      But even in the Threshold, Dragonblood are still much more likely to be able to walk up to local notables and make a Persuade attempt based on a major intimacy, which can't be blocked until they have an equivalent opposite intimacy (which they can't have already used to boost their Resolve), whereas Solars and Lunars are more likely to have to do it on hard mode; throwing on new intimacies (easily blockable with a willpower), making multiple rolls (which might mean lots of motes; your Solar presence-monkey might be happy to throw 20 dice on one roll, but what about 4?).

      Obviously it depends where you are: if you're in the middle of Mahalanka, it's going to be inverted, with Lunars finding Persuade easy and Dragonblood not. (As for Solars... I guess they're pretty confusing for a while, and then Raksi comes for them).
      But generally speaking.
      Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 09-08-2019, 08:32 AM.


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      Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng

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      • #63
        Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
        A game set on the Blessed Isle has a lot of inertia, whether you're a Deeb or a Lunar. Your campaign is likely to be fruitless.

        "You've been talking about this civil war for forty years now Mnemon; either get a move on or shut up about it."


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        • #64
          Hmmm... I guess you could argue that there's inertia for war; ie it's very difficult to stop the war. But I think it's complex.

          Anyway, certainly the Blessed Isle is an area going towards flux and chaos, just like everywhere else. I still think though that most games are not going to be set there, or at least not for most of the chronicle (though as I said, better than 2nd ed).
          Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 09-08-2019, 08:36 AM.


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          Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng

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          • #65
            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

            "You've been talking about this civil war for forty years now Mnemon; either get a move on or shut up about it."
            Pretty much.

            Either the Realm stays ever on 768 (at the verge of civil war) or it descends into civil war (and Mnemon or the Roseblack become Empress). There's nothing you can do to stop the civil war, or even really change the outcome. Anything you try to do to change the status quo is opposed by ten thousand Exalts and their secret masters in heaven. Anything you do try to shore up the status quo is opposed by the Realm sliding into chaos.

            You can't steer the Titanic because it's hit the iceberg. You can try to bail out the Titanic, but you can't fix the giant hole. You can't kill everyone on the Titanic because the rich ladies are already sitting in the lifeboats with their furs.

            It's a fixed point.

            Maybe you can find Scarlet or hack the Sword of Creation. But most games I've played keep the Realm perpetually on the edge of civil war.


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

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            • #66
              Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
              Pretty much.

              Either the Realm stays ever on 768 (at the verge of civil war) or it descends into civil war (and Mnemon or the Roseblack become Empress). There's nothing you can do to stop the civil war, or even really change the outcome. Anything you try to do to change the status quo is opposed by ten thousand Exalts and their secret masters in heaven. Anything you do try to shore up the status quo is opposed by the Realm sliding into chaos.

              You can't steer the Titanic because it's hit the iceberg. You can try to bail out the Titanic, but you can't fix the giant hole. You can't kill everyone on the Titanic because the rich ladies are already sitting in the lifeboats with their furs.

              It's a fixed point.

              Maybe you can find Scarlet or hack the Sword of Creation. But most games I've played keep the Realm perpetually on the edge of civil war.
              Eh, I don't quite agree with that, if you're playing Dynasts anyway. You can pause the war, though probably not for ever. And you probably can steer who wins. Sure, there's loads of DBs trying to get the result they want... but they all want different results (as do the Bronze Faction, especially if Chejop dies, which in 2nd ed he was a year from doing). So you can tip it one way or the other.

              In the DB game I used to play, Mnemon died, one PC married Ejava, but in the end another PC became Empress (Ejava was one of her generals, not Empress). Then the PCs fought a second civil war for who should control the Imperial court, and in the end came to a kind of status quo with PCs running half the ministries and House Pelleps (the Empress's house) and V'neef (the mother of the PC who married Ejava) running the other.

              In the Solar/Lunar game I ran, the PCs interfered with various stuff in such a way that led to Ragara nearly becoming Emperor (they sent him a peach of immortality), then they got manouevered into letting Ledaal Kes into the Imperial Manse and he declared himself Emperor (after murdering Poromo, which he blamed the PCs for). Then later he got overthrown and V'neef became Empress.

              It's on a fine edge, with a lot of different ways to go, and the PCs can tip things one way or the other. Not easy, but doable. Depends on your ST to some extent of course, and the power level of the PCs.


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              Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng

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              • #67
                Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                Mnemon or the Roseblack become Empress. There's nothing you can do to stop the civil war, or even really change the outcome.
                Killing both of them would put a hamper on those outcomes.

                ​(Moreover, my read of the 3e DB book doesn't seem to list those two as the only possible contenders, either.)
                Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 09-08-2019, 10:11 AM.

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                  Killing both of them would put a hamper on those outcomes.

                  ​(Moreover, my read of the 3e DB book doesn't seem to list those two as the only possible contenders, either.)
                  Agreed. In fact, I think a couple of contenders could pose a more likely option than the Roseblack at this point. Mnemon seems the most qualified, but then that's also why it's going to be really hard for her to do it subtly.
                  But agreed with the Count... saying that they are the only two options isn't the case, especially in a game set on the Isle where this is a major plot point: the ST has a lot of leverage to make certain groups or individuals more capable of seizing the throne.

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post

                    Either the Realm stays ever on 768 (at the verge of civil war) or it descends into civil war (and Mnemon or the Roseblack become Empress). There's nothing you can do to stop the civil war, or even really change the outcome. Anything you try to do to change the status quo is opposed by ten thousand Exalts and their secret masters in heaven. Anything you do try to shore up the status quo is opposed by the Realm sliding into chaos.
                    That seems like assuming defeat from the get go. The Realm descending into a civil war to me as a GM says this is the prime time for the players, be they dynasts or Solars or Lunars or whatever, to step in and start influencing things. Yes if you're char gen at the start you'll have to work up to that in time but a real good sengoku jidai kind of collapse is hardly going to take a few months to shake out or anything.

                    I really, really firmly disagree with this read on a story level. That is where opportunity for players to make the most change exist.

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by wern212 View Post
                      Agreed. In fact, I think a couple of contenders could pose a more likely option than the Roseblack at this point.
                      One thing I found interesting about 3rd ed Dragonblood and the Realm is that Ejava seems to be way less emphasised in 3rd ed than she was in 2nd ed.


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                      My Exalted characters:
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                      Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                        Pretty much.

                        Either the Realm stays ever on 768 (at the verge of civil war) or it descends into civil war (and Mnemon or the Roseblack become Empress). There's nothing you can do to stop the civil war, or even really change the outcome. Anything you try to do to change the status quo is opposed by ten thousand Exalts and their secret masters in heaven. Anything you do try to shore up the status quo is opposed by the Realm sliding into chaos.
                        That's what PCs are for! Yeah there's house matriarchs who are super powerful and well connected, but that's usually the nature of RPGs and a lot of modern storytelling in general, you punch up not down. If you want you could set your DB game in one of the ministries or other organizations to keep the empire together. The Magistracy, the All-Seeing-Eye and the Deliberative are all great places to do that, or even any of the ministries.

                        The Deliberative in the time of the Empress had mostly illusory power, held in check with the Empress's hand on the tiller and her personally loyal agents seeded through it. With her gone though, the Deliberative is the only remaining imperial legislative body in the Realm. You might be on a campaign to make a new Empress not even a thing, and just have house appointed senators take control of the entire government. That's definitely not status quo but it could save the empire.

                        You might even do a huge overhaul where senators elect an Empress or something, make up your own style of new government and forge it out of what's there. Alexander Hamilton was only 21 when the declaration of independence was signed, and he had a pretty exciting part in all that. It's not easy, that's for sure, but that's why it's a campaign.

                        Or just alternatively if something super mega crazy shit is happening like a Yozi is being summoned into Creation, rallying the Realm to go send thousands of Dragonblooded to defeat is is a pretty baller campaign idea.

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                          Pretty much.

                          Either the Realm stays ever on 768 (at the verge of civil war) or it descends into civil war (and Mnemon or the Roseblack become Empress). There's nothing you can do to stop the civil war, or even really change the outcome. Anything you try to do to change the status quo is opposed by ten thousand Exalts and their secret masters in heaven. Anything you do try to shore up the status quo is opposed by the Realm sliding into chaos.

                          You can't steer the Titanic because it's hit the iceberg. You can try to bail out the Titanic, but you can't fix the giant hole. You can't kill everyone on the Titanic because the rich ladies are already sitting in the lifeboats with their furs.

                          It's a fixed point.

                          Maybe you can find Scarlet or hack the Sword of Creation. But most games I've played keep the Realm perpetually on the edge of civil war.
                          The inability to see the story potential in the largest empire in Creation descending into civil war—and how said war will be felt through the whole world, as resources are recalled or satrapies are drained more and others make their play for independence or power—is certainly a statement. Further not seeing how historically civil wars are unpredictable blazes in the post Game of thrones world is impressive.


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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                            Pretty much.
                            There's so much fine work in What Fire Has Wrought and The Realm that you're just letting go to waste.

                            Never mind the unimaginative approach to the process of participating in the build up to and procedure of the civil war.

                            If one is playing... well, any inhabitant of the Blessed Isle, really, but especially a member of the ruling clans, civil war isn't just something that happens to other people. It is something that folks invest deeply in by default, virtually impossible not to, and it completely shatters their familiar world more than any other form of war. The majority of civil wars leave scars of division that persist in their society for generations, to some extent or another, so even a depiction of it as something one and done and everybody resume the status quo... More than being uninspired, I find it almost offensive.

                            ("Anything you try to do is opposed by ten thousand Exalted? Can you not think of something to do that is not so provocative that it manages to get the attention and unite all of them at a time when they're literally splintering along a dozen different factional lines? Maybe also find some appeals other characters who share your same priorities, and build up a faction of your own? Or do something extraordinary to build up your cred and disregard lot of the ten thousand to focus more on the people at the top of the pyramid?)
                            Last edited by Isator Levi; 09-09-2019, 06:59 AM.


                            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)

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Epee102 View Post
                              The inability to see the story potential in the largest empire in Creation descending into civil war—and how said war will be felt through the whole world, as resources are recalled or satrapies are drained more and others make their play for independence or power—is certainly a statement. Further not seeing how historically civil wars are unpredictable blazes in the post Game of thrones world is impressive.
                              Is it a story you want to tell?
                              Is it a story that gives agency to the PCs?
                              Is it a story that makes sense in the canon?

                              In my experience, I've never been part of a Realm Civil War game that hit all three notes. I've had PCs rule the Realm as the new Elemental Dragon of Earth (pre and post RotSE). I've seen my Essence 4 nobody take Mnemon's head. I put Kes on the throne after a 22 month campaign. It was a grind. It was implausible. It was boring.

                              If you want to show me how it's done, I've got half a dozen Dynasts rolled up and ready to go. But I've yet to see a Realm Civil War game that makes sense and wasn't a soul-destroying grind.

                              How your Essence 2 nobodies tip the scales of ten thousand dragons led by centuries old elders, plausibly, is something I lack the ability to see.

                              It's like a D&D game where the King entrusts the safety of the land to four Level 1 bozos who met in a tavern twenty minutes ago.

                              (And Game of Thrones was a civil war story of the Starks overthrowing the Lannisters. Spoiler alert: it ends with a Stark king.)
                              Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                              That's what PCs are for!
                              I don't like the idea that PCs are, by virtue of being PCs, better than everyone else.

                              I like the idea that characters who are better than everyone else are appropriate for PCs.

                              I prefer a world where other people matter to a world where NPCs exist to make the PCs look good.
                              Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                              Can you not think of something to do that
                              I can't think of something the PCs can do that any given Kinship of NPCs can't do, and that an experienced Kinship of NPCs couldn't do better.

                              Why should the PCs be able to break into the Imperial Manse when Mnemon and V’Neef Bijar can't. And if they can then how in the heck do the PCs break in before them?

                              ****

                              Which is why I like Solars (well, I prefer Infernals). A Solar(oid) can do things that other NPCs literally can't (especially Infernals).

                              How come your Solars can break into the Sword of Creation when only one Dragon-Blooded ever managed it in thousands of years? Because you're Solars!

                              But then, Solars lack most of the hooks that make a Realm Civil War game interesting. (And there's no way I'm playing as a Dragon-Blooded who Exalts again as a Solar -- that 3E nonsense flies in the face of everything the Exalted are supposed to be.)
                              Last edited by JohnDoe244; 09-09-2019, 01:23 PM.


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

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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                                Is it a story you want to tell?
                                Is it a story that gives agency to the PCs?
                                Is it a story that makes sense in the canon?

                                In my experience, I've never been part of a Realm Civil War game that hit all three notes. I've had PCs rule the Realm as the new Elemental Dragon of Earth (pre and post RotSE). I've seen my Essence 4 nobody take Mnemon's head. I put Kes on the throne after a 22 month campaign. It was a grind. It was implausible. It was boring.

                                If you want to show me how it's done, I've got half a dozen Dynasts rolled up and ready to go. But I've yet to see a Realm Civil War game that makes sense and wasn't a soul-destroying grind.

                                How your Essence 2 nobodies tip the scales of ten thousand dragons led by centuries old elders, plausibly, is something I lack the ability to see.

                                It's like a D&D game where the King entrusts the safety of the land to four Level 1 bozos who met in a tavern twenty minutes ago.

                                (And Game of Thrones was a civil war story of the Starks overthrowing the Lannisters. Spoiler alert: it ends with a Stark king.)

                                I don't like the idea that PCs are, by virtue of being PCs, better than everyone else.

                                I like the idea that characters who are better than everyone else are appropriate for PCs.

                                I prefer a world where other people matter to a world where NPCs exist to make the PCs look good.
                                Well, how do thirteen colonies with a ragtag army of inexperienced, unprofessional youth soldiers battle the single greatest empire the world has ever seen? Outnumbered four to one by professional soldiers backed by a global navy and more money than they know what to do with. Put like that it makes the Americans look like a bunch of uninteresting Mary Sue characters who could never lose no mater the odds.

                                But it didn’t really go down like that. The Brits made massive missteps in their side of the war effort, fighting a political and physical war at once, and on several sides with the Spanish and French doing their damnedest to interfere. Thinking House Matriarchs can’t be outmaneuvered because they’re just to awesome is probably exactly what the Solars thought at the height of their power before they were butchered almost to the last by the Dragonblooded. The whole point is that you don’t do t on you’re own, even an entire circle of Solars couldn’t do it on their own. That doesn’t mean you’re not the most important players though, especially if you were the one to unify them.

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