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  • Originally posted by nalak42 View Post

    Oh no issues. Nobilis is a fun game when one is in the mood (or can figure out character creation.) Though I admit I prefer Chuubo to Nobilis just because the angle I've always approached it from.

    "In Exalted you have world-shaking power and are off to use power that scares gods to make the world better. Chuubo you have world-shaking power and your goal for today is getting ice cream because 'F*ck yes ice cream!'" Being in the mood is important, but fun is always the important part in these games. :3
    That reminds me! In two of the games I've played before everyone dropped the Reclaimation mission to go find the best noodle store in town as a bit of an in-joke. The first time it was resolved by the Slayer and the Scourge having a brawl in the debated noodle store, which ended with the Scourge being nearly drowned in the terrified vendor's vat. The second time, the Malefactor just wished up an ideal noodle store with Bestowal of Accursed Fortune to stop the cavalcade of really bad social combat rolls by the other Infernals at each other.

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    • Originally posted by Guitar Longcat View Post

      I dunno. It's really hard to guage hypotheticals-and they are all hypothetical in the end, y'know? By the same token I could ask how XP gain would work for transcendent gestalt-minds that arise as an emergent property of shinmaic interactions from the chaos before time. What I don't think is that the mechanics would be so "far out" as to be untouchable by the other splats, because in the end, the Solars did win the Primordial War. It's difficult to trim it down into an analogy, but I'd put it like how having Solar Circle Sorcery and Wyld Cauldron Technique in either edition doesn't mean you automatically win all confrontations.

      Like you said it takes one really good Solar at E5 to cleave the Ebon Dragon in a single action, on his own. It would be remiss to suggest Sidereals, the Realm as a whole or for all the jokes about their jobbing Lunars wouldn't be able to stand up to them as well-especially since I remember someone running a fight between the Scarlet Empress and the Ebon Dragon which Her Redness was handily winning.
      The Exalted host did win the primordial war, but it wasn't just a big pitched battle where the two sides slugged it out. Even defeating TED took some setup. Being able to just fight a Titan like that feels wrong. It's like if you wanted to run a game about overthrowing the Realm so you just ran a combat abstracting out the various forces aligned on both sides, then roll it out and if you win the Realm falls and you pick what goes where it was. It skips over all the military planning, diplomacy, espionage, seeding revolt, champion battles, etc. It's like you're skipping the game.

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      • Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

        What if there were just rules/guidelines for primordials, and maybe the implication that if you really wanted to you could play as a group of emergent Titans coming out of the Wyld to toy with Creation? That way Infernals don't become, by a thousand miles, the most powerful and important Exalted in the setting, and it leaves it to the ST if they want to include things like groups of new Primordials popping up?

        The mechanics for playing as primordials would have to be so incredibly low resolution that it might as well just be a totally different system.
        I mean, I'd be more than happy with that. I don't actually want to play as a Primordial, but having a character who thinks they might eventually become one is a cool motivation, and very in-keeping for the villains of the setting (one of the villains, anyway...). It's a trope in itself, really, of the villain trying to awaken/become an eldritch god-being but being stopped right in the middle of the one big ritual required to pull it off. And pursuit of that path to divinity could drive some really awesome stories.

        I would probably go as far as saying there don't need to be rules for actually playing a Primordial at all. All one needs is a suggestion of what the character might do to pursue that goal, and leave it at that. If one really did need rules, it might be enough to say 'all stats can reach 10 and all Essence pools replenish at the start of every new turn' and BOOM! It's done.

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        • If you want to stat out primordials I think you’re going to have to go way bigger than that. When 3 of She Who Lives in her Name’s 10000 crystals broke, it altered reality by such a huge degree that it became impossible to imagine events that occurred before the shattering. Which, I think might help illustrate what I’m talking about here. Primordials don’t have health tracks, when you wound them they don’t get a wound penalty, you actually risk a planar catacylsm if you do it wrong. How do you make a rules set out of that?

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          • Originally posted by Lanic View Post
            I really don't think there is any reason to be so patronising or that it is nice, or that it is healthy for the discussion.
            I did try to shift gears. The question about why the proof of concept Charms in the Kickstarter preview did not cover the point really was an attempt to discern what would not or could not be captured in a new version.

            And the response to that was an assertion that the Charms would not even do what they said they would on the grounds of perceived failings of the rest of the line that were of dubious accuracy or fairness. Focused around a line of criticism of presumed errors of the future that actually accurately describe the past, in a way that seemed to have been forgotten.

            I think it says something if all of this is predicated on a play experience that never actually existed, and never arose from published materials. Something about whether there's a foundation for presuming that this kind of thing actually can be written at all or made functional in this kind of system.

            It is hard to argue the practical points of something that has never had a proof of concept to measure, although it's easy to declare that several possibilities won't measure up to it and will constitute a diminished version of it.

            Originally posted by Lanic
            Several posters tried to explain their reasons why they like Infernals with the potential of turning into Yozis and this one wasn't listed among them. This is definitely not my reason to want that.
            I didn't think that it was. It was a joke at the expense of the things being complained about being how things worked already, with a bit of a riff on how the Charms chapter of the Infernals book found space to clarify that the holes built into the Charm sets did not afflict the Yozis, because they got custom versions of each other's Charms that covered all the bases and that Infernals weren't allowed to buy.

            Which is another area that covers how the assertion that Infernal Charms were the literal Charms of Yozis had to take a backseat to them being something that functioned in a gameplay model for player characters.

            All of that being said… I do have to cop to the fact that this is an instance where I'm letting some of my problem behaviours pop up. The post as I actually wrote it is actually significantly toned down from my initial impulse about the subject, and that points to how I'm too focused on gratifying myself. Which is actually an impulse that I saw starting to pop up and wanted to avoid pursuing a lot earlier in this discussion. I don't often like it when I have some time to cool down and gain perspective (or see how it upsets people).

            I'm going to try and change gears again and actually stick to it this time.


            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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            • Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post

              Good question. I suppose what I like are the Yozi Excellencies and the unique style of the Infernal Charms. There's a thematic consistency which trumps the negatives of being 'trapped' in Charm clouds associated with only two Yozis.

              I wouldn't mind Ability-based Charms, per se, so long as they don't lose the stylistic niches the Charms currently have. My ideal solution would probably be that you could buy a wider set of Ability-based Charms that list different 'flavours' depending on which Primordial is your sponsor. E.g., the Melee Charms have an Adorjan version and a Malfeas version, both of which are subtly different in their effects and in the changes they inflict on the Infernal. You could still retain Yozi-themed Excellencies, I think (they don't literally have to be the same Charms the Primordials use, but they should feel connected to them somehow). You could possibly also have a very small group of Yozi-themed Charms (one tree of five key Charms or so) that sprout from each Yozi's Excellency and shape your character.
              Hmmm...

              The suggestion of differences between branches of Charms being subtle actually does surprise me. One thing that I've started thinking in this discussion is that there are people who presume that "Yozi inspired" Ability Charms would be or are wanted to be ones that would be visually indistinguishable from Solar Charms (and a good number of Lunar Charms) even if how they play out mechanically would be quite different.

              I personally do not want them to be so indistinguishable. I do not think that differences between branches should just be in the underlying mechanics. I think that when a Green Sun Prince is wielding the majority of their powers, it should leave a very marked impression, and that using many of their powers expands that impression to one in which these Infernal Exalted are varied and unpredictable in the displays that they put out.

              I cite the proof of concept Stealth Charms in the Kickstarter preview not merely because they're what we've got, but because I find them very exciting as an idea for strange, flamboyant, violent expressions of power through an Ability, power that forces itself on others.

              That said, Excellencies are something that I'm a bit wary of for a few reasons. For one thing, if the Castes are moving away from being tied to specific Yozis and Charms are being categorized by Ability, it raises a question of where to put them. Like, say you're a member of the Azimuth Caste, which Yozi-themed Excellency do you get? How does it interact with the fact that Caste and Favoured Abilities now? Say that you're a Melee focused Azimuth, are there issues with maximizing your excellence in Melee skill being something subordinated to circumstances mandated by a particular Yozi? Like, you're an excellent sword fighter in whatever the manner of Infernals, but you're also limited in the manner in which you're actually allowed to put all of your power into sword fighting?

              Or, to focus on the side from which there's focus on several Abilities rather than just one or two, how can it be balanced to have one purchased Excellency that can empower all of your Abilities to a great extent? Actually, for that matter, is it actually a matter of balance when Solars are getting all of their Excellencies for free? Excellencies that will be broader by far than Yozi themed ones; a Solar can automatically add dice to their cap in all Caste and Favoured Abilities and any others that they've purchased a Charm in, that they can use under any circumstances. But an Infernal... even if they get an Excellency that covers all of their Abilities for free, it's one that they can only use in specific circumstances? Or do they get at all of the Yozis, in which case there isn't really much practical distinction from the Solar automatic ones. I get the idea that there would be a lot of flavour to the premise that any given use of an Excellency is fulfilling a certain criteria, but that also sounds like a scenario in which a lot of word count is devoted to something that is ultimately perfunctory, and that's being deducted from a Charms chapter that I expect will need all of the words that it can get.

              Those are just the practical issues that I see in that idea, I'm not even going to talk about my personal perspective that the specific individual Yozis should not be too heavily privileged in the powers of Green Sun Princes.

              Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe
              The main point being that Infernal Charms just ooze (pun intended) demonic style at present, where the Solar Ability-based Charms that compare don't have the same richness. I also really like how, as you progress deeper into a cascade, it literally begins to warp you to become more like your infernal masters. But there's still scope there for nuance, even between two Scourges.
              Well, I know that there's always some subjectivity and different tastes, but I sometimes wonder if this perspective on Solar Charms is not entirely based on how the Third Edition ones read. I mean, Solar Brawl lets you turn into a damn Super Saiyan, and Melee, well, I'm admittedly a hell of a lot more endeared to Melee having looked back over its way of fulfilling the image of master swordsman, having been reacquainted with how grand that image is in having played Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice so recently.

              Seriously, Ashina Isshin is sohoho goddamn cool, and his several move sets so effectively live up to the hype that the game builds up around him while also being distinct in ways that demonstrate elements of his life and personality and you get to actually clash against it in gameplay that effectively replicates the look and feel of a cinematic duel (and then you get to use some of the signature moves yourself). And then I look back at the Melee Charms and think "oh wow, Sandstorm Wind Attack lines up so perfectly with the Dragon Flash and the Essence 5 attack Charm is basically just One Mind".

              But I digress. My point is that I find even the Solar Charms as a basis to take heart in the possibility of making vivid and interesting powers from Abilities that are distinct from those Solar Charms, although Terrestrial and Lunar ones (and even a bit of the Evocations) certainly do a lot to expand the image of what this approach to Charm development can do.

              But I think the Lunar Charms are the ones that indicate the potential for characterisation. I do have issues with the way that the Second Edition Infernal Charms mandated character paths in ways that people were forced to adhere to, while thinking there's a lot to mine from the concept of powers that can shape character development. I think that many of the Lunar Charms give examples of ways in which characterisation can grow or twist around the specific capabilities provided by Charms without the Charms themselves needing to say what they'll do to you or making their use conditional on acting in particular ways. In particular I see a lot of the Appearance and Manipulation Charms and think of how it would be hard for somebody to not become kind of an asshole if they could do those kinds of things to people, but it lets that development lie in the character at the behest of the player.

              (I also find that the apparent distinctions in the Lunar Charms further enhance the specific characterisation in the Solar ones. Indeed, I think that a contrast with Abyssal and Infernal Charms will do much the same.)

              I like the idea of part of the characterisation of Infernals being part of how their powers affect their personalities, and I think that characterisation would be stronger if they had more agency to damn themselves with it. Like, as a very rough example, if there was an Awareness Charm to enhance hearing that also harmed or distressed the Infernal and the decision to redress that with domination or violence was entirely up to them, rather than such a Charm giving you a Compulsion to attack things louder than a whisper and being forced to spend Willpower any time you did not want to. That one in particular strikes me as not just being a matter of making that Willpower expenditure into a moral choice, I suspect there would have been a lot of occasions in which having to spend a point to not go out of your way to attack loud noises would be a severe practical constraint.

              The point is that I like the concept, and think there's a more flexible way to implement it that puts character agency first.

              (Again keeping in mind that there will be no Third Edition Scourges)

              Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe
              That's the fairest comment of all: the five/six Yozi trees do have to cover a lot of ground.
              That's another thing I want to point out about those cascades; I don't think they even really try to cover a lot of ground. They look to me like staking out a particular plot of ground and going very hard at it.

              Some end up being more narrow than others, I think the Malfeas and Adorjan ones in particular had the tightest focus and most limited scope (which also ends up making the Cecylene and Pyrian ones a tad bloated in comparison), but none of them are exactly broad.

              I think that this was not very apparent in their original context, because they didn't exactly have stiff competition. Adorjan might not have had much variety, but you look at the comparable Night Caste and, errrr, you could kind of count all of the Stealth, Dodge and Larceny Charms on both hands? Maybe you needed to add a few toes?

              They weren't very broad, but they pulled it off with a lot of style, and that was something that Solars, Lunars and Dragon Blooded lacked and Sidereals had been rather curtailed in from poor implementation.

              I look at them in comparison to the scope and depth of the three Exalted Charm sets that we have now, and they definitely feel very aged. And as I've said or... possibly just alluded to, I think it would be hard to adapt those models to the current standards by broadening each Yozi because it would undermine the key mechanical premise that they were built around.

              Still, a funny realisation came from looking back on those Adorjan Charms. I look at that set of wind themed running and dodging and flash step attacking, of having an edge of sustainment on indiscriminate murder, a quality of sudden transience in the form of picking up and dropping Intimacies at will and laughing off attempted influence, and even that stuff at the margins about eroding stone.

              Even in its original context I think it ended up as a bit of a limited attempt to model something grandiose, unknowable and transcendent, but in terms of the current Edition it reads so much to me like how you'd build an Exigent. Probably one of the strongest ones, but still an Exigent.

              Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe
              I would probably tweak that by requiring (possibly even mandating) that you only have/need one Excellency, and that you don't need, say, Cecylene's Excellency to learn later Charms in that tree if you're currently a Scourge with a Malfean Urge who has the First Adorjani Excellency.
              I think I actually made a mistake before about the Excellencies. Looking back at the Charms, I'm pretty sure that most trees did not actually start at them, so you weren't that constrained by buying into the other Yozis to fill out your Charms. I'm pretty sure that the whole "you need to buy it as many times as your Essence levels" was not about gating Yozis but just keeping you from working around the limits of each Excellency by buying all five and getting about the same level of dice adding that Solars would need to pay for with 25 Charms.

              But that does bring it back to the point that now Solars get their Excellencies for free, the idea of a Yozi Excellency becomes something that is far weaker than what Solars get, especially if you only ever got one of them.

              Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe
              It was more the thematic presentation of Infernals as 'fallen Solars' from the original pitch which turned me cold.
              Over time I've come to see how that sense of them has created disdain for some people, and I feel more accepting of it as an issue. I do think that there are ways to redeem it even in that quarter; somebody earlier in the thread described the Solars in something like terms of living up to the legacy of legendary heroes who fought in the War of the Gods and built the First Age; I think there's potential in phrasing the legacy that the Green Sun Princes inherit as that of the Solars who held utter dominion within that Age, who wielded wonders like children's toys. That backstory of the Infernals won't have a literal moment of Yozis going to new Solars flush with memory of those heights and saying "you can start at the bottom and work your way back up like the rest of them, or you can have this blasphemous Essence and feel something a lot closer to that rush from the outset", but that's the principle I derive from this association between Yozis and stolen Solar Exaltations.

              It's not even a Faustian bargain, no sinister catch in the deal or obligation that the Yozis demand. If the Unconquered Sun wants to give the Solars one more shot to be their best, the Yozis very much want there to be a reminder of how they conducted themselves which caused him to turn his face, partially to make some profound conceptual point but a lot to just flip him off, and all the better if it burns ungrateful Creation to ash along the way.

              Although the Green Sun Princes themselves then get a lot of authority over how they actually wield that legacy and power, which will be predicated in several respects on the fact that they actually aren't the people who've reincarnated as them, and are not so invested in the Great Curse. I think the Infernals should have the capacity to surprise everybody and harness the veneer of ancient wizard villains to bring forth a paradise (even if it will take other humans a while to fully recognise such a strange looking one as such). After all, part of the narrative potential of the legacy of the base Solars is also asserting that they are not their predecessors, for good or ill.

              That general narrative of divine and human motive and perspective is my personal basis for liking this outlook on why the Yozis have laid claim to fifty stolen Solar Exaltations than them needing something powerful enough to use their Charms, because using their Charms often enough will make the world into an extension of Hell that they can technically slip over into.

              Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe
              having a character who thinks they might eventually become one is a cool motivation, and very in-keeping for the villains of the setting
              Yeah I absolutely think it's perfectly valid for a Green Sun Prince to look at their own powers and look across at the Yozis (something that I feel they should be privileged to do in a manner that no other being in reality is; I expect that even Solars of the First Age ended up keeping a long distance from the Yozis 99.99% of the time if only for how out of the way and unnecessary it was to go across and interact with them, and that the few who were ever motivated and audacious enough to do so were finding themselves in real mortal peril) and come away thinking "yep, I'm going to go ahead and make myself God".

              Although I don't really think it needs to be a thing with suggested mechanisms beyond the occasional setting reference or plot hook to some character engaged in some strange project in the manner that our existing information about the world throws in every now and then. Just because I think that suggesting processes makes it a bit too much of a Thing in the setting that given characters can take or leave, rather than somebody's personal quest consisting of their distinct motives and idiosyncrasies.

              Aaaaand I think that covers everything. Sorry for the length, I just wanted to be comprehensive in response to yourself.
              Last edited by Isator Levi; 12-04-2019, 07:55 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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              • Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                I did try to shift gears. The question about why the proof of concept Charms in the Kickstarter preview did not cover the point really was an attempt to discern what would not or could not be captured in a new version.

                And the response to that was an assertion that the Charms would not even do what they said they would on the grounds of perceived failings of the rest of the line that were of dubious accuracy or fairness. Focused around a line of criticism of presumed errors of the future that actually accurately describe the past, in a way that seemed to have been forgotten.

                I think it says something if all of this is predicated on a play experience that never actually existed, and never arose from published materials. Something about whether there's a foundation for presuming that this kind of thing actually can be written at all or made functional in this kind of system.

                It is hard to argue the practical points of something that has never had a proof of concept to measure, although it's easy to declare that several possibilities won't measure up to it and will constitute a diminished version of it.



                I didn't think that it was. It was a joke at the expense of the things being complained about being how things worked already, with a bit of a riff on how the Charms chapter of the Infernals book found space to clarify that the holes built into the Charm sets did not afflict the Yozis, because they got custom versions of each other's Charms that covered all the bases and that Infernals weren't allowed to buy.

                Which is another area that covers how the assertion that Infernal Charms were the literal Charms of Yozis had to take a backseat to them being something that functioned in a gameplay model for player characters.

                All of that being said… I do have to cop to the fact that this is an instance where I'm letting some of my problem behaviours pop up. The post as I actually wrote it is actually significantly toned down from my initial impulse about the subject, and that points to how I'm too focused on gratifying myself. Which is actually an impulse that I saw starting to pop up and wanted to avoid pursuing a lot earlier in this discussion. I don't often like it when I have some time to cool down and gain perspective (or see how it upsets people).

                I'm going to try and change gears again and actually stick to it this time.
                I just find it ridiculous this all spiralled into a self-congratulatory attack on me and others liking things you don't. Frankly, it's hard to accept anything else you have to say at face value, especially when you go out of your way to avoid having to actually apologise like a politician.

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                • Originally posted by nalak42
                  There might be hints of the Devil Tiger concept though.


                  Honestly, I think the parts of those Heresy Charms that had actual mechanical foundation is the kind of thing that there could be a strong basis for just doing from the outset without needing to jump through some hoops to access it.

                  I mean, not the stuff about reconstructing your Caste, I think that's a bit unnecessary anyway when they're just normal Castes rather than tying you in obligations to one specific section of the Charms.

                  But well, Solars, Lunars and Dragon Blooded have very specific conceptual imagery that their Charms have to adhere to, Abyssals will probably be deeply tied to their deathknight motifs, and the Maidens might be broad and esoteric but Sidereals in-character aren't coming up with their own Charms.

                  But Infernals? If the literal Yozis are downplayed and the ultimate aesthetic underpinnings of their Charms are that the Ability "breaks apart into blasphemous displays of Hell's magnanimous glory"? If it's defined by the fact that the imagery can spread off in multiple strange directions? Why should Hellish motifs arising from the particular legend of the character not simply be among the options that they can develop Charms towards?

                  Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey
                  it altered reality by such a huge degree that it became impossible to imagine events that occurred before the shattering
                  Well, impossible to remember the things that were lost. They may have been things with nothing analogous in the new world and hence beyond imagination, but how could one be sure?


                  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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                  • Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                    If you want to stat out primordials I think you’re going to have to go way bigger than that. When 3 of She Who Lives in her Name’s 10000 crystals broke, it altered reality by such a huge degree that it became impossible to imagine events that occurred before the shattering. Which, I think might help illustrate what I’m talking about here. Primordials don’t have health tracks, when you wound them they don’t get a wound penalty, you actually risk a planar catacylsm if you do it wrong. How do you make a rules set out of that?
                    Is there already officials releases for 3e Yozis (inspirations, what are they like, etc ...) ? Because I'd like to do a scenario centered around "fighting the influence of the Yozi" some way or another but I really have few ideas what scale the Yozis are, what is their mindset, what sort of stuff they do, etc ... and I'd like to see some.


                    My homebrew (Leave comments if you want to help improve) : A quick recap of all the pools and stats for Quick Exalted 3E characters

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                    • Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                      Hmmm...

                      The suggestion of differences between branches of Charms being subtle actually does surprise me. One thing that I've started thinking in this discussion is that there are people who presume that "Yozi inspired" Ability Charms would be or are wanted to be ones that would be visually indistinguishable from Solar Charms (and a good number of Lunar Charms) even if how they play out mechanically would be quite different.

                      I personally do not want them to be so indistinguishable. I do not think that differences between branches should just be in the underlying mechanics. I think that when a Green Sun Prince is wielding the majority of their powers, it should leave a very marked impression, and that using many of their powers expands that impression to one in which these Infernal Exalted are varied and unpredictable in the displays that they put out.

                      I cite the proof of concept Stealth Charms in the Kickstarter preview not merely because they're what we've got, but because I find them very exciting as an idea for strange, flamboyant, violent expressions of power through an Ability, power that forces itself on others.

                      That said, Excellencies are something that I'm a bit wary of for a few reasons. For one thing, if the Castes are moving away from being tied to specific Yozis and Charms are being categorized by Ability, it raises a question of where to put them. Like, say you're a member of the Azimuth Caste, which Yozi-themed Excellency do you get? How does it interact with the fact that Caste and Favoured Abilities now? Say that you're a Melee focused Azimuth, are there issues with maximizing your excellence in Melee skill being something subordinated to circumstances mandated by a particular Yozi? Like, you're an excellent sword fighter in whatever the manner of Infernals, but you're also limited in the manner in which you're actually allowed to put all of your power into sword fighting?

                      Or, to focus on the side from which there's focus on several Abilities rather than just one or two, how can it be balanced to have one purchased Excellency that can empower all of your Abilities to a great extent? Actually, for that matter, is it actually a matter of balance when Solars are getting all of their Excellencies for free? Excellencies that will be broader by far than Yozi themed ones; a Solar can automatically add dice to their cap in all Caste and Favoured Abilities and any others that they've purchased a Charm in, that they can use under any circumstances. But an Infernal... even if they get an Excellency that covers all of their Abilities for free, it's one that they can only use in specific circumstances? Or do they get at all of the Yozis, in which case there isn't really much practical distinction from the Solar automatic ones. I get the idea that there would be a lot of flavour to the premise that any given use of an Excellency is fulfilling a certain criteria, but that also sounds like a scenario in which a lot of word count is devoted to something that is ultimately perfunctory, and that's being deducted from a Charms chapter that I expect will need all of the words that it can get.

                      Those are just the practical issues that I see in that idea, I'm not even going to talk about my personal perspective that the specific individual Yozis should not be too heavily privileged in the powers of Green Sun Princes.



                      Well, I know that there's always some subjectivity and different tastes, but I sometimes wonder if this perspective on Solar Charms is not entirely based on how the Third Edition ones read. I mean, Solar Brawl lets you turn into a damn Super Saiyan, and Melee, well, I'm admittedly a hell of a lot more endeared to Melee having looked back over its way of fulfilling the image of master swordsman, having been reacquainted with how grand that image is in having played Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice so recently.

                      Seriously, Ashina Isshin is sohoho goddamn cool, and his several move sets so effectively live up to the hype that the game builds up around him while also being distinct in ways that demonstrate elements of his life and personality and you get to actually clash against it in gameplay that effectively replicates the look and feel of a cinematic duel (and then you get to use some of the signature moves yourself). And then I look back at the Melee Charms and think "oh wow, Sandstorm Wind Attack lines up so perfectly with the Dragon Flash and the Essence 5 attack Charm is basically just One Mind".

                      But I digress. My point is that I find even the Solar Charms as a basis to take heart in the possibility of making vivid and interesting powers from Abilities that are distinct from those Solar Charms, although Terrestrial and Lunar ones (and even a bit of the Evocations) certainly do a lot to expand the image of what this approach to Charm development can do.

                      But I think the Lunar Charms are the ones that indicate the potential for characterisation. I do have issues with the way that the Second Edition Infernal Charms mandated character paths in ways that people were forced to adhere to, while thinking there's a lot to mine from the concept of powers that can shape character development. I think that many of the Lunar Charms give examples of ways in which characterisation can grow or twist around the specific capabilities provided by Charms without the Charms themselves needing to say what they'll do to you or making their use conditional on acting in particular ways. In particular I see a lot of the Appearance and Manipulation Charms and think of how it would be hard for somebody to not become kind of an asshole if they could do those kinds of things to people, but it lets that development lie in the character at the behest of the player.

                      (I also find that the apparent distinctions in the Lunar Charms further enhance the specific characterisation in the Solar ones. Indeed, I think that a contrast with Abyssal and Infernal Charms will do much the same.)

                      I like the idea of part of the characterisation of Infernals being part of how their powers affect their personalities, and I think that characterisation would be stronger if they had more agency to damn themselves with it. Like, as a very rough example, if there was an Awareness Charm to enhance hearing that also harmed or distressed the Infernal and the decision to redress that with domination or violence was entirely up to them, rather than such a Charm giving you a Compulsion to attack things louder than a whisper and being forced to spend Willpower any time you did not want to. That one in particular strikes me as not just being a matter of making that Willpower expenditure into a moral choice, I suspect there would have been a lot of occasions in which having to spend a point to not go out of your way to attack loud noises would be a severe practical constraint.

                      The point is that I like the concept, and think there's a more flexible way to implement it that puts character agency first.

                      (Again keeping in mind that there will be no Third Edition Scourges)


                      That's another thing I want to point out about those cascades; I don't think they even really try to cover a lot of ground. They look to me like staking out a particular plot of ground and going very hard at it.

                      Some end up being more narrow than others, I think the Malfeas and Adorjan ones in particular had the tightest focus and most limited scope (which also ends up making the Cecylene and Pyrian ones a tad bloated in comparison), but none of them are exactly broad.

                      I think that this was not very apparent in their original context, because they didn't exactly have stiff competition. Adorjan might not have had much variety, but you look at the comparable Night Caste and, errrr, you could kind of count all of the Stealth, Dodge and Larceny Charms on both hands? Maybe you needed to add a few toes?

                      They weren't very broad, but they pulled it off with a lot of style, and that was something that Solars, Lunars and Dragon Blooded lacked and Sidereals had been rather curtailed in from poor implementation.

                      I look at them in comparison to the scope and depth of the three Exalted Charm sets that we have now, and they definitely feel very aged. And as I've said or... possibly just alluded to, I think it would be hard to adapt those models to the current standards by broadening each Yozi because it would undermine the key mechanical premise that they were built around.

                      Still, a funny realisation came from looking back on those Adorjan Charms. I look at that set of wind themed running and dodging and flash step attacking, of having an edge of sustainment on indiscriminate murder, a quality of sudden transience in the form of picking up and dropping Intimacies at will and laughing off attempted influence, and even that stuff at the margins about eroding stone.

                      Even in its original context I think it ended up as a bit of a limited attempt to model something grandiose, unknowable and transcendent, but in terms of the current Edition it reads so much to me like how you'd build an Exigent. Probably one of the strongest ones, but still an Exigent.



                      I think I actually made a mistake before about the Excellencies. Looking back at the Charms, I'm pretty sure that most trees did not actually start at them, so you weren't that constrained by buying into the other Yozis to fill out your Charms. I'm pretty sure that the whole "you need to buy it as many times as your Essence levels" was not about gating Yozis but just keeping you from working around the limits of each Excellency by buying all five and getting about the same level of dice adding that Solars would need to pay for with 25 Charms.

                      But that does bring it back to the point that now Solars get their Excellencies for free, the idea of a Yozi Excellency becomes something that is far weaker than what Solars get, especially if you only ever got one of them.



                      Over time I've come to see how that sense of them has created disdain for some people, and I feel more accepting of it as an issue. I do think that there are ways to redeem it even in that quarter; somebody earlier in the thread described the Solars in something like terms of living up to the legacy of legendary heroes who fought in the War of the Gods and built the First Age; I think there's potential in phrasing the legacy that the Green Sun Princes inherit as that of the Solars who held utter dominion within that Age, who wielded wonders like children's toys. That backstory of the Infernals won't have a literal moment of Yozis going to new Solars flush with memory of those heights and saying "you can start at the bottom and work your way back up like the rest of them, or you can have this blasphemous Essence and feel something a lot closer to that rush from the outset", but that's the principle I derive from this association between Yozis and stolen Solar Exaltations.

                      It's not even a Faustian bargain, no sinister catch in the deal or obligation that the Yozis demand. If the Unconquered Sun wants to give the Solars one more shot to be their best, the Yozis very much want there to be a reminder of how they conducted themselves which caused him to turn his face, partially to make some profound conceptual point but a lot to just flip him off, and all the better if it burns ungrateful Creation to ash along the way.

                      Although the Green Sun Princes themselves then get a lot of authority over how they actually wield that legacy and power, which will be predicated in several respects on the fact that they actually aren't the people who've reincarnated as them, and are not so invested in the Great Curse. I think the Infernals should have the capacity to surprise everybody and harness the veneer of ancient wizard villains to bring forth a paradise (even if it will take other humans a while to fully recognise such a strange looking one as such). After all, part of the narrative potential of the legacy of the base Solars is also asserting that they are not their predecessors, for good or ill.

                      That general narrative of divine and human motive and perspective is my personal basis for liking this outlook on why the Yozis have laid claim to fifty stolen Solar Exaltations than them needing something powerful enough to use their Charms, because using their Charms often enough will make the world into an extension of Hell that they can technically slip over into.



                      Yeah I absolutely think it's perfectly valid for a Green Sun Prince to look at their own powers and look across at the Yozis (something that I feel they should be privileged to do in a manner that no other being in reality is; I expect that even Solars of the First Age ended up keeping a long distance from the Yozis 99.99% of the time if only for how out of the way and unnecessary it was to go across and interact with them, and that the few who were ever motivated and audacious enough to do so were finding themselves in real mortal peril) and come away thinking "yep, I'm going to go ahead and make myself God".

                      Although I don't really think it needs to be a thing with suggested mechanisms beyond the occasional setting reference or plot hook to some character engaged in some strange project in the manner that our existing information about the world throws in every now and then. Just because I think that suggesting processes makes it a bit too much of a Thing in the setting that given characters can take or leave, rather than somebody's personal quest consisting of their distinct motives and idiosyncrasies.

                      Aaaaand I think that covers everything. Sorry for the length, I just wanted to be comprehensive in response to yourself.
                      Now back on the subject, I both agree and disagree with some of the things you said here. For starters I agree at least with the idea of Infernal Charms being distinct from Solar ones, the kickstarter preview did a lot to help allay fears on that end, and I wouldn't be as concerned if it wasn't for the initial design statements. I also agree as insofar as creating a playable splat and with the caveat until proven otherwise I still prefer the 2e mould, that I can't think of a way to tool the 2e model of excellencies into 3e's ability-based paradigm.

                      I DON'T think that 2e's setup "removes agency" from the perspective of the player as opposed to the character, which I feel is the vital point and the one that ensures variety. Let's take one infamous example: Witness to Darkness. It makes you see harder in sunlight and less trusty without trying to manipulate people. That's plenty of room to damn yourself in! To realise it's easy to trick up the butler or move under cover of darkness to slit the merchant's throat...IF your character was already that kind of person. If they were a more moral or narive one, they might be horrified by their inability to tell truths with the surging Primordial power they could do with everything else; they still could tell truths, they'd just be worse at it/have to play around with the Ebon Dragon Excellecny's terms and conditions. They could end up being Batman instead if they have the determination to carve out their own path. That conflict seems in line with your "will yourself not to just attack people while invisible" analogy to me, unless you can explain how 2e's charms lock you in further than that example. Certainly I don't remember Cecelyne's Charms affecting your mindset any more than giving you a smug sense of self-satisfaction. Something Exalts usually have a surplus of anyway.

                      I...agree and disagree about the ground thing. On the one hand yes, the Ebon Dragon effectively has ALL the stealth-related charms and SWLIHN ALL the craft ones. On the other hand, I don't really think broadening each Yozi would be an issue in an ability-reliant splat. Each methodology used to approach a given ability could have different tradeoffs: Malfeas may more easily complete grander projects at the cost of more sacrifices and SWLIHN may the best mass-producer but take longer to start projects the Infernal using her Charms has had no experience with for example.

                      Agreed about relative Excellency strength in the new edition.

                      I don't see why Infernals should be pigeonhold into being "the bad Solars" by default at all. Consider many of them may have Exalted at a low period of their lives. Consider how many villains and heroes alike have set out on the premise of building a better world from the war-torn hell they grew up in. If anything, THAT feels damaging to player agency because in a setting that has already established, as discussed earlier, that Infernals should not feel prejudiced against for being green not gold you are suddenly being told that the defininy principle of your character's arc is that relative to the gold Solars you are of especially low restraint and moral character. I don't even really get the point of ascribing that second paragraph's motivation to the Yozis when something you and I seem to agree on is them having less motivation in the Infernals' goals is them having less influence in their decision-making process; isn't it enough that the Infernals set out to conquer the world for themselves? I'm ALL FOR Infernals surprising everyone with their actual motivations, and I feel the obligation to add "decadent First Age Solars" into their narrative as limiting for that experience.

                      I don't have much to disagree with in that last paragraph, other than that I think processes are a good thing.

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                      • Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post


                        Honestly, I think the parts of those Heresy Charms that had actual mechanical foundation is the kind of thing that there could be a strong basis for just doing from the outset without needing to jump through some hoops to access it.

                        I mean, not the stuff about reconstructing your Caste, I think that's a bit unnecessary anyway when they're just normal Castes rather than tying you in obligations to one specific section of the Charms.

                        But well, Solars, Lunars and Dragon Blooded have very specific conceptual imagery that their Charms have to adhere to, Abyssals will probably be deeply tied to their deathknight motifs, and the Maidens might be broad and esoteric but Sidereals in-character aren't coming up with their own Charms.

                        But Infernals? If the literal Yozis are downplayed and the ultimate aesthetic underpinnings of their Charms are that the Ability "breaks apart into blasphemous displays of Hell's magnanimous glory"? If it's defined by the fact that the imagery can spread off in multiple strange directions? Why should Hellish motifs arising from the particular legend of the character not simply be among the options that they can develop Charms towards?



                        Well, impossible to remember the things that were lost. They may have been things with nothing analogous in the new world and hence beyond imagination, but how could one be sure?

                        I don't agree with this "very specific conceptual imagery that their Charms have to adhere to" issue at all. I feel God-King Shrike, Ephemeral Induction Technique, Dual Magnus Prana, and Carnal Spirit Rending alone all push the boundaries if not outright contradict Solar ones-and that's my point. Devil Tigers as a concept DON'T undermine or go in "strange directions" to the general theme of Infernals, they remake and improve them in their own image. Why shouldn't the Infernal be able to define the Hellish motif for themselves as much as the Solar has the right to determine how their own legend is recognised? Is declaring calamities into existence generally recognised as a property of the Unconquered Sun?

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                        • Originally posted by Chausse View Post

                          Is there already officials releases for 3e Yozis (inspirations, what are they like, etc ...) ? Because I'd like to do a scenario centered around "fighting the influence of the Yozi" some way or another but I really have few ideas what scale the Yozis are, what is their mindset, what sort of stuff they do, etc ... and I'd like to see some.
                          Unfortunately no, not to my knowledge. They're briefly mentioned as existing in the corebook, and that's about it. A little less than 2e's corebook, I think.

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                          • Originally posted by Guitar Longcat View Post
                            Frankly, it's hard to accept anything else you have to say at face value, especially when you go out of your way to avoid having to actually apologise like a politician.
                            I have hang ups around offering apologies that I fear are insincere from myself, or will be read as such. Having one directly requested alleviates this a bit.

                            I am sorry for having let myself feel this too much as a fight I wanted to thrill in and indulging myself in trying to devise digs at people. I don't want it for the remainder of this discussion, and shall endeavour to keep this development at the front of my mind.

                            I've got ideas of responses to your responses to me, but they'll need more of my attention, I'll get back to them.


                            I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                            Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
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                            • I don't think decadent First Age Solars would've been a bad place for Infernals to go. The All-Thing Infernal was obviously based on the Solar Deliberative and Green Sun Princes had an interesting relationship with their past lives that sometimes allowed the personalities of their previous incarnations to take centre stage.


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                              • I think it's fine as a sub-theme, but it's not, well, Infernal-y enough to be a big thing about them. I mean, drawing the connections between them and their First-Age Solar lives seems more, well, Solar, to me.

                                I mean, I enjoyed their 2e merit of Past Lives, but like many things with 2e Infernals, while all the individual bits were cool they didn't really go together very well.


                                I run... Lunars: The Apocalypse! Exalted 3rd edition. Fimbulwinter is upon the world as an Ice Age begins, and only six young Lunar heroes have a chance of saving humanity.

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