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  • If Infernal Exalted don't generally have anything to do with hell is Infernal really a good name for them?


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    • Originally posted by Guitar Longcat View Post
      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.
      Hmm... looking at this more closely, any lingering differences appear to amount to slight variations that there's no need to argue about, other than suggesting that some of the Charms could lean even more into this take on them.

      I want to talk a bit about the idea of becoming a Yozi (and because I burnt one of my typing fingers, I have an incentive to keep it brief and focused). Your conversation with DrLoveMonkey seemed to me to say that the kind of thing you'd be looking for would still be very elaborate and require a fair bit of homebrew. And that would probably just be on its own, let alone how it can be made to interact with the rest of the game that is not exactly designed with it in mind.

      Now, when I see people on places other than this forum talking about Exalted, one of the most frequent concerns expressed even by people who like it would be an excess of complexity and reliance on the need to homebrew. I can't see people who already see that in the game, whether it's something that they grapple with or are turned away by, having such a game premise appeal to them. It also seems to me to be kind of out there as roleplaying games go in general and particularly within Exalted, so a bit of a niche property even if that niche would likely have fun with it.

      So it seems to me to be something that, if it was written in the actual book for Infernals, would take up a significant amount of wordcount, which is already at a premium and where I feel as though those Exalted in particular are going to need all that they can get. And it would be wordcount dedicated to something that I find strong indicators would be of narrow appeal.

      If this were ten years ago, I'd be all for the suggestion that it could be the kind of thing explored in its own book in addition to other niche play styles; I look back on what the New World of Darkness was like back then, and it seemed to be the kind of thing White Wolf had the resources to devote to.

      But as this thread started off being a talk about, we don't have that kind of publisher anymore. The output has dropped significantly, and I think that there are a number of things that end up taking much higher priority than such a work. If it was ever going to happen, I think it would be a good deal in the future.

      Originally posted by Guitar Longcat
      I don't see why Infernals should be pigeonhold into being "the bad Solars" by default at all.
      It isn't literal, anymore than Geoff Grabowski was being literal any time that he described Solars as being like the return of the Founding Fathers of America. It's a motif for where they fit in to the trifecta of returning Solars that kick off the Time of Tumult, the mythology for how the Second Age is ending, and sets a certain tone for their magic and social context.


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      • Originally posted by Guitar Longcat View Post
        I don't see there being any need for them to have one any more than Solars do.
        I like the idea of Infernal Exalted treating one another as a peer group that they'll regularly get together and compare notes with as a reflection of how there are so few of them and they might kind of seek to relate to one another in ways they won't with anybody else, and as emerging partly from Yozi schemes around them taking the form of inducting them into Hell's gentry.

        That and I think it's fun to add more models of how types of Exalted interact with one another and another thing to distinguish them from the Solars.


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        • Originally posted by Alistair View Post
          For all it serves, I definitely don't enjoy the whole "Infernals represent the depravities of the First Age Solars" mostly because... that's for Solars to do anyway
          My perspective is that the Solars at the time of the Usurpation are much like the world at that time: it took thousands of years to build that shit up on the first go around, I find it dubious to expect characters to replicate very much of it in a tenth of a percent of the time.

          Now obviously, people can ultimately play characters in whatever manner that they wish. I have often found it... curious how many roleplayers have reported being super eager to devise performances of the most elaborate and gratuitous cruelties they can imagine in pursuit of emulating what they imagine those First Age Solars to have been like, but I'm John Mulaney in this scenario, I don't have time to unpack all of that. Suffice to see that I read these as conditions in which the Solars are returned to the world with a slate that is wiped clean, even if they need to grapple with some of the legacy of their predecessors as it persists in the memories and cultures of the Exalted that have been fighting over control of the Second Age.

          Also with consideration that for me, giving Solar players the latitude to act out the personalities and ambitions of prominent historical figures that the morality of most modern readers would find reprehensible is also a basis for imagining ways that the Solars who scared the Sidereal Exalted with the prospect of ruining the world so much being corrupted by the Great Curse go further and deeper than that. That is to say, a Solar in play doesn't need to be what we would consider a good person, thus a Usurped Solar needs to go a lot further than having just been a bad person.

          But at the same time, I find the idea of what those Solars would have been like in their heyday to be compelling enough to be attracted to possibilities of them living again in the Time of Tumult that I do find credible (without needing to rely on the idea of bringing them intact out of crystal pods or whatever).

          I find the rock star from Hell angle to effectively cover a lot of what I picture when talking about that angle of Infernals. That's actually one where I can get another talking point from a John Mulaney routine, namely when he talked about his experience of Mick Jagger; how the guy could hold out his hand, demand "Diet Coke" and one would just appear, combined with an only partially facetious speculation on what such privilege would do to one's outlook and moral character.

          I made a comment once on how Dragon Blooded of the Scarlet Dynasty could have such an experience, but it's one where (as of course in reality) it's dependent on having the means to draw together a lot of manpower. I'm picturing the analogous Infernal equivalent to be one in which they're draped in sorcerous power such that a demand could lead to such things literally appearing for them.

          That built into a number of other things, like the main characters from The Darkness and Overlord video games being attended by hordes of imps conjured from their own power (with a picture of conjuring such little attendants by means of things like shedding tear or blood on nearby plants or stones and giving them twisted life in servitude). I had this image of a cocky Infernal just sitting back into open air and having an ornate throne of brass bursting from the floor for them to lounge in, which crumbles to slag when they depart it (this the kind of thing that would actually express itself in social mechanics).

          That, in combination with the idea that the Yozis literally bankroll them with serfs and property in Malfeas, is what I mean any time I'm talking about this and why I like it. I like it in terms of a guiding principle or motif for what their demonic powers do, I like the idea of demonic powers as a means of letting those lost Solars live again in the Time of Tumult, and I like the thematic point of there being a parallel between the two. Plus stuff for what it means in the Yozi stake in all of this when springing them loose is definitively off the table; that the motive is primarily about undermining the will to redeem the legacy of the Solar Exalted, and that their vengeance can be fulfilled by facilitating an approximation of the Solars whom the Sidereals cast down to bring about what they foresaw.


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          • I never said that a specific Infernal or five couldn't be all about debauchery and decadence, but when it comes to general themes of a splat, "emulates another splat at their worst point" is not appealing to me, so I'll just agree to disagree on this one.

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            • Originally posted by Guitar Longcat View Post


              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?
              Well, the Unconquered Sun isn't the most important basis for the guiding aesthetic of Solar Exalted, legendary and literary human heroes are. God-King's Shrike is just a way of rendering being Jonah warning Ninevah of divinely ordained destruction for its sin (wherein the Solar also manages to function as the divinity who so ordains). The Ability and the convolutions of adhering to that narrative are the only way Solars could get such large-scale destruction from their own power.

              Dual Magus Prana isn't even a thing in character, it's a dramatic device for saying that somebody who was already a sorcerer had used the power of sorcery to arrange for a simulacrum of themselves to be in that place and that time to die in their stead. It's a way to buy a mechanical guarantee behind being able to use your creative prowess to plan several steps ahead.

              The other two are a bit further afield, but they're also Occult Charms, which necessarily involve interacting with some weirder stuff. They're still pretty firmly rooted in interacting with already existing spiritual forces, mind.

              That being said, the Unconquered Sun as a god is also one who is very strongly based in mythology concerned with gods that are human-like across the board and especially ones that patronise human endeavours, and the character will have been written to make that connection even more apparent from the outset. Saying that the Unconquered Sun informs the iconography of pinnacles in the Solar Charm set never really presents any contradictions because the Sun is designed to be the logical patron god of a collection of culture heroes. If a Charm adheres to the guidelines provided by the start of the chapter, it should always be something that is consistent with their patron as a matter of course.

              As a question of what that means for Infernals... the manner in which I can see writing it by default is that their power comes in the form of varied demonic expressions and methods towards heroic feats for which the Yozis are the most obvious (often the most prevalent) guideline, but can technically find alternative paths.

              I'm thinking of two ways it could be tied to the originating Infernal; one is to say that as the aggregation of other Charms (and development of shintai forms) makes the Infernal not only more demonic, but demonic in a manner emerging from combinations that is unique to their person, their own demonic nature becomes a guideline by which further powers can develop. In the interests of the prior statement of being able to do so from the outset, developing distinct demonic traits and combinations can be a thing that happens very quickly for some people.

              The other is saying that the nature of Infernal Essence is one that is capable of contemplating or mutating into paths that have nothing to do with the existing Yozis, and cultivating that side of themselves is what itself becomes the unique demonic nature of a given Yozi.

              That being said, whole the personas of the specific Yozis are something I would want to be downplayed, I very much want Infernal Exalted to give a lot of prominence through their powers to this version of Hell. For me, that's a big part of it; Exalted has a really cool idea of Hell, and I like the idea of a group of Chosen who come forth as dread sorcerer kings by means of wielding powers evoking and inspired by it.

              The Yozis are always going to be kind of evident in that because Hell is literally made of them, but I would want it to be less about their specific personas and more about the world produced by mushing them together.

              Hmm, that doesn't capture all of the nuances of what I mean by this, but if good enough for the moment.

              My point is that I personally am sufficiently enamoured with the Hell of Exalted and the idea of Green Sun Princes embodying it that I'm not deeply concerned with it being the basis for developing something highly unique to a given Infernal character, even if it was something consistent with Hell. I don't think that other thing would not be fun, I'm not contemptuous of it... when my mood is at its most stable, but the main thing I would want from that facet of Infernals is showcasing how cool Hell is and winning people over to that.

              I've always said of this sort of thing that I want the Infernal Exalted to be engaging enough for people to not be strongly concerned with ceasing to be them.


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              • Originally posted by Alistair View Post
                I never said that a specific Infernal or five couldn't be all about debauchery and decadence, but when it comes to general themes of a splat, "emulates another splat at their worst point" is not appealing to me, so I'll just agree to disagree on this one.
                I feel this is reductive of the things that I said there.

                I'm going to ask a question which is... probably kind of unanswerable, but I hope will get across my reasoning:

                If nobody had ever made a comparison to late First Age Solars or used the term decadence out loud but they were on the mind of a writer who put together something like that idea of Presence Charm for a flaming brass throne to rise to meet you as you sat on nothing as the form of some social action, would the Charm seem out of place or unsuitable as Infernal magic?


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                • Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                  My perspective is that the Solars at the time of the Usurpation are much like the world at that time: it took thousands of years to build that shit up on the first go around, I find it dubious to expect characters to replicate very much of it in a tenth of a percent of the time.

                  Now obviously, people can ultimately play characters in whatever manner that they wish. I have often found it... curious how many roleplayers have reported being super eager to devise performances of the most elaborate and gratuitous cruelties they can imagine in pursuit of emulating what they imagine those First Age Solars to have been like, but I'm John Mulaney in this scenario, I don't have time to unpack all of that. Suffice to see that I read these as conditions in which the Solars are returned to the world with a slate that is wiped clean, even if they need to grapple with some of the legacy of their predecessors as it persists in the memories and cultures of the Exalted that have been fighting over control of the Second Age.

                  Also with consideration that for me, giving Solar players the latitude to act out the personalities and ambitions of prominent historical figures that the morality of most modern readers would find reprehensible is also a basis for imagining ways that the Solars who scared the Sidereal Exalted with the prospect of ruining the world so much being corrupted by the Great Curse go further and deeper than that. That is to say, a Solar in play doesn't need to be what we would consider a good person, thus a Usurped Solar needs to go a lot further than having just been a bad person.

                  But at the same time, I find the idea of what those Solars would have been like in their heyday to be compelling enough to be attracted to possibilities of them living again in the Time of Tumult that I do find credible (without needing to rely on the idea of bringing them intact out of crystal pods or whatever).

                  I find the rock star from Hell angle to effectively cover a lot of what I picture when talking about that angle of Infernals. That's actually one where I can get another talking point from a John Mulaney routine, namely when he talked about his experience of Mick Jagger; how the guy could hold out his hand, demand "Diet Coke" and one would just appear, combined with an only partially facetious speculation on what such privilege would do to one's outlook and moral character.

                  I made a comment once on how Dragon Blooded of the Scarlet Dynasty could have such an experience, but it's one where (as of course in reality) it's dependent on having the means to draw together a lot of manpower. I'm picturing the analogous Infernal equivalent to be one in which they're draped in sorcerous power such that a demand could lead to such things literally appearing for them.

                  That built into a number of other things, like the main characters from The Darkness and Overlord video games being attended by hordes of imps conjured from their own power (with a picture of conjuring such little attendants by means of things like shedding tear or blood on nearby plants or stones and giving them twisted life in servitude). I had this image of a cocky Infernal just sitting back into open air and having an ornate throne of brass bursting from the floor for them to lounge in, which crumbles to slag when they depart it (this the kind of thing that would actually express itself in social mechanics).

                  That, in combination with the idea that the Yozis literally bankroll them with serfs and property in Malfeas, is what I mean any time I'm talking about this and why I like it. I like it in terms of a guiding principle or motif for what their demonic powers do, I like the idea of demonic powers as a means of letting those lost Solars live again in the Time of Tumult, and I like the thematic point of there being a parallel between the two. Plus stuff for what it means in the Yozi stake in all of this when springing them loose is definitively off the table; that the motive is primarily about undermining the will to redeem the legacy of the Solar Exalted, and that their vengeance can be fulfilled by facilitating an approximation of the Solars whom the Sidereals cast down to bring about what they foresaw.
                  Hmm. Seeing it all laid out like that, I like the angle too now even though I still disagree about the idea being a blank slate means the new Solars are heroic by default; I'd point to Lyta and that one night caste assassin as examples of NPC Solars taking the low path, and I don't think it's an unusual trend among many players (definitely not from my own gaming experience) given the bleak tone the Age of Sorrows sets. But I do now appreciate the rockstar angle leaving a good amount of room for what, exactly, the Infernals do with their newfound hordes and sorcerous privilege. A possible nitpick: In terms of tone, I do disagree with the implication that Infernals should be slanted as somehow morally inferior than Solars from the outset because from my point of view there's as little stopping the Infernal from taking the high road as the Solar.

                  Regarding your other replies, to be honest I'm way out of the loop of how the publisher's conditions have changed over the years so I largely focus on the product I'd like to see, since I'm not in a good position to assess their capacity. I also appreciate wanting to separate Infernals from Solars as Exalts in their own right, it's just that with the very different role and position they seem to have in 3e I feel that if an organization arose between them it would be much more informal than the Thing Infernal of 2e.

                  As for your last answer to my comments, I find I still disagree here as a matter of opinion. There is a certain dissonance I find, in the premises that Infernals should make the powers of Hell look cool and the statement that the Yozis' personalities should be downplayed because to my reading of 2e's fluff, the Yozis are Malfeas. It's difficult to imagine what "hell" represents without them. Now, while I am in favor of the Yozis having less intervention in Infernals' lives I do hope their personalities shine through because quite simply, they were very interesting characters to me. Infernals should strive out on their own to build their own legends, of course! I just feel the premise that stating their Charms are not those of the Yozis and reliant on emergent traits of the Infernals' personalities to be diluting of the enormity of the concepts they represent.

                  You may say the Sun is something of a skyfather analogue, but I would hold the Yozis evoking Typhon, Tiamat, Fenrir and Jormungandr and Apep and all the other losers of the mythological Chaoskampf isn't necessarily a bad thing because as primal, elemental forces you have an opportunity to explore a human mindset reacting to the inheritance of an inhuman legacy. I'm talking about this from a narrative not a mechanical perspective, but isn't the idea of aspiring to embody a Hell divorced from the idea of the Yozis themselves shallow and limiting for what was once a Solar Exaltation? Surely you aren't supposed to be inspired by neomah and erymanthoi as the astounding heights of potential held by your Exalted potential? Hell is a broken, restrictive cage for the shattered powers that built the world and within the themes of the Infernal Exaltation I find yourself redefining what it means to be a Primordial under your own power much more inspiring than being Hell for Hell's sake. Solars may aspire to arete and Abyssals may aspire to ending the world, and I find it extremely underwhelming that Infernals must aspire to be "demons but moreso and more personalised" as their ceiling.

                  (Or to sum that last part up, I don't understand how being consistent with Hell is cool for an Exalt whose predecessors conquered it)
                  Last edited by Guitar Longcat; 12-06-2019, 03:20 AM. Reason: For clarity

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                  • Originally posted by Lioness View Post
                    If Infernal Exalted don't generally have anything to do with hell is Infernal really a good name for them?
                    I get the impression Infernal Exalted, as portrayed in 3e, already have a great deal to with Hell just by virtue of what they are. They're the Yozis' final gesture of revenge towards a world they can no longer reach. They carry Yozi-borne power within them, amplified by the might of an Exaltation, in ways it normally wouldn't be able to go as directly. So yes, I think it's a great name because though Infernals walk in the the valley of the shadow of Hell they need fear no evil, because in many way the valley of the shadow of Hell is wherever they walk.

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                    • Originally posted by Guitar Longcat View Post

                      Hmm. Seeing it all laid out like that, I like the angle too now even though I still disagree about the idea being a blank slate means the new Solars are heroic by default; I'd point to Lyta and that one night caste assassin as examples of NPC Solars taking the low path, and I don't think it's an unusual trend among many players (definitely not from my own gaming experience) given the bleak tone the Age of Sorrows sets. But I do now appreciate the rockstar angle leaving a good amount of room for what, exactly, the Infernals do with their newfound hordes and sorcerous privilege. A possible nitpick: In terms of tone, I do disagree with the implication that Infernals should be slanted as somehow morally inferior than Solars from the outset because from my point of view there's as little stopping the Infernal from taking the high road as the Solar.

                      Regarding your other replies, to be honest I'm way out of the loop of how the publisher's conditions have changed over the years so I largely focus on the product I'd like to see, since I'm not in a good position to assess their capacity. I also appreciate wanting to separate Infernals from Solars as Exalts in their own right, it's just that with the very different role and position they seem to have in 3e I feel that if an organization arose between them it would be much more informal than the Thing Infernal of 2e.

                      As for your last answer to my comments, I find I still disagree here as a matter of opinion. There is a certain dissonance I find, in the premises that Infernals should make the powers of Hell look cool and the statement that the Yozis' personalities should be downplayed because to my reading of 2e's fluff, the Yozis are Malfeas. It's difficult to imagine what "hell" represents without them. Now, while I am in favor of the Yozis having less intervention in Infernals' lives I do hope their personalities shine through because quite simply, they were very interesting characters to me. Infernals should strive out on their own to build their own legends, of course! I just feel the premise that stating their Charms are not those of the Yozis and reliant on emergent traits of the Infernals' personalities to be diluting of the enormity of the concepts they represent.

                      You may say the Sun is something of a skyfather analogue, but I would hold the Yozis evoking Typhon, Tiamat, Fenrir and Jormungandr and Apep and all the other losers of the mythological Chaoskampf isn't necessarily a bad thing because as primal, elemental forces you have an opportunity to explore a human mindset reacting to the inheritance of an inhuman legacy. I'm talking about this from a narrative not a mechanical perspective, but isn't the idea of aspiring to embody a Hell divorced from the idea of the Yozis themselves shallow and limiting for what was once a Solar Exaltation? Surely you aren't supposed to be inspired by neomah and erymanthoi as the astounding heights of potential held by your Exalted potential? Hell is a broken, restrictive cage for the shattered powers that built the world and within the themes of the Infernal Exaltation I find yourself redefining what it means to be a Primordial under your own power much more inspiring than being Hell for Hell's sake. Solars may aspire to arete and Abyssals may aspire to ending the world, and I find it extremely underwhelming that Infernals must aspire to be "demons but moreso and more personalised" as their ceiling.

                      (Or to sum that last part up, I don't understand how being consistent with Hell is cool for an Exalt whose predecessors conquered it)
                      Surely not Blood Apes. But what about 3rd circles? And the children of the Yozi, like Adjorans winds? I think those could provide inspiration as well, in addition to the Yozi themselves.


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                      • Originally posted by Aliasi View Post

                        You don't understand.

                        The Yozis getting free isn't climate change. It's an asteroid wiping out all of civilization kind of issue. It's not something subtle and slow enough to ignore, it's a "the Silent Wind is currently slaying the entire South, methodically" kind of thing.

                        Secondly, yes, you can ignore many things, but then you lose one of the things that I, personally, find valuable about Exalted - that it was laid down by someone who thought real hard about things like sociology, and the current edition was done by people who have followed in that footsteps (see how Seeing Like A State is cited for visualizing the Realm, for example) and so it hangs together in a way other settings do not, because things occur in a way that can be justified quite well by pointing to the evidence of how people act in comparable situations in reality.

                        That's not a common thing, believe it or not; most settings you get vague handwaves at best. Why do all these D&D settings have convenient underground complexes full of monsters and treasure, anyway?

                        So, no, "Just ignore it" isn't something I find appealing. And the Saving Private Ryan crack shows you still don't get it. No, I don't play Exalted to play the mooks in the beach battle scene, either. But I do value that Creation is a world where that is what most people experience, because that highlights the extraordinary and supernatural all the more.

                        If you disagree, hey, that is actually perfectly fine. No, seriously. But I hope the game line does not become written by people who think as you do.
                        Actually, I don't think you understand *me*, and are frankly just itching for a fight now. There isn't one way to 'understand' the game, which is why so many of us like and enjoy it in our own ways.

                        I've said time and time again the Reclamation plotline *doesn't actually have to succeed*, even if you include it, which I also said I was very happy *not to include*. I'm happy for it not even to be optional. I've said that.

                        (Asteroids pass Earth by all the time. People ignore that fact every day. There's a difference between a real threat and a potential threat. That's my point.)

                        You keep glossing over what I've said and are now making digs about 'people who think like me'. How is that not rude?

                        It's fine that you really don't like that plotline, but it seems like you keep hammering home the worst possible outcome of it as a reason for why you maybe hate Infernals and don't want to listen to those of us who like them because it's badwrongfun.

                        Can we please move on from this?
                        Last edited by adambeyoncelowe; 12-06-2019, 06:42 AM.

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                        • Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                          Yes. But also no.

                          Nothing, repeat nothing, about the Reclamation suggests it's happening in the next year. Or decade. Or century.

                          Infernals are built to last a couple of hundred years then die of old age, which suggests that's how long the Reclaimation is going to take. With the caveat that the Reclaimation is specifically impossible, and put on a difficulty par of overthrowing the Primordials in the first place.

                          So, sure, if the Silent Wind has escaped (something which doesn't even happen in RotSE -- the campaign supplement for the Yozi escaping), you do have to drop everything and go deal with it. But the Silent Wind isn't going to escape at any point in the next hundred years barring ST fiat.

                          And it's really no worse than Sol unleashing the Kukla or the Sids building a new Jade prison. Yes, if it happens then it's absolutely story defining... but it's not going to happen.
                          Thank you. This is what I was trying to say, too.

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                          • Originally posted by Epee102 View Post

                            Surely not Blood Apes. But what about 3rd circles? And the children of the Yozi, like Adjorans winds? I think those could provide inspiration as well, in addition to the Yozi themselves.
                            Eeehhhhhh. I'm really hesitant about that idea. I feel it risks watering down Infernal thematics to "Generic Hell Dudes! Yeah, you do things like stuff in hell does!".
                            I'm not saying it couldn't be done well, I just think it'd be a lot harder to do well.

                            Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post

                            Actually, I don't think you understand *me*, and are frankly just itching for a fight now. There isn't one way to 'understand' the game, despite what you say and how often you say it.

                            I've said time and time again the Reclamation plotline *doesn't actually have to succeed*, even if you include it, which I also said I was very happy *not to include*.

                            (Asteroids pass Earth by all the time. People ignore that fact every day. There's a difference between a real threat and a potential threat. That's my point.)

                            You keep glossing over what I've said and are now making digs about 'people who think like me'. How is that not rude?

                            I think you just really don't like that plotline, which is fine, but you keep hammering home the worst possible outcome of it as a reason for why you maybe hate Infernals and don't want to listen to those of us who like them because it's badwrongfun. Let's just move on already.
                            The problem is that it doesn't matter if it's possible or NPCs would foil it in the background or it's going to happen soon. The threat of "Yozi take over the world and enslave everyone" is just too big to be ignored or dismissed as "potential".
                            It's like a kid calling in a bomb threat to their school. Is it likely that the kid calling it in actually built a functional IED and smuggled it onto the campus? No, not really. Is the school going to be evacuated, shut down, and searched anyways? Yes, because a potential bomb threat has to be treated like it's a real threat.
                            The exact same goes for a Creation-remaking threat like the Reclamation. The instant somebody so much as whispers "Yozi breaking out", every other plotline has to be put on hold because if the Yozi break out everything is FUBAR forever.
                            And if "Yozi breaking out" is in the setting material books, then every game contains "Yozi breaking out" unless the GM goes out of their way to stamp that out.

                            The default has to be "Yozi cannot break out", with the GM side option of "Nevermind, they're breaking out". There has to be no bomb in the school unless the GM decides the game is about the bomb in the school, because if there's a bomb in the school everything's about that bomb in that school.

                            The plotline is fine. It just has to be handled with the care you would a bomb, because it's a bomb.

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                            • Originally posted by vwllss trnt prncss View Post
                              The problem is that it doesn't matter if it's possible or NPCs would foil it in the background or it's going to happen soon. The threat of "Yozi take over the world and enslave everyone" is just too big to be ignored or dismissed as "potential".
                              It's like a kid calling in a bomb threat to their school. Is it likely that the kid calling it in actually built a functional IED and smuggled it onto the campus? No, not really. Is the school going to be evacuated, shut down, and searched anyways? Yes, because a potential bomb threat has to be treated like it's a real threat.
                              The exact same goes for a Creation-remaking threat like the Reclamation. The instant somebody so much as whispers "Yozi breaking out", every other plotline has to be put on hold because if the Yozi break out everything is FUBAR forever.
                              And if "Yozi breaking out" is in the setting material books, then every game contains "Yozi breaking out" unless the GM goes out of their way to stamp that out.

                              The default has to be "Yozi cannot break out", with the GM side option of "Nevermind, they're breaking out". There has to be no bomb in the school unless the GM decides the game is about the bomb in the school, because if there's a bomb in the school everything's about that bomb in that school.

                              The plotline is fine. It just has to be handled with the care you would a bomb, because it's a bomb.
                              We'll have to agree to disagree on the first part.

                              I also agree that, ultimately, it should be impossible as a default position. I said earlier that it was useful as a motivation for the Yozi or maybe individual characters but that it didn't have to happen.

                              I also feel like we're getting stuck on one little issue where we're not really disagreeing that much at all. I'll ask again, can we move past this now?
                              Last edited by adambeyoncelowe; 12-06-2019, 06:39 AM.

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                              • Originally posted by Guitar Longcat View Post
                                I still disagree about the idea being a blank slate means the new Solars are heroic by default; I'd point to Lyta and that one night caste assassin as examples of NPC Solars taking the low path
                                That would be covered under my point about having latitude to play them like historical figures who were kind of bad. What, Lyta wants to burn Dragon Blooded to honour the Unconquered Sun? Okay, err, Henry VIII reintroduced boiling men alive to punish somebody who poisoned a bunch of bishops, and I think it was a standard method of execution employed by Mongol leaders before united by the Genghis. Havesh is just a street punk who has risen to the status of taking contracts out on the lives of the rich assholes who stood at the top of the system that uses to make his life hell, and gratifies himself by using disguises to live in their shoes for a while after (I've also always maintained that his Caste Book write-up contains a possible trajectory for him expressing greater political sympathies for Varang's other downtrodden).

                                You talked before about a Solar character whose worldview was utilitarian, and that's going to be deeply offensive to the Sidereals?

                                There's always the same that the Usurpation was an overreaction rooted in hypocrisy, or even just straight up power grab sure, but I don't think those are the intention and they interest me less.

                                Originally posted by Guitar Longcat
                                But I do now appreciate the rockstar angle leaving a good amount of room for what, exactly, the Infernals do with their newfound hordes and sorcerous privilege. A possible nitpick: In terms of tone, I do disagree with the implication that Infernals should be slanted as somehow morally inferior than Solars from the outset because from my point of view there's as little stopping the Infernal from taking the high road as the Solar.
                                That's why I keep maintaining that it's a motif. A Green Sun Prince pulls up a gaudy throne to slouch arrogantly in, and from it proclaims programs to give orphans training and work slots to give them a bright future.

                                Having the look and attitude of a wastrel or stock literary villain is something that real people have managed to do while being compelling to and doing right by people at large. It's also a thing that has had instances of people being drawn to and harnessing because they were large numbers of not exactly good people, and that's the last I'll say on that.

                                And I talked before about being a kind of revolutionary mystic, with a mysticism that I picture Infernals being able to wear a lot more on their sleeves than most. A notion I would like for Infernals (and Abyssals, a bit) is having a capacity to champion a world view and a cosmology to back it that from our perspective is a bit of a sweet deal but that would make people in the setting nervous and Heaven threatened in the transgressions to what is familiar that it entails. Lunars incorporate the imagery of barbarianism while also interrogating it, I'm suggesting an angle where Infernals do the same with villainy and blasphemy.

                                Hell, I drew tonal and visual comparisons between Infernals and Maleficent before the live action movies, and damn if they don't actually further add to the example now.

                                My point is that there are multiple intersections.

                                Originally posted by Guitar Longcat
                                it's just that with the very different role and position they seem to have in 3e I feel that if an organization arose between them it would be much more informal than the Thing Infernal of 2e.
                                I'm trying to recall how formal the Thing even was back there.

                                Originally posted by Guitar Longcat
                                As for your last answer to my comments, I find I still disagree here as a matter of opinion. There is a certain dissonance I find, in the premises that Infernals should make the powers of Hell look cool and the statement that the Yozis' personalities should be downplayed because to my reading of 2e's fluff, the Yozis are Malfeas. It's difficult to imagine what "hell" represents without them. Now, while I am in favor of the Yozis having less intervention in Infernals' lives I do hope their personalities shine through because quite simply, they were very interesting characters to me. Infernals should strive out on their own to build their own legends, of course! I just feel the premise that stating their Charms are not those of the Yozis and reliant on emergent traits of the Infernals' personalities to be diluting of the enormity of the concepts they represent.
                                Hmm, this is a challenging subject... As a preliminary point I would propose that part of the package when you're a Primordial, that vast divine monster who unfurls to the size of worlds and whose souls take the form of their own pantheon of distinct divinities is that there's a lot more to you than your personal intellect and will.

                                Originally posted by Guitar Longcat
                                You may say the Sun is something of a skyfather analogue, but I would hold the Yozis evoking Typhon, Tiamat, Fenrir and Jormungandr and Apep and all the other losers of the mythological Chaoskampf isn't necessarily a bad thing because as primal, elemental forces you have an opportunity to explore a human mindset reacting to the inheritance of an inhuman legacy. I'm talking about this from a narrative not a mechanical perspective, but isn't the idea of aspiring to embody a Hell divorced from the idea of the Yozis themselves shallow and limiting for what was once a Solar Exaltation? Surely you aren't supposed to be inspired by neomah and erymanthoi as the astounding heights of potential held by your Exalted potential? Hell is a broken, restrictive cage for the shattered powers that built the world and within the themes of the Infernal Exaltation I find yourself redefining what it means to be a Primordial under your own power much more inspiring than being Hell for Hell's sake. Solars may aspire to arete and Abyssals may aspire to ending the world, and I find it extremely underwhelming that Infernals must aspire to be "demons but moreso and more personalised" as their ceiling.
                                Not the individual demons sure, but the experiencing of standing astride the world and the society that is created from their contributions. The underlying attitude of a world where the courtesans collect flesh from their clients to sculpt hybrid babies in the fire so their nautilus towers and abandoning them, the passage of days is marked by the periodic screams of cloud arsenals foreseeing their own deaths, the doors of taverns are haunted by chittering bugs looking to get a sample of the booze by putting it from the systems of drunk demons, idiot savant clumps of hair slimy with hallucinogens bounce their way into buildings to kick them about until they're elegantly remodeled, pools of acid sit spitefully to designate passers by as their eternal rivals and plot vengeance on them, and you can ride about your business on the back of an extremely beautiful giant wasp who might share their strange and convoluted philosophical musings with you. Everywhere is a clamour and the music of a harp played on the time you waste listening to it to ward off the wind that brings total silence (who still comes around if it really wants to), and when the creeping dark comes to cut off the light of the mad green sun that makes rock and metal sprout as though it was plant life, you keep indoors lest you encounter the night things that come out to play (although the music of a silver horn might call you to join them).

                                Now I'm not saying that every single individual moving part of that is evident in the powers or personalities of the Green Sun Princes; honestly mostly still the stuff that is at the top. But it's the Hell I like, and I like the idea of Infernals typically feeling as though they fit in there very organically and bringing some of that attitude in what the world could be and should be with them.

                                That and how, in addition to being a world that has more to it than the Yozis, a bit more sense that the attitude of the Yozis that is typical at the resolution observable to most human sized beings is when layers of the city crash together and grind into one another, the Silent Wind gouging chunks out of the general noise in between its own business, that darkness being in pursuit of the beautiful deaths with works changing consequences. That and when they give strange assignments to the Second Circle Demons; Berengiere is charged with preserving the respectful sanctity around a tomb with her power to steal voices, Gumela put to the task of finding some unknown thing with nothing to go on but an obscure name, and... I can't recall her name, the dancer was sent to the top of the Imperial Mountain to perform some ritual in their service (the result of which has included giving her a bit of an existential crisis).

                                Even apart from the descriptions of personalities and motives in the Excellencies, I think Second Edition spent too much time talking about the Yozis directly, to the point of attributing discussions to them. I say that if you want to preserve some mystique and unknowable grandeur to the Yozis, you mostly talk about them from the perspective of the small things that walk upon their surface, and the slightly larger things that are subject to their unexplained commands and the occasional human who feels the brush of them in its dreams.

                                Did you ever see the Darron Aaronofsky Noah film? Noah's experience of God is what I think should be the deepest insight we're directly given into the Yozis, by way of being given a few examples of it being experienced as such.

                                Well, that and some of the Charms of the Infernal Exalted. I don't want to be given a summary of the thesis statement of Adorjan from the outset, I want to reason things out from the combination of things like those Stealth Charms (including the ambiguity of whether they're saying more about Adorjan than they are about the Infernal). I want the possibility that different people will come to different conclusions from reading the same Charms.

                                Originally posted by Guitar Longcat
                                I don't understand how being consistent with Hell is cool for an Exalt whose predecessors conquered it)
                                Eh, Solars didn't make it so pretty.


                                I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                                Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
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