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  • Originally posted by Isator Levi
    I'm trying to recall how formal the Thing even was back there.
    Hmmm... somewhat formal. It was a place, they could meet up, have votes, etc. But it wasn't really a government so much as a place to meet and discuss for fifty powerful humans who'd ended up as princes of Hell. Also, of course, it was very new, just a few years, so could develop into something more formal, fall apart, etc.


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    • Originally posted by Guitar Longcat View Post

      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.
      But the Yozis failed attempts from the KS preview would have equal claim, yes?


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      • Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

        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.



        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.



        I'm trying to recall how formal the Thing even was back there.



        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.



        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.



        Eh, Solars didn't make it so pretty.
        Ah, alright. Explaining the look as more of a motif than a broad narrative direction makes me realise why you find it so appealing. I can get behind that. I had more to say about Solars and historical parallels, but actually trying to visualise Ghenghis Khan as an Infernal derailed me into distraction there because the image just fit so well.

        The Thing was somewhere between a community centre meeting and a boy scout troop, if I remember my Manual: Infernals reading right. Lots of entertainments, but also lots of mission statements, resource compilation, strategic planning and competitive rivalry. A certain callousness given dispute resolution ranged from debate before peers to duelling to frat boy-style "feats of disgust". An understanding that you were there to take orders from Yozis, but a strong undercurrent of "isn't it awesome to be the champions of hell?! Look how hard we're honouring you guys!" given it was noted the Yozis took on human jotunn within it's bounds.

        I do appreciate your point about divine world-monsters, I just think there's room for a personality in there as well scoping out the vast and alien vistas of a sun-glazed brass citadel, or the ravening tracks of a swamp that devours time.

        I also have a better understanding now of what you see in Hell, perhaps being strongly inspired by Compass: Malfeas. I. Hmm, this is awkward for me because if pressed I wouldn't have a problem with an Infernal who wants to play The Champion of The Experience Of Being In Hell because I think it's a valid way to self-identify as an Infernal on an individual basis. The thing is, I can't help but wonder if the parts you described about life as experienced by First Circle Demons is too unambitious to set lofty aspirations and far-flung heights of grandeur for the Infernal Exalted. Even Solars can call forth demons of the third circle after all, so isn't declaring yourself the harbinger and premonition of Hell's toxic yet sumptious bazaars a bit underwhelming, even almost Exigent-like? The Solars excel at sheer skill and the Abyssals excel at the deliverance of death, so I can't help but feel the Infernals being embodiments of Hell is limiting and underwhelming in comparison to the other avenues. I want to be clear, these objections are strictly aimed at the paragraph about "the world and the society", I'm all for Infernals displaying the natural phenomena that are Yozi attitude to one another since I do feel that came through a lot in many 2e Infernal Charms. Also Stanewald. It was Stanewald, She Who Surmounted the Omphalos (and received a mid-life crisis for her trouble).

        I don't think the Excellencies humanising the Yozis is all bad, although I see the appeal of keeping a certain Pegana-like mystique my position is the frequent difficulty in getting a truly honest answer out of humans about what they're feeling on sensitive topics when hurt and imprisoned may somewhat justify why an Excellency can be both informative, and not truly represerntative of what a Yozis' opinions about moths or House V'neef actually are. The way I looked at it was: An Excellency mapped a Yozi's personality the way a child's map accurately reflects the Grand Canyon: You can know in broad terms how full of rage, arrogance and self-loathing Malfeas is but the Excellency doesn't give you the nuances of his taste in music, his complex possibly-carnal feelings for the Unconquered Sun, and his generative urges represented in how his landscape-architecture begets occult crops. I haven't seen the Noah film unfortunately, but I have seen Annihilation and Prince of Egypt if that helps. Using those as an analogy, I would argue it would be possible to use an Excellency to justify the refraction phenomena caused by the Annihilation entity while keeping the ambiguity of how much of it was reflexive and unconscious in the film.

        I do find the idea of people coming to different conclusions about Yozi personalities from different interpretations of Yozi charms intriguing, though. I do like me some Dark Souls item description theorycrafting...

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        • Originally posted by Lioness View Post
          But the Yozis failed attempts from the KS preview would have equal claim, yes?
          Well no I don't think so, because "failed" is the operative word here. The fact that the Infernals are actually in Creation and not relying solely on cults or infintesimal fragments of their selfhood to achieve their goals is what gives their claim substance.
          Last edited by Guitar Longcat; 12-06-2019, 10:55 AM. Reason: Rephrasing

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          • Originally posted by Guitar Longcat View Post

            Well no I don't think so, because "failed" is the operative word here. The fact that the Infernals are actually in Creation and not relying solely on cults or infintesimal fragments of their selfhood to achieve their goals is what gives their claim substance.

            I think this strongly depends on what the Yozis consider failures. I also have reasons to believe we will not be hearing of these attempts anytime soon.


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            • I think keeping the fact in mind that Infernal exaltations are Solar exaltations that have been shot through and changed by infernal energy might help a bit. They’re not like, the Exalted of the Yozi. They took a shiny Solar exaltation and bathed it in green fire, turning gold to brass, tarnishing it as much as they gave it new majesty. They’re also the princes of Hell like the Solars are princes of Earth, except where solars have no nation and no crowns in Creation the Infernals are recognized as nobility.

              They also didn’t start out as demons, they’re humans who have been exalted, so if we’re going trans human with them they should probably start out with more human powers like Solars and Abyssals have. They don’t start right off with the crazy, they start off being able to weave their daiklave past an opponents guard like ice over a hot pan, and being able to charm somebody with a wry smile. They’re just a little off though, with their own twists on it. Instead of channeling sun fire into a blazing solar bolt their Green Sun Nimbus Flare is a gout of baleful fire that sloughs flesh from bone. Then as Essence increases and charms are built upon they start doing inhuman things, mutating x-men style.

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              • Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                I think keeping the fact in mind that Infernal exaltations are Solar exaltations that have been shot through and changed by infernal energy might help a bit. They’re not like, the Exalted of the Yozi. They took a shiny Solar exaltation and bathed it in green fire, turning gold to brass, tarnishing it as much as they gave it new majesty. They’re also the princes of Hell like the Solars are princes of Earth, except where solars have no nation and no crowns in Creation the Infernals are recognized as nobility.

                They also didn’t start out as demons, they’re humans who have been exalted, so if we’re going trans human with them they should probably start out with more human powers like Solars and Abyssals have. They don’t start right off with the crazy, they start off being able to weave their daiklave past an opponents guard like ice over a hot pan, and being able to charm somebody with a wry smile. They’re just a little off though, with their own twists on it. Instead of channeling sun fire into a blazing solar bolt their Green Sun Nimbus Flare is a gout of baleful fire that sloughs flesh from bone. Then as Essence increases and charms are built upon they start doing inhuman things, mutating x-men style.
                I like that idea and agree. There should probably be a more human start with Charms, and then they get progressively weirder. There are some basic things that need to be made available, I think, which aren't at present. Especially when you consider just how many Solar Charms there are in comparison.

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                • Originally posted by vwllss trnt prncss View Post

                  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.



                  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.
                  Again, I disagree.

                  The Deathlords wiped out 9 in 10 living things with the Great Contagion... and are in the game. How is that not a "bomb"?

                  Remove the Yozi as the biggest threat and the Kukla becomes the biggest threat. Remove the Kukla and the Deathlords become tbe biggest threat. Then the Sids. Then the Realm. Until the biggest threat in Exalted is a Blood Ape.

                  When you make statements like this you're saying "the Exalted shouldn't fight world ending threats". That's a fine opinion to have, but it's the EXACT OPPOSITE of my opinion.

                  It's fine to play a small game about how you rescue your bodyfriend from bandits then save your village from a demon. But I want it to build to something. I want my characters to make their mark on the world and go down into legend. The Exalted are built to save the world.


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                  • Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                    Again, I disagree.

                    The Deathlords wiped out 9 in 10 living things with the Great Contagion... and are in the game. How is that not a "bomb"?
                    Their cultivated indolence since the Contagion. They don't really do much; they are in the background, and meant to be approachable by non-combat means, as they've practically abandoned whatever set them on that course in favor of being potentates who jockey among themselves for position in the Underworld. Aside from the Mask of Winters, they don't try to get up in the faces of the living, and the original setup with the Mask mentions that he's only doing this so he can get an edge in said jockeying; exposing his plans to the other Deathlords will result in his forces getting pincered twelve or more ways and torn apart by the other Deathlords.

                    Remove the Yozi as the biggest threat and the Kukla becomes the biggest threat. Remove the Kukla and the Deathlords become tbe biggest threat. Then the Sids. Then the Realm. Until the biggest threat in Exalted is a Blood Ape.

                    When you make statements like this you're saying "the Exalted shouldn't fight world ending threats". That's a fine opinion to have, but it's the EXACT OPPOSITE of my opinion.

                    It's fine to play a small game about how you rescue your bodyfriend from bandits then save your village from a demon. But I want it to build to something. I want my characters to make their mark on the world and go down into legend. The Exalted are built to save the world.
                    Some games involve subtle maneuvering in deadly courts that are by no means small scale. That's why Creation-wide existential threats have to be dialed back - there's not much room for grand politicking if all the politics revolve around dumping all other concerns and going off to join a wartime coalition, with any meaningful change that the characters have wrought wiped away in a grand tremor as the world buckles, falls over, and changes entirely.

                    Rolling back said threats presumably stops long before blood apes. The ceiling on what you would typically use is probably city-threatening hazards, though these need to be used sparingly, and the approach to solving the problem needs to vary. You don't want to get jaded at having to divert Mount Mostath from its course, then a giant lava being the next, and then wow someone just brought in an Artifact N/A warstrider...

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                    • World ending bombs are fine, they should just be ST controlled. I know technically everything is, your ST could say that Lookshy doesn’t and never has existed in the setting, but that’s a hard leap to make and it will cause a lot of player disconnect if they’re familiar with the setting. So how you let the ST keep that control is:

                      1. Don’t make 500 world ending threats that are mere weeks away from triggering at the start of the game. The best way to do that is to probably hint that something may be possible but isn’t known or being worked on, or is being worked on but is centuries away from completion or something. Like, I think, Eye and Seven Despairs who’s sitting over the well of Urd waiting in possibly vain hope that something like the Great Contagion will again rise from it. Or the Lunar plan to destroy the Realm, which isn’t even supposed to start working for centuries and there’s no guarantee it’s not just wishful thinking. I’m not sure why but it’s way easier for an ST to say “Yeah this plan that the Mask of Winters has in the book that says it’s 300 years from being finished? He found a way to shorten that to mere months.” Than it is to say “That plan that the Mask is going to enact in a few months? It fucked up and it’s going to take years at least now, so our South game doesn’t have to go deal with it.” Possibly because with 1,000 dooms you need to retcon 999 things at a time, but with 1,000 maybe not really that bad possibility dooms you only need to retcon 1 into a cosmic world destroying threat.

                      2. Don’t spend a ton of word count on it, which eventually was a huge problem with the Reclamation in particular. By far the biggest most comprehensive, and epic published adventure for 2e was Return of the Scarlett Empress and it’s supplement Under the Rose. It doesn’t really matter at that point how many times you say it’s not canon and impossible without ST powers, it’s going to become an assumed thing in the minds of the community.


                      What exactly is that gateway to maybe Zen-Mu? Well maybe in my game it’s a focus and opening it unleashed a new pantheon of Celestial Incarna upon the world. If not though I don’t have to mention it and nobody is going to start sweating when it’s been 20 sessions into the game and in the back of every players mind they’re wondering when the hell the new overgods show up.

                      It’s also more setting consistent. There wasn’t a hundred different world ending threats stopped in the last ten years, and I know the time of tumult is a time for big change, but that’s because the Solars show up and the Empress disappeared, I don’t think it should be because by coincidence a ton of horrible monsters all make their move at once.
                      Last edited by DrLoveMonkey; 12-06-2019, 04:52 PM.

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                      • Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                        Again, I disagree.

                        The Deathlords wiped out 9 in 10 living things with the Great Contagion... and are in the game. How is that not a "bomb"?

                        Remove the Yozi as the biggest threat and the Kukla becomes the biggest threat. Remove the Kukla and the Deathlords become tbe biggest threat. Then the Sids. Then the Realm. Until the biggest threat in Exalted is a Blood Ape.

                        When you make statements like this you're saying "the Exalted shouldn't fight world ending threats". That's a fine opinion to have, but it's the EXACT OPPOSITE of my opinion.

                        It's fine to play a small game about how you rescue your bodyfriend from bandits then save your village from a demon. But I want it to build to something. I want my characters to make their mark on the world and go down into legend. The Exalted are built to save the world.
                        That's second edition lore. The Deathlords no longer made the Contagion. The Kukla are nowhere to be found in 3e. Third has been very good about removing all looming doomsdays.
                        Because "World's about to end! Do something!" is a great campaign premise but it has to be something the GM introduces. Otherwise you have the Yozi and Kukla and Deathlords and Istvara and pals sticking their heads out of the book to say "Hey, cool Three Kingdoms game! But have you dealt with us yet? We're gonna blow it alllll up!".

                        I'm saying "Exalted shouldn't have to fight world-ending threats to have the rest of their story matter". I'm saying "Exalted should have a default bunch of antagonists that doesn't include 'doomsday' so plots that aren't 'go fight doomsday' don't necessitate ignoring doomsday".
                        I am all for Exalted beating up the end of the world. That's great, it's awesome, it's very Exalted. But so are a bunch of other things that need to not be played out in the shadow of the end of the world.

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                        • Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                          World ending bombs are fine, they should just be ST controlled. I know technically everything is, your ST could say that Lookshy doesn’t and never has existed in the setting, but that’s a hard leap to make and it will cause a lot of player disconnect if they’re familiar with the setting. So how you let the ST keep that control is:

                          1. Don’t make 500 world ending threats that are mere weeks away from triggering at the start of the game.
                          One. Hundred. And Fifty. Years.

                          One hundred and fifty years.

                          *in the style of "five years"*

                          ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS.


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                          • Originally posted by vwllss trnt prncss View Post
                            The Deathlords no longer made the Contagion.
                            Didn't they? Who did?


                            I play...
                            Kovan, actor, librarian, sorcerer, great bear, Lunar Elder from the First Age
                            Thutmose-Osiris, seventh son of a seventh son, descendant of the Supreme Deity Sukhmet, renegade demigod and bearer of the Ghoul-Banishing Bow. Also bright green.

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                            • Aside from the fact that "weeks" was pretty clearly illustrative exaggeration, 150 years what?

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                              • Originally posted by Epee102 View Post


                                I think this strongly depends on what the Yozis consider failures. I also have reasons to believe we will not be hearing of these attempts anytime soon.
                                I'm saying nothing.


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