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  • Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post

    A plot about beating up Blood Apes means ignoring War Ghosts.
    A plot about sailing the West means ignoring the jungles of the East.
    A plot about freeing Thorns means ignoring Skullstone.

    A plot that's not about doomsday means ignoring doomsday. No Contest Your Honor.
    Some of those have more credibility as things that can move on without the intervention of players and the world still spins.

    It has been said by many people before that one of the strengths of the setting of Exalted has been writing the locations as though they're in a period of transition even without the intervention of players, in contrast to games where everything is static and stable until the plot of a specific game happens. It gives the setting a greater feeling of life, it creates dynamic hooks for players to engage with in the form of hijacking or derailing those already existing threads, and I propose that it can serve as inspiration for Storytellers with what to do for the setting that evolves around a player group. A game consisting of, say, five in-character years to take control of Ixcoatli and then starts expanding outwards is not going to encounter the Scavenger Lands and Dreaming Sea and Northeast as they're written in the corebook or Fangs at the Gate or whichever other source of preliminary details.

    There is a dissonance in that style which weakens its impact if things that can move on without the players are mixed in with things that have to be held in an indefinite holding pattern because permitting them to move on without the players will wreck the setting. That and it also weakens the credibility of those plots in and of themselves to say that they're impending except actually not.

    I see Infernals as being written either like core Solars in which their situation means that most of the impetus for saying exactly what they're getting themselves involved with rests with the players controlling them, or like the Lunars and Dragon Blooded in which they come with their own little portions of the setting that they're embedded within and play off of to make them richer and more compelling, have more life and independent personality. If the latter, I don't think it serves them to connect them to a plotline that can't feel as though it can move on absent the presence of players.

    Besides, I find that part of the intended tone of the setting, and impetus for the return of the Solars in the first place, is supposed to be that those ongoing plots that are capable of continuing in parallel with the chronicle, are themselves the doom of the world in aggregate. On the one hand that can provide one with the necessary tone of motivating doom without needing storylines that can only end one way for a recognisable world to come out the other end, and on the other I think including a smaller number of more extreme scenarios uncouples the wider discontent from world-ending implications.

    Speaking of, one possibly last thing that I'll say on the subject of Infernals as returned Solar tyrants:

    People may recall that a couple of Solar Charms introduce themselves with things like the image of sleeping kings whose beards have grown long enough to shatter stone tables. For those who don't know, this would be a reference to the King in the Mountain, a pretty widespread folkloric motif in which famed national heroes are regarded as having gone to sleep in hidden locations rather than dying, to return at the hour of greatest need (a common image is the idea of awakening to find that the eagles circling the mountain are all gone). Geoff Grabowski often directly invoked it when describing the writing of the Solar Exalted and what their place in the world is.

    Obviously it's not what the Solar Exalted literally are, but it's what they are by analogy. It deepens their significance in the setting and connects them to that powerful device of folklore, while not totally overwhelming the rest of the flavours and textures of the recipe (such as playing a person who has grown up in the contemporary setting).

    I don't think that the Green Sun Princes need much more direct reference to being the long imprisoned devilish tyrants now freed by some foolhardy and power hungry interloper who didn't know what they were getting into than the Solars do to being King in the Mountain.


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    • I don't see it. Under the Rose has the signature Solars destroy the Realm's army and capital city, kill the Empress's demons and shut down the Realm Defence Grid. That's gotta buy your game in the West a couple of years... from the point you choose to advance the Reclaimation plot, which might be a decade into your game.

      The GSPs are meant to be working in the background, set on contradictory missions by mad demon kings... whom they're not really inclined to obey anyway.

      If your game is set in Jiara as your Circle of Solars make war on House Mnemon, then Lookshy is a distant enemy. If Lookshy is subverted by the Inferals and becomes a stronghold of hell, set at odds with Thorns and a corrupting influence on the Scavenger Lands then the plot is advanced but your game isn't immediately wrecked. Lookshy is still an enemy. But the world is in flux and stuff is happening.

      The Reclaimation isn't "and then suddenly the Yozi are all free in Creation, drop everything!". It's fifty GSPs, opposed by 100 Abyssals, 150 Solars, 300(-400) Lunars and 100 Sids (plus Dragon-Blooded and Mountain Folk and Dragon Kings and Raksha etc.), are trying to free the demon kings. Fifty Solars who aren't your characters could be keeping them in check.

      It's really less disruptive than the Signature Twilight racing you to Solar Sorcery, or the Signature Dawn trying to conquer the world. The Bull of the North winning and toppling the Realm is just as disruptive than someone trying to free the Yozi.
      Last edited by JohnDoe244; 12-12-2019, 06:13 PM.


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

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      • Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
        How so and which passages?
        You know, I've never really read... any Storytelling chapter, least of all that of Infernals, very closely, but I wonder if even that actually says some of this stuff outright given the reports I've heard about the dissonance between it and the first two chapters.

        For the time being, it's a sentiment that I know was expressed by Holden and I think sometimes by Michael Goodwin while elaborating on the book in forum discussions. This would be an account of one such elaboration in which one of the pertinent lines appears.
        This becomes a less and less appealing proposition as a given Green Sun Prince's power approaches the point where he can march up and slap the taste out of Malfeas's mouth. This is one of the reasons the Yozis want the Reclamation to happen, like,
        yesterday
        , rather than letting it take its sweet ass time the way they Neverborn are with their agenda.
        There's other stuff talking about a whole thing of the Infernals being supposed to come across as poorly suited to the purpose for which their patrons intend them.

        One thing I'll say for Broken-Winged Crane (the book that actually introduces the detail of sharply limited lifespan) is that while I've come to be critical of the mechanism, I can at least understand the intended narrative trajectory of saying that the Infernals get to live just long enough to develop the power to uncouple their destinies from the control of the Yozis, and have a hard incentive to do so.

        Hmm, gonna give that a quick check...

        Originally posted by JohnDoe244
        If it's at odds with anything, it's CK being alive during RotSE.
        I'm not sure what Chejop has to do with this, unless it's part of an assertion that Return of the Scarlet Empress is intended to take place much further into Creation's timeline than it does.

        Originally posted by JohnDoe244
        150 years IS as soon as possible. One of the vectors of Yozi escape is a Fiend getting to Essence 10... taking a thousand years.
        First off, more than a century is emphatically not as soon as possible. Second, I truly doubt that one of the intended implications of writing those "become a Yozi" Charms was supposed to be that the currently existing Yozis intend or would accept somebody else transforming into them as a form of their own freedom.

        Third, and this is a thing that I myself have only just found again and seems to be often forgotten, but the description of Infernal lifespans in The Broken-Winged Crane actually does say that it increases as their Essence rises. The default lifespan is long enough to reach Essence 6 which doubles it, and each growth thereafter can be achieved within the new lifespan. An Infernal needs to reach Essence 8 before they become capable of living for more than a thousand years.


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        • Originally posted by JohnDoe244
          I don't see it. Under the Rose has the signature Solars destroy the Realm's army and capital city, kill the Empress's demons and shut down the Realm Defence Grid. That's gotta buy your game in the West a couple of years... from the point you choose to advance the Reclaimation plot, which might be a decade into your game.

          The GSPs are meant to be working in the background, set on contradictory missions by mad demon kings... whom they're not really inclined to obey anyway.

          If your game is set in Jiara as your Circle of Solars make war on House Mnemon, then Lookshy is a distant enemy. If Lookshy is subverted by the Inferals and becomes a stronghold of hell, set at odds with Thorns and a corrupting influence on the Scavenger Lands then the plot is advanced but your game isn't immediately wrecked. Lookshy is still an enemy. But the world is in flux and stuff is happening.

          The Reclaimation isn't "and then suddenly the Yozi are all free in Creation, drop everything!". It's fifty GSPs, opposed by 150 Abyssals, 150 Solars, 300(-400) Lunars and 100 Sids (plus Dragon-Blooded and Mountain Folk and Dragon Kings and Raksha etc.), are trying to free the demon kings. Fifty Solars who aren't your characters could be keeping them in check.


          This is still just a storyline that is kept in an indefinite holding pattern, just with additional steps. It does not sit comfortably alongside plot hooks that it is permissible to move forwards unchecked.

          If the Reclamation is something that needs to be referred to as being constantly kept in check, that acknowledges and validates the fact that it can't be portrayed as something that can go forwards on its own. So what's the value of even including it?

          I also think it's weird to phrase the Reclamation as trying to have its cake and eat it too when saying that it consists of fifty Infernals trying to free the Yozis while also throwing a bone to the point of "the Infernals aren't actually trying to free the Yozis".


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          • Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

            You know, I've never really read... any Storytelling chapter, least of all that of Infernals, very closely, but I wonder if even that actually says some of this stuff outright given the reports I've heard about the dissonance between it and the first two chapters.

            For the time being, it's a sentiment that I know was expressed by Holden and I think sometimes by Michael Goodwin while elaborating on the book in forum discussions. This would be an account of one such elaboration in which one of the pertinent lines appears.
            You'll excuse me for not taking the sentiment of the guy who thought it was a problem over what the book actually says.

            And did you read the whole quote? What the Yozi want from the Infernals is basically immaterial. They're going to get disappointment.

            I prefer a quote from someone who wrote the book saying that sure the Infernals could carry out the Reclaimation, but they're not going to. Because that's protagonizing instead of story limiting.

            One thing I'll say for Broken-Winged Crane (the book that actually introduces the detail of sharply limited lifespan)
            MoEP:I does say their lifespan isn't Solar, but no indication if it's longer or shorter.

            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
            I'm not sure what Chejop has to do with this, unless it's part of an assertion that Return of the Scarlet Empress is intended to take place much further into Creation's timeline than it does.
            When does it take place?

            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
            First off, more than a century is emphatically not as soon as possible.
            How soon can you achieve everything needed to free the Yozi? Genuinely curious.

            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
            Second, I truly doubt that one of the intended implications of writing those "become a Yozi" Charms was supposed to be that the currently existing Yozis intend or would accept somebody else transforming into them as a form of their own freedom.
            I'm refering to the Fiend anima power for breaking oaths. (Which doesn't work on the surrender oath. I had confused it with Oath-Shattering Strike from Infernal Monster Style which requires an Essence 10 GSP.)

            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
            Third, and this is a thing that I myself have only just found again and seems to be often forgotten, but the description of Infernal lifespans in The Broken-Winged Crane actually does say that it increases as their Essence rises. The default lifespan is long enough to reach Essence 6 which doubles it, and each growth thereafter can be achieved within the new lifespan. An Infernal needs to reach Essence 8 before they become capable of living for more than a thousand years.
            Which is described as an unintended side effect. They're meant to die young. But the Yozi also have plans for them freeing the Yozi after a millennium. Because the Reclaimation isn't a coherent plan that'll unleash the Yozi in weeks, but a convoluted impossible thing that's mutable to fit your plot. Like the Realm Civil War. Or the Bull of the North's empire. And literally every other Exalted plot point.
            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

            This is still just a storyline that is kept in an indefinite holding pattern, just with additional steps. It does not sit comfortably alongside plot hooks that it is permissible to move forwards unchecked.
            Ok. What story does?

            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
            If the Reclamation is something that needs to be referred to as being constantly kept in check, that acknowledges and validates the fact that it can't be portrayed as something that can go forwards on its own. So what's the value of even including it?
            But that's my point: you don't need to include it. Or validate it. Or reference it. You don't need to describe that whilst your Dynasts are studying at the Heptagram, Leviathan is moving his bowels and Malfeas is dreaming of escape.

            If you want to include it, you can advance the plot as rapidly or as slowly as you like. In any vector. Maybe your game is limited to Nexus as Jacinct tries to build a road out of hell. Maybe it's Creation spanning as you play out RotSE. Maybe it's inspiration for you to change and grow the game world as time passes so Creation isn't static like a video game waiting for you to trigger the quests.

            The point is the Reclaimation is impossible. The ST isn't rolling a die at the start of each session and freeing one Yozi per success. And your PCs aren't the only heroes in the world. The Reclaimation is exactly as derailing as you want it to be, and you're perfectly justified in simply ignoring it in your games.

            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
            I also think it's weird to phrase the Reclamation as trying to have its cake and eat it too when saying that it consists of fifty Infernals trying to free the Yozis while also throwing a bone to the point of "the Infernals aren't actually trying to free the Yozis".[/FONT][/COLOR][/LEFT]
            ... That's the point. That's literally the whole point.

            The Reclaimation is not some inevitable thing that will mess over your game. It has never been presented that way.

            It's been likened to an astroid wiping out all life on Earth. When was the last time that happened? 65 million years ago? Maybe. I'm saying I want the chance to play Deep Impact if I want to, recognizing that the moon and the atmosphere exists, then Holden saying "nuh uh! Das bad 4 fun!" isn't a positive thing for me. And you might breath a sigh of relief and say "hurrah -- meteors have been banned"... but you were never in danger in the first place... and I can still ST it back into the game. The Reclaimation might be retconned but it can't be unpublished.

            It was never going to come up in your game unless your ST wanted it to before. And that remains unchanged.

            What has changed is that the number of, and scope of, stories supported by the official rules is diminished. I can live with that, but see no reason to celebrate it.

            "Hurray! I can play the smaller, less interesting stories which I could always have played before! And the most popular plot line in the entire game is officially no longer supported! I'm so glad the devs took away something because it was popular!"

            In short, I think you're opposed to what you've built the Reclaimation up to be, rather than what it actually is.
            Last edited by JohnDoe244; 12-07-2019, 12:39 PM.


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            • Originally posted by Aliasi View Post
              But I hope the game line does not become written by people who think as you do.
              Okay, this became pretty personal. Lets not see a repeat of such comments in future?


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              • Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                You'll excuse me for not taking the sentiment of the guy who thought it was a problem over what the book actually says.
                Holden was developer for The Broken-Winged Crane. Holden wrote Triumphant Howl of the Devil Tiger. And in Return of the Scarlet Empress; the first forum posts I ever read of him were him ardently defending that book.

                I'm pretty sure this comment on the subject is something that he wrote within weeks of Manual: Infernals coming out.

                Originally posted by JohnDoe244
                What the Yozi want from the Infernals is basically immaterial. They're going to get disappointment.
                This would be the exact reason why he writes it as something that can only ever happen quickly, because otherwise it can't happen at all.

                I mean, your arguments up until now have alternated between "the rise of the Yozis is fine because it's a long, slow burn akin to global warming that people can get by with without immediate concern" and "the rise of the Yozis will never be a concern because the people charged with carrying it out can't be relied upon to do so". It can't be both, and devoting word count to either strikes me as a bit of a waste compared to something with more immediacy.

                Originally posted by JohnDoe244
                When does it take place?
                Considering that Second Edition firmly established that Chejop is five years shy of the absolute maximum Sidereal lifespan, it can take place no later than Realm Year 773. I think in most respects it comes off as closer to 768, because the various parts of the setting it touches on don't seem much moved on from their starting presentations.

                Originally posted by JohnDoe244
                How soon can you achieve everything needed to free the Yozi? Genuinely curious.
                They wrote a whole book about doing it before Chejop Kejak dies of natural causes, so I'd say that the intention of the person who said it wanted being done quickly who wrote in that book was referring to that at the least.

                Originally posted by JohnDoe244
                I'm refering to the Fiend anima power for breaking oaths. (Which doesn't work on the surrender oath. I had confused it with Oath-Shattering Strike from Infernal Monster Style which requires an Essence 10 GSP.)
                I'll admit, I've never looked very closely at Infernal Monster Style. At this moment I'll just say that I find it odd in one book (or blog post, as the case may be) to say that they have a Charm whose ultimate purpose is intended to be freeing the Yozis from their oaths when they become powerful enough to contest the Unconquered Sun in several centuries, and in another say that the Yozis very much intend them not to live to see two hundred.

                It kind of touches on issues with the Style in general when it compromises being a Martial Art with being a vector for Reclamation plot hooks.

                Originally posted by JohnDoe244
                Ok. What story does?
                I'd be hard pressed to think of a hook branching off of an example setting in any of the published Third Edition books that will simply wait around going nowhere indefinitely.

                Obviously Storytellers are the arbiters of what can happen, so one can simply command that the political agitation over whether or not now is the time to start actively sending raids against the Realm from Luthe is something that can remain in its status quo for decades, but I maintain that the writing is intended to engage Storytellers with the idea that it won't do that, helped by none of them being extreme enough that the setting will be widely changed irrevocably if they do.

                This is the kind of writing the developers openly talked about doing the setting in while the Edition was still in preliminary stages. It's the kind of writing that was present in the setting for Scavenger Sons, and White Wolf alumnus Malcolm Sheppard once praised it as a quality in writing a lively game setting that was distinct from metaplot.

                Originally posted by JohnDoe244
                You don't need to describe that whilst your Dynasts are studying at the Heptagram
                Students of the Heptagram will have an interest in imports of sorcerous prodigies from the West. Leviathan's response to growing Realm activity in his corner of the world is set to have an impact on Western trade. A Storyteller can not merely use the prospect that imports have become more expensive because of attacks on the shipping lanes from beneath, they can make it a background detail to make the setting on the whole feel like something that grows alongside the players.

                So much of Creation is written to be interconnected. So much is written on things like trade hubs and networks. Tone can be established and maintained, and a variety of fresh plot hooks provided for players to choose from, by the occasional scene of them listening in on public news or private gossip.

                If you want to include it, you can advance the plot as rapidly or as slowly as you like. In any vector. Maybe your game is limited to Nexus as Jacinct tries to build a road out of hell. Maybe it's Creation spanning as you play out RotSE. Maybe it's inspiration for you to change and grow the game world as time passes so Creation isn't static like a video game waiting for you to trigger the quests.

                The point is the Reclaimation is impossible. The ST isn't rolling a die at the start of each session and freeing one Yozi per success. And your PCs aren't the only heroes in the world. The Reclaimation is exactly as derailing as you want it to be, and you're perfectly justified in simply ignoring it in your games.

                Originally posted by JohnDoe244
                ... That's the point. That's literally the whole point.

                The Reclaimation is not some inevitable thing that will mess over your game. It has never been presented that way.

                It's been likened to an astroid wiping out all life on Earth. When was the last time that happened? 65 million years ago? Maybe. I'm saying I want the chance to play Deep Impact if I want to, recognizing that the moon and the atmosphere exists, then Holden saying "nuh uh! Das bad 4 fun!" isn't a positive thing for me. And you might breath a sigh of relief and say "hurrah -- meteors have been banned"... but you were never in danger in the first place... and I can still ST it back into the game. The Reclaimation might be retconned but it can't be unpublished.

                It was never going to come up in your game unless your ST wanted it to before. And that remains unchanged.
                I find there's a distinct difference between writing in a book that a meteor is never going to come towards the world and including amongst a variety of other plot hooks that a meteor is truly coming down towards the world.

                The Reclamation would not have been an issue if the setting on the whole was written as though any given plot hook was as canon optional as the Hearteaters were going to be, but that isn't how it presented itself then and it's not what it's doing now.

                What's fun in a group's own game is not necessarily the best way to write about presentation of the setting on the whole, and that doesn't mean the thing is the wrong way to have fun. People who want Yozi escape plots or meteor impacts or other such things already know what they're looking for.

                Originally posted by JohnDoe244
                What has changed is that the number of, and scope of, stories supported by the official rules is diminished. I can live with that, but see no reason to celebrate it.
                It might be celebrated in the manner that one might celebrate a pizza ceasing to have every single topping put on it at once because some of them overstuff it and some of the flavours clash.

                Originally posted by JohnDoe244
                "Hurray! I can play the smaller, less interesting stories which I could always have played before!
                As I said before, I am more deeply moved by Pyre of Legions than Karvara the Walking Devil Tower, and I like Karvara quite a bit. Stories of societies and relationships are far more interesting to me because they resonate deeply with things that are real.

                Mind, I mostly like Karvara in terms of the possibility that it might gradually erase all of your other positive connections until you're convinced that the world devouring warstrider is the only friend that you've ever had, so even that is a matter of appropriating something of cosmic scope in support of human interest stories. But that's also a case in which it's something that I'm bringing to the product, which in itself has wider applications.

                Even in my arguments here and my responses to some of your specific points, I find limits to expressing some of the nuances to my perspective on this side of the game that frustrate me. The possibilities inherent to Karvara and other creatures of its ilk, as well as several other details strewn around accounts of the First Age in terms of the threat that they face. The possible ambitions of Rakan Thulio and the Getimian Exalted. I look at how I think of these and several other things and I know that what I think is more detailed than "no cosmic plots or world-ending threats", but it's hard to keep these discussions from becoming so binary and defined in absolutes.

                It makes me think that the issue of the Reclamation, or however else one frames the idea of Yozi escape, isn't exactly in the scope but the specific details. Details such as how it forms so much of the writing for Manual: Infernals, both elevating the idea of Yozi escape as an endgame for the world by adding significant weight in the form of word count to it and detracting from what was ever actually said about the personalities and motives of the Green Sun Princes. So maybe it's not about such a plot in the broadest sense, but about the idea that it should not be the entire published form of a thesis statement for a whole splat (with assurances that they'll get over it being in forum discussions that not all players will read), that a book about the Infernal (and Abyssal) Exalted should be more about them, and that the Yozis in particular still need to be emphatically trapped forever as an encouragement to engage with them in more varied stories (including ones following that line from Games of Divinity about how their futile attempts may still devastate the world).

                That and how any such plot hooks should not be written as being so far along. Whatever you say about how Manual: Infernals presented the Reclamation, I'm pretty sure that it heavily pivoted the thing on the matter of the Ebon Dragon's wedding and really did portray that as pretty imminent.

                Originally posted by JohnDoe244
                And the most popular plot line in the entire game is officially no longer supported! I'm so glad the devs took away something because it was popular!"
                Now that is a bold claim to make.

                For the other line, I have two lines of response. One is that these arguments arise from things that the Reclamation was built up to be by people who had a strong hand in writing it, and the other is that in retrospect I think the biggest thing that might sour me on all of this Yozi and Incarnae and Dreams of the First Age stuff is remembering how people talked about Masters of Jade in the time building up to it. A book I was strongly interested in not merely because it was the first one that was new in the time since I had become interested in the game, but promised subject matter in which I was greatly interested. There were so many people who looked down on the idea of the Guild, or interaction with mortals in general, mattering in the face of that other stuff.



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                • Originally posted by Gonzo View Post
                  I would prefer if Ex3 prematurely ended... I know that would be horrible for a number of reasons, but, at least I wouldn't feel trapped anymore in an edition I don't fully like for the nex 30 years. I would be more excited if we had the hope of getting a new lighter game that was easier to write. That way maybe more than three people in the world could be able to design mechanics and stuff to keep the game alive and running.

                  Yes... I'm not the most optimistic about this subject. Sorry.
                  EE huh?

                  Oooweee... well well... could this mean that my prayers were heard?


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                  • Originally posted by Gonzo View Post
                    EE huh?

                    Oooweee... well well... could this mean that my prayers were heard?
                    Well not the first line of them.

                    {checks again} Or the fourth.


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                    • From a purely utilitarian standpoint here's what I need from plot hooks:
                      • They need to be interesting enough that it sparks my imagination and makes me want to run it.
                      • Unless you're giving me the whole adventure, don't pin down too many specifics. I want freedom to make it my own thing.
                      • Don't make it something that I need to keep track of in the back of every campaign.
                      • It doesn't become so pervasive that it takes over the rest of the setting. Creation serves as, basically, Exalted's only setting, I need to be able to run as many different games in it as campaigns I plan to have.

                      The only plot hook that doesn't really fit that so far is the Realm civil war, I think. The Realm is so large, and so powerful, that it plunging into a civil war is something that will affect most games set anywhere in the near Threshold, and it's mentioned so many times all over that it's difficult to handwave away. The saving grace for it is that you could have the civil war take place and diminish the Realm, and just have that affect your game by giving your players room to grow without the shadow of the grand empire breathing down their necks.

                      It's still not ideal because my only out there is to have the Realm civil war slowly collapse it so that it doesn't either galvanize into an even more deadly superpower or destroy half the setting in its death throes.


                      I really need there to be not any more of those though. I simply don't have the time at the end of every session to think about dozens of different things that are going on in the world, in addition to what my PCs are doing. RPGs aren't like a video game in that a quest that sounds super urgent can be left until the very last and you'll still make it just in time with people thanking you for your speedy response, but it's not like the real world either where everything is always accounted for by physics and regardless of what you do the world will continue on without you.

                      If you decide that your character wants to run off and go hide somewhere and live the simple dull life of a farmer or something, that's a choice they can make, but something interesting is probably going to happen to them, in fact almost certainly. Unless your group is cool with sitting there for hours describing how uneventful days pass, the universe will bend itself around and send somebody after her, or have some catastrophe. Of course the actual in universe explanation won't be that, the pattern spiders won't be flipping their shit because the world just twisted, there was just always a giant earth elemental who was on track for tearing through that farming village. It's just that it hadn't always been that way ten minutes ago.

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                      • Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                        I mean, your arguments up until now have alternated between "the rise of the Yozis is fine because it's a long, slow burn akin to global warming that people can get by with without immediate concern" and "the rise of the Yozis will never be a concern because the people charged with carrying it out can't be relied upon to do so". It can't be both, and devoting word count to either strikes me as a bit of a waste compared to something with more immediacy.

                        [...]

                        I'll admit, I've never looked very closely at Infernal Monster Style. At this moment I'll just say that I find it odd in one book (or blog post, as the case may be) to say that they have a Charm whose ultimate purpose is intended to be freeing the Yozis from their oaths when they become powerful enough to contest the Unconquered Sun in several centuries, and in another say that the Yozis very much intend them not to live to see two hundred.
                        I feel like my extant posts address all the points you've made apart from these two -- I'm happy for you to have the last word on the other points, because I've addressed them to my own satisfaction.

                        The Yozi are not working together on a grand plan. They might think they are, but they're not. They're mad, broken, spiritual conglomerates of principle which are unable to see past their own monolithic world view. Their various plans are at odds with each other. That's what makes the Reclaimation fun -- you can approach it from any direction you want. So Malfeas is trying to smash his way free in the next thirty seconds, Ebby is planning a long game... and a short game... and a dozen medium term games. Adorjan just wants to spread the love/ultra-violence (the real Reclaimation was the friends we murdered along the way).

                        So it is both.

                        If the Infernals don't free the Yozi... they can still BECOME the Yozi, or something greater than the Yozi. In a thousand years. Even if they get bored and wander off... the Reclaimation still (kinda) happens.

                        If 98% of the Infernals get bored and wander off, so long as one devoted follower keeps working... it only takes one Infernal to kill the Sun and unleash hell. That's not happening in the next five years. But in a few thousand years then it might.

                        If all the Infernals blow off the Reclaimation to do hookers and blow... but get killed by Juggernaut, then new Infernals will be born. If each generation advances the Reclaimation a single step...

                        If all fifty Infernals work day and night to drag Creation into hell...there are fifty of them. Even with Akuma, demons and their spawn, cultists, etc... that's a pretty small force to attack all of Creation. Even RotSE assumes NPC resistance to the Reclaimation. Or it could be quick. The Inferals take the world by storm and win in 768.

                        There's no alternation or contradiction. Because there's no single vision.

                        The Yozi want to be free yesterday. They want the gods to never have rebelled. They want to be whole. What they want doesn't matter. You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes... you get what you need.

                        The Reclaimation isn't one plot. Even RotSE is full of options. It's not a set story. How it does or doesn't play out will vary table by table and it is as much of a threat as you make it. Maybe it never happens. Maybe it happens tomorrow. Maybe it happens in a thousand years. Maybe anything in between. You are not frog-marched, bound by chains-of-plot that state that "on the first morning of ascending fire 768, the Ebon Dragon gets free and you must drop everything to go deal with it". But previously, that could happen if you wanted it to and (more importantly) there were rules and story-telling help to support you. And that is what we've lost -- game mechanics and storyteller guidance. That's what I'm bemoaning. "Exalted 3rd edition will provide less support for Storytellers." "Hurray! Fewer toppings on the pizza! You were having badwrongfun anyway."

                        Infernals exist. But the Reclaimation doesn't happen except by ST fiat. With ST fiat, it happens as quickly or as slowly as you like. And it doesn't start with the Silent Wind killing the entire South. It starts with candy locusts becoming a popular treat as the price of grain rises. It starts with the Linowan getting the upper hand against Halta. It starts with Black Claw dojos becoming more popular. It starts with your good friends murdered by long knives and your investigation and revenge that takes you into the bowels of hell. Or, more properly, it started with the kidnap of a single child. You can advance the plot in any number of ways, knocking on to other games... and most of this demonic influence on the world still applies under the new paradigm of the Yozi just wanting to lash-out rather than escape. Only before, you could rule that the Yozi's plans were doomed to fail or might succeed... and now these little acts simply can't foreshadow anything greater.

                        [Edit - tone]

                        Whilst I'm happy with the point I made, it's confrontational. Let me try to explain that a bit better so I don't seem like quite such an ass:

                        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                        As I said before, I am more deeply moved by Pyre of Legions than Karvara the Walking Devil Tower, and I like Karvara quite a bit. Stories of societies and relationships are far more interesting to me because they resonate deeply with things that are real.
                        I agree. There's a reason I like Dragon-Blooded games. Family, friends, history, culture, sacrifice, creation, love, loss -- all way more interesting than Godzilla-Cthulu.

                        The point isn't that monsters escaping from hell is better than sacrificing your life to hold off a barbarian army.

                        The point is that the two are not mutually exclusive.

                        Waffles are better than pancakes, but telling people that pancakes appear in too many people's orders so they will no longer be served is not a good thing. Exalted is big enough for pancakes and waffles -- and if no-one wanted to have waffles with you, it's because they preferred pancakes. Banning pancakes doesn't change that.

                        The Reclaimation does not forbid you Pyre of Legions.
                        Last edited by JohnDoe244; 12-08-2019, 07:01 AM.


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

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                        • Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

                          The only plot hook that doesn't really fit that so far is the Realm civil war, I think. The Realm is so large, and so powerful, that it plunging into a civil war is something that will affect most games set anywhere in the near Threshold, and it's mentioned so many times all over that it's difficult to handwave away. The saving grace for it is that you could have the civil war take place and diminish the Realm, and just have that affect your game by giving your players room to grow without the shadow of the grand empire breathing down their necks.
                          This is what I did. The Realm withdrew its forces slowly, plunged into civil war, and was out of the players way so they could concentrate on stopping Walker in Darkness. The Blessed Isle was utterly devastated, with Legion fighting Legion... but the PCs never went there, so it didn't make much difference to them.


                          I kind of did with this the Reclamation actually. The Fiends literally freed the Ebon Dragon from Hell (betraying the other Yozis and Infernals of course), and he went and attacked Heaven, killing the Incarnae... which again, the PCs were not really involved in, they were doing other things.

                          It was there so I could do giant cosmic punch-a-Yozi plot if I wanted to later... but I didn't, basically, so we didn't. We had a 25 year hiatus, continued in 3rd ed, and by then Autocthon and Gaia and other Exalts had defeated the Ebon Dragon and sent him back to hell. So there were some background changes, but it didn't impact the PCs much.

                          so that it doesn't either galvanize into an even more deadly superpower
                          After a civil war, this normally takes decades. So it's easy to say "yeah, the Realm's busy rebuilding itself" for 25 years before having it attack the area the PCs are in (again, that's what I did).


                          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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                          • Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                            This is what I did. The Realm withdrew its forces slowly, plunged into civil war, and was out of the players way so they could concentrate on stopping Walker in Darkness. The Blessed Isle was utterly devastated, with Legion fighting Legion... but the PCs never went there, so it didn't make much difference to them.


                            I kind of did with this the Reclamation actually. The Fiends literally freed the Ebon Dragon from Hell (betraying the other Yozis and Infernals of course), and he went and attacked Heaven, killing the Incarnae... which again, the PCs were not really involved in, they were doing other things.

                            It was there so I could do giant cosmic punch-a-Yozi plot if I wanted to later... but I didn't, basically, so we didn't. We had a 25 year hiatus, continued in 3rd ed, and by then Autocthon and Gaia and other Exalts had defeated the Ebon Dragon and sent him back to hell. So there were some background changes, but it didn't impact the PCs much.



                            After a civil war, this normally takes decades. So it's easy to say "yeah, the Realm's busy rebuilding itself" for 25 years before having it attack the area the PCs are in (again, that's what I did).
                            The idea of a Yozi breaking out of Hell, invading Yu-Shan and killing the Incarnae only to be driven back by the remaining free Primordials and Exalts offscreen being treated like weather reports from another country is funny to me. And as a fan of the big-scale, cosmic level conflicts who absolutely thinks the presentation benefits from them taking the forefront in the setting as presented by default and finds it rather odd when people relate "real world issues" to a setting I've always felt is very far removed from the real world culturally as well as metaphysically, I ALSO think that's a perfectly valid way of resolving an element of the setting you don't want to deal with!

                            I mean, speaking pragmatically there's only so much content a given game can reasonably be expected to cover while holding the interest of the players. I imagine a lot of players, especially more casual or novice ones, would rather advance the adventure than listened to a detailed breakdown about something that will never affect the story
                            Last edited by Guitar Longcat; 12-09-2019, 02:43 AM. Reason: Clarification of opinion

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                            • I can see that it might be strange, but, yeah, the PCs were busy saving the whole world from being destroyed by a Deathlord, that's kind of enough for one game. There's 143 other Solars to save the world from other dooms.


                              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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                              • Originally posted by Lioness View Post
                                Can you give some examples?
                                I know the thread's moved on a bit, and I'm no Exalted expert, but here's my take:

                                Solars had it all but blew it big time, and Sidereals sit in their heavenly cubicles picking their nose all day, the Dragon-blooded just their naive pawns. Infernals, however, are rock gods from Hell empowered by the primal creators of the world itself. Nothing holds you back as you walk the breadth of Creation taking everything for yourself because you deserve it - all that stands in this Age was wrongfully taken, and you're going to enjoy and revel in all that you take back.

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