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Is you Dynast PC evil or merely ignorant?

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  • Is you Dynast PC evil or merely ignorant?

    ***HETERODOX VIEWS FOLLOW***YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***

    I'm asking about a PC that you're actually playing rather than one that you theoretically might play or used to play (in an attempt to avoid the NIMBY problem).

    Given that the Realm is a corrupt, incompetent, baby-eating murder machine of unreasoning cruelty and injustice without many if any redeeming features, is your current Dynast PC a champion of this evil empire (and thus evil herself) or completely ignorant of it (and thus painfully blind)? Does your PC stand against the Realm? Some other relationship?

    I'm curious to see how people play Dynasts as heroic characters. (If your Dynast is herself a corrupt monster, then no need to explain since that's easy to see )

  • #2
    My DB PC killed a Delhzan woman in cold blood because in her 20 years of being a spoilt Cynis scion, she was the first mortal who ever told her "No" to something she asked, and didn't know how to act except by imposing her authority.

    I would like to think she was being misguided, but well, it's pretty hard to not see her as evil.

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    • #3
      Mostly ignorant.

      Most of my Dynastic Dragon-Blooded PCs were fairly young and the majority of their adult life has been during the Time of Tumult where there's this gigantic Anathema resurgence that a lot of Storytellers really struggle to avoid due to it being such a focus of the gameline and an obvious way to challenge 3-5 Dragon-Blooded.

      So when the rebellious Satrapy really is the work of a shapeshifting terrorist whose murdered and replaced their way into a position of power it's hard to really reflect on the evils of empire.


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      • #4
        Is this only PCs or do NPC portrayals by a ST count?

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        • #5
          Does "so blinded by fervor and loyalty to Mnemon they actively refuse to engage but is a noble person otherwise" count as ignorant?

          Because that's my Prasadi Pasiap graduate character is like; he literally cannot let himself believe that Mnemon is anything less than the noble, destined heir to the throne. He'd blanch at the Wyld Hunt at its worst, but he's her hand, body and soul.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Equitable Remedy View Post
            ***HETERODOX VIEWS FOLLOW***YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***
            I don't really feel I have been; you say your own views will follow, but then ask how other people play things in their games. So which one is the thread about?


            I have approximate knowledge of many things.
            Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Equitable Remedy View Post
              ***HETERODOX VIEWS FOLLOW***YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***

              Given that the Realm is a corrupt, incompetent, baby-eating murder machine of unreasoning cruelty and injustice without many if any redeeming features
              I'm unsure I read the same book than you. It that's not the case, you should try to read The Realm book. I don't think your description is accurate.


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

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              • #8
                Yeah, how storytellers and players themselves view the Realm varies. As someone who doesn't accept the thesis statement here (or rather, argues that if true the Realm is being portrayed incorrectly) my PoV as a Dynast player doesn't really feel relevant. Which makes this a weird discussion as it's trying to seek different perspectives?

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                • #9
                  I’m not currently running a Dragon-Blooded PC, but I don’t think the Realm is as bad as you say it is.


                  The die is cast.

                  Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

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                  • #10
                    Hyperbole?

                    I mean, the Realm is not a "baby-eating machine". But it is a parasitic empire, and the Dragonblood are the ones in charge of it. It's still a fair point, if we take a simple and straightforward view of whether the people in the ruling class of an evil empire are evil (which of course, not everyone would agree with).

                    Of course, almost every Dragonblood is ignorant or evil+ignorant (again, taking the straightforward view that the ruling class of an evil empire are all evil), because the Immaculate Philosophy is designed to make them ignorant; not as ignorant as peasants (many do know that the Solars and Lunars actually are just humans who are Exalted like them, whereas most peasants think the Anathema are literal demons), but it is designed to make them believe that Solars and Lunars will inevitably become dangerous, mad and evil, and so there is no choice but to kill them. There aren't really many Dragonblood who realise the Realm's guiding philosophy is just propaganda made up to stop the Solars, and decide not to kill them. (There are probably some who realise it's propaganda, and decide to kill Solars and Lunars anyway).

                    But not all. And if you read Equitable Remedy's whole post, they do ask about how people play Dragonblood heroically.
                    Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 11-23-2019, 06:10 PM.


                    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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                    • #11
                      Sadly, Equitable Remedy said PCs that are played now, so I can't answer this question. I've played 5 or 6 Dynast PCs, but they were all a long time ago, we overplayed Dragonblood games and so stopped.


                      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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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                        But not all. And if you read Equitable Remedy's whole post, they do ask about how people play Lunars heroically.
                        Err.... I've reread the OP a few times Wiz, and I can't find any mention of Lunars in the OP.

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                        • #13
                          Well, I'll try and give my take, since I do have a Dynast character in play, sort of

                          Tepet Forivas isn't respected. The phrase 'barely a Dynast' comes up a lot with him. Legally he's a full member of the dynasty - his mother was a Tepet, he inherits through her. That said his mother was informally exiled to a far northern fishing village as Tepet's mercantile ambassador to the region. She was disgraced and it wasn't seriously thought she'd bare offspring of account. Even Forivas Exalting wasn't enough to get him accepted. But post Futile Blood Tepet are a lot less picky about their family members.

                          Forivas isn't blind, and he's far from unsympathetic to the issues the Realm's governance causes. He's got little personal love for snooty dynasts who look down their noses at his pedigree or upbringing, which is pretty much every island born Dynast he's ever met. However, he's ultimately in favour of the Realm as a concept, regardless of the specific issues defending it can cause. He sees reports time and time again of Lunar attacks, cities falling to plague, rioting or civil war. When there's chaos and misrule on seemingly every front, the status quo becomes appealing. Rule through strength, a focus on order and control. Anyone wanting to challenge the Realm comes off as self serving to him - out for personal power, and heedless of the consequences.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Croakamancer View Post

                            Err.... I've reread the OP a few times Wiz, and I can't find any mention of Lunars in the OP.
                            Ha! Sorry, that was a typo. I meant Dragonblood. Probably I've been talking about my Lunar game to my friends too much.


                            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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                            • #15
                              I am not running or playing in a DB game, so I cannot answer the question you literally asked. Having said that, I think that even under the assumption that Realm is:
                              Originally posted by Equitable Remedy View Post
                              a corrupt, incompetent, baby-eating murder machine of unreasoning cruelty and injustice without many if any redeeming features
                              the dichotomy doesn't really hold.

                              I have some small background and hold some interest in history and even a little bit of exposure make you realise how extremely different mental frameworks can people have. Very often reactions, opinions or deeds of people in not so distant eras can strike one not even as bad, but rather as completely alien. And at some point, you realise that your default network of emotional reactions is really to a large extent determined by your culture - a trivial observation, not so trivial anymore, once you realise this is true and when you realise that there is 99 percent chance that some people in the future will consider your views outrageous for reasons you would never guess. This doesn't mean that they will be wrong or that there is nothing objective to it, but possibly that fixing your ethical worldview is a hard philosophical endevour.

                              Now, when I run or play games in quasi-historical settings (as in, vaguely related to historic cultures), I really like to treat that idea seriously and make default reactions of surrounding people genuinely alien - they can desperately desire or vehemently despise things in a manner that we cannot really follow emotionally, but whose general logic we can understand based on some general knowledge.

                              Now, I really like this feeling of slight detachment between the player and the character, when they behave in a way deeply embedded in non-contemporary world-views. I find it similar to the dramatic irony when the player knowledge could prevent characters from taking some action, but we all indulge following the internal logic of the story.

                              So, according to your classification, I think I would play or encourage players to play Dragon-Blooded characters which could be called "painfully blind", but I think it's better to just take them as embedded in their own culture. Of course there is some space for reformer characters that try to change their societies - but I really to avoid overt anachronisms in depicting people's mentalities. The characters are not blind (or, they are, but this is visible only to us). They only have really different standards of what is a normal behaviour.

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