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  • DrLoveMonkey
    started a topic Exalted: Essence

    Exalted: Essence

    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
    Exalted Essence. Sounds really useful. Is this a real brochure of releases?

    https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.n...5DACE1359DF7C/
    So that seems pretty real. What do we all think of it?

  • Chausse
    replied
    Originally posted by Lanic View Post
    Heavy Arms While I'm generally ok with "big boss as a team" design, I think that there is a deeper problem here. As the discussion in http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...solars-at-once some people are really attached to Exalted 3e design paradigm that Solars start very near the top of what human-like being can achieve in the setting and it's rather that design decision that seems to be. So the main problem is: expectations differ whether we even want fights against old masters in our game (everyone seems ok to a group fight against an eldritch abomination though).

    As I wrote there, I'm much more attached to the idea that Solars are powerful in the absoulute, not relative sense (I'm ok with them struggling with old arcane sifus), so I'd very interested if the new system allows to make boss fights viable.

    Chausse
    When I think about it, I think that your division misses some essential distinctions. I'd bring five broad categories of fight participants:
    - team
    - mooks
    - master/nemesis
    - monster
    - hero/rivals

    Team fights should play out differently against an anti-circle of Abyssals and against a horde of faceless mooks. Similarly, a boss fight with an old sifu (which could be treated as a team) should be different than a fight with Wyld behemoth (I'd be ok with the last one being represented more as series of enviromental threats and some challenges).
    Yes of course, I didn't list all the tropes and I thank you for listing more. I think going by enemy type is a good idea as well, I actually like the Battle Groups of Exalted as of now (even if they have flaws)

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  • Lanic
    replied
    Heavy Arms While I'm generally ok with "big boss as a team" design, I think that there is a deeper problem here. As the discussion in http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...solars-at-once some people are really attached to Exalted 3e design paradigm that Solars start very near the top of what human-like being can achieve in the setting and it's rather that design decision that seems to be. So the main problem is: expectations differ whether we even want fights against old masters in our game (everyone seems ok to a group fight against an eldritch abomination though).

    As I wrote there, I'm much more attached to the idea that Solars are powerful in the absoulute, not relative sense (I'm ok with them struggling with old arcane sifus), so I'd very interested if the new system allows to make boss fights viable.

    Chausse
    When I think about it, I think that your division misses some essential distinctions. I'd bring five broad categories of fight participants:
    - team
    - mooks
    - master/nemesis
    - monster
    - hero/rivals

    Team fights should play out differently against an anti-circle of Abyssals and against a horde of faceless mooks. Similarly, a boss fight with an old sifu (which could be treated as a team) should be different than a fight with Wyld behemoth (I'd be ok with the last one being represented more as series of enviromental threats and some challenges).
    Last edited by Lanic; 02-13-2020, 09:45 AM.

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    Thinking on it a bit, I'm not sure this is really an E:E thing to be doing, but addressing the list there, I think there's a relatively simple approach (conceptually): design everything around team vs. team.

    Something that's vaguely present in Ex3 if not really given as much love as it could, is the idea of having single big monsters handled as group of parts. That really just turns big single boss battles into a team vs team design, even if in-universe one team is only one character. But instead a lot of the bigger beasties rely on things like Legendary Size to make them hard to take down (until the PCs get to the point of being able to blow past those bonuses anyway).

    It's already a pretty well defined aspect of the game that Exalted vs. Exalted fights tend to be group affairs. You expect Lunars vs. the Wyld Hunt, or Solars vs. Abyssals to be team fights.

    Otherwise you'd expect minions and battle groups to turn things into team fights. You don't get into a fight with Mask of Winters without getting into a fight with his army.

    1v1 generally works fine in a team vs.team design paradigm because it's just two small teams.

    More than two teams, and skill related challenge things (I'm guessing that might mean something like Sail fights where there's the sailing part and the boarding part), shouldn't be too hard to layer onto a solid team vs team design.

    The biggest issue is the ST overhead of having to run a team of enemies (esp. since a BG really only counts as one). with the relative complexity each team member is going to have in a 5 on 5 Exalted slugfest.

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  • Chausse
    replied
    Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
    There's apparently an entire thread right now about how impractical it is to run a five-on-one boss fight in Exalted.

    Is this something you think is crucial for Exalted: Essence to nail?
    I'll go a little bit against the usual answers given on this forum by talking about my personal preference : Modular difficulty. When my players want to fight Octavian in an epic fight, I don't care if they are the 5 most dangerous Dawn on the world, or just a simple group with 2 almost good fighters and 1 caster and 1 something else, I want the challenge to adapt to the story we want to tell. So I think what I want is rather simple rules and tools on how to properly and simply balance NPC's for different kind of challenge and group of players.

    for this, I believe the most usual tropes of fighting in the genre that is Exalted are :
    - Team vs Team
    - Team vs 1
    - Team vs Team vs Team
    - 1v1
    - Team vs Team in some sort of skill challenge-related fight

    I don't expect all boxes to be checked, but the more the better I think.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dex Davican
    replied
    Originally posted by vwllss trnt prncss View Post
    A solution I've been toying with in my head is compressing Caste Abilities. The Dawn can buy Dawn •••, and get swords, bows, troops, the works in a compact package. Everybody else has to pick between Melee, Brawl, Thrown, etc. That would allow for a slashing of the Ability dot budget. "Caste at •••, then distribute ••••••••" would result in much tighter characters - assuming that they're hewing tightly to Caste.
    You might enjoy the original Tomb of Five Corners Quickstart.

    Leave a comment:


  • vwllss trnt prncss
    replied
    I'd say the problem is partially how broad characters are. I remember seeing a complaint about how people had •••+ in Abilities that their concept didn't support, and I was very tempted to point out that you can't really avoid that. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••• is a lot!
    If you tightly distribute them, you've got ••• in seven Abilities. Almost 1/3rd of the list! Is there any concept that really supports that?
    If you moderately distribute them, you've got •• in fourteen Abilities. Almost 2/3rds of the list! Is there any concept that really supports that?
    If you spread them out, you've got • in every Ability. Is there any concept that really supports that?

    The opportunity cost of jamming a ••• into Melee is pretty low. The cost of not having a fighty thing at ••• is pretty high, since in my experience almost every session of every game has at least one fight.
    This is in theory solvable by designing all combat encounters such that non-combat individuals can significantly contribute without exposing themselves to undue harm and by using their non-combat abilities, but that's bloody hard work for the GM so it's not practical.

    A solution I've been toying with in my head is compressing Caste Abilities. The Dawn can buy Dawn •••, and get swords, bows, troops, the works in a compact package. Everybody else has to pick between Melee, Brawl, Thrown, etc. That would allow for a slashing of the Ability dot budget. "Caste at •••, then distribute ••••••••" would result in much tighter characters - assuming that they're hewing tightly to Caste.


    But really? Unless Essence has a good system of benchmarks and power thresholds, I'm going to be running Exalted in HERO if I run it again. At least there I can say "Alright everyone. This much accuracy, this much evasion, this much defense, this much damage, these limits on skills. Your Caste gives you bonuses that don't count towards this, see the handout." and have it work nice and tidy. EX3's got good ideas, but the implementation isn't worth slogging through the problems when I can transplant the great bits.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
    Ah. Yeah, that's probably why only one of the Solar Castes is strictly combat-oriented, whereas the non-Fire Aspects of the Dragon-Blooded are more inherently combat-oriented than the non-Dawn Solar Castes.
    It's trivially easy for any Solar Caste to start with 5 dots in a Combat Ability (or that +5 dots in Resistance/Dodge). In fact, in my experience 80% of Solars do.
    That's not to say they necessarily have a ton of combat charms. Most non-Dawns after all, are played by people who probably don't want Combat to be their number 1 focus (well... most Zenith, Twilight and Eclipse players, after all). But it's often a secondary thing.

    But anyway, if your argument is "most Solar groups have 1 dude who's awesome at combat and a bunch of people who are okay, not great" then... well, I wouldn't quite agree (I wouldn't totally disagree either though, I suspect my group leans more towards that than most groups though), but that's an issue to take up over on the other thread.

    Again, I don't think this is an issue with the Ex3 rules per-se, but rather player attitudes to a character creation that says "you've got 25 abilities to choose, pick X to be good at" and you absolutely can be really good at, say, Crafting, Investigation, Medicine, and still also be pretty decent at cutting people into meaty chunks if you're not that bothered at being terrible at Linguistics/Bureaucracy/Ride/Larceny/Stealth/whatever.

    Now saying that, DrLoveMonkey does raise a good point with this:
    I don’t wonder if it might be better for the system to make it harder to casually pick up master levels of excellence in a certain area, combat in particular.
    I often feel like the Combat Abilities (and also probably Presence and Awareness) are... well, kind of more useful for most people than a lot of the Abilities. But they are the same cost.
    And often what this means, I think, is that, say your character concept is "brilliant writer", you put 3 of your starting 28 dots into Linguistics, then 3 into Lore, and then...
    Well, you've still got 22 dots left. Where do you put them? It's not really surprising that for a lot of characters, 3 are chucked into Melee just in case, in a way that they're not thrown into Sail or Bureaucracy or Craft (Cooking).

    And then you can put 7 of them from 3 to 5 (and still have an extra merit dot left over). Is it very surprising that so many characters start with 5 in a combat ability?
    I mean, I started with Brawl 1... and honestly, it has been a problem. Absolutely that was a sub-optimal decision (which I knew at the time, I was just fed up with Solars who turn up with 5 dots in a Combat Ability).

    I find that... a bit weird I guess (not my Zenith being beaten up, I mean how 75% of Exalts have Melee 5). I mean, I like how flexible Exalted's character creation system. But it does feel a little strange.
    I honestly considered just saying "PCs can't start with 5 dots in a combat ability if they're not a Dawn". Although in the end I just got everyone to play Lunars instead (their character creation is a bit more balanced).

    So that's something that bears thinking about.

    I mean, personally I feel the sheer amount of 5s a Solar can start with (7, if you feel like it. 11 if you include Attributes as well as Abilities) devalues having 5 dots in something. This is partly caused by Solar character creation, and partly because most charms actually need pretty high Abilities to get.

    I'd like to see more spread out Solar characters, and I'd be quite happy if E:E used a slightly different character gen system (or quite different) which facilitated that (or at least, didn't encourage silliness so much). I'm not sure how many other people would feel the same as me though.
    Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 02-10-2020, 06:55 PM.

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  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
    Ehhhhhhhhhhhhh...

    The issue... is that 5 combat-orientated Solars are one of the most dangerous groups in the entire world, and so you'd have to be ludicrously powerful to beat them 1 vs 5. Third-Circle Demon level, at least.
    Ah. Yeah, that's probably why only one of the Solar Castes is strictly combat-oriented, whereas the non-Fire Aspects of the Dragon-Blooded are more inherently combat-oriented than the non-Dawn Solar Castes.

    And, honestly, I can imagine plenty of purely Dragon-Blooded games where all of the players are Fire Aspects, which is much more likely to happen in Creation than running across a circle of five Dawns.

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  • The MG
    replied
    It would be a lot easier to accomplish functional solo bosses if the system made greater allowances for asymmetric design, and given the people involved and some of their previous works (Storypath, most prominently), I expect at least some of that.
    Last edited by The MG; 02-10-2020, 05:50 PM.

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  • DrLoveMonkey
    replied
    I don’t wonder if it might be better for the system to make it harder to casually pick up master levels of excellence in a certain area, combat in particular. I’m not sure though, it is nice not being held down and instead being free to make yourself a great warrior in addition to anything else you might do. On the other hand I’ve played in systems that had a lot of non-combat depth to them before where they DID hold you down and force you to pick, and I didn’t personally feel that was unfair.

    Like if you had ten ability dots to distribute and raising them cost 3 bonus points, to throw out the first thing that came to my head.

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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    Ehhhhhhhhhhhhh...

    The issue with that isn't that the rules are too complex, it's that (some argue) the idea of the game is that 5 combat-orientated Solars are one of the most dangerous groups in the entire world, and so you'd have to be ludicrously powerful to beat them 1 vs 5. Third-Circle Demon level, at least.
    Others feel that this idea leads to bad games. I can see both sides, personally.

    So nailing that would be a setting change. Whether that's good or bad... well, you can see the argument about that on that thread.

    Whereas what I really would like it nail is to make it practical to run a 5 on 5 boss fight (say, circle of Solars vs circle of Abyssals) which... well I wouldn't say it's impossible, but it's awkward. Depending on the XP level.

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  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    There's apparently an entire thread right now about how impractical it is to run a five-on-one boss fight in Exalted.

    Is this something you think is crucial for Exalted: Essence to nail?

    Leave a comment:


  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    I think all the current writers know that didn't work well; hence the Discord with the writers of E:E.

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  • Mnemon Liranan
    replied
    If EE can please 60% of all the fans who are not feeling Ex3e as is, that'd be pretty good mark. More would be better, of course, but probably unrealistic.

    I really hope that (going of Epitome's last sentence) the EE Devs will show their work more openly (and early) than the Ex3e Devs did, so that we know if it is for us or not. That is one of the things I'm still most bitter about the Ex3e Core KS. The "trust us, it's awesome" lines all the time without having anything concrete to show...and then a years long delay because most of it had to be rewritten.

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