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  • Help Me Re-Master Exalted

    I've been out of the Exalted loop for a couple years now. My friends and I have been waiting for the Lunar book to come out before we dive back into the game. We do love our mixed Solar-Lunar teams. I've had access to that for a while thanks to backing the Kickstarter, so in 2020 we want to finally get a new game up and running.

    That also means I've go a a lot of catching up to do. I've been slowly reading through the 3E core book this week, trying to get a feel for the new mechanics. This book is daunting! So I've got a couple questions that hopefully might help keep me focused and direct my attention to what matters most.
    • What are the most significant setting changes between 2E and 3E that I should be aware of?
    • Are there any notable rules that 3E novices like myself often overlook?
    • Are there any notable rules that 3E veterans deliberately ignore?
    • What's essential reading for 3E? Right now I have the Core, Arms of the Chosen, Dragonblooded, The Realm, and the Lunar Manuscript. I noticed there seems to be a lot of Adversaries of the Righteous and Hundred Devils Night Parade pdfs on DriveThruRPG - any of those worth picking up, or is there a bundle of them somewhere? Anything else I should look into?
    • What useful fan-made tools and material would you recommend?

  • #2
    Join me on my journey! I could use your help if you are going to remaster Exalted!

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1VP...4YcovcQ_AlOUS0

    Edit: You mean re-Master as in "Relearn and master it personally" not "rewrite a 'remaster'"
    ....right.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Dragonmystic View Post
      Edit: You mean re-Master as in "Relearn and master it personally" not "rewrite a 'remaster'"
      ....right.
      I do.


      For now...
      Last edited by Reminiscent Oasis; 12-06-2019, 04:11 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Reminiscent Oasis View Post
        I noticed there seems to be a lot of Adversaries of the Righteous and Hundred Devils Night Parade pdfs on DriveThruRPG - any of those worth picking up, or is there a bundle of them somewhere? Anything else I should look into?
        Both Adversaries and Hundred Devils are slated to be collected into books, with each getting one book.


        Scion 2E: What We Know - A wiki compiling info on second edition Scion.

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        • #5
          How familiar are you with the changes? Is this like, your first look at ex3 ever?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Reminiscent Oasis View Post
            What are the most significant setting changes between 2E and 3E that I should be aware of?
            Probably the most significant setting changes are visible on the map - there's now major new bodies of water in the northeast and southeast, and a big new island in the southwest, the Caul. The new bodies of water have a variety of settlements and cultures around them, and the Caul has a whole civilization on it (fleshed out in both The Realm and Lunars). The intent there, I believe, was to provide some more hooks for what had previously been rather empty sections of the maps (and also give people more places to use Sail).

            The other main setting differences are not necessarily broad changes in the setting per se, but rather changes in how the setting is presented. Specifically, more care has been taken to highlight the very large scale of Creation - the various locations aren't treated as though they have close relations with every other named location on the map of Creation. The Lap doesn't have an incipient trade war with Gem, for instance, despite them being thousands of miles apart. Also, the idea of the "Thousand Dooms", the feeling that every sourcebook must introduce some new Creation-wide threat, is being heavily reduced. Enemies who are "merely" threatening one kingdom or even less are still enough to be epic heroes when battled.

            Originally posted by Reminiscent Oasis
            Are there any notable rules that 3E novices like myself often overlook?
            I don't know how frequent overlooking these are, but I've seen them come up often enough on the forums that I'd say they're worth thinking about:
            • NPCs can spend willpower in combat and other challenges for successes. This is a quick and easy way to get an extra success that can make the difference between an enemy going down without ever posing a challenge, and one who at least puts up a fight.
            • There's no rolls for "do you know something?". If the ST thinks its reasonable for a character to know a fact, based on their Lore and other Abilities, they should just tell the player what they know. Lore rolls are saved for introducing a fact (where the PC tries to claim something useful to the plot is true), and challenging a fact (when someone else says something not true, and you try to claim otherwise).
            • It's perfectly all right to give NPCs Intimacies on the fly. Even if you haven't written something down, if it makes sense based on their previous behavior, just say "sure, the Dragonblood has an Intimacy of love for her older sister". Similarly, it's fine for a player to declare something's an intimacy, as long as, again, it's consistent with their previous behavior, and that they're now writing it on their sheet and making it available to be tagged in social influence both positively and negatively.
            Originally posted by Reminiscent Oasis
            Are there any notable rules that 3E veterans deliberately ignore?
            I don't think there are any rules that I full-on ignore all the time. However, I'm definitely willing to ignore the combat system, or any of the more complex mechanics, when its obvious that the players are just going to stomp the opposition quickly and painlessly. When the melee-focused Dawn went up against a small group of leaderless hobgoblins, for instance, I just had his player roll (Dexterity + Melee) once to see how long it took.

            Originally posted by Reminiscent Oasis
            What's essential reading for 3E?
            I'd say the Core (the rules and setting material if you're going to be running any type of campaign, and the Solar Charms if you're going to be running a game with Solars in it), and probably Arms of the Chosen if you want anyone with artifacts with evocations.

            Originally posted by Reminiscent Oasis
            What useful fan-made tools and material would you recommend?
            I would strongly recommend The Unsung Hero's combat tracker. It's enormously helpful in keeping the initiative system in 3e combat straight.

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            • #7

              I don't think there are any rules that I full-on ignore all the time. However, I'm definitely willing to ignore the combat system, or any of the more complex mechanics, when its obvious that the players are just going to stomp the opposition quickly and painlessly. When the melee-focused Dawn went up against a small group of leaderless hobgoblins, for instance, I just had his player roll (Dexterity + Melee) once to see how long it took.
              This is actually a rule in the book, in a sidebar. It's a rule people often don't notice, but a very, very important one!



              When I started playing 3e, I think the rule I overlooked was that Elementals don't have Dematerialise.

              As well as the combat trackers, I could recommend this battle group generator:
              https://colin-fredericks.github.io/ex3-battle-groups/

              This interactive map:
              http://howsfamily.net/Exalted/map/

              This dice roller:
              https://colin-fredericks.github.io/ex3-dice-roller/
              Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 12-06-2019, 05:02 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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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
                I would strongly recommend The Unsung Hero's combat tracker. It's enormously helpful in keeping the initiative system in 3e combat straight.
                I appreciate the ping, though I've got a newer version of the tracker around if you hadn't noticed it. Makes the marking of turns a little smoother with my first foray into scripting.

                Originally posted by Reminiscent Oasis View Post
                [*]What are the most significant setting changes between 2E and 3E that I should be aware of?[*]Are there any notable rules that 3E novices like myself often overlook?[*]Are there any notable rules that 3E veterans deliberately ignore?[/LIST]
                In topic, I would call out that when you're reading the setting, try to take in the tone. When you read something about a region and it doesn't mention some interesting fact that you remember about it from past editions, pay attention to what's not said or what's left mysterious. That is intentional. The "here's what's really going on" has been removed from much of the setting, instead leaving little hints towards troubles that are happening and leaving the reasons why up to the Storyteller.

                As far as mechanics, Sorcery has some great new systems (gathering sorcerous motes instead of Exalted motes, Workings), Quick Characters exist where instead of full character writeups NPCs have condensed statblocks and some suggestions on how to invent stats on the fly to make NPCs a little easier to pop out, and combat has 2 types of attacks (Withering is cinematic where you use your skills and equipment to try to gain advantage (Initiative) in the fight and Decisive is where you wield your gathered advantage (Initiative) as your damage pool against your foe to do actual damage to them. It throws a lot of people but is worth looking at from that perspective to help use it well).

                Good luck and ask questions when you get them! That's what we're here for!


                I post Artifacts in this thread. How I make them is in this thread.
                I have made many tools and other things for 3rd Edition. I now host all of my creations on my Google site: The Vault of the Unsung Hero

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                  How familiar are you with the changes? Is this like, your first look at ex3 ever?
                  I've had the Core book since around the time of the Dragonblooded kickstarter and skimmed through it now and then. This is the first time I've sat down to really start reading through it and learn the system. Haven't played it at all yet.

                  Originally posted by Kelly Pedersen
                  (fleshed out in both The Realm and Lunars).
                  Thanks for letting me know there's Caul stuff in the Realm book too. I knew it was in the Lunars, but haven't checked out The Realm in detail yet. We're leaning toward a west-centric game at the moment. We never really did that in 2E so it'll be a nice change of pace.

                  NPCs can spend willpower in combat and other challenges for successes.
                  Thanks for pointing that out. Related to making NPCs more of a challenge, are there NPCs in 3E that don't enjoy Double 10s? In 2E, only heroic characters benefited from Double 10s, but I'm not seeing anything in 3E that says that trivial characters don't (other than trivial characters being treated more like props than people when they don't pose a challenge - so they occasionally don't roll anyhow).

                  Lore rolls are saved for introducing a fact (where the PC tries to claim something useful to the plot is true), and challenging a fact (when someone else says something not true, and you try to claim otherwise).
                  My friends and I were quick to notice this when we first started looking through 3E rules. What have been other people's experiences with this? Knowing my group, I'm a bit concerned about the sort of nonsense they might introduce, though I did see that as Storyteller I can veto introduced facts that conflict with canon or future plans. I wouldn't want to rain on their parade too much though.

                  probably Arms of the Chosen if you want anyone with artifacts with evocations.
                  How are evocations? I'm a bit concerned about dealing with a secondary charm set. There are so many charms in the core book as it is, I wonder if evocations are extraneous. I can see the value in making artifact weapons more notable and unique, but any issues dealing with a secondary charm set? I'll be honest - I haven't gotten around to reading much about evocations yet so the book might ease my concerns once I do.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Overlooked rules:

                    You get double-10s on Withering damage. (You don't on Decisive damage.)

                    The combat abilities are Archery, Brawl, Martial Arts, Melee and Thrown.
                    Last edited by JohnDoe244; 12-06-2019, 05:24 PM.


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

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Unsung Hero View Post

                      I appreciate the ping, though I've got a newer version of the tracker around if you hadn't noticed it.
                      Ooh, nice! Thanks for the link, I don't think I had seen that version yet.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post

                        This is actually a rule in the book, in a sidebar. It's a rule people often don't notice, but a very, very important one!

                        [...]

                        This interactive map:
                        http://howsfamily.net/Exalted/map/
                        Definitely caught that sidebar reading through it this week.

                        And thanks for the map! I was rather disappointed that the book doesn't have a good version of full map in it. One thing I've been wandering though - do the circles on the map have any significance? The way the Caul is present on the map seems like it should be an inset magnifying a much smaller island, but it also seems that the Caul really is just that big. So are the circles just artistic flourishes designed to confuse me?

                        Originally posted by The Unsung Hero
                        I appreciate the ping, though I've got a newer version of the tracker around if you hadn't noticed it. Makes the marking of turns a little smoother with my first foray into scripting.
                        One of my players will love this. His life runs off Google Sheets at this point.

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                        • #13
                          Evocations are simple and self-contained enough that they don't really become that complex to deal with. That said, recommendation: Don't use Artifacts from Core. Arms of the Chosen, DBs and Lunars have plenty enough to choose from and the ones in Core are pretty bad. Other than that, it's one of my favorite 3e things. Getting a pair of khatars fabled for the jagged spikes they leave inside people they pierce through, leading them to inevitable painful deaths, and indeed getting the ability to develop those powers they're fabled for, or even add to them with your own legend... It's good stuff.

                          Introduce Fact is super fun and lets the players relieve a bit of weight off the ST's shoulders at times, and you do have the power to veto if their fact would be detrimental to the story.

                          There's no Heroic-NonHeroic divide, mortals are mortals are mortals. There's only a divide between trivial characters and all other combatants. And then there's Battlegroups I suppose.

                          Edit: Btw, if no one has recommended it yet. https://www.lotcastingatemi.com/ is an amazing character creation/tracking tool for Ex3, love it to bits.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Reminiscent Oasis View Post
                            Thanks for letting me know there's Caul stuff in the Realm book too.
                            Actually, there's probably more Caul stuff in The Realm than in Lunars, so if you're looking to use it, definitely look in there.

                            Originally posted by Reminiscent Oasis
                            Related to making NPCs more of a challenge, are there NPCs in 3E that don't enjoy Double 10s?
                            Nope, the basic dice mechanics of the system (roll a pool, 10s count double, no successes and at least one 1 is a botch) are now universal (barring charms or merits). There's no "heroic vs. non-heroic mortal" distinction any more.

                            There is a distinction that the system makes, between "trivial opponents" and non-trivial ones, but that's strictly a system abstraction, it definitely doesn't have any metaphysical weight. Trivial opponents are just those that the ST thinks are so low-powered that they aren't going to provide a challenge, and can just be overrun by the PCs easily. It's possible someone can be a trivial opponent in combat but not in social influence, though, based on different skill sets.

                            Originally posted by Reminiscent Oasis
                            What have been other people's experiences with this?
                            To be honest, my current group has used it very little, or possibly not at all. But that's because most of them are totally new to Exalted, and I probably haven't emphasized the option enough to them (the one experienced Exalted player isn't Lore-focused).

                            From a theoretical perspective, I like it a lot, personally. I think the ST's ability to veto setting- and plot-contradicting facts is enough to keep things reasonable, and it allows Lore-heavy characters to have a much more pro-active feeling, going around declaring things to be true rather than having to ask the ST a series of questions and get the information fed to them in bits and bites.

                            Originally posted by Reminiscent Oasis
                            How are evocations? I'm a bit concerned about dealing with a secondary charm set.
                            As far as I'm concerned, evocations are basically the best new mechanical bit introduced in 3e. They're more charms, yes, and if more charms bug you, that's going to be an issue, but I don't think they're any worse than, for example, martial arts were in 2e. And they add a great deal of flavor to artifacts, not to mention balance. In 2e, the idea was always there that every artifact was unique, and there was no such thing as "just another daiklave, same as the rest", but the system struggled very hard to make that actually feel real. And since all the difference in power between Artifact dot levels was frontloaded, effectively, it meant there was very little reason to not spend 5 dots on Artifact right off the bat and get the most bang for your buck.

                            With evocations, however, each artifact can now be customized to a much greater degree. Two powerbows can be made of the same magical material and have the same basic combat stats, but since they have totally different evocation trees, which support different styles of combat and different overall abilities, they'll still feel totally different in play. And since a great deal of the power difference between different dot levels of Artifact is now expressed in the power levels and number of evocations available, it's much easier to have an Artifact of higher level introduced at character creation that will justify the additional dots spent on it, but won't just break the game immediately, and to introduce a high-level Artifact in play without similar worries.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Alistair View Post
                              That said, recommendation: Don't use Artifacts from Core. Arms of the Chosen, DBs and Lunars have plenty enough to choose from and the ones in Core are pretty bad.
                              Bad in what way? Overpowered, underpowered, inconsistent or drab themes?

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