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  • Playing a Lunar elder

    So you are a 1500+ year-old-Lunar.

    All your mortal friends and family are dead. Your Solar mate died and never returned. Even many of your Lunar friends have died and you've outlived them.

    You've also spent much of your time in the vast array of forms you've picked up over the years. Different genders and races, different animal forms.

    And then perhaps there's the weirder charms; how many times have you split yourself in two? Do you regularly see the future while hopped up on 'shrooms? How does this affect you?

    So my interest is... How might living so long affect you? How might 1500 years of guerilla war affect you? How might all the shapechanging affect you? What charms might particularly affect you?

    Note that I am asking what "might" this affect. Perhaps it has no effect, but that's really boring and doesn't help make an interesting character.


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

  • #2
    Write me the character as they were at Character Creation. Give me 300 words of backstory and a character sheet and I'll write up their Elder background, role playing notes and C-sheet.

    Because the answer to your question as is: who knows?

    Maybe they're a comedy loving trickster with ties to the mortal community, who not only let's the mortals rule themselves but encourages them to prank him. Maybe He's a half-mad monster, devoid of emotion and scarred by mutation. Maybe she's a baby eating sorceress. A recluse who never speaks.

    Look at the write ups of the canon elders across all three editions. The variability is massive. You can justify just about anything under such a broad umbrella.


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

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    • #3
      Time is like water, and your sense of it warped. A mortal lifetime might slip past so fast that, though you lived every moment of it, you can't quite place the order of events within it without external reminders; your own mortal life is an obscure and dusty memory, the early childhood of your true existence. Events a century ahead feel imminent.

      Your cultural identity is a relict, and your mother tongue is dead. Though the descendants of your people undoubtedly populate the earth, they no longer dress like your people, or speak like your people, or live like your people; unless you stayed with them throughout the centuries, they are no more your people than the Realmborn are. You may have experienced the slow drift of languages, and speak modern tongues with a strange and archaic accent. The customs you still honour are old-fashioned, if they haven't become entirely unrecognizable in their modern forms.

      Your true form may be a respite from the countless masks of shapeshifting, being the one time you are allowed to be old, or it may be a dangerous shape that you never assume, as it's made a thousand enemies. Perhaps you've come to love one or more of your claimed shapes (a child, a sparrow, a tyrant lizard), and stay in them as much as possible.

      Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
      What charms might particularly affect you?
      Shadow-Mind Meditation: You have no room in your heart for hate anymore, and bury all dark thoughts in a pit in your mind, letting them come crawling out only when you need them; to others, you seem like a two-faced god, shifting between your saintly and devilish aspects.
      Moon-in-Well Emanation: When you gaze into a mirror, you see nothing, because your reflection has spent the last century gallivanting among the spirit courts. You're quite used to this, and treat the sight of yourself as an ill omen, or avoid mirrors and reflecting pools so as to not compromise your current disguise.
      Omniscient Instinct Concentration: You live with a constant awareness of doom and danger, the whole world speaking to you of the evils arrayed against what you care about. If this is a burden on you, you may avoid attachment in general, striving for an empty heart and an empty mind.
      Undaunted Behemoth Avatar: You are a titan, and you have been for centuries. Humans are gnats (though, certainly gnats you care about), and their tools and comforts no longer suit you. Of course, you could be one of them again, but why would you? It will cost you the awe in their eyes and voices, and leave you terribly vulnerable besides.
      Last edited by The MG; 01-03-2020, 12:57 PM.

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      • #4
        Great stuff about the time, MG, and the charms.

        Anyone else have any ideas about how charms could affect personality over the long term?

        Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post

        Because the answer to your question as is: who knows?

        Look at the write ups of the canon elders across all three editions. The variability is massive. You can justify just about anything under such a broad umbrella.
        Sure, but that doesn't give me any inspiration or ideas.


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

        Comment


        • #5
          I like to remind people that my elders aren't immortal. IRL don't see death by old age as a built in expiration date so much as death by a thousand cuts so I like to give elder exalts a few keepsakes rather than assume they've Wolverine healed everything that's ever happened to them. Sometimes the damage is to their state of mind, but I downplay that a bit because 2e Lunars badly overused it.


          Onyx Path Forum Moderator
          Please spare a thought for updating the Exalted wiki.

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          • #6
            I wrote up a few Lunar elders (7? depends on what you mean by elder) over on the archive, and each come with roleplaying hints on their character sheet entry. Here's the elder entries for No Moon:

            Roleplaying Hints:
            The Marked Wolf is secretive by nature, never saying something straightforwardly when she could spin a puzzle in story form for the listener to unravel when they are ready to confront the full truth of her words. She has taught dozens of newly Exalted Lunars, legendary creatures who for all their nascent power were naive in countless ways and prone to failure. She will assume the same about you, until you prove yourself in her eyes.
            Roleplaying Hints:
            Raksi is now the ruler of the very city in which she was born. After that and many other improbable turns of events, she truly believes that nothing is beyond her will to enact. She harbors a contempt for reality and consequence normally not seen so far into Creation (from the Wyld). Among the various hard limits she could have chosen to be stymied by, she has chosen her inability to achieve Solar Circle Sorcery as her fixation. But, should she by some miracle achieve that impossibility, she would only use her newfound power, along with all of her old power, to attempt the next impossible fixation she would inevitably cultivate. Along the way, she has gathered cruel and peculiar habits, believing few besides herself are truly real. Her haughty behavior is a consequence of this worldview.
            So, a contempt for the Exalted? The (perhaps not mistaken?) belief that you can do anything? Detachment from mortal concerns, certainly, but that will take several flavors.
            Last edited by Tikor; 01-03-2020, 09:11 AM. Reason: quotes were white text, invisible.


            Sand Creek, or The Inspection of Cracks in the Desert Cecelyne - A Solar buddy travel fanfiction.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Lioness View Post
              I like to remind people that my elders aren't immortal. IRL don't see death by old age as a built in expiration date so much as death by a thousand cuts so I like to give elder exalts a few keepsakes rather than assume they've Wolverine healed everything that's ever happened to them. Sometimes the damage is to their state of mind, but I downplay that a bit because 2e Lunars badly overused it.
              That's a good idea. It may be of course that they have the charm for Wolverine-healing, but that doesn't help with psychology. And you can probably do some historical references with things they've lost; items they own from lost cultures they ruled before losing them to Realm invasion, items their long-dead kids/grandkids gave them, etc. Maybe they try and keep plays or music from some long-dead culture they loved alive.

              Tikor, I'm afraid I can't read those roleplaying hints, it's just a blank grey block. Don't know if that's just me or it looks like that for everyone.


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

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                All your mortal friends and family are dead.
                There are two things that are very prominent in the human repertoire and why we've spread so far.

                Socialising: Humans are so heavily wired to socialize that we not only form highly sophisticated relationships with one another, but with some animals (and not just ones that are social with one another; we can be compelling to fauna that is outright antisocial with one another), and occasionally inanimate objects.

                Adaptability: Humans on the whole have adjusted to innumerable environments and circumstances. Individual people might be more rigid, but when really pushed to it a lot of folks are more adaptable than you'd think. Not even just in circumstances like war and disaster, people can change to work around so kinds of difficult events.

                I'll be the last person to say that every aspect of the Exalted should be modelled via Charms, but I do think there are some cues to take from the degree to which Charms represent native qualities empowered by Essence with particular inclinations in assessing their characters.

                And the Essence of Luna does empower many forms of socialising and adaptability.

                Sure it's possible for Lunar and other Exalted to become really alienated from people on the whole. I expect some are. Hell, I expect all at least go through a period of adjustment to it.

                But I think it's also possible to portray very old people as ones that have become exceptionally well-practiced in continuously forming and valuing relationships with new people, and finding satisfaction within them.

                Is it hard to be around people who are frequently dying? Sure, but folks have been going with that throughout human history. We've got examples of people in the Western world managing that up to the modern day of they were part of any community strongly affected by the AIDS crisis, just off the top of my head. It's possible to mourn and move on.

                And that's for lives tragically cut short. Exalted might cultivate within themselves the sense that being in a position to share the full length of a person's life (and having been in a good position to ensure that it was particularly long and satisfactory) is a blessing, and one that they get to partake in over and over again with many interesting and different people.


                I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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                • #9
                  If any Exalt type is going to embrace the parade of new people into and out of their life, I can see Lunars appreciating the novelty aspect best.


                  Sand Creek, or The Inspection of Cracks in the Desert Cecelyne - A Solar buddy travel fanfiction.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                    So you are a 1500+ year-old-Lunar.

                    All your mortal friends and family are dead. Your Solar mate died and never returned. Even many of your Lunar friends have died and you've outlived them.

                    You've also spent much of your time in the vast array of forms you've picked up over the years. Different genders and races, different animal forms.

                    And then perhaps there's the weirder charms; how many times have you split yourself in two? Do you regularly see the future while hopped up on 'shrooms? How does this affect you?

                    So my interest is... How might living so long affect you? How might 1500 years of guerilla war affect you? How might all the shapechanging affect you? What charms might particularly affect you?

                    Note that I am asking what "might" this affect. Perhaps it has no effect, but that's really boring and doesn't help make an interesting character.
                    Little pet peeve of mine - all of these can apply to a Lunar - or any other exalt, celestial or not, for that matter - between 101-1499 years old.

                    The Scarlet Dinasty, Creation's greatest power of the current age by far, in fact the power that defines the current age of Creation, has existed for 765 years and its founder was a no-name military officer that was probably still in her first century. Mnemon, her oldest active child, a house founder and a major power on her own, has a little over half that much.

                    So exalts between 300-800 years old can be quite respectable entities who have seen the rise and fall of dinasties, nations & cultures and with quite a lot of acomplishments under their own belts. 1500 years is a huge time gap, almost "from the Fall of the Roman Empire to the present" large. It's an era mostly gone, twice over or more depending on how you count.

                    While it can be kind of understandable for most (not all) Solars to be kind of hang up on the Usurpation & First Age due to being slain and kept mostly in limbo for the whole period, the same can't be said of other exalts, spirits and so on.

                    Sometimes i feel a lack of NPCs, antagonists, allies or others, to adress those expanses of history - though that was far more egrerious in 2e and 3e has done some pretty respectable efforts in delivering or at least stoking players and STs' imagination in that area.

                    Ok, end of rant.
                    Last edited by Baaldam; 01-29-2020, 02:58 AM.

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                    • #11
                      So, Shogunate expansion when?!


                      Sand Creek, or The Inspection of Cracks in the Desert Cecelyne - A Solar buddy travel fanfiction.

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                      • #12
                        There are two ways I see Elder Lunars going, and a third way that I don't.

                        First- being above it all. 1500 hundred years ago you were a kid or adult already as the Fall of Rome happened. you lost your first lover at 20... and so what? you've found "the one" a hundred times since then, fallen into hedonism, despair, hope, enlightenment, cruelty, et al a hundred times each. The Realm is doing XYZ? ok. That'll probably blow over in a few decades. not really worth getting twisted out of shape about it. You might even begin to not value any human lives at all, because what does it matter how many live or die- they just bounce right back in a few generations.

                        Second- The ever changing Man. You realized in your second century that there is never going to be a static set of cultural mores. Slavery is in and out. Merchant Republics or Tyrants. Kings, Warbands, Chaos, order... your just a leaf on the river of history. Today you are the Khan of a warband, last century you were a poet decrying the inhumanity of war. Homo Humini Lupus Est. You have a lot of power and the times give you a role to fill. So you always change to fit the times.

                        And last, the one I don't really like- the Old Grudge Bearer. You never got over the fact the the Picts killed your son in AD 670 and now you can't believe you have to help out the English, 1300 years later. No way. You didn't forget or forgive. I don't like this character idea because its just so small. It doesn't feel like a millenia old superperson, it feels like taking a crotchety old geriatric and just aging them up 1000%. How much life do you live before it just stops mattering what someone did a thousand years ago? You fell in love with a girl in Qara Qoyunlu? What color were her eyes? how many times have you met and loved the great great great descendants of your previous enemies?


                        Please be warned: this is not champagne, this is most likely a duck.
                        -Chausse

                        Message me for Japanese translations.

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                        • #13
                          I was re-reading the stuff about the early pact; there was a philosophical argument about whether there was any point taking vengeance on later generations of Dragonblood, after the ones who actually did the Usurpation were all dead. I can imagine some ancient Lunars no longer being invested in crushing all remnants of the Shogunate, it's just been too long, and today's Dragonblood societies may have little resemblance to the Usurpers.
                          Of course, they may oppose the Realm because it is trying to kill them, but they may be less bothered by Lookshy and the general concept of Dragonblood-ru. societies. Perhaps they've no problem with the Dynasty ruling the Isle.

                          The book also talked about how many elders are only really concerned with other Elders. When you're a 2000-year old Lunar, you may just not care about mortal politics; kingdoms rise and fall all the time. You've seen thousands of Dragonblood and Lunars die before reaching 100; why take them seriously? Instead, you may see the world through the lense of the Great Game of Lunars vs the Bronze faction, Gods and Dragons. Your enemy is Kejak and Syn and Holok, not whichever group of Dragonblood youngsters they've once again manipulated into attacking you.


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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The MG View Post
                            Shadow-Mind Meditation: You have no room in your heart for hate anymore, and bury all dark thoughts in a pit in your mind, letting them come crawling out only when you need them; to others, you seem like a two-faced god, shifting between your saintly and devilish aspects.
                            Not quite how that Charm works, since it offers no protection against forming negative Intimacies, and banishing a new Intimacy from one mind to the other would take a custom upgrade Charm.

                            But that sort of upgrade certainly seems plausible.

                            Incidentally, I was surprised to learn that Jekyll and Hyde wasn't a story about split personalities, but about a man using Strange Science to change his face as an elaborate disguise so he can indulge in socially-unacceptable pastimes without harming his sterling public reputation. It's a Victorian warning story about the dangers of indulgence and losing control.


                            Moon-in-Well Emanation: When you gaze into a mirror, you see nothing, because your reflection has spent the last century gallivanting among the spirit courts. You're quite used to this, and treat the sight of yourself as an ill omen, or avoid mirrors and reflecting pools so as to not compromise your current disguise.
                            And if you need a mirror to see yourself, using familiars and looking through their eyes works just as well for most purposes.


                            Undaunted Behemoth Avatar: You are a titan, and you have been for centuries. Humans are gnats (though, certainly gnats you care about), and their tools and comforts no longer suit you. Of course, you could be one of them again, but why would you? It will cost you the awe in their eyes and voices, and leave you terribly vulnerable besides.
                            How does this Lunar deal with the Sidereal threat? Disguising himself as a small mountain when he sleeps? Always remaining on the move and hiding in the wilderness?


                            Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

                            My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                              Incidentally, I was surprised to learn that Jekyll and Hyde wasn't a story about split personalities, but about a man using Strange Science to change his face as an elaborate disguise so he can indulge in socially-unacceptable pastimes without harming his sterling public reputation.
                              Indeed; it's one of those subjects where most people only know about a subject via pop culture osmosis. Like with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus; fun fact: in the book, Victor Frankenstein's creation is not an amalgam of stitched-together stolen corpse-parts - Frankenstein studied cadavers in order to fabricate the various parts via undisclosed techniques.
                              Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 01-30-2020, 05:59 PM.

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