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  • #91
    Originally posted by Epitome View Post
    If you need a human arch-nemesis capable of challenging a fresh Circle of Solars, couldn't an elder Dawn or Dusk do it? In fact couldn't such a foe easily wipe out most of the Circle in a single turn?
    You have to do something about the action economy, but, like... it seems reasonable to me. It's not like there are actual rules for building NPCs. An Essence 3 or 4 Dusk (with Onslaught negators and something like SPSitV to mitigate the action disadvantage) should be able to easily overpower everyone in the Circle who's NOT a combat-Supernal Dawn, and even the Dawn should struggle against someone with more and stronger Charms. (Both from Essence-based bonuses that Supernal doesn't help with, and from stronger Charms from auxiliary abilities like Resistance.)

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    • #92
      Originally posted by Lanic View Post

      Yes, sure. But the aesthetics of sorcery is very distinct and doesn't necessarily fit your character. Some of them (Essence 8+) seem a bit too powerful and utilitarian at the same time to become sorcery proper, so I have no problem with certain redundancies.
      I'd argue that Cast Out Beyond Regard had less potential for abuse than Total Annihilation did. The only other essence 8 charm was Yozi-Fighting Principle which is so damn boring.


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      • #93
        In regards to the SW discussion earlier, it occured to me that there are 5 Lukes.

        Its just that they consist of:
        A Zennith princess whose statrapy-kingdom was destroyed to make an example
        A Night smuggler with a lot of investment in his boat
        The Night's Full Moon boon companion who is like 200 years old and is physically stronger than all the rest of them
        A charming former-quisling Eclipse administrator

        Darth Vader wipes the floor with the above, plus Dawn Luke learning the secret MA from multiple secret masters, multiple times alone and apart.

        But, once everyone has leveled up into Generals, Darth Vader would still wipe the floor with all of them except for Luke. While Luke was having his climactic showdown they were working to defeat the Empire conventionally.


        So even the ur example sort of challenges the point. A diverse group will have diverse capabilities, and they will presumably all grow to be able to engage with different facets of the BBEG's strength. The combat challenge for 5 combat specced Exalts late in their story will wipe the floor with non combat specced Exalts more or less at any point in their story.

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        • #94
          Originally posted by Lanic View Post
          Now, I hope that this answers what you said: I think that saying that you could do Vader-like scenes with Ma-Ha-Suchi in 1v1 encounter for a Lunar is not a fair answer. We should look at the circle as basically the collective Luke. I want a recurring human-like opponent to be a desperately difficult encounter for the full circle. A circle of Solars. This is because, Solars just scream to me that I should try to tell this kind of stories. I am a wielder of greater power, returned after centuries to change things. And you really don't want me to have arch-enemies from past lives and to meet an old sifu to teach me all the esoteric stuff and give me back my artifact sword? They should feel well above my level at the first moment and I should feel well above regular folks, so DnD clearly doesn't work either.
          You might have a better time playing a different kind of Exalt that’s not a Solar. Lunars are well beyond mortals when they first exalt, but also are a fair step below their elders just due to limited charm selection. You might even be able to get a powerful elder exalt to fight a whole circle of young Dragonblooded at once. If you want a story about your Solar going to an ancient master to learn secret legendary techniques and grow into his power you’re either going to have to have to either pick something to learn that isn’t your supernal, or intentionally avoid filling out your Supernal from chargen.

          I did that once with a Dawn. MA Supernal, not a dot of MA or even the merit at chargen. Other Solars though exalt and because they’re the greatest fastest growing exalted they instantly unlock their own potential and explode into their power. It’s just something Solars can do, just like how it might be cool to have a big campaign where your Lunar hunts animals across the world and fills out her shape library, but if you want you can just drop four merit dots off the hop and have pretty much whatever you want.

          Its what makes the idea of a “collective Luke” not really work so well. If Vader got into a fight with Yoda, Obi-Wan, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Mace Windu, and Luke all at the same time he wouldn’t, or shouldn’t, suddenly become so powerful that he can handle them all easily. In that narrative it’s time for him to retreat or gather reinforcements. And true, they’re all some of the greatest masters of the force in their times, but again that’s one of the points of playing a Solar is you can be almost that badass right from the word go. They can’t collectively be Luke because they’re all already individually Master Windu.

          It would help a lot, by the way, if players built characters that were less focused on gaming the systems and surviving. Not to say that they shouldn’t, it just skews things when even the noodly Twilight savant has Melee 5, a specialty and like 6 melee charms. F you had a young circle where everyone but the Dawn had like 1-3 in their fighting abilities and a couple of them did things like take physical tertiary and wore light/medium armor and stuff Chejop Kejak would have a way easier time challenging the whole group. He could probably do it even, at least to the point of making them retreat just as long as the Dawn wasn’t the most hardcore Dawn that ever Dawned on Creation.

          If you want to do it like that with Lunars or especially Terrestrials it’s easy-peasy. Just have some first age survivor Solar whos Essence 7-8 be the antagonist and I guarantee he will wipe the floor with them.


          Also in addition to Alucard’s mention of a 3CD married to a Solar and seeking out their next incarnation I’m reading through the DB aspect books right now and there’s several powerful lords of the Wyld with deeply personal relationships to the POV characters. It can happen.

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          • #95
            Originally posted by Exthalion View Post
            In regards to the SW discussion earlier, it occured to me that there are 5 Lukes.

            Its just that they consist of:
            A Zennith princess whose statrapy-kingdom was destroyed to make an example
            A Night smuggler with a lot of investment in his boat
            The Night's Full Moon boon companion who is like 200 years old and is physically stronger than all the rest of them
            A charming former-quisling Eclipse administrator
            They fit the archetypes of those castes pretty well, but in-universe they’re not Solars. If Han could do things like smash the Millenium Falcon through a Star Destroyer and have it come out the other side without a scratch, or if Leia could step into a city and make a speech that could be heard by everyone there with just her voice to incite rebellion in their hearts, then they’d be Solars. Han is just an exceptionally good but ultimately mortal smuggler. Solars, in-universe, are incredible fonts of power that put them completely apart from almost everyone else.

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            • #96
              By the same token, NONE of the Jedi would be considered Solar... Nor the Emperor or Vader... All are just Heroic Mortals at Best...


              The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary. - James. D. Nicoll

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              • #97
                DrLoveMonkey As I said, in our game we heavily nerfed supernal and introduced some custom charms to widen power gaps, so we're actually fine.

                I generally agree that you can feel the character developement much better in case of terrestrials, but it's precisely Solars who invoke this kind of narrative the most: freshly returning rulers of free world who don't yet know what they can do.

                Ultinately, I think it is simply a trap in design to treat "Solars are the best" statement in too literal way. I would indeed prefer if they were strictly speaking potentially best, but initially kind-of-on-par with experienced shikari, clearly dominated by lunar warriors and collectively being used to wipe the floor by elder Sidereals.

                As far as I understand this is how things used to look like in the first edition and people were complaining that "Solars are the best" is not really well represented in the rules, right?

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                • #98
                  Lanic I also think that the trope you evoke, while well fit to the genre of Exalted, is not necesseraily well supported by the mechanics of the game at a higher level than "elders are not strong enough". I think stories of Vader, or whatever example you might call on, are more easily represented by very dramatic systems like Powered by the Apocalypse systems, with moves for archetypes, GM moves to move the story forward and so on.

                  I think the closest we have to being able to support this kind of trope in Exalted is the Great Curse, because of how it is written and what purpose it is supposed to serve, and to some extent the Lore State a fact and Social systems offer possibilities but I believe they are much harder to exploit in order to produce the result you are looking for without a great amount of work and coordination from the players and the ST.

                  I obviously do not think this is impossible to do in Exalted, but I think in Exalted it asks for a lot of work from the players and the ST to picture a scene like, say Luke being broken by Vader and then learns that Vader is actually his father (with the same pace and dramatic execution in the game than in the movie), whereas to produce this kind of scenes i just the standard case of PbtA games, because they are designed to do just that.

                  I obviously know an example is not a proof, but let's take a simple example : the scene where Constantine bargains with Lucifer to trade his soul in exchange for saving someone else or something like that in his eponymous movie. We reproduced quasi exactly this scene in Monsterheart with the Infernal playbook, and taking the Ghoul move to revive after a sacrifice, and it was a piece of cake. The simple choice of these character moves will basically produce this exact scene if you just wish for it, because it's just the obvious thing to do, you cannot miss it, at its heart the system is designed so that this very scene can be imitated almost perfectly.

                  I do not think Exalted system is flawed because it is not conceived in this manner, but I think understanding why at its core it has more difficulties doing it is important. I'm not woke enough about RPG to analyse exactly what makes it hard for the system, but I think the "ludic" (idk how to say it in english) part of the game, and the very strong power to react given to the character (the player as well but here specifically the character) plays a major role in that.
                  Last edited by Chausse; 01-10-2020, 03:45 PM.


                  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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                  • #99
                    Originally posted by Lanic View Post
                    As far as I understand this is how things used to look like in the first edition and people were complaining that "Solars are the best" is not really well represented in the rules, right?
                    Unfortunately I didn’t play any of first edition really. In second edition for sure, Solars could use merits/flaws to get to Essence 5 off chargen and start grabbing cap-burster charms to get Essence 6+ charms right away. They also just were Essence 5 for all purposes, so bigger mote pools, minimum damage 5, essence calculations. My first ever character was a 2e sorcerer with Adamant Circle Sorcery ad Total Annihilation from session 1. On the other hand he didn’t really grow much past that in many ways that felt very meaningful to his character. When I remade him in 3e I appreciated not having Solar Circle Sorcery, but then again I did take Ephemeal Induction Technique so...

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                    • Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

                      Unfortunately I didn’t play any of first edition really. In second edition for sure, Solars could use merits/flaws to get to Essence 5 off chargen and start grabbing cap-burster charms to get Essence 6+ charms right away. They also just were Essence 5 for all purposes, so bigger mote pools, minimum damage 5, essence calculations. My first ever character was a 2e sorcerer with Adamant Circle Sorcery ad Total Annihilation from session 1. On the other hand he didn’t really grow much past that in many ways that felt very meaningful to his character. When I remade him in 3e I appreciated not having Solar Circle Sorcery, but then again I did take Ephemeal Induction Technique so...
                      I meant that reportedly in the first edition Solars' overwhelming power was fealt to be exaggeration and there were complaints to this effect. Then, Solars from second edition and their power levels were reportedly a reaction to this complaint.

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                      • Originally posted by Lanic View Post
                        I meant that reportedly in the first edition Solars' overwhelming power was fealt to be exaggeration and there were complaints to this effect. Then, Solars from second edition and their power levels were reportedly a reaction to this complaint.
                        I just popped open a few of the old first edition books and it's pretty epic. They have Mountain Crossing Leap that lets them leap five miles in five minutes, Heavenly Guardian Defense which is a classic PD although it costs a willpower, both of those were available right off chargen if you wanted.

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                        • Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

                          I just popped open a few of the old first edition books and it's pretty epic. They have Mountain Crossing Leap that lets them leap five miles in five minutes, Heavenly Guardian Defense which is a classic PD although it costs a willpower, both of those were available right off chargen if you wanted.
                          You might find this interesting because it's basically first edition's elder problem on full display with the First and Forsaken Lion.


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                          • Originally posted by Lioness View Post
                            You might find this interesting because it's basically first edition's elder problem on full display with the First and Forsaken Lion.
                            Yeah that looks like a problem. Especially combined with the fact that the Lion also has Final Maelstrom one of the largest armies of the dead in the Underworld, and his own Abyssal exalted. He's far from an island.

                            Incidentally I just looked at his stats, holy hell why?

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                            • The Lion's a tricky one for me because I at least understand why someone would want to run him like a Dragonball Z villain.


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                              • Originally posted by Lanic View Post

                                I meant that reportedly in the first edition Solars' overwhelming power was fealt to be exaggeration and there were complaints to this effect. Then, Solars from second edition and their power levels were reportedly a reaction to this complaint.
                                I think in 1e, in combat the Solars were acknowledged to be comfortably the strongest, but it was thought their strength was kind of boring and defensive. Stack strong persistent defences better than other Exalted have, then whomp anything that gets through with reasonably cheap omni-applicable, perfect defenses, then go on offensive with strong weapons and high dice adders, while your other Exalted have weaker or no stacked persistent defenses, perfect defenses which are either more expensive and/or less applicable (but not both cheap and applicable). They'd win, but there was a complaint I think that this was all a bit flavourless and "meat and potato" compared to Sidereal Martial Arts / Sidereal / Alchemical, etc Charms. On the other hand, the only High Essence Charms, SMA, were frequently and increasing described as broken (Jon Chung, etc), so...

                                (Fan made custom content for high Essence Solar Charms tended to be a very straightforward power button, even when flavourfully executed - see Sol Invitus fan supplement).

                                I do think you're right that the intent of the power curve was probably that starting Solars had a bit more progression relative to 3e being a bit embracing of "You've already got the power to shake the Heavens, skipping the zero-to-hero story that's been done"... (though 1e kinda far short of the extremes of unfightable elders and Primordial scale opponents going 5v1 against Exalted and all that?)

                                That said, I would say whatever else I think about Supernal Abilities I like the idea of them in giving Solars a unique progression where they start out as really powerful in one area, but kind of wonky and not rounded characters and so vulnerable to more rounded opponents. It seems kind of a unique progression to progress from being focused to more well-rounded rather than just linearly more powerful. Whether it really works out that well IDK.

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