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  • Grod_the_giant
    started a topic Is it just me...

    Is it just me...

    ...or is running 3e kinda like running a rules-light system?

    As a player, you've got mechanics underlying everything you do. Delightfully arcane, over-complicated and epic sets of Charms and spells and who knows what. As a GM, you've got... nothing. There are a couple example NPCs, but the entire chapter can more-or-less be summed up as "make up some numbers" and "make up some superpowers."

  • DrLoveMonkey
    replied
    Originally posted by Grod_the_giant View Post
    It's kind of a hard one. On the one hand, it can be weird for every character to be good at fighting; on the other hand, fights (especially in a game like Exalted) both take a large amount of table-time and already involve a lot of sitting and waiting and watching everyone else do math. It's bad enough waiting for your turn every round; if you're just waiting for the end of combat, it's painful. Hell, it was painful playing a sorcerer in 2e and having to sit out every other round.
    Yes, I'm not actually against every character being a combat badass with 5 resolve per se. DnD does it and it works there. The thing there though is that DnD makes you always like that, unless you're very intentionally trying to make a weak character just to prove you can, at level 20 you can fight an entire town guard all on your own no problem no matter who you are.

    With Exalted you could, if you wanted to, have somebody with 2 Dex, 2 Thrown, 1 Dodge, 1 Integrity, 0 Awareness and no armor or artifacts. There's enough stuff that isn't based around fighting that you could definitely make that, and if everyone except the Dawn and maybe one other member of the circle was like that, or even if your circle just didn't have a Dawn, that drastically changes things. Suddenly a cockatrice really is scary, and you might actually do what the writeup suggests and look for a polished mirror to try and get it to lock eyes with itself.

    On the other hand with everyone having Awareness 5 and an excellency and a defense of 5-7, enemies like the Manticore really fall short. Which is a bit of an issue when it's just so damned easy to get that, you just have to rely on players playing a bespectacled clumsy twilight not to take 5 Dex and 5 Awareness, which often they do anyway. So do you just expect that that's going to happen and design for it, or do you assume groups are going to be mixed in with more characters that might have only 2 melee or something and build around that?

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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    Yeah, Lunars have a few, so it's clearly design space they're comfortable with.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chausse
    replied
    Originally posted by Grod_the_giant View Post
    It's kind of a hard one. On the one hand, it can be weird for every character to be good at fighting; on the other hand, fights (especially in a game like Exalted) both take a large amount of table-time and already involve a lot of sitting and waiting and watching everyone else do math. It's bad enough waiting for your turn every round; if you're just waiting for the end of combat, it's painful. Hell, it was painful playing a sorcerer in 2e and having to sit out every other round.

    I could do more Charms like Devil-Strangling Attitude that let you use different stats for fighting, though.
    I'm actually fine everyone being good in combat ; What I'm less a fan of is that it draws every character to have the same "core stats", hence my comparison to DD4. In DD4 your typical wizard can have a not bad armor and be as good as everyone else because he has Intelligence, so apart from the fights he is the one reading the magical runes and whatnot, but he is usually at a disadvantage when climbing the trapped mountain or evading from the rooftops of Nexus, or he has to resort to other tricks that are peculiar to him to do it. But as DrLoveMonkey said, in Exalted your typical wizard, as every other character in most tables I've seen, have 4 Dex, 4-5 Awareness, and actually everyone has that, so they don't stand out in comparison to another in a lot of fields (or rather, they all stand out) except when they have niche Charms.

    Yeah I also think that Charms that allows you to change your attribute could be an interesting solution.

    Leave a comment:


  • Grod_the_giant
    replied
    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
    Unfortunately some groups will do that, but most I’ve seen just assume 5 and a specialty is the minimum combat ability and dex less than 3 is unheard of. Then whatever else for your character concept you want fits in around that. So you have some groups that would really rather not fight Octavian and a battlegroup of Bloodapes, and some that would take that down in a single turn.
    It's kind of a hard one. On the one hand, it can be weird for every character to be good at fighting; on the other hand, fights (especially in a game like Exalted) both take a large amount of table-time and already involve a lot of sitting and waiting and watching everyone else do math. It's bad enough waiting for your turn every round; if you're just waiting for the end of combat, it's painful. Hell, it was painful playing a sorcerer in 2e and having to sit out every other round.

    I could do more Charms like Devil-Strangling Attitude that let you use different stats for fighting, though.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lanic
    replied
    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

    Yeah that's part of it, everyone has big dex, and usually eagle eye awareness and, less commonly, big integrity, even if it doesn't really seem to make sense, or might seem like they twisted their character concept into having it make sense? Like 3 is acceptable Awareness if you're running out of bonus points, but you really should have 5.
    [...]
    Exalted might have a more flat progression than DnD, but I feel for the developers who have to try and come up with antagonists assuming both groups that make circles like Tomb of Dreams and ones like mine.
    I really think that this is due to a strong WoD heritage still present in Exalted. The system gave huge freedom in creating your character, but at the same time simply assumed that you will not abuse it. If players would bring characters with Dexterity 5, combat Ability 5, I'd definitely frown upon them and discuss it. In Exalted, however, this feels very in-genre. After all, this is a kung-fu movie. It's ok that everyone is a martial arts master.

    However that, combined with the writers commitment to the given descriptions of skills (they clearly tried to stick to the described scale in the adversaries section) has rather unfortunate result you described. It has an additional effect that character progress seems somewhat distorted (as we recently discussed, my group agreed to nerf the supernal mechanic in order to partially prevent it). This becomes a nuisance to the point where I'm idly wondering whether we really need stats in Exalted or whether we could just make it purely effect-based mechanics (everyone has the same baseline pools which are modified by special exceptions and using your resources).

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  • DrLoveMonkey
    replied
    Originally posted by Chausse View Post
    Yeah I'm really disappointed in the prominence in Dexterity, as usual in so many games. I really think DD4 did a step forward when they allowed people to use whatever the characteristic made sense for them for different applications. Furthermore, in Exalted (or WoD in general) I feel Dexterity is so vital, because it is an attribute with such wide applications, that everyone has tons of it, but then except for the overspecialised Athletics guy everyone can do the same physical prowesses, so they are not so exceptional anymore (I had everyone in my group casually suceeding at recurring difficulty 4 dexterity athletics checks because, well ... everyone has 4 in it)
    Yeah that's part of it, everyone has big dex, and usually eagle eye awareness and, less commonly, big integrity, even if it doesn't really seem to make sense, or might seem like they twisted their character concept into having it make sense? Like 3 is acceptable Awareness if you're running out of bonus points, but you really should have 5.

    If you look at the example solar circle from Tomb of Dreams Iay and Mirror Flag are both just...not like that at all. Iay's main attack has a base accuracy of 6, boostable with a full Solar excellency to 10, or 4 and 8 for decisive attacks. Nobody is wearing heavy armor, most have 2-3 Dex. They all have Integrity favoured at least, although again Iay has a pretty bad resolve in spite of that.

    Faka Kun is the only one really built like a PC, with max Dodge, Thrown, Awareness and Stealth, Dexterity, Wits, and 3 Integrity. Just replace Stealth with Socialize or Occult or whatever you want for your chosen concept. The only thing she's missing is some wide applicability specialties and some kind of armor.



    If my players built like the sample circle, I'd have to change the way I run the game. Instead of the whole circle fighting a lot of threats in combat it would be more like the Dawn, Night and Zenith protecting the Twilight and Eclipse. Everyone would be spending a lot more motes too since they couldn't rely on their base stats to just carry them through a lot of stuff. That's not even considering people who might not have the best tactical minds out there.

    Exalted might have a more flat progression than DnD, but I feel for the developers who have to try and come up with antagonists assuming both groups that make circles like Tomb of Dreams and ones like mine.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lanic
    replied
    Originally posted by Epitome View Post

    This is hands down the biggest pain point I've experienced with the game myself. 90% of problems I encounter is "Player x doesn't understand the game so I have to play their character for them" or "System x is too complicated for the group so I have to redesign it for them".

    I love Exalted, and I'll friggin remake the whole game if that's what I need to do for my friends to join in on the fun. But let's just say Exalted : Essence will be more than welcome when it comes out.

    Exactly, In my current group, one player who used to play serious tournament chess, is a decent bridge player and generally enjoys dealing with mechanical aspects of games, actually had to made characters for two of the other. Then, we had to carefully explain to these two players, step-by-step, and between sessions what these characters can do. Honestly, I wouldn't say that the process has already finished.

    And, honestly, I think that this is mostly fault not so much of the mechanic as of the editing of the corebook. What do I mean by this? The game is heavy, actually I'd say it's superheavy. It's ok to me, I like games with nontrivial depth. However, if you plan to produce a playable heavy game, you should put much more care into the organisation of the material:

    - charm cascades should definitely be in the book;
    - you should have a single chart where charms are aligned alphabetically in each line you should have the shortest possible description of what the charm actually does. One line short;
    - very often, it seems that designers planned some central charms in trees and others which are actually partial effects (for instance, Hypnotic Tongue Technique). Maybe change the naming conventions so that things that form a natural and intended progression are explicitly levels of one power
    - fluff of the charm should be visibly delineated from the mechanical description;
    - introduce more uniform notation and succinct notation for dice tricks: rerolls,cascades, treat-as-if. You shouldn't describe them each time with a new formulation in the natural language;
    - more information should be organised in charts and tables rather than hidden in a block of text.

    Exalted should generally look at all iterations of DnD from third edition up (with particular emphasis on the fourth edition) and just copypaste these solutions. Or even look at White Wolf products from the nineties. They used to be organised in a much more reasonable way.
    Last edited by Lanic; 01-17-2020, 07:37 PM.

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  • Epitome
    replied
    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

    If you’re saying what I think you’re saying that brings another difficulty for STing Exalted. In DnD everyone is a “warrior-X” the bard, the sorcerer, the thief, they’re all fighters as well, and the game is set for that. Exalted, I find, often assumes that people like the bureaucrat will have 1-2 melee and 1-2 dex or something, and is built around that.
    In my unfortunate example, it wasn't a group combat ability mismatch, it was really just the ST playing as deviously as he could, making the wolves act in a way that would normally require human level intelligence and advanced war training.

    The players actually weren't too mad about their TPK when it happened, thinking they had been outdone by a clever pack of Lunars or similar. It's only when they asked the ST what sort of Exalt or great creature had brought them down, and that the ST just stared back uncomprehendingly - they were really just wolves - that the players got really mad.

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  • Chausse
    replied
    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

    If you’re saying what I think you’re saying that brings another difficulty for STing Exalted. In DnD everyone is a “warrior-X” the bard, the sorcerer, the thief, they’re all fighters as well, and the game is set for that. Exalted, I find, often assumes that people like the bureaucrat will have 1-2 melee and 1-2 dex or something, and is built around that.

    Unfortunately some groups will do that, but most I’ve seen just assume 5 and a specialty is the minimum combat ability and dex less than 3 is unheard of. Then whatever else for your character concept you want fits in around that. So you have some groups that would really rather not fight Octavian and a battlegroup of Bloodapes, and some that would take that down in a single turn.
    Yeah I'm really disappointed in the prominence in Dexterity, as usual in so many games. I really think DD4 did a step forward when they allowed people to use whatever the characteristic made sense for them for different applications. Furthermore, in Exalted (or WoD in general) I feel Dexterity is so vital, because it is an attribute with such wide applications, that everyone has tons of it, but then except for the overspecialised Athletics guy everyone can do the same physical prowesses, so they are not so exceptional anymore (I had everyone in my group casually suceeding at recurring difficulty 4 dexterity athletics checks because, well ... everyone has 4 in it)

    Leave a comment:


  • DrLoveMonkey
    replied
    Originally posted by Epitome View Post

    Can confirm, I have heard horror stories of 2e Solar Circles being taken down by forest wolves.
    If you’re saying what I think you’re saying that brings another difficulty for STing Exalted. In DnD everyone is a “warrior-X” the bard, the sorcerer, the thief, they’re all fighters as well, and the game is set for that. Exalted, I find, often assumes that people like the bureaucrat will have 1-2 melee and 1-2 dex or something, and is built around that.

    Unfortunately some groups will do that, but most I’ve seen just assume 5 and a specialty is the minimum combat ability and dex less than 3 is unheard of. Then whatever else for your character concept you want fits in around that. So you have some groups that would really rather not fight Octavian and a battlegroup of Bloodapes, and some that would take that down in a single turn.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chausse
    replied
    Originally posted by Epitome View Post

    This is hands down the biggest pain point I've experienced with the game myself. 90% of problems I encounter is "Player x doesn't understand the game so I have to play their character for them" or "System x is too complicated for the group so I have to redesign it for them".

    I love Exalted, and I'll friggin remake the whole game if that's what I need to do for my friends to join in on the fun. But let's just say Exalted : Essence will be more than welcome when it comes out.
    Sorry for double post. Yes, this was a problem for me, I had to know every subsystem, because well even if the player knows its subsystem it's not like you can just spend 10 mns at the table having someone explains a part of the system everytime they want to do something, so you just have to learn it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chausse
    replied
    Originally posted by Epitome View Post

    Can confirm, I have heard horror stories of 2e Solar Circles being taken down by forest wolves, and of STs for whom a session was considered a failure if they hadn't taken down at least 1 PC.
    Well I think the worst offender here would be to not tell your players beforehand, and not allow them to switch to DD or something more in theme.

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  • Kyman201
    replied
    Originally posted by Epitome View Post

    Can confirm, I have heard horror stories of 2e Solar Circles being taken down by forest wolves, and of STs for whom a session was considered a failure if they hadn't taken down at least 1 PC.
    Now that's a mindset I feel is holding the Tabletop hobby back and can quite kindly go and die in a fire.

    Say what you will about Critical Role setting high expectations among new D&D players, at least Matt isn't trying to slaughter the PCs every chance he gets and everyone is having fun.

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  • Epitome
    replied
    Originally posted by The Hug Ninja View Post
    Like others who've replied to this thread I wouldn't describe 3e as rules-light. However, a lot of second edition discourse and rhetoric framed the relationship between storyteller and player as downright adversarial, with perfect defences held up as a "no, fuck you" response to a DM attempting a total-party kill.
    I assume at least some people thought they were supposed to be playing 2e that way, a meme doesn't get that prevalent without someone taking it 100% seriously.
    Can confirm, I have heard horror stories of 2e Solar Circles being taken down by forest wolves, and of STs for whom a session was considered a failure if they hadn't taken down at least 1 PC.

    Leave a comment:

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