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Can your Big Bad Villain take 5 Solars at once?

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  • #46
    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
    I don't think so.

    Turn 1 Aim.
    Turn 2 Crash all the Solars.
    Turn 3 the Battlegroup acts before the Crashed Solars and attacks again, this time applying their attack to the Solar's Health Track.
    There is no Turn 4.

    Ma-Ha-Suchi is hard as nails.
    I'm working under the assertion that some of the Solars won't be crashed in Turn 2 due to a combination of soak defence, extremely high initiative, making themselves invalid targets in turn 1 and pure dumb luck but yes, there's absolutely TPK potential here.



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    • #47
      Originally posted by Grod_the_giant View Post
      I have trouble believing that a few dozen Dragonblooded couldn't do the same thing.
      I think a few dozen powerful combat focused DBs absolutely could fight the Mask of Winters. The thing is, the Mask isn't some lone dude sitting in his house out in the middle of nowhere. For space I've spoiled just an example of what might await you in Thorns.




      Close Allies/Pets

      Mask of Winters
      An incredibly powerful Void Circle necromancer, and former First Age Solar ghost. Wearing a cape weighted down heavily by the hearthstones embedded into it, wearing ancient armor known as Grieving Shelter, and wielding the relic blade Frigid Razor he is a terrifying opponent. On his face he wears the Mask of Winters, depending on the side either enchantingly beautiful or sickeningly terrifying. Most deadly of all, the memory of his Solar life allows him, along with his fellow Deathlords, access the dark mirrors of Solar charms.

      Juggernaut
      A behemoth of mind-boggling size, able to crush fortresses and armies with a single swipe of its massive hand. The beast is surrounded by a miasma of disease and rotting death, powerful enough to sicken and kill any living creature within days of exposure. A creature so large that the Mask of Winters constructed his primary fortress upon its back. Its legacy stretching back to the dawn of time, where it used to wrestle the great Elemental Dragons. Even the mighty Exalted of the First Age were unable to slay it, merely crippling the monster and forcing it to drag it's colossal broken limbs across the earth. It is said, indeed, that it can never be killed, save for one fated moment in time.

      Shadow of Ration Wings
      A Nephwrack who's company the Mask of Winters keeps. Part advisor, part sorcerous partner, part insane ally. The Shadow of Ration Wings dwells most commonly in the fortress upon the Juggernaut. It has spent the last several decades meticulously weaving it's dark necromancy into every bone and fiber of the behemoth. A powerful sorcerer as well as defender of Juggernaut, it commands the forces defending the fortress whenever the Mask is unable to do so himself.

      Abyssals

      Below are examples of some of the Mask of Winters Abyssal Exalted. There are several more.

      Apostate in Tatters
      Midnight caste Abyssal Exalted. A preacher of doom who wanders the streets of Thorns, twisting the minds and hearts of the mortals who still dwell there.

      The Seven-Degreed Physician of Black Maladies
      Daybreak caste Abyssal Exalted. Apprentice necromancer to the Mask of Winters, the Physician has most recently been put to work devoting all of his time to mass summoning and animation. Sewing together twisting spine chains, summoning legions of undead, and effecting repairs upon the masks necromantic engines off war.

      Typhon
      Dusk caste Abyssal Exalted. A deadly and stealthy archer in the service of the Mask of Winters. Used during the Mask's wars of conquest as a deadly warrior, but during the lulls in between battles he is sent out to hunt the Mask's enemies abroad.

      Prince Respendant
      Daybreak caste Abyssal Exalted. A collector of art and artiface from the First Age and before. The Prince is the Mask's personal retriever, scouring the world for the deadliest and most potent ancient spells and devices to bring back to the vaults of Thorns. After years of his work they now burgeon with wonders of the lost ages.

      Artist in Azure Blood
      Dusk caste Abyssal Exalted. The Mask's great champion. Rather than command troops in battle the Mask directs her to weave a tapestry of screams and blood through his foes. If any adversary is daring enough to challenge the Mask of Winters to single combat, he first requires that they beat his champion the same way. When he is inclined to oblige such a request, anyway.

      Acrid Mist of the Moor
      Moonshadow caste Abyssal Exalted. The Mask's primary diplomat. One who's silver knives are only matched by her silver tongue. In truth Mist of the Moor is equal parts diplomat and assassin, sent as an envoy to neighboring kingdoms, and in her wake accidents seem to befall all those who would oppose the Mask's whims in that area.

      Perfected tears Upon Alabaster Sorrow
      Day caste Abyssal Exalted. A special agent of the Mask of Winters, one who partakes in his most underhanded and ambitious schemes. Where most of the Mask's other agents have specific duties, Sorrow embodies the Masks will and whims at the time. A wildcard that the Mask may add to any of his other ventures.

      Engines of War

      Razor Ivory Tangle
      A construct of necromancy, a bonestrider. Towering above the battlefield, Eternal Ivory Pillar has been the end off hundreds, perhaps thousands, of the Mask's enemies. Able to gesture towards a group of soldiers and bid their bones to shatter, the shards flinging forth from their bodies and impaling their fellows as they do.

      Eternal Frozen Pillar
      A warstrider made of soulsteel inlaced with blue jade. It wields the power of cold death. It wields a scythe in battle, one with an ethereal blade. It passes through flesh and steel without leaving a mark, but drags the souls of the living with it as it does. If it should ever need to destroy a solid object, the haft proves more than up to the task.

      Doom of Black Skies
      A Soulsteel Warstrider with the rare ability to take flight. Shrouded, as it is, by shadow and smoke it can move silently over land or through the air, landing among it's prey like an enormous raptor and also silencing them, forever.

      Siege Weapons
      Having looted Thorns and taken what the Prince Resplendent could give him from the surrounding area, the Mask's fortresses are equipped with all manner of first age weapons. Lightning Ballista, Implosion Bows, sorcerous tablets that explode in great firestorms when activated, and Sky Mantis Towers which bend the weather to his needs. The Mask also has a few weapons stored in his vaults that seldom been seen in Creation for the last two thousand years.

      Forces

      Ghostly Agents
      The Mask commands dozens, or perhaps hundreds, of ghosts from the Underworld. Mortwrights, Nemissaries, Barrow Hound hunters, and other, stranger things. These creatures watch over the lands and buildings of the Mask off Winters. Invisibly they haunt roads and forests, and when he commands it they surge forth on missions of assassination or information gathering.

      War Ghosts
      Entire legions of ethereal warriors serve the Mask of Winters. Inhabiting and animating suits of armor, and plunging their ghostly blades into living foes, rending flesh as well as spirit as they do.

      Bone Siders
      Born from the Puppeteer's Plauge, these animated skeletons are walking vectors for that supernatural disease. Even a small band of them is enough to kill an entire village, as their claws infect the living, who then tear their flesh off and cause the plague to erupt anew.

      Giant Maggots
      Infesting the corpse-body of the Juggernaut are thousands of squirming fat white maggots. Growing to the size of elephants, and equipped with rending maws of razor sharp shredding fangs, they attempt to devour any creature not under the protection off the Mask's invitation.

      Zombies
      Near endless tides of once human citizens, now turned into shambling corpses. Fodder for the Mask's wars. Their tireless limbs and gut-wrenching stench overpower most foes. Even those that can boast defeating a horde of the Mask's zombies almost never do so without becoming exhausted. Completely drained from hours of hewing undead limbs, they're easy prey for the Deathlord's other forces. When lead by Shadow of Ration Wings, the zombies become far deadlier. Empowered by the Dawn of Dead Stars they often overpower even trained soldiers.

      Human Forces
      After subjugating Thorns the Mask of Winters has had his pick of loyal human warriors. Their souls worn down to surrender and rebuild by the Mask and his Abyssal Exalted. Legions of trained and equipped former soldiers of Thorns now serve him. In addition to their battlefield roles they often act as spies or traitors to any resistance force attempting to overthrow the Mask's rule.


      That's not everything the Mask has, and a lot of those headings were abbreviated. Fighting the Mask of Winters is way WAY more than just beating up the Mask in his throne room.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Chausse View Post

        I think the whole point is rather simple : People want to do asymmetric gameplay like in DD to do some specific cool battle, and they try to find way to do it. I think it's fair and simple, and asking "I should make NPC's that behave mechanically like the players, so I can't give them multiple initiative tracks/special powers/whatever because it doesn't work like the players do" is a nonsense, because the core purpose of wanting to do asymmetric gameplay in order to do the trope of "The old master taking everyone at the same time".

        So you're gonna say "Yes but Exalted is not asymmetric gameplay", and I will answer "Yes sadly this is the saddest thing that ever happened to the world"
        Exalted is about you playing some of the most powerful beings in existence. Not the most powerful, but among the most powerful.

        It's about you being able to save, or at least change, the world.

        I have no issue with asymetric gameplay if you're doing stuff like fighting Primordials, or the Celestines, or a Greater Elemental Dragon, or a massive Behemoth.

        But your PCs are Exalted. And if you start handing out Mega-Charms to the Exalted then your PCs are going to want those Charms for themselves.

        And that's a perfectly reasonable expectation for your PCs to have. Because you are playing Exalted.

        Plus, you are playing Exalted -- that's a sword which cuts both ways. Open your Corebook to page 444: there's a Charm that means you get to Counterattack every single time you are attacked (Withering or Decisive, your choice). Flip to 434: there's a Charm that gives you an extra Initative track. Page 348: Ignore all Onslaught penalties. Page 353: Launch a Withering attack against ALL foes (and if you Crash one, launch a Decisive Attack against all foes). You want Reflexive Clashes? Sure you do. Page 352 has you covered.

        These effects all exist. Already. In canon.

        Simplfy them for your QC elders -- just like all the published QC elders have a simplified array of Charms.

        You explicitly do not have to use the same rules that the PCs use. But you also don't have to reinvent the wheel by giving NPCs untouchable superpowers.

        If you're fighting something that is supposed to be of a kind with the PCs, then it should be of a kind with the PCs.
        If you're doing asymmetric gameplay against anything else, then it should be a suitably epic, world-ending threat - not Jim-Bob the Random Raksha Noble (which, I acknowledge, no-one is suggesting anything contrary to this).

        I would find it deeply unsatisfying if I went to fight Ma-Ha-Suchi (or Mnemon, Raksi, Lethiathan or CK) and found that they just ignored the rules and got to take five actions each round "because they're an elder".

        Whereas if that elder were using some version of Charms that I could buy (if I invested the XP), even if they didn't work exactly the same way, then that would feel a lot "fairer" to me (even though being able to Reflexively Clash five times a round AND then take your combat action is probably more powerful than "just" having five Initative tracks).

        And I explicitly reject the idea that an elder Exalt should be qualitiatively more powerful than the PCs. Quantitively, sure. Socially? Of course. But this is Dragon Ball Z.

        I think the worst thing you can do is get in an arms race with your players.
        Last edited by JohnDoe244; 02-09-2020, 05:52 PM.


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

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        • #49
          Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
          Only we do have powerful elder Exalted. They don't have five Initiative tracks.
          [...]
          The current design paradigm is that Essence 5 represents the most powerful effects possible for the Exalted. Essence 6+ is about customising your Essence to your personal nature.
          [...]
          [T]he mechanics of the game (which, I concede, are explicitly not the physics of the universe) also don't support this.
          As I said, I understand the current paradigm. We are now discussing whether we like it or not, so invoking that paradigm completely misses the point.


          Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
          Are there elder exalted who can defeat a whole circle? (Well, there's Ma-Ha-Suchi.)
          From what book are you getting this?
          Chejop Kejak, Deathlords (It's not entirely clear how powerful they should vs, say, Merela). More generally: do you honestly think that I would have the same complaint in Second or First edition? Because looking at the rules back there, it's really easy to build and opponent who will just stomp over a circle of Essence 2 Solars sticking to the book. I mean, to me, elders are now clearly and intentionally weaker. They used to be stronger. Do you disagree about that?

          And I would say that if at some point many people thought that it's good to have elders who function like that it's simply not totally outside of the scope of Exalted.


          Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
          Is giving an elder five Initiative tracks a good way of doing this?
          Ok, I think that you are focusing too much on this specific example (which we of course can discuss!). My point was this: everyone here agrees that there is some arrangement of enemies which can take down five Solars. If this is the case, a single enemy can do the same: just let them act mechanically as that arrangement.

          Of course, this has to be carried out carefully and with attention paid to details and playtested. Sure. I think that in practice, probably some stronger charms plus two-three Initiative tracks would be enough for Essence 1-2 Solars, but I'd like to first check it. This sounds scary, but remember that it's strictly weaker than simply pitting your players against two or three opponents with the same stats and I believe that 2 Essence 4 Abyssals would not be overwhelming against 5 Essence 2 Solars.

          Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
          So are you OK with your Solar PCs eventually gaining five Initative tracks themselves, once they are thousand year old elder Solars?

          Or are you inventing a Super-Special-NPC Tier just to out-class the PCs?

          Either is fine, but they both carry issues which you'll need to address at your table.
          Ok, that's a very good point and I was thinking a lot about it. I guess at the end of the day I would be fine with making a Super-Special NPC Tier.

          However, I agree with the sentiment you expressed. I also don't like NPC-only powers if PCs are roughly of the same kind. So my preferred solution is that the powers that make elder stronger are accessible to PCs but they are prohibitive: you need to wait a long time (i.e., it's not accessible via Supernal). You have to be somehow unusually combat-focused to really access them. You get them gradually.

          Of course, this generates an arms' race, so you want to balance everything so that if some players finally got this power, there's still something that can defeat them without things getting totally out of control.

          I proposed one solution in this thread. It does involve extra Initiative tracks. I tried to balance that idea around the assumption that an Essence 3 Solar should be a serious challenge to 2-3 Essence 1 Solars and Essence 5 Solar should be a serious challenge to 2-3 Essence 3 Solars (and probably so on). Moreover, a fight of two combat-oriented Solars of the same Essence rating should not result in a rocket tag.

          I think that some sort of extra Initiative tracks is the cheapest way to do it, but I'm not overly attached to this particular solution.

          EDIT: By the way, I explicitly discussed with the players that they shouldn't feel overly attached to the charms introducing extra Initiative tracks, because it's still work in progress and very likely to change.
          Last edited by Lanic; 02-09-2020, 05:57 PM.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Chausse View Post
            So you're gonna say "Yes but Exalted is not asymmetric gameplay", and I will answer "Yes sadly this is the saddest thing that ever happened to the world"
            Only for Solars though, and part of that is the on the players...kind of. I'm with John, I can't blame players for wanting to take awesome charms if you give them awesome charms, but in the Tomb of Dreams quickstart there's an example of what a starting group of Solars could look like, and it's absolutely able to lose to a powerful elder exalt in a straight fight.

            It's true that the characters don't quite have full starting character stats, but it's also true that they've spent bonus points, and the only thing most of them are missing is some charms and merits. With that here are their stats.

            Volfer
            8 attack dice
            8 defense dice
            Light armor

            Fire Orchid
            7 attack dice
            7 defense dice
            Medium Armor

            Iay
            4 attack dice
            4 defense dice
            Light Armor

            Faka
            10 attack dice
            10 defense dice (Thumbs up, you're built like a normal PC)
            NO armor (And you ruined it)

            Mirror Flag
            5 attack dice
            6 defense dice
            Medium Armor


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            • #51
              Originally posted by Lanic View Post
              Chejop Kejak, Deathlords (It's not entirely clear how powerful they should vs, say, Merela). More generally: do you honestly think that I would have the same complaint in Second or First edition? Because looking at the rules back there, it's really easy to build and opponent who will just stomp over a circle of Essence 2 Solars sticking to the book. I mean, to me, elders are now clearly and intentionally weaker. They used to be stronger. Do you disagree about that?
              Yes but also in Second Edition players used to be able to start the game at Essence 5. Normal Solars? Oh yeah, Essence 2, maybe 3. Player Characters? Essence 4-5 almost always.

              Originally posted by Lanic View Post
              Ok, I think that you are focusing too much on this specific example (which we of course can discuss!). My point was this: everyone here agrees that there is some arrangement of enemies which can take down five Solars. If this is the case, a single enemy can do the same: just let them act mechanically as that arrangement.
              I think you might run into issues because almost any enemy like that in Exalted also has innumerable incredibly powerful forces at their command as well. If the Mask of Winters can beat a full circle of Solars on his own, what happens when you fight the Mask, 3 of his Abyssals, and a battlegroup of ghosts all at once? Or even just one after the other, when the circle of Abyssals wore you down, the Nephwrack took almost everything you had left, and then the Mask comes in with his personal guard?

              There's very very few major foes in Exalted who act alone like that, most of them are Behemoths.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Lanic View Post
                As I said, I understand the current paradigm. We are now discussing whether we like it or not, so invoking that paradigm completely misses the point.
                Oh, in that case: I like the current paradigm.

                You're playing Exalted. If you want to play a peasant who gets beaten up, play D&D and start at level 1.
                This is Exalted, where you play the champions of the gods, returned to conquer/save the world.

                Originally posted by Lanic View Post
                Chejop Kejak, Deathlords (It's not entirely clear how powerful they should vs, say, Merela).
                And can you cite a single instance where CK or the Deathlords fought an entire Circle of Solars? They don't even have to have won, just give me a book and page reference for when the fight happened.

                Originally posted by Lanic View Post
                More generally: do you honestly think that I would have the same complaint in Second or First edition? Because looking at the rules back there, it's really easy to build and opponent who will just stomp over a circle of Essence 2 Solars sticking to the book. I mean, to me, elders are now clearly and intentionally weaker. They used to be stronger. Do you disagree about that?
                I don't know if you would have had that complaint in Second Edition. Ever fight Kejak in 2.5? (2.0 Kejak was a beast, no bones about it. 2.5... not so much.)

                The power curve is flatter now. I'll give you that. I'd posit that this is desirable - the PCs are supposed to matter, not be playing "race to Essence 6" or sitting on the sidelines whilst the untouchable elders duke it out.

                Originally posted by Lanic View Post
                Ok, I think that you are focusing too much on this specific example (which we of course can discuss!). My point was this: everyone here agrees that there is some arrangement of enemies which can take down five Solars. If this is the case, a single enemy can do the same: just let them act mechanically as that arrangement.
                Thematically, I think you have to be very careful doing this.

                Just because there is some combination of enemies that can defeat Superman, that does not mean it's a good idea to forge them into a single gestalt entity to fight Superman one-on-one.

                Originally posted by Lanic View Post
                Ok, that's a very good point and I was thinking a lot about it. I guess at the end of the day I would be fine with making a Super-Special NPC Tier.

                However, I agree with the sentiment you expressed. I also don't like NPC-only powers if PCs are roughly of the same kind. So my preferred solution is that the powers that make elder stronger are accessible to PCs but they are prohibitive: you need to wait a long time (i.e., it's not accessible via Supernal). You have to be somehow unusually combat-focused to really access them. You get them gradually.
                That's between you and your players: I think this is a good approach FWIW.

                Originally posted by Lanic View Post
                Of course, this generates an arms' race, so you want to balance everything so that if some players finally got this power, there's still something that can defeat them without things getting totally out of control.

                I proposed one solution in this thread. It does involve extra Initiative tracks. I tried to balance that idea around the assumption that an Essence 3 Solar should be a serious challenge to 2-3 Essence 1 Solars and Essence 5 Solar should be a serious challenge to 2-3 Essence 3 Solars (and probably so on). Moreover, a fight of two combat-oriented Solars of the same Essence rating should not result in a rocket tag.
                See, here I disagree.

                The Solars fight a Super-Solar at Essence 3. Ok, fair enough, there's not a lot (by intentional design choice) that can challenge an Essence 3 Solar (but you don't like the design so have home-brewed something more fun).
                Then the PCs fight an Ascended-Super-Solar at Essence 5... and at this point I'd be suggesting we pack up Exalted and give Gloomhaven a go. But lets say your players are into that.
                Then you scale up to Super-Solar-God-Super-Solars... and it just begs the question, "where were these Super Special NPCs when the world was in danger three stories ago, man?"

                The default setting has a power ceiling. It's there for a reason. Solars intentionally start near that ceiling. That's a core game assumption. (And change it if you will, but really: take a good long look at all the powerful things Solars can do in canon and ask yourself if this is REALLY a ceiling that you want to raise.)

                You have every right to homebrew and golden rule the game the way you want it to be, but you're changing a feature, not a bug.
                Last edited by JohnDoe244; 02-10-2020, 06:05 PM.


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

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                  Only for Solars though, and part of that is the on the players...
                  I think this is still one of the points of the debate (I know I'm repeating myself, but I also know that some people will read this thread only from page 4+). It is clear that some people here would like Solars not to be literally the most powerful human-sized agents in the world. You can want them to be extremely powerful returning rulers of the worlds, while still keeping some decent margin in power levels. Other splats simply don't support the same (iconic!) narrative.

                  And it's not exactly something unusual in other media. You may want to play Aang from the Last Airbender, be constantly reminded how powerful you are, and eventually getting exactly that powerful, without casually mowing through any opposition.
                  Last edited by Lanic; 02-09-2020, 09:54 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #54


                    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                    You're playing Exalted. If you want to play a peasant who gets beaten up, play D&D and start at level 1.
                    This is Exalted, where you play the champions of the gods, returned to conquer/save the world.
                    Ehh, you know it's not exactly an honest argument. There is a lot of room for players to be champions of goods without eliminating totally a room for their nemesis. For what it's worth, my favourite handling of power levels is Mage: the Awakening, 2 ed, followed by Mage: the Ascension (pre-Revised) or, recently, Trinity: Aeon.

                    As a matter of fact, the protagonists in these setting don't really strike me as any weaker than Solar Exalted in terms of their actual capabilities, despite the "hype" surrounding the latter.

                    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                    The power curve is flatter now. I'll give you that. I'd posit that this is desirable - the PCs are supposed to matter, not be playing "race to Essence 6" or sitting on the sidelines whilst the untouchable elders duke it out.
                    I often meet this sentiment (mostly, I remember it from discussions about Vampire: the Masquarade). I have to admit that to me that position is almost a cultural shock. I think that there is some deep difference in expectations and experiences.

                    For me elder-like beings were always a kind of plot devices. As plot devices, they should be handled with care. You take active measures to make sure that they don't invalidate the struggles of your players. Something that player characters may potentially become, in distant horizon. They are mostly there to be cryptically mentioned and to remind the players that setting is overwhelmingly vast with stories going back to the past millenia. And, incidentally, to be to your players, what Darth Vader was in Star Wars.

                    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                    That's a core game assumption. You have every right to homebrew and golden rule the game the way you want it to be, but you're changing a feature, not a bug.
                    I really think it's questionable whether it's the core assumption. When I read the first edition corebook, the pcs are clearly not handled by default as the main shakers and rulers of the world. There is even an explicit advice to that effect. I don't see that assumption when I look at the list of references. I think part of this assumption really stems from the Internet culture surrounding Exalted.

                    (However, you definitely know Exalted better and from the longer time than I do.)

                    You know, you can be Neo, the Chosen One in the original Matrix and you can be Neo from further two sequels. I believe that both characters realise the premise of Exalted, but only the second version really reaches the ceiling. (It's slightly dishonest argument, since the two latter movies are bad. They could be good, but they are bad partly because it's hard to build proper drama with such a powerful character). Honestly, if I were to play with characters so close to the ceiling, I'd probably prefer some more narrative game.
                    Last edited by Lanic; 02-09-2020, 07:12 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Lanic View Post
                      I really think it's questionable whether it's the core assumption. When I read the first edition corebook, the pcs are clearly not handled by default as the main shakers and rulers of the world. There is even an explicit advice to that effect. I don't see that assumption when I look at the list of references. I think part of this assumption really stems from the Internet culture surrounding Exalted.

                      (However, you definitely know Exalted better and from the longer time than I do.)
                      I wouldn't claim to be an expert on Exalted. I'm an expert on the Exalted games which I have played. That's very different.

                      But if we're talking 1E, flip open your corebook to Chapter 1: Setting and read the first paragraph under the subheading "The Exalted" for me. Then read the "High and Low" sidebar on the next page.

                      Solars are described as being above the greatest paragons of the human race, "unexcelled" in their area of focus and "excellent" in all things. "Cosmic beings" able to go toe-to-toe with other Celestial Exalted, able to "bring the Realm to its knees".

                      The very next page has this exact line: "The Solar Exalted are the mightiest of the Exalted". The Antagonists chapter states "The most dangerous foe an Exalted can face is one of her own kind".

                      I will give you that Chapter 7 states "don't confuse power level with drama" and "your PCs are not necessarily the most important people in the world". But it also (literally) states the PCs "can be the most important people in the world" and "there's no such thing as 'over the top'". And the section on genre convetions begins with "large scale" and "epic".

                      The most important thing in the 1E rulebook is this line: Nobody - not us, not gaming magazines, not other gamers on the Internet - can tell you that the way you're playing is wrong.

                      If you want to play that there are man-sized foes who can beat down Solars five-to-one, then I'm not being sarcastic when I say to enjoy yourself. I genuinely want you to have fun. And you're right, when you watch Ninja Scroll or Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon the protagonists aren't unstoppable. And if what your gaming group wants is to wail on a Darth Vader five-on-one then you don't need my blessing (but you have it anyway).

                      But Solars being powerful* isn't a meme. It's not "Internet culture". It is, and always has been, a default assumption of the game.

                      In 3E Solars can (already, in canon) attack everyone who attacks them, then either [make three seperate single attacks on their turn / or attack all foes within Close range at least once, and potentially an infinite number of times until out of motes / or attack once with an un-Clashable attack outside of Initiative order] then take a single extra attack (but not really, because every time I've said "single attack" that could be something like Tripple Attack Technique or Iron Whirlwind Technique and thus be three to five attacks). And you're talking about adding homebrew powers on top of that to create new power tiers. I'm not saying "don't do it": if you're going to have fun with this then you definitely should do it. All I'm saying is "approach with caution".

                      *In Universe. Other settings have characters WAY more powerful than Second Age Solars.
                      Last edited by JohnDoe244; 02-10-2020, 04:11 AM.


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

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                        "The Solar Exalted are the mightiest of the Exalted"
                        [...]
                        [I]t also (literally) states the PCs "can be the most important people in the world" and "there's no such thing as 'over the top'".
                        I agree with all these claims, I just tend to interpret them differently. I think they might be, and partially were, understood in terms of raw potential: up to literally cosmic scale in the high Essence rating.

                        We clearly won't reach agreement any soon on this topic, but I'm happy we can disagree in a friendly atmosphere. I'm also positive that you have great fun with your game an how you play it. So do enjoy it!

                        (I'm mostly so militant about this, because a couple of years ago, the atmosphere on this forum seemed to be rather unpleasant towards the kind of tropes that were dismissed in the transition to the third edition. I think it's important to at least present these views here, since most people with such sentiments simply expressed their frustration, sometimes in somewhat aggressive tone, and left the forum.)
                        Last edited by Lanic; 02-09-2020, 10:15 PM.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Lanic View Post
                          I think this is still one of the points of the debate (I know I'm repeating myself, but I also know that some people will read this thread only from page 4+). It is clear that some people here would like Solars not to by literally the most powerful human-sized agents in the world. You can want them to be extremely powerful returning rulers of the worlds, while still keeping some decent margin in power levels. Other splats simply don't support the same (iconic!) narrative.
                          I might be a bit confused here so I'm not quite sure how to respond. What is the narrative that you're wanting to tell that other splats can't?

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Lanic View Post

                            I think this is still one of the points of the debate (I know I'm repeating myself, but I also know that some people will read this thread only from page 4+). It is clear that some people here would like Solars not to by literally the most powerful human-sized agents in the world. You can want them to be extremely powerful returning rulers of the worlds, while still keeping some decent margin in power levels. Other splats simply don't support the same (iconic!) narrative.
                            Solars don't need to be the best at everything forever to carry out the iconic narrative.
                            Solars don't even need to be the best at more than a handful of things to carry out the iconic narrative.
                            Solars certainly neither need to blow every other splat out of the water nor reach near-full potential in their specialty from day zero to carry out the iconic narrative.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by vwllss trnt prncss View Post
                              Solars don't need to be the best at everything forever to carry out the iconic narrative.
                              Solars don't even need to be the best at more than a handful of things to carry out the iconic narrative.
                              Solars certainly neither need to blow every other splat out of the water nor reach near-full potential in their specialty from day zero to carry out the iconic narrative.
                              I think maybe Lanic is saying that he wants to tell a campaign with returning lawgivers, who also aren't the people who have the most potential for personal power in the setting. Which Exalted doesn't really do that well as a default, much like it doesn't do the DnD druid style character who's the iconic shapeshifter but also wielder of the natural elements. You can be a DB and be an element wielder, or a Lunar and be a beastial shapeshifter, but not both at once.

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                                I might be a bit confused here so I'm not quite sure how to respond. What is the narrative that you're wanting to tell that other splats can't?
                                Well, the standard stuff: you are the returning ruler of the world who now can deal with its problems. I didn't mean anything complicated.

                                With Lunars, with Dragon-Blooded, or with Sidereals, the central premise is fundamentally different. You are a warewolf/a twisted crazy witch; you are a member of the ruling class of superpowered individuals who are explicitly not the strongest in the world; you are a kung-fu agent secretely controlling the world.

                                If you play these splats, you naturally tell different stories, even when the plot is similar. There is something very unique in Solars, even if you completely ignore their power-level. I think that Aang from The Last Airbendender perfectly fits into the Solar archetype, and yet, he isn't automatically winning every fight until he reaches his full potential.

                                @vwlls trnt prncss I'm weirdly confused, because I absolutely agree with what you wrote, and I think I was trying to say similar things. And yet, your post seems somehow polemic I explicitly meant that other splats are not well suited for telling "Solar-like" stories not because they are not as powerful as Solars, but because they are not the returning rightful heroes.

                                EDIT:

                                Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                                [H]e wants to tell a campaign with returning lawgivers, who also aren't the people who have the most potential for personal power in the setting. Which Exalted doesn't really do that well as a default[.]
                                That's almost exactly my position. I'm totally ok with the potential for being the most powerful agent in the setting. I'm really ok, with being pretty much the most powerful agent you will meet. I simply think there should be more space for people who still are more powerful than you, as you start.
                                Last edited by Lanic; 02-09-2020, 10:14 PM.

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