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  • Character building, optimization, and deoptimization thread.

    I want to build a stealth game protagonist night. The thing about stealth protags is that, unless they are batman, they are typically very good at sneaky but only so so at fighty. They aren't bad at fighty, but they aren't great. In exalted however, Dex governs both fighty and sneaky. I want my Night Caste to be sneaking into and out of deathlord stronghold, taking vital intelligence. Can I get away with Dex 3?

  • #2
    Well, first of all "my character is a super sneaky Night who is all about sneaking" is one of the concepts where I'd go, yeah, Dex 5 does seem pretty fair. I mean, if they're a physical character, they get 11 dots total of physical attributes (3+8), so Str 3, Dex 5, Sta 3 seems reasonable.
    Unless you're Mental primary for Perception and Wits and Physical Secondary?

    Now, as to whether you can get away with it... I'd say it simply depends on your ST and how they stat stuff.


    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.

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    • #3
      I'd say you should go for Dex 5, but don't take like...15 combat charms. Maybe stick with 2-3.

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      • #4
        You can just take dex 5 + (combat ability of your choice) 3 and be very good at sneaky but not overwhelmingly good at fighty.


        Evocations for the demonic tattoos gained from the Pact with Mara sorcerous initiation || Pyre-Kindler (Soulsteel and Red Jade Grimscythe, Artifact 3) || Tenebrous Descent (Stormcaller's Black Jade Reaver Daiklave cousin, Artifact 5)
        Advice for running the corebook shikari antagonists

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        • #5
          One thing I've rarely seen done but wondered how it might play - if you're dead set on Dex 3 - is go nuts on willpower.

          Gives you options. It's not an efficient way of going about it, but might be fun. Makes you make more resource decisions in-game and feel you're pushing your limits more often.
          Last edited by Moss Reynholm; 04-11-2020, 03:30 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post
            You can just take dex 5 + (combat ability of your choice) 3 and be very good at sneaky but not overwhelmingly good at fighty.
            I would definitely go with this. Maybe with like a specialty in ambushes or something. Similarly, maybe take Dodge 2 or 3.

            You could even, and bear with me on this because it's mind-blowingly radical, have a Night Caste who doesn't favour a combat skill. Such a mythical creature has never been seen in my lifetime, but I believe they exist as a hypothetical concept.

            Then you can be really good at stealth without being amazing at combat.



            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.

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            • #7
              I also agree with the Dex 5 combat skill at 3 idea. (I mean I would never do it myself, 2 BP for one combat skill at 5 is super cheap for how helpfull it is when you get into combat, but if you actively dont want to be good at combat its the most reasonable way to go.)

              Also if you want a night who focuses on sneaking and stealing stuff over combat stealth you're probably better of with Supernal Larceny over Stealth. Mental Invisibility Technique (E2, one prerquisite charm) is close to perfect invisibility outside of combat anyway, the wast majority of stealth charms are combat focused..
              Last edited by limaxophobiac; 04-11-2020, 05:02 PM.

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              • #8
                Is this for a game? Will your character be the only one in the game? If not, will you be doing this sneaky stuff alone?

                If there are other characters which have a more combat-centric concept, I would think the most important thing is to make sure you're substantially worse at combat than them. If the other character has less than 5 Dex 5 main combat ability, I would suggest going 5 Dex / 2 main combat ability to start.

                If you're alone, no backup, that should already go some way to making combat scary. I would tend to concur with everyone going 5 Dex / 3 main combat ability but you could go a little higher if the ST is prepared to fill the Deathlord's fortress with Abyssals and large battlegroups of undead or whatever threatens you.

                Are there Charms that are particularly effective at fleeing combat? It might be helpful to have some of those to make a character who isn't a badass in combat but also doesn't die when they get in a big fight.
                Last edited by habitableexoplanet; 04-11-2020, 07:24 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                  You could even, and bear with me on this because it's mind-blowingly radical, have a Night Caste who doesn't favour a combat skill. Such a mythical creature has never been seen in my lifetime, but I believe they exist as a hypothetical concept.
                  Honestly any non-dawn or non-DB character that doesn't favour at least one, sometimes more than one, combat ability is basically unheard of.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Aranfan View Post
                    I want to build a stealth game protagonist night. The thing about stealth protags is that, unless they are batman, they are typically very good at sneaky but only so so at fighty. They aren't bad at fighty, but they aren't great. In exalted however, Dex governs both fighty and sneaky. I want my Night Caste to be sneaking into and out of deathlord stronghold, taking vital intelligence. Can I get away with Dex 3?
                    Dex is too important to Stealth to lower it, to reduce combat effectiveness I'd recommend lowering the Combat ability instead. The most drastic step you can take is not favoring your combat skill, so you don't even have an Excellency, at which point you could even have 5 in it and you still wouldn't be OP.

                    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

                    Honestly any non-dawn or non-DB character that doesn't favour at least one, sometimes more than one, combat ability is basically unheard of.
                    Huh, guess my groups are weird then. My Lore Supernal went up against Alhat with 8 dice on his attack roll and no Excellency, and in another game I ST the Zenith has 0 combat skills and 1 DV.
                    Last edited by Epitome; 04-11-2020, 07:24 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Epitome View Post
                      Huh, guess my groups are weird then. My Lore Supernal went up against Alhat with 8 dice on his attack roll and no Excellency, and in another game I ST the Zenith has 0 combat skills and 1 DV.
                      It could be that my games are weird but previously everyone basically took it as a given to take a 5 in a combat ability, and if it was Thrown or Archery or something a 5 in at least Dodge as well.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

                        It could be that my games are weird but previously everyone basically took it as a given to take a 5 in a combat ability, and if it was Thrown or Archery or something a 5 in at least Dodge as well.
                        I think they just didn't want an unlucky decisive to splat the character they had spent three hours on.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

                          It could be that my games are weird but previously everyone basically took it as a given to take a 5 in a combat ability, and if it was Thrown or Archery or something a 5 in at least Dodge as well.

                          ... aren't your playgroup survivors of 2e? That might explain it.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by prototype00 View Post
                            I think they just didn't want an unlucky decisive to splat the character they had spent three hours on.
                            Yeah but in 3e you've got to be pretty unlucky. If you take two ox bodies and have 1-2 stamina, a 15i decisive attack has a less than 1% chance of killing you. You have to build all the way up to a 28i decisive attack to do it even half the time. It would also have to do it by a factor of 5 health levels to stop you from negating that with a crippling wound. Even then, incapacitation isn't 100% fatal. At ST discretion a character with his incap level filled with lethal can linger around for a few rounds, time enough to allow other characters to stabilize them.

                            At some point you just need to accept that you messed up, or your ST was being unfair, or somehow a one in a million chance happened.

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                            • #15
                              Yeah, the first PC death to happen on my watch in 3e wasn't because of an unlucky decisive - the PC in question had been behaving so monstrously to the crew that, when he bragged about how easily he could slaughter them all and then ventured out in a lifeboat while the rest of the circle was away, the crew shot a hole in the bottom of the lifeboat with the ship's ballista and sank it.
                              Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 04-11-2020, 11:15 PM.

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