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How hard do you make it for players to change the Setting/World of Exaltd?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
    I play my games around Red 3.

    The PCs will not change the setting by accident. There's too much inertia. Even if Solars save the world, people will look at them with fear, or at best terrified awe. The villains are villains. The heroes are heroes.

    A Solar who completes a pilgrimage of the Caul isn't going to convert dozens of Abyssals and Infernals to Solars. The Great Curse isn't going to be overcome in a single story arc.

    But, whilst the setting is hard to change, a person can be changed. Completing a pilgrimage around the Caul might give a Solar insight into the Great Curse. It might convert the Infernal they were racing against into a Solar.

    A person can sway another person, can sway a town, can sway a city, can sway a kingdom. An individual might be damned or redeemed in a story defining moment. If Solars work diligently to change people's perceptions of them, then perceptions will change.

    Setting changes are the rewards for completing a Story. Not for rolling 20 successes on a Charisma + Performance roll.
    Yes that's more like the kind of change I want to see in my games.


    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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    • #17
      Originally posted by Penelope View Post
      Tytalus that was sweet what you did. If I ever ran Exalted I would allow the players to make whatever changes they wanted AND were realistically capable of making.
      Thank you! I looked up the Caul very carefully between the Core, Lunars, and DB book, and there were vague enough references about the power of a Lunar doing the pilgrimage, and how rare it was even in ancient times. Which just got me thinking that a Solar doing that would be even more potent.

      Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
      I play my games around Red 3.

      The PCs will not change the setting by accident. There's too much inertia. Even if Solars save the world, people will look at them with fear, or at best terrified awe. The villains are villains. The heroes are heroes.

      A Solar who completes a pilgrimage of the Caul isn't going to convert dozens of Abyssals and Infernals to Solars. The Great Curse isn't going to be overcome in a single story arc.

      But, whilst the setting is hard to change, a person can be changed. Completing a pilgrimage around the Caul might give a Solar insight into the Great Curse. It might convert the Infernal they were racing against into a Solar.

      A person can sway another person, can sway a town, can sway a city, can sway a kingdom. An individual might be damned or redeemed in a story defining moment. If Solars work diligently to change people's perceptions of them, then perceptions will change.

      Setting changes are the rewards for completing a Story. Not for rolling 20 successes on a Charisma + Performance roll.
      When I ran games for adults, I thought much the same as you. Once I was running for my son, who had such boundless enthusiasm and excitement, I just couldn't bring myself to tell him how hard "it should be." I didn't want the light to fade out of his eyes.

      This really got me thinking about how necessary it is to make things hard, and the meaning of player agency in the game.I understand for a sense of immersion, PC's shouldn't be a wrecking ball to the setting, as that is not fun as an ST for most games. At the same time, Exalted is supposed to be about big damn heroes, and the PCs are supposed to be Heroes amongst heroes. This isn't a criticism of you, just observation on my part and why I let me son make a change that I normally would never have allowed in the past.

      Also, re Red 3 - is that a reference to Greg Stolzes supers game? I can't recall the name of it, but remember it having a color scheme like that, or maybe some website for world design with something like that.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post

        Setting changes are the rewards for completing a Story. Not for rolling 20 successes on a Charisma + Performance roll.
        Very much this.

        You don't have to change the setting as the culmination of a story of course, but that's generally my aim. And I generally intend to create the opportunity either for players to do so as the culmination of a story arc, or that a change is probably going to happen and they can influence it. Generally small changes, sometimes larger ones.

        Often of course, stories about heroes might seem intuitively like they're about stopping a change to the setting; halting the mad wizard's plan, stopping the invasion, defending things. But I find this a bit dull compared to something more proactive. At least, if you are going to defend against an invasion, it ought to involve uniting small kingdoms or taking over a kingdom, and thus changing things in the process.


        There is also the issue that I've played Exalted for 14 years. I like the setting, don't get me wrong, but I have absolutely no interest in playing a game in Nexus, or the Realm, or Lookshy, or Harborhead, or Varang, or Karn, or Coral, or the Lap, or Wavecrest, or An-Teng, or Whitewall, or Gethamane, or Great Forks, or Greyfalls, or Chiaroscoro, or Gem, or Denandsor, or Rathess, or Linowan, or Halta... unless by the end of the first Story Arc it's fundamentally changed. Preferably by being exploded.
        (I almost said "Or Mahalanka, or Luthe" but actually both of those are way more interesting than in previous editions.)

        In my current game, which was set in the North, Gethamane+Cherak+the Bull's Empire+Karn+Plenilune+Haslanti+Whitewall+Halta+ Linowan+Medo+the Realm+probably a bunch of other places that haven't been visited by PCs have been destroyed (not by PCs though, by ST fiat, if it wasn't for the PCs it would have been worse) and replaced by other things. The only remaining northern power is Iscomay, which has been taken over by House Tepet (who abandoned the Realm). Certainly I wouldn't stop players doing similar things.
        Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 04-27-2020, 11:48 AM.


        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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        • #19
          Originally posted by Tytalus View Post
          Also, re Red 3 - is that a reference to Greg Stolzes supers game? I can't recall the name of it, but remember it having a color scheme like that, or maybe some website for world design with something like that.
          Wild Talents. Got it in one.

          The color schemes run 1-5. 3 is bang in the middle of "impossible to change" and "the setting changes based on the PCs whims".


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

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Tytalus View Post
            When I ran games for adults, I thought much the same as you. Once I was running for my son, who had such boundless enthusiasm and excitement, I just couldn't bring myself to tell him how hard "it should be." I didn't want the light to fade out of his eyes.

            This really got me thinking about how necessary it is to make things hard, and the meaning of player agency in the game.I understand for a sense of immersion, PC's shouldn't be a wrecking ball to the setting, as that is not fun as an ST for most games. At the same time, Exalted is supposed to be about big damn heroes, and the PCs are supposed to be Heroes amongst heroes. This isn't a criticism of you, just observation on my part and why I let me son make a change that I normally would never have allowed in the past.
            Well, if you want to avoid that a good way of doing it is to bring the focus in a bit tighter. In First Edition there was a setting book titled Houses of the Bull God, and it was a 130 page setting book that was all about the nation of Harbourhead, which is just one nation in the south. Some of the adventures under the actual sidebar titles of "Adventure seed" include:
            • Battling divinely blessed pirates in the form of the Ochre Sails
            • A massive 40 foot tall statue of the Unconquered Sun has been impossibly stolen, leadingg to riots and even deaths, with no sign of slowing down.
            • A huge oasis that's the center for popular safaris and hunts is putting huge pressure on local wildlife, as well as the local tribes becoming desperate since they rely on it so much.
            • A set of First Age ruins abandoned during the Great Contagion has been cracked open, surrounded by deadly poisonous flora and fauna, but filled with riches.
            • The Realm built a road through the Kuishain tribe's historical lands, and appointed a governor to it to rule over the critical bridge. Without care it will devolve into violence.
            • A mysterious and probably even supernatural killer has been murdering people all over the poor suburbs in Kirighast.
            • A school field trip out into the wilds came under attack by a basalisk, The remaining children can either be saved or taken as hostages against the Realm.
            • There's a dinosaur that pisses drugs which the guild keeps in Harbourhead, and some Dragonblooded want to capture it for themselves.
            • A massive jade mine now has its claims under dispute, and with this legal grey area force and ambition could lead some people to massive profit.
            • The Realm's tribute in jade ships out once a week from the mines, under heavy escort. Nobody has yet managed to hijack a shipment. Yet...

            And that's just the pre-planned adventure seeds, along with anything else you care to come up with looking at the setting. Toss in maybe one of your own adventure ideas for each one listed there and that's, what? Twenty stories? That's a solid campaign I think. True, you don't get to rid the entire world of the menace of the Deathlords, but like, you stopped pirates, thieves, murderers, saved doomed children, negotiated peace or waged war, collected artifacts, and made off with a hell of a lot of coin in the process, including a new pet dinosaur. Pretty epic adventure, no?

            EDIT: I also don't want to pass judgement, if you want to have a campaign where you actually DO go around ridding the entire world of every Deathlord, punking down a new one every other week or so, that's good too. It's just that you don't need to do that to have an epic story where characters are major players and the players feel like their actions have a big impact.
            Last edited by DrLoveMonkey; 04-27-2020, 04:35 PM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Tytalus View Post

              Thank you! I looked up the Caul very carefully between the Core, Lunars, and DB book, and there were vague enough references about the power of a Lunar doing the pilgrimage, and how rare it was even in ancient times. Which just got me thinking that a Solar doing that would be even more potent.



              When I ran games for adults, I thought much the same as you. Once I was running for my son, who had such boundless enthusiasm and excitement, I just couldn't bring myself to tell him how hard "it should be." I didn't want the light to fade out of his eyes.
              Exalted is a game.

              Having fun is literally the point.

              You're playing heroes who can change the world.

              Play on.

              ****

              I personally prefer the campaign idea set out by DrLoveMonkey above, because it's sustainable with room for escalation. But you're not running a game for me.

              The setting should be as hard, or as easy, to change as your table thinks is fun.

              That's the point of the Red Scale. One size does not fit all; scale things for your game. With adults, this is something your session 0 should cover.


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

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              • #22
                Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                Wild Talents. Got it in one.

                The color schemes run 1-5. 3 is bang in the middle of "impossible to change" and "the setting changes based on the PCs whims".
                Thank you very much for the site, I didn't know these scales, I find them very useful. I'll most likely use them in my other games to find an agreement with the players of what we want to do.


                My homebrew (Leave comments if you want to help improve) : A quick recap of all the pools and stats for Quick Exalted 3E characters

                Comment


                • #23
                  Here's a good reference for the scale that JohnDoe244 was talking about:


                  In short, there are four scales: Red, Gold, Black, and Blue. During session 0, the group decides where they want the campaign to settle. Note that these were designed for a superhero RPG, so take those tropes/conceits into account.
                  Red is setting/historical mutability. At the high end, the setting is largely static; at the low end, the setting is mutable in the extreme, deforming in response to the PCs actions. You could say that Red 5 is Pasaip, while Red 1 is Daa'nad.
                  Gold is how much the notable characters in the setting change; again, 5 is relatively static, while 1 allows for them to change in response to events, often drastically. In a Gold 5 Creation, the Realm Civil War ends with either the return of Her Redness, Mnemon dead, or Mnemon on the Throne. Mnemon's character allows for nothing else. In a Gold 1 Creation, Mnemon might be convinced not to seek the Throne, instead throwing all her weight behind another candidate, such as Tepet Ejava or even V'neef.
                  Blue is the wondrous and the strange. Exalted is already at about Blue 3, but this is as much a matter of framing as anything. Do you put the heroin-pissing dinosaurs up front (Blue 5) or way in the back (Blue 1).
                  Black is moral absolutism. Creation is, by default, pretty low on this scale. At Black 5, Good is Good (with a capital G) and Evil is Evil (with a capital E). At Black 1, there is no black or white, just a monotone field of gray. Good is whatever you can get away with, Evil is whatever you can pin on the other guy.

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