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  • #46
    Originally posted by Aranfan View Post
    At the risk of being off topic, why is Fire Dragon bad?
    From what I remember the last time somebody talked about how bad Fire Dragon was:

    1) Flash Fire Technique is too expensive because you have to pay 5m and full excellency your Join Battle twice over

    2) Searing Edge Attack is only halfway decent at Essence 5 because you don't gain the initiative that it burns.

    3) Flame-Flicker Stance is useless because it keys off 1s, and every enemy you will ever face rerolls 1s until they fail to appear

    4) Fire Dragon Form is mostly useless because enemies just negate onslaught penalties anyway

    5) God Immolating Strike only hurts spirits

    6) Fiery Blade Attack is a decisive charm that costs initiative

    7) Everything else is Essence 4, which nobody ever plays, and relies too much on die rolls.

    8) The only style it shares form weapons with is Steel Devil, which is bad.

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    • #47
      Having played with it a couple times, i can comfortably say even its "teamwork bonus" falls within the half-assed "winmore" continuity.

      It's fun when it hits, obviously, but it's so random or dependent that half the kick you get is from the difficulty itself rather than any merit of the style. It's complaining about WoW's fatigue system just to praise it's well-rested system right after.

      The "bonus" of inflicting extra onslaught is not worth the the added costs, and the gambit makes you less likely to benefit from it.

      I found Sandact's solution to be pretty neat. DAT is a flat damage adder contingent on a secondary hit (That is as good as the previous roll for free, and you already benefit from the extra onslaught you caused), with the option of attacking someone else instead. It's reliable, TAT is much better, and on a sidereal it wrecks unholy amounts of shit.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

        From what I remember the last time somebody talked about how bad Fire Dragon was:

        1) Flash Fire Technique is too expensive because you have to pay 5m and full excellency your Join Battle twice over

        2) Searing Edge Attack is only halfway decent at Essence 5 because you don't gain the initiative that it burns.

        3) Flame-Flicker Stance is useless because it keys off 1s, and every enemy you will ever face rerolls 1s until they fail to appear

        4) Fire Dragon Form is mostly useless because enemies just negate onslaught penalties anyway

        5) God Immolating Strike only hurts spirits

        6) Fiery Blade Attack is a decisive charm that costs initiative

        7) Everything else is Essence 4, which nobody ever plays, and relies too much on die rolls.

        8) The only style it shares form weapons with is Steel Devil, which is bad.

        This is a tremendously unkind reading. It's pretty much a fact that Fire Dragon is probably the weakest of the Dragon styles.

        1) Flash-Fire Technique is bad as a Join Battle enhancer. It costs 5m to nudge the average result upward by 1 or 2. The problem with this is that it's more cost-effective to add dice with the excellency until you hit the cap, and when you do hit the cap, it now costs (5+the cost of a full excellency) for the same 1-2i gain on average. Literally every splat has more cost-effective non-Charm JB enhancers than that. As a damage adder, it's not irredeemably worthless (5m for up to 5 dice of decisive damage if you win Join Battle is actually pretty cost-effective), but then you face the problem that you pretty much have to go all in on the alpha strike, which will then either kill/decisively wound your opponent on the first tick of combat (not terribly dramatic), or whiff and leave you with not nearly enough left in the tank to defend yourself from the counterattack. It just provides unsatisfying gameplay either way.

        2) The problem with SEA is that it's not terribly good for anyone who isn't banking on burning opponents with free fire aspect anima flux damage to death once they're Crashed. The fact that it doesn't net you initiative is balanced by it taking away entire points of it rather than dice, but even so, it will take until E3 for it to become cost-effective. That's just way too many sessions lingering in mediocrity for my taste.

        By contrast, the Earth Dragon Stylist in Aura adds +5 raw damage for 3m, which will probably translate to +5 post-soak damage given that she swings around a weapon with the biggest possible withering damage value in the game. That's more than twice as mote-efficient as SEA on a starting Dragon-Blood, and she even gets to wear heavy armor to boot!

        3) Flame-Flicker Stance is bad because it's an unreliable win-more Charm. It's 3m for (1s on your opponent's roll) points of Parry. This means that your opponent will need to roll at least 15 dice to make it as mote-efficient as the excellency, but unlike the excellency, Flame-Flicker Stance will shit itself and do nothing against 15 dice more than 20% of the time. It also prevents onslaught if you manage to successfully block with it, but to get that, you need to both a/ have more initiative than your opponent and b/ actually block their attack - so your choices are to either overspend on defense in the hopes that you'll block successfully and ignore onslaught (in which case it's 3m to conditionally ignore 1 point of onslaught, which is worse than Gathering Light Concentration, in itself a mediocre defensive Charm), or to toss it up and hope for the best, which is mote-efficient but will fail a significant percentage of the time. Deebs in Fire Aura can invoke it post-roll, but their low excellency cap means it's an unpleasant gamble for them, where they'll either have to decide to excellency the original application of defense and potentially waste motes they can't really afford, or to risk that their opponent rolls fewer 1s than expected and they'll stand there with their pants down, exactly the same as if they didn't have access to FFS in the first place.

        Meanwhile, the Air Dragon Stylist can trivially ignore 2-5 points of onslaught on any application of defense for 1m 1i as long as she isn't crashed, plus any penalties from surprise attacks; the White Reaper gets to convert onslaught penalties to bonuses for 4m 1i which starts out at "pay a 1i surcharge in exchange for the fact that the bonus is non-Charm" and goes up to "you just reached your excellency cap for 4m 1i while ignoring all onslaught", and the Earth Dragon gets to ignore up to 3 points of wound penalties for anywhere between 3m and 5m 1i.

        +1) Perfect Blazing Blow is okay, but most of the time it will just act like a marginally better Bleeding Crescent Strike that costs WP and lacks the latter's utility against battle groups. It's certainly not good enough to justify all the other mediocre-to-bad Charms of the style.

        4) Assuming opponents do not negate onslaught, Fire Dragon Form is 7m for a scenelong +1 non-Charm autosuccess on attack rolls against lower-initiative opponents and mmmaybe taking away 2-5i in total over the course of an entire scene from the opposing side. This is not terrible, but Water Dragon Form gives you a similar conditional bonus plus extra soak for a marginally greater cost, Earth Dragon gains a much more easily triggered and more difficult to counter bonus on attack rolls plus extra soak, again for a marginally greater cost, Single Point with terrestrial restrictions nets you 3 non-Charm dice on every attack you make if you take the less powerful route with your action usage... Wood Dragon Form is pretty much the only Immaculate Form Charm that starts out weaker, and even that will eventually outscale the poor Fire Dragon Stylist. Again, this is assuming the best case scenario for the stylist with no onslaught negators on the opposing side.

        5) God-Immolating Strike is only good against spirits, yes, which makes it a situational Charm in the first place, but even worse than that is the fact that it's not a terribly strong Charm against them either. The vast majority of the time, using it means that you pay 5m for (Essence) dice of aggravated damage that won't even arrive until next turn, because literally the only trick your Style's Charms are good for is netting you a higher Initiative score than your opponent. This is a running theme with the Style, even the Charms that are supposedly good at one niche are only sorta-kinda okay in that niche.

        Meanwhile, Water Dragon's decisive damage adder can be used on anyone, gets you double 10s on damage (which, as long as you attack with at least 20 Initiative, will net you more damage on average than GIS until the Fire Dragon reaches Essence 5), raises wound penalties, and potentially even adds extra damage dice in Aura. And it costs almost half as much!


        This is the style's entire toolbox by Essence 2, and all of them are either situational, middling even in their niche, flat-out outclassed by alternative Styles, or most often all of the above. If you look at Vance's guidelines on designing martial arts, you can clearly see that something's wrong here! A style's supposed to be functional and complete at E1 - meanwhile, Fire Dragon's toolbox is inefficient, unreliable, and stays that way until the user scales up in Essence to the point where other martial artists have long since learned the entirety of their Style's Charms.


        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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        • #49
          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

          I mean...yeah kinda. I had this exact same argument with somebody else a few months ago where they insisted that any charm involving your opponent's 1s was useless because "Everyone rerolls 1s". Do you know how many attack charms reroll 1s? Excellent Strike and Finding the Needle's Eye. No charms in Solar Archery, or Brawl, or powerful spirits or anything like that. His experience of the game is that every enemy is a Solar Melee user, or possibly a Lunar warrior who has Finding the Needle's Eye.

          Absurd. Not everyone has access to rerollers like that. Most things you find in the setting won’t have them period. Even when you do encounter them, it’s not as if saying “If the enemy rolls a 1 you lose”.

          Higher defences however are vastly more common.



          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
          I'm not going to say only ever facing Solar Swordsmen and Lunar warriors in combat, and nothing else, is the wrong way to play, but if you're going to play like that you have to expect some charms aren't going to act the way they're supposed to act.
          Is asking for the magical effects I paid hard earned XP with to function with a modicum of reliability too much of an ask?

          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
          I DO think groups hammering combat capability is a problem, and I really hope Crucible of Legends gives at least some advice on that here, because the game just runs so god damned well without everyone isn't doing that. It happens so often that it's clearly a problem for more than just my group, but it is a problem that's solved by players toning things back and focusing in non-combat areas.
          This is largely because unlike other level-based games, Exalted has few things like half modifiers to help you out. It’s not like DnD where it spells out “Use this monster at this level”. I’ve been saying this for literal years: If players are more than 4 dice apart in combat dice pools (before modifiers) then they’re going to be in a world of pain. You can do what the Lightbringers homebrew did: Everyone has 10 dice to their combat pools, 5 defence, and the abilities are just used to gage relative skill for the purposes of determine charms. Somewhat inelegant, but it helps keep everyone on the same page and provides less headaches for the GM.


          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
          If you play adventures like these, with characters similar to the ones from this, the system runs like butter, with high action, adventure, tactics, risk, and Steel Devil is going to crush it in that environment.
          Remember how in 2e there was a problem where you had similar statted enemies, before getting to the BBEG like Mask of Winters before getting slaughtered like pigs because the difficulty jumped Video Game Journalist mode to Ultra Nightmare almost instantly?

          That’s Steel Devil, only it happens far sooner with opponents most others have fewer issues with. How do I know? I’ve been through that.

          Secondly, did you read what I posted? Not everyone plays their games like that. You have no right to tell people how the game is “supposed” to be played. What one group finds enjoyable another might be bored to tears by. While Steel Devil works like that in other games, I’ve demonstrated mathematically that it simply doesn’t work. I’ve ran actual combats and white rooms where I’ve run into brick walls at mach 3 with it.

          Also note if you want to bring excellencies up, and I'll even give you the benefit of the doubt and say that not all enemies have dice adders then it still doesn't matter, because other MA's will work just fine without excellencies while Steel Devil requires it to be remotely relevant against higher defences. The moment you meet an enemy that can also bloat their defence with defence adders? Then you're in for a really bad time. I didn't pick this point as outside Exalts, such beings are very rare.

          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
          Uh, no, they absolutely are not. When a group fights Octavian and five Bloodapes, those apes are not there to help you feel good about yourself. They're there to use Principle of Motion to slam your group with ten attacks a turn, eating away at either your essence if you defend yourself, or your initiative if you don't, and always your onslaught penalty. Or if he brings a size 5 battlegroup of apes instead it's to give them a command roll and have them hammer everyone at once with a 28 die, 22 base damage AoE attack.
          Please. If the combat monkey in the group is the one tackling Octavian then one of several things are happening:
          • The Storyteller is a dick and threw Octavian at you too soon.
          • You’re Dragonblooded. In which case unless you have very careful charm selection and teamwork composition it’ll be risky battle at Essence 3. Essence 4 will give you some leeway, but unless your players know what they’re doing you as a storyteller need to know what you’re doing. No, this is not me shitting on Dragonblooded. I had a Dragonblooded in my game who solo’d Octavian at Essence 4 and was hardly minmaxed, but you need to know what you’re doing.
          • You have high defences, in which as a Solar you’re have very quickly or a Lunar less quickly but still fairly fast. The blood apes are pinata’s for you to farm initiative.
          • You have high soak (15+), in which case you won’t really care what the blood apes do you. The blood apes are pinata’s for you to farm initiative.
          • You have both a high soak and high defence, like a Solar that has a 2/7 filter with HGD and AST. Or you have a Tyrant Lizard/Legendary Size Lunar. At this point you go nuts. The blood apes are pinata’s for you to farm initiative.

          Battlegroups are another bugbear I have with the system. Needless to say if Octavian has a size 5 battlegroup with him and your PC’s are the type that find tomb of dreams challenging? I’d probably start asking them what their secondary player concepts are.

          Also what attack is the last one? Mountain-Breaking Roar from Octivian?



          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
          This may shock you, but in all TTRPGs you live at the GM's pity. At my leisure as a ST I can say "Oh yeah, a first age Twilight survivor of the Usurpation has summoned Ligier, Octavian, Iyutha, Sigereth, Sondok, and a size 5 battlegroup of soldier demons. She's insane and thinks you are the Solars who once bore your exaltations, and blames you for the downfall of the deliberative because you clearly lived as well. Roll join battle."
          Strawman.

          There’s a difference between gleefully making an encounter that is “rocks fall, everyone dies” vs using a single enemy from the book and being completely worthless against it. It’s literally the same problem DnD has with Wizards vs Fighters.


          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
          It's not really praying to RNGesus when you have a 95.60% chance to get off TAT against a target with 3 defense and 5 motes into your excellency.
          And a 13% chance to fire off against an opponent with a defence of 7. Which enemies in the book have and others don’t have near the issues of dealing with.

          Again, the issue is that Steel Devil is really only good against weaker opponents. Higher tier MA’s have little issues dealing with weaker opponents and stronger ones. I don’t want to bring in an MA tier list, but in any iteration I can see Steel Devil being at the bottom of it.



          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
          All martial arts are absolutely godawful then, at least for Solars. What the fuck is Striking Cobra Technique compared to Divine Executioner Stance? Three motes for 5-10 damage on initiative/crash conditions? And the damage is only +1 for Decisive attacks? Is that a joke? Did I accidentally read the Terrestrial keyword for the charm? How about 1m for +4 attack and damage, withering and decisive, as a non-excellency supplemental charm to things like Invincible Fury of the Dawn, with the damage being conditional on my opponent really opposing me, and the attack being conditional on nothing.
          Are you seriously using Divine Executioner Stance as a comparison? You know Morke wrote that book right? The same person that wrote Steel Devil? It’s broken as all hell. It reeks of bringing back the IAM days of 2.Xe and I’ll have no part of that. I’d recommend any person trying to sanely balance charms should ignore Miracles until they actually have the chops to weed out what charms are broken garbage vs the few good ones in that book. The former far outweigh the latter in that book. I could ask how and why he thought making such a charm would be a good idea, but then again we also have that when looking at Steel Devil.

          But for the sake of conversation, let’s go ahead and use non-borked charms. Immortal Blade, certainly on the spicier end of strong Solar charms. In fact it easily outpaces many other charms, only barely outdone by the insanity that is Righteous Devil. But there’s still other benefits for using martial arts:
          • They can be bought with splat XP. This is big for a character who has combat as a secondary focus.
          • Fairly self-contained. While you can’t expand it to the lengths you can with native sets (unless you’re a Lunar/native charm use or if you’re allowing MA expansions) the contained set also helps out some MA’s. New players can grab a style and feel reasonably confident that most styles do fairly well by themselves. Can you keep up with the fighty dude that has like 25 combat charms? Likely not, but you can at least hold you own against a wide variety of opponents. By the time players start noticing holes in their MA’s, they should be experienced enough to look into other MA’s to dip into or use native charms to help.
          • It is an easy way to help bring some backstory, themes, and worldview into your character. Why did you start learning MA in the first place when for most people picking up a spear and stabbing people with a simple lunge is just as effective?
          • Because it’s cool.

          If you really want to split hairs, most times MA doesn’t keep up to native charms in the long term. Hell even Dragonblooded Melee gives a lot of MA’s a decent run for their money even if I feel the entire DB charmset is badly crippled. The gap between MA and native charms RAW is large, but in my experience the difference is usually “explode them into a bloody red mist” vs “one strike to sever your head immediately”. Outside of most opponents such a distinction doesn’t matter, and if it does then such opponents are going to be end-game tier stuff which’ll have the defences needed to stop themselves from exploding into a bloody red mist.


          Originally posted by limaxophobiac View Post

          I'm not really sure what you mean by 'capping out'? You can start at Dex + Essence charge of join battle with Naked Fang Draw (which is the cap for Dual-Slaying) and unless everyone is running around in articulated plate it should allow your counterattacks to tear into peope pretty well as long as you can refelxively defend other (so dip in Crane if Solar or Guardian Beast Stance if Lunar).
          No the charm does not do that. It gives (ESS or 2, higher) automatic successes then allows you to shift any initiative gained from join battle into your own pool. If you get full charge at the beginning then you’re seriously putting a ton of resources into that pool leaving you with little initiative. In nearly every experience I’ve had doing this, enemies will almost exclusively target you in order to try and crash you shortly after. You Twin-Blade Defence at max, blow a significant chunk of the charge you had saved up, and then when your turn comes around you can throw up the form. Compare this to only putting a few points of charge, attacking someone to trigger DAT, hopefully crash, and get that juicy reflexive form activation.
          Of course, this is my own experience. I understand not every GM does this, but mine sure as hell did. Also if you can get someone to use Defend Other on you then it helps, but it still doesn’t solve the issues Steel Devil has.

          Originally posted by Aranfan View Post
          At the risk of being off topic, why is Fire Dragon bad?
          See DrLoveMonkey’s reply. It sums it up quite nicely. It’s still infinitely more useful than Steel Devil and has some neat tricks. But compared to things like Water, Wood or Earth Dragon? It is laughably outclassed. Unlike Steel Devil I think it can be salvaged. Hell, I’ll even go to defend saying Flame-Flicker Stance isn’t immediately useless because the 1s thing. I’d probably make it like this tho:

          Flame-Flicker Stance
          Cost: 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 2; Type: Supplemental
          Keywords: Fire, Mastery
          Duration: Instant
          Prerequisite Charms: Flash-Fire Technique
          Fluff. 1s on the opponents attack roll grant +1 parry each, minimum 1. If the Dragonblooded successfully parries against an enemy with lower initiative then ignore the point of onslaught penalty that comes with the attack. If in Fire Dragon Form, then it may be used against enemies of higher inititiative.

          Mastery: This charm may be used after the attack roll. Dragonblooded gain this benefit when in Fire aura.

          Gaining +1 defence all the time and ignoring onslaught if you parry is well worth the 3m. You could also say "Can parry lethal attacks barehanded" but that's such a non-issue for many charms that most ST's let PC's do it by default.
          Last edited by Sandact6; 06-27-2020, 04:43 PM.


          Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
          Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
            Secondly, did you read what I posted? Not everyone plays their games like that. You have no right to tell people how the game is “supposed” to be played. What one group finds enjoyable another might be bored to tears by.
            Here's the thing Sandact6, the game works when you play it how DrLoveMonkey is suggesting.

            It does not work when you play otherwise.

            You are admitting that it doesn't work when you play it your way, when you come into my thread and complain about how the game doesn't work.

            Now I'm not going to sit here and say "the game is perfect and nothing is wrong". That'd be patently absurd. I literally made this thread to whinge about the game not working.

            But likewise, if you're going to play in a way that's totally unsupported by the game then several things aren't going to work. That's not the game's fault. And it's certainly not the fault of the people who are having fun by playing within the expectations of the game.

            If you're having fun fighting seven Ahlat's every session, or whatever it is you're doing, then keep having fun. Steel Devil isn't for you? Glad to see you've already homebrewed it. You don't like Steel Devil as written. Input duly noted. You've crushed the math already? We've all seen the link, thanks for sharing.

            Are we done? It feels like we're done. As little as I think of Morke, if the thread has rolled round to whinging about Morke, then I feel like the thread is done.


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

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            • #51
              Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post

              Are we done? It feels like we're done. As little as I think of Morke, if the thread has rolled round to whinging about Morke, then I feel like the thread is done.
              If you no longer want to participate in a thread, you can leave.


              Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post
                This is a tremendously unkind reading. It's pretty much a fact that Fire Dragon is probably the weakest of the Dragon styles.
                It may certainly be! But being the weakest doesn't actually mean it's bad. In the last Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix the last driver to cross the finish line was Robert Kubica. Robert Kubica is a bloody fast driver. That man can put a car down some pavement really, really fast. Being last place doesn't change that.

                Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post
                1) Flash-Fire Technique is bad as a Join Battle enhancer. It costs 5m to nudge the average result upward by 1 or 2.
                Right, but it's not just the average you're raising. You're also cutting your chance of flubbing rolls, and raising the chance of smashing them. on a 16 die join battle you've got about a 18% chance of getting 6 or less, which sucks, but if you roll twice pick the highest that drops to 3%.

                Likewise you've got about a 10% chance of getting 12 at least successes normally. Rolling twice and picking the highest jumps that to ~19%.

                So yes the average increases, but that's not really why you care, it's the reliability and spike potential, in addition to the damage.

                Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post
                2) The problem with SEA is that it's not terribly good for anyone who isn't banking on burning opponents with free fire aspect anima flux damage to death once they're Crashed.
                What? Why? If the initiative order is like this:

                19i BBEG
                15i Water Dragon Stylist
                <==== Round is currently here
                -4i Fire Dragon Stylist

                The Fire Dragon is going to try and wither the BBEG, and if he manages to lower their initiative to below the Water Dragon, then they get to go first. Then the Water Dragon can smack them down even further and stop them from being nearly as much of a threat. Not to mention with 19i the BBEG is probably going to be launching a deadly decisive attack on their turn when they get to go, so taking away points of initiative is good no matter what, since it reduces their damage.

                You don't only smack enemies to farm initiative for yourself, part of it is stopping enemies from getting enough initiative to deal damage.

                Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post
                4) Assuming opponents do not negate onslaught, Fire Dragon Form is 7m for a scenelong +1 non-Charm autosuccess on attack rolls against lower-initiative opponents and mmmaybe taking away 2-5i in total over the course of an entire scene from the opposing side. This is not terrible, but Water Dragon Form gives you a similar conditional bonus plus extra soak for a marginally greater cost
                It's not that similar. It's (wound penalty) charm dice vs 1 non-charm autosuccess. Against unwounded targets the Water form doesn't do anything, against enemies in their -2s it's about equal, except that it isn't non-charm dice and enemies in their -2s already have a flat -2 to their defenses anyway, so hitting is going to be much less of an issue. Incidentally, if you're often encountering enemies with their -2 health levels Steel Devil kicks ass against that.

                The soak bonus is probably better than the decisive initiative drain, but it's also most expensive, and has a reflexive activation trigger that's not exactly harder to get, but comes online later and encourages early decisive attacks which might not be what you want.

                Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post
                5) God-Immolating Strike is only good against spirits, yes, which makes it a situational Charm in the first place, but even worse than that is the fact that it's not a terribly strong Charm against them either. The vast majority of the time, using it means that you pay 5m for (Essence) dice of aggravated damage that won't even arrive until next turn, because literally the only trick your Style's Charms are good for is netting you a higher Initiative score than your opponent.
                Yeah at low Essence GIS not great against anything but dematerialized spirits. A lot of the effects in Fire Dragon probably should have had that (higher of Essence or 2/3) riders on them. It looks to my eye like it was designed less to be powerful at Essence 1 and more to not break at Essence 5.

                I'm not trying to say that Fire Dragon is secret tech that if you're a powergamer you should take because it's actually one of the best MAs, just that it isn't a trap. Although if your game starts and ends at Essence 1 it might qualify.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                  This is largely because unlike other level-based games, Exalted has few things like half modifiers to help you out. It’s not like DnD where it spells out “Use this monster at this level”. I’ve been saying this for literal years: If players are more than 4 dice apart in combat dice pools (before modifiers) then they’re going to be in a world of pain.
                  If your PCs have a high disparity like that it can still work, but it helps a lot if players stick really hard to their caste rolls, and the game is varied in ways to spotlight all of them. Like if a pack of whatevers shows up and the Zenith doesn't really pull their weight, but the Dawn kicks so much ass that they win anyway, but then in the next encounter with the Lorelei the Dawn is risking falling over to her side until the Zenith really hits the gas and intervenes.

                  Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                  Secondly, did you read what I posted? Not everyone plays their games like that. You have no right to tell people how the game is “supposed” to be played. What one group finds enjoyable another might be bored to tears by. While Steel Devil works like that in other games, I’ve demonstrated mathematically that it simply doesn’t work. I’ve ran actual combats and white rooms where I’ve run into brick walls at mach 3 with it.
                  Steel Devil might just not be the right style for your type of game then. Like if I was an ST who just really didn't get into the social side of the game at all, half the enemies are mindless undead or automatons, and almost none of the enemies that are encountered will ever be seen again, Black Claw isn't going to be great. You'll spend your attribute/ability points pumping stats that never get used, and then a lot of your best charm tech is going to auto-fail anyway.

                  Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                  You’re Dragonblooded. In which case unless you have very careful charm selection and teamwork composition it’ll be risky battle at Essence 3. Essence 4 will give you some leeway, but unless your players know what they’re doing you as a storyteller need to know what you’re doing. No, this is not me shitting on Dragonblooded. I had a Dragonblooded in my game who solo’d Octavian at Essence 4 and was hardly minmaxed, but you need to know what you’re doing.
                  What's the Essence 3/4 breakpoint here? Two to three I get due to signature charms, but I don't think DBs get that much of a boost 3 to 4, do they?

                  Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                  You have high defences, in which as a Solar you’re have very quickly or a Lunar less quickly but still fairly fast. The blood apes are pinata’s for you to farm initiative.
                  Why does high defense make you immune to bloodapes? At a defense of 6 a bloodape has a 47% chance to hit you, assuming it's not spending willpower on the attacks, and after 4 attacks from 2 apes you're almost out of defense. True you can spend 2m to dipping swallow the last 3 attacks, but you're still taking 2 attacks through your defense, and you spend 6m doing so. You can excellency them for 4m and give yourself a lot better odds, but now that's 18m.

                  It's just not sustainable, and it's really not sustainable if you didn't start this fight with full health levels/motes/willpower. The ability to cheaply get rid of the bloodapes is valuable, and so is the ability to crush the leadup fights to this one to keep your motes high.

                  Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                  You have high soak (15+), in which case you won’t really care what the blood apes do you. The blood apes are pinata’s for you to farm initiative.
                  Certainly more true, but they still stack on onslaught penalties and chip away at you. Although everyone having 15+ soak is where the game starts to fray a bit.

                  Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                  You have both a high soak and high defence, like a Solar that has a 2/7 filter with HGD and AST. Or you have a Tyrant Lizard/Legendary Size Lunar. At this point you go nuts. The blood apes are pinata’s for you to farm initiative.
                  And this is where the game just breaks. If everyone has that kind of setup it doesn't function at all, it slogs, it makes a lot of charms nearly pointless, and if you try really hard especially with resistance and melee charms you can basically just make the game take forever.

                  Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                  Needless to say if Octavian has a size 5 battlegroup with him and your PC’s are the type that find tomb of dreams challenging? I’d probably start asking them what their secondary player concepts are.
                  The actual pre-chargen characters from Tomb of Dreams, no, they wouldn't have a good time. Characters built with that same design philosophy at Essence 2-3 though, absolutely. If they play their cards right and play tactically at least. It would be an actual fight though, unlike a super optimized group that would beat that fight out in round 1, maybe 2.

                  Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                  There’s a difference between gleefully making an encounter that is “rocks fall, everyone dies” vs using a single enemy from the book and being completely worthless against it. It’s literally the same problem DnD has with Wizards vs Fighters.
                  I actually think that the wizards/fighters disparity at high levels is one of the biggest problems left in DnD, but even that is fixed by playing the game the way the game wants to be played. Wizard magic can fix just about anything, but if you look at the published high level campaigns like Dungeon of the Mad Mage, it's structured with that in mind. For one you can't teleport between floors with magic, and the walls are warded against magical interference. There's a host of traps that deal a ton of damage on bad wizard saves like Dex and Con, but fighters just tank and rogues dodge through.

                  All are things that the DMG suggests, including the necessity to have 6-8 encounters per day, more if they're not up to at least Medium or Hard thresholds.

                  If you don't run the game that way, wizards dominate hard and early. If you do run the game that way fighters and rogues are necessary long into higher levels. If your DM throws dozens of challenges at the party you might even run into the case where the wizard feels less useful than the rest of the party.

                  Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                  And a 13% chance to fire off against an opponent with a defence of 7. Which enemies in the book have and others don’t have near the issues of dealing with.
                  Yes, but only three antagonists in the corebook have that. I don't think any antagonists so far in Hundred Devil Night Parade or Adversaries of the Righteous do, but I'd be surprised if the third circle demon did. It's not like it's half the antagonists have it and there's barely anything that it works against. I'm with JohnDoe that if you don't like it, don't take it, but it doesn't make it awful.

                  Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                  Are you seriously using Divine Executioner Stance as a comparison?
                  Yeah totally, if we're saying Steel Devil is bad because there are better options, then any MA in general is bad because melee is an option and you should take it.

                  Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                  They can be bought with splat XP. This is big for a character who has combat as a secondary focus.
                  Just take melee and use your splat xp to raise stats that raise other important abilities like Guile and resistance to environmental damage. After you've done all that, or maybe before, get sorcery. Invulnerable Skin of Bronze, Virtuous Guardian of Flame, maybe Incomperable Body Arsenal. Or grab evocations for your weapon which combo well with melee.

                  Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                  Fairly self-contained. While you can’t expand it to the lengths you can with native sets (unless you’re a Lunar/native charm use or if you’re allowing MA expansions) the contained set also helps out some MA’s. New players can grab a style and feel reasonably confident that most styles do fairly well by themselves. Can you keep up with the fighty dude that has like 25 combat charms? Likely not, but you can at least hold you own against a wide variety of opponents. By the time players start noticing holes in their MA’s, they should be experienced enough to look into other MA’s to dip into or use native charms to help.
                  Or you notice a hole in your Melee style and just make a charm to fill that hole, without having to raise an entire other ability from zero, and buy through it charm tree, and make sure it has weapon compatibility. If we're talking Solar melee, there aren't even really any holes.

                  Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                  It is an easy way to help bring some backstory, themes, and worldview into your character. Why did you start learning MA in the first place when for most people picking up a spear and stabbing people with a simple lunge is just as effective?
                  I agree that it's super cool in that way, but none of that changes the fact that melee is better mechanically.

                  Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                  If you really want to split hairs, most times MA doesn’t keep up to native charms in the long term. Hell even Dragonblooded Melee gives a lot of MA’s a decent run for their money even if I feel the entire DB charmset is badly crippled. The gap between MA and native charms RAW is large, but in my experience the difference is usually “explode them into a bloody red mist” vs “one strike to sever your head immediately”. Outside of most opponents such a distinction doesn’t matter, and if it does then such opponents are going to be end-game tier stuff which’ll have the defences needed to stop themselves from exploding into a bloody red mist.
                  When that distinction DOES matter though, Solar melee will usually be the better option. Certainly there will be more times where Solar melee was the better option even if sometimes Tiger was.

                  I'm just trying to get away from "This style is shitty, because this other style is better." if it kicks ass good enough, then it's good.

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                  • #54
                    The thing is the game does work for me. Aside from the subsystems that the majority of people revile (Craft, Sail, whatever the hell we have for a Bureaucracy system) the system works for me. If I didn’t feel it worked on some basic level I wouldn’t care about the system. I’d likely go off to some corner and use some other system, such as Mutants and Masterminds, the 2d20 system, or even try and make a Fate conversion. If I had to use 2.Xe any longer, I would’ve done this (This is not to shit on 2.Xe, it’s just that the inherent problems of it detract from my enjoyment of the game thus I no longer wish to play in it).

                    But here’s the thing: Every other MA, combat ability, or charm tree works within the boundaries of the system. It works at the scale where there’s lower numbers and they work at the high-end scale of things. Things break down at the ultra high end (soak stacking), but at that point you’re going into the realm of minmaxing. Hell, I think it speaks volumes about 3e that there’s no longer a heaven and earth difference between paranoia-combo tier combos vs moderate play. Hell, even the low-end play, that being only having the ability scores necessary to purchase certain charms.

                    Here’s the thing: A lot of these low-end combos work at higher level play just fine. Fire and Stones Strike is still a good charm from the essence 1 newbie all the way up to the Essence 5 minmaxer. In both contexts a lot of the charms in the game are good. You can probably point to a few examples where they rattle the system a bit (especially those in Craft/Sail but that’s fruit so low hanging that it’s on the ground rotting) but the system still holds.

                    But here’s the thing: Steel Devil does not follow that trend at all. It’s power rapidly declines when you move up the numbers scale. Ever hear of linear fighters vs quadratic wizards from DnD? It’s exactly the same thing. The only difference being that while fighters don’t have the necessary abilities (that is, things to do be it combat or out of combat actions) to keep up with wizards, those using Steel Devil simply don’t have the mathematical prerequisites to keep up with higher end numbers.

                    If you want to numbers shame me, need I remind you that we have a sidebar for this in the book in page 149?

                    Originally posted by Exalted 3e core page 149 sidebar
                    YES, YOU CAN TAKE A 5

                    It’s incredibly rare for someone in the world of Exalted to have an Attribute or Ability rated at five dots. A professional soldier enlisted in a standing army most likely has Melee ••, while a cunning courtier whose web of lies and blackmail have snared an entire court in his influence might only have Manipulation •••. A character who has five dots of raw talent in an Attribute or five dots of skill in an Ability is a prodigy even among other prodigies of his field, a living legend whose feats might defy belief.


                    Sounds like the Exalted, doesn’t it?

                    If you want your character to be one of the strongest men in the world, the greatest savant in generations of scholarship, or an unsurpassed master of the martial arts, you can take five dots. While we encourage you to let your character concept define the ratings of their Attributes and Abilities, rather than the other way around, it is totally valid to buy a trait all the way up to five at character creation if that’s what makes sense for your character.
                    So if the corebook itself is telling me it’s OK to take 5’s in my stats? Well I guess it just doesn’t understand how it’s “meant” to be played.

                    DrLoveMonkey, I'll get your post in a moment.


                    Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
                    Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                      YES, YOU CAN TAKE A 5

                      So if the corebook itself is telling me it’s OK to take 5’s in my stats? Well I guess it just doesn’t understand how it’s “meant” to be played.
                      I believe you are reading more into that quote than is actually there.

                      "You can max a stat if it makes sense for your character concept" is actually consistent with the approach of the Core book (and of Tomb of Dreams) where you pick what makes sense for your character, and if you look at the example characters "what makes sense" is usually not 7 5s.

                      I believe the primary intent of that quote is to reassure players that 5s are not straight up forbidden, not a promise that the game will function properly if you minmax your whole Circle.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post

                        No the charm does not do that. It gives (ESS or 2, higher) automatic successes then allows you to shift any initiative gained from join battle into your own pool.
                        Yes. I said that you can start at Dex + Ess charge off join battle, which it seems you agree with. If doing so is a good idea is another question.

                        Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post

                        If you get full charge at the beginning then you’re seriously putting a ton of resources into that pool leaving you with little initiative. In nearly every experience I’ve had doing this, enemies will almost exclusively target you in order to try and crash you shortly after. You Twin-Blade Defence at max, blow a significant chunk of the charge you had saved up, and then when your turn comes around you can throw up the form. Compare this to only putting a few points of charge, attacking someone to trigger DAT, hopefully crash, and get that juicy reflexive form activation.
                        Of course, this is my own experience. I understand not every GM does this, but mine sure as hell did. Also if you can get someone to use Defend Other on you then it helps, but it still doesn’t solve the issues Steel Devil has.
                        Well for solars there's stealth join-battle cheese that can give you enough initiatitive to shift the max to Charge and still generally go before anyone who isn't a stealth solar, but I'll grant you there's way better payoff for that by just going Thrown.

                        For lunars if you're E2 and JB with Wolf-Eye and Predator's Eye on a maxed full excellency 20 die + 2 auto successes pool for an average 18 startiting initiative, you can shift 7 to charge and Sinous Striking Grace to act at 16. which on-average puts you before Ahlat. You can then pop Dual-Slaying and sit at 9 parry and if No-Moon a -2 penalty to enemy attack rolls before stunts or non-scene charms which on top of your counter-attacks makes you and anyone you Guardian-Beast Stance quite unattractive to attack while you go on to throw spells at people.

                        Lunars also get to penalize defense by 1 with their workhorse attack charm which means 2 less successes for triggering Double-Attack Technique. Naked Fang Draw, Double-Attack, and Dual-Slaying also all lack Mastery effects so all-in-all I think it's a much more reasonable style for Lunars than Solars.
                        Last edited by limaxophobiac; 06-28-2020, 12:02 AM.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                          If your PCs have a high disparity like that it can still work, but it helps a lot if players stick really hard to their caste rolls, and the game is varied in ways to spotlight all of them. Like if a pack of whatevers shows up and the Zenith doesn't really pull their weight, but the Dawn kicks so much ass that they win anyway, but then in the next encounter with the Lorelei the Dawn is risking falling over to her side until the Zenith really hits the gas and intervenes.
                          I mean yea there are ways around it, but in every experience I’d had players still feel the difference.

                          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                          Steel Devil might just not be the right style for your type of game then. Like if I was an ST who just really didn't get into the social side of the game at all, half the enemies are mindless undead or automatons, and almost none of the enemies that are encountered will ever be seen again, Black Claw isn't going to be great. You'll spend your attribute/ability points pumping stats that never get used, and then a lot of your best charm tech is going to auto-fail anyway.
                          See my last post, particularly around the point where virtually everything else in the game works at both low-end and high-end except for Steel Devil.

                          Also no, Black Claw vs Undead and automatons is a poor analogy. If you’re fighting too many automatons and undead in places where there are not a lot of people watching AND the GM didn’t warn you ahead of time that a game would heavily feature such things? That’s a thing you can bring up with the GM. You did not know ahead of time and it is fixable. But the crazy thing is: Black Claw works fairly well on mindless things. Some things are brick-walled (EX: Poison and Outrage Kindling Cry if no one’s around [Which if the latter happens then honestly you’ll need to have a good reason why you’re fighting so far out of your element as a Black Claw stylist]) but the rest work fine. Ambush join battle, powerful grapples, disarm and take the weapon, hell even Heart-Ripping Claw still works in a rather expensive decisive adder. It works if I have my abilities at bare-minimums and works just as fine when I push the numbers. Steel Devil does not.

                          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                          What's the Essence 3/4 breakpoint here? Two to three I get due to signature charms, but I don't think DBs get that much of a boost 3 to 4, do they?
                          The extra motes are usually a breath of fresh air in the first place, but otherwise most Exalts tend to get the really good stuff at Essence 3. Yes you have really good things at Essence 5, but usually they’re either:
                          1. So deep that only dedicated people grab it
                          2. Overkill to make you win harder.

                          This is why I tend to balance a lot of my charms and values around an Essence 3 metric. Most games won’t get to Essence 5 or maybe even 4. However I’ve seen many games hit Essence 3. In fact I’d say the best part of Essence 4 is more of those wonderful Essence 3 powers.


                          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                          Why does high defense make you immune to bloodapes? At a defense of 6 a bloodape has a 47% chance to hit you, assuming it's not spending willpower on the attacks, and after 4 attacks from 2 apes you're almost out of defense. True you can spend 2m to dipping swallow the last 3 attacks, but you're still taking 2 attacks through your defense, and you spend 6m doing so. You can excellency them for 4m and give yourself a lot better odds, but now that's 18m.

                          It's just not sustainable, and it's really not sustainable if you didn't start this fight with full health levels/motes/willpower. The ability to cheaply get rid of the bloodapes is valuable, and so is the ability to crush the leadup fights to this one to keep your motes high.
                          Bloodapes have 11 dice to attack. If you have turn long onslaught negators (Which for many Celestial Exalted are not that deep and highly recommended lest you want to be torn to shreds) then the chances of them hitting 7 successes is 31%. If you have powers which allow any 1s in a roll to add +1 defence (which appears to be relatively common) then on average that Blood Ape is going to be rolling at least a single 1, which brings their chance of hitting you at 18%. Their chances of hitting you have gone down by nearly half. Dipping Swallow can be used, but I’d recommend Golden Tiger or Bulwark Stance at a bare minimum. Because otherwise instant negators like Dipping Swallow burn through your motes very quickly.

                          And 7 soak? Anyone with a moderate investment in combat is going to scoff at such a value. Again, if your circle is fighting against Octivian and they have trouble with 7 soak? Then unless you have a Macguffin they’re not going to stand a chance in hell against Octivian.

                          If players do have builds that can challenge Octivian (not ones that can beat him 1v1 with one arm tied behind your back, but enough not to be slowed down) then you’re looking at a character who needs to overcome Octivians relatively high accuracy, damage, and soak. Anyone capable of pulling that off are going to find the blood apes a joke. They’re no more than punching bags to cheaply gather initiative. If you have 7 defence and even 11-ish soak? That holds off a lot of blood ape stuff. God forbid you have a high defence spec build at which a blood ape actually landing an attack is so vanishingly rare that you could easily recoup from such a setback (Hell, I’d be more worried about being knocked prone by the pounce move).


                          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                          Certainly more true, but they still stack on onslaught penalties and chip away at you. Although everyone having 15+ soak is where the game starts to fray a bit.
                          I’d agree, but Exalted is a game where you can stack static defence with damage resistance (soak) with ease. I mean if heavy armour characters also got a parry penalty then I’d be saying different things, but right now a Stamina 2 character with artifact heavy armour having 13 soak? It’s just hard for them to do anything more than chip damage even if they hit you.


                          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                          And this is where the game just breaks. If everyone has that kind of setup it doesn't function at all, it slogs, it makes a lot of charms nearly pointless, and if you try really hard especially with resistance and melee charms you can basically just make the game take forever.
                          I wouldn’t say the game slogs at such a level, if anything I’d say it goes rather fast because nothing is going to realistically challenge the PC’s outside of “rocks fall, you die” style stuff. Of course that’s another problem just as bad.

                          If you have other NPC’s pulling the same shit? I’d nope right the fuck out of that game. I may like my games with higher values, but there’s a line I won’t cross. If people have fun with that? Good for them. I know people who also have fun in DnD 4e with Radiant spam, but I like my games to have more variety than everyone having the exact same build and strategy.


                          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                          I actually think that the wizards/fighters disparity at high levels is one of the biggest problems left in DnD, but even that is fixed by playing the game the way the game wants to be played. Wizard magic can fix just about anything, but if you look at the published high level campaigns like Dungeon of the Mad Mage, it's structured with that in mind. For one you can't teleport between floors with magic, and the walls are warded against magical interference. There's a host of traps that deal a ton of damage on bad wizard saves like Dex and Con, but fighters just tank and rogues dodge through.

                          All are things that the DMG suggests, including the necessity to have 6-8 encounters per day, more if they're not up to at least Medium or Hard thresholds.

                          If you don't run the game that way, wizards dominate hard and early. If you do run the game that way fighters and rogues are necessary long into higher levels. If your DM throws dozens of challenges at the party you might even run into the case where the wizard feels less useful than the rest of the party.
                          This is where I’ll defer as I haven’t played 3.5e or Pathfinder. I’ve only read one of the thousands of debates online that address this issue. I admit I find it disrespectful to the Rogue who likes lockpick when Knock exists. I’ll defer this because (A) I don’t think either of us wants this thread to turn into a 8th billionth debate on Wizards vs Fighters (B) I lack the knowledge of it and (C) I can drop it and still make my points stick.


                          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                          Yes, but only three antagonists in the corebook have that. I don't think any antagonists so far in Hundred Devil Night Parade or Adversaries of the Righteous do, but I'd be surprised if the third circle demon did. It's not like it's half the antagonists have it and there's barely anything that it works against. I'm with JohnDoe that if you don't like it, don't take it, but it doesn't make it awful.
                          0 characters have Parry 7 in the released monster packs. Eight have parry 6, two have Evasion 6 (Didn’t count the charms, just a quick CTRL+F search in my Exalted Onenote). FYI that’s a 13% chance roughly to land a DAT on such things. Forget about landing a TAT.

                          The reason why I’m so dead set against this DrLoveMonkey isn’t because I don’t like it. I lothe the craft and sail systems and recommend people don’t use them, but they function somewhat. If people want to use those, go ahead. At least they ‘function’ as well in the low end as the high end.

                          But Steel Devil? It simply does not function. It’s an ivory tower. It’s sole purpose is to act like a weed out tool to see people know how the system actually works. It makes people miserable when some of their charms are beholden to RNG to such a point where you need to call a coin flip three times in a row correctly to get to activate. Why does a charm that has a 13% of activating against an opponent acceptable when charms exist that provide a 100% chance of activation?

                          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                          Yeah totally, if we're saying Steel Devil is bad because there are better options, then any MA in general is bad because melee is an option and you should take it.
                          Two negatives don’t make a positive.


                          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                          Just take melee and use your splat xp to raise stats that raise other important abilities like Guile and resistance to environmental damage. After you've done all that, or maybe before, get sorcery. Invulnerable Skin of Bronze, Virtuous Guardian of Flame, maybe Incomperable Body Arsenal. Or grab evocations for your weapon which combo well with melee.
                          Yes, there are other things to get with SXP but you’re missing the point I’m making. A person who is doing this point I listed here is having combat as non-major point of his character. It’s something they can do rather than flail ineffectually. They *could* use it to get the above things yes, but if they want to focus on their niche and take part in combat in some reasonable capacity then this is a route for them to take. So much so that even if they’re in a party where the melee dude is going heavy into evocations then the MA’ist should be able to keep up to the point where they’re not a liability in combat. Blood Apes may not be an issue to such a Melee’ist, but being able to force a Dragonblooded to pay attention to you can be a significant sigh of relief to the meleeist.


                          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                          Or you notice a hole in your Melee style and just make a charm to fill that hole, without having to raise an entire other ability from zero, and buy through it charm tree, and make sure it has weapon compatibility. If we're talking Solar melee, there aren't even really any holes.
                          I think the only issue Solar Melee has is raw damage. I didn’t think Hungry Tiger Technique should’ve been kneecapped in such a way, and probably should’ve doubled STR threshold successes.
                          Outside of that yea Solar Melee does about everything. It has since 1e virtually. The only time it was overshadowed was in 2.0e with Solar Archery.


                          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                          I agree that it's super cool in that way, but none of that changes the fact that melee is better mechanically.

                          When that distinction DOES matter though, Solar melee will usually be the better option. Certainly there will be more times where Solar melee was the better option even if sometimes Tiger was.

                          I'm just trying to get away from "This style is shitty, because this other style is better." if it kicks ass good enough, then it's good.
                          It is better mechanically yes, but there’s a “good enough” point as well. A lot of martial arts easily meet this metric. Again, if I can reliably check off the incap box on an opponent’s health track, does it matter if I was 5 levels over it vs 100 levels over it? I mean yea some charms would care, but in the vast majority of times you don’t.
                          I also agree with what you said about tier lists. Fuck them. The only times I ever care about tier lists are when there’s three tiers:
                          • God tier: Laughably, overwhelming better than virtually every other option. Things below this tier cannot meaningfully compete against things in this tier. (EX: Most charms from pre-errata Dreams of the First Age)
                          • Majority tier: A tier where things are relatively balanced compared to each other. They don’t suck and don’t trivialize the game, they’re in between. There are some things that may be better than others, but the difference isn’t that big of a leap from God tier or shit tier.
                          • Shit tier: Laughably, overwhelming bad than virtually any other option. Things in this tier cannot meaningfully compete against things in the tiers above. (EX: Pre-errata 2e Dragonblooded and Sidereals, Scroll of the Monk)
                          The reason why I care about that tier list above is because things either snap the game in two and require counters on par with “GM plots to make your paladin fall” scenarios or things so incredibly shit that you feel like a sucker for buying it (Toughness in 3.5e, which despite my ignorance of in an earlier post the math has been run on this one extensively).
                          Now believe it not: Most MA’s will be in the middle tier. Melee is good, but no way in hell does it even approach the bastions of insanity that were pre-errata dreams. Is Melee better than MA? Yes. Is Melee better than MA even if you give a melee-ist an equal amount of charms the MA-ist has in their style? Most cases yes. But doesn’t in any way make the martial artist completely irrelevant.





                          Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
                          Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Epitome View Post

                            I believe you are reading more into that quote than is actually there.

                            "You can max a stat if it makes sense for your character concept" is actually consistent with the approach of the Core book (and of Tomb of Dreams) where you pick what makes sense for your character, and if you look at the example characters "what makes sense" is usually not 7 5s.

                            I believe the primary intent of that quote is to reassure players that 5s are not straight up forbidden, not a promise that the game will function properly if you minmax your whole Circle.

                            Read my entire post rather than taking a single point out of it. System math for nearly charm in the game works as well for ToD characters as it does for 5/5’ers. The only time this breaks down is when you get into the 35+ dice range (which even 2.Xe people had trouble pulling off with regularity. Except if you do craft which I’m not bothering with as that countless threads exist on that already).

                            So if the math on an overwhelming majority of charms work just fine in the game, why does it stop dead at the moderate-high ends of it (High-end in this case being literal minmaxing and theorycrafting rather than actual builds).

                            Originally posted by limaxophobiac View Post

                            Well for solars there's stealth join-battle cheese that can give you enough initiatitive to shift the max to Charge and still generally go before anyone who isn't a stealth solar, but I'll grant you there's way better payoff for that by just going Thrown.

                            For lunars if you're E2 and JB with Wolf-Eye and Predator's Eye on a maxed full excellency 20 die + 2 auto successes pool for an average 18 startiting initiative, you can shift 7 to charge and Sinous Striking Grace to act at 16. which on-average puts you before Ahlat. You can then pop Dual-Slaying and sit at 9 parry and if No-Moon a -2 penalty to enemy attack rolls before stunts or non-scene charms which on top of your counter-attacks makes you and anyone you Guardian-Beast Stance quite unattractive to attack while you go on to throw spells at people.

                            Lunars also get to penalize defense by 1 with their workhorse attack charm which means 2 less successes for triggering Double-Attack Technique. Naked Fang Draw, Double-Attack, and Dual-Slaying also all lack Mastery effects so all-in-all I think it's a much more reasonable style for Lunars than Solars.
                            Stealth join battle cheese makes kittens cry. Rerolling JB is fine, rerolling and keeping all 10s for the next roll just spits in the face of most things. If I had to pick apart Solar charm issues, this would be one of them. At bare minimum it should add dice not 10s.

                            Secondly, Steel Devil autosuccesses are not bonus successes. Automatic successes count towards a dice cap, bonus successes do not. In your case the Lunar will be rolling 16 dice and two automatic successes (If I’m wrong then it’s another magical example of Steel Devil’s horribly written charms). You have a 50% of getting 13 successes on a JB roll when you reroll 1s, double 9s, and add two automatic successes. I’ll be going with that. If you’re using this then then the best thing to do would be to wait until the others are done their join battle rolls. There is no penalty for doing so, and you can ensure that you can only shave off as much init into charge as needed in order to go first. Going first is very important because you want to crash someone to get the reflexive form activation (Why is the reflexive form gated behind the last charm when every other form doesn’t have this problem? Steel Devil!) or at the very least turn on a form.

                            It is better for Lunars, but all you’re doing is putting a cherry on top of a shit sundae. Lunars can use native charms with MA, this alone makes them vastly better than Solars outside of a few specific charms. If you’re using Steel Devil, why bother? You can get exponentially better results with any other MA. If you’re reducing Alhat to parry 5 with a charm then DAT still only has a 34% to activate against Alhat (nevermind that Alhat is one of the few rare opponents capable of increasing his defence to make firing DAT off virtually impossible AND the to tank you even if you did hit). A shit sundae might look better than normal shit, but in the end you’re still eating shit. If you want my advice: Get a pair of Moonsilver Short Daiklaves and Lunar native charms. I don't know what the build would be likely, but I can probably say it's going to be infinitely more effective than whatever Steel Devil can do.






                            Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
                            Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                              Read my entire post rather than taking a single point out of it. System math for nearly charm in the game works as well for ToD characters as it does for 5/5’ers. The only time this breaks down is when you get into the 35+ dice range (which even 2.Xe people had trouble pulling off with regularity. Except if you do craft which I’m not bothering with as that countless threads exist on that already).

                              So if the math on an overwhelming majority of charms work just fine in the game, why does it stop dead at the moderate-high ends of it (High-end in this case being literal minmaxing and theorycrafting rather than actual builds).
                              I'm not disputing that most of the game is viable when going 5/5, there are plenty of 5/5'ers at my tables and we manage.

                              I'm specifically disputing your claim that the "you can take a 5" sidebar proves that 3e is intended to support that style of gameplay. I enjoy 5/5 Circles, but still recognize some things in the game will fall apart because of the choice me and my fellow players made to play with very high stats.

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Epitome View Post
                                I'm not disputing that most of the game is viable when going 5/5, there are plenty of 5/5'ers at my tables and we manage.

                                I'm specifically disputing your claim that the "you can take a 5" sidebar proves that 3e is intended to support that style of gameplay. I enjoy 5/5 Circles, but still recognize some things in the game will fall apart because of the choice me and my fellow players made to play with very high stats.
                                Care to elaborate? In all my years playing Exalted the numbers haven't been much if at all an issue. The only time I have noticed is when you have rerollers and doublers out the arse (Solar craft/sail) or the Sidereal excellency.


                                Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
                                Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

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