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Dragon Kings and 3e

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  • Dragon Kings and 3e

    I've got a campaign/setting idea that I've been fleshing out and it heavily involves the Dragon Kings. I never had a chance to play one in 2nd Edition, so I don't know how mechanically robust they were in actual play. I've got Scroll of Fallen Races, but reading about Charms often doesn't communicate how it all comes together at the table. Did they have any particular failings? Anything that ended up feeling like a mandatory Charm? What ended up being the most interesting part of playing a Dragon King? Were they more interesting in 1st Edition?



    Dead But Not Gone: Ghosts
    Ghosts: A Revision (2nd Edition)
    Masters of the Industrial Elements
    Upon the Rock of Tradition: The Memorial Exalted
    ​From The Crucible: Crafting As A Struggle

  • #2
    Originally posted by Kyeudo View Post
    I've got a campaign/setting idea that I've been fleshing out and it heavily involves the Dragon Kings. I never had a chance to play one in 2nd Edition, so I don't know how mechanically robust they were in actual play. I've got Scroll of Fallen Races, but reading about Charms often doesn't communicate how it all comes together at the table. Did they have any particular failings? Anything that ended up feeling like a mandatory Charm? What ended up being the most interesting part of playing a Dragon King? Were they more interesting in 1st Edition?
    A lot of these questions have situational answers. There relative power in an otherwise DB game vs in an otherwise Solar game makes a big difference on what is required for near player-parity.

    Speaking only from my own experience:

    1E is almost exactly the same, with large chunks of text being directly copied.

    It is artifacts rather than their charms that are the big "must have" when it comes to balancing power.

    Their lack of excellency is the biggest mechanical disadvantage in most situations.

    Usually, the Flowing Water path, a Necklace of Solar Charisma (good for extra dice and the "people aren't put off by you being a giant lizard person" feature) or some similar effect is sort of necessary to be around normal humans unless you are somewhere really exotic like the court of an Elder Lunar.

    They are generally lacking in good defensive charms.

    Martial Arts are generally too expensive (and weak) to close the power gap with combat speced opponents.

    They generally do fine in DB power level games and are much more reliant on their backgrounds in celestial power level games.

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    • #3
      I needed one for the plot, so i made him a Tyrant Lizard with some Fire Aspect charms and a generous helping of Cult.

      Probably not inline with the general Lore but he made for a memorable NPC


      Please be warned: this is not champagne, this is most likely a duck.
      -Chausse

      Message me for Japanese translations.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the answers!

        Originally posted by Exthalion View Post
        It is artifacts rather than their charms that are the big "must have" when it comes to balancing power.
        Just something like the Necklace of Solar Charisma or were there other things you considered "must have"?

        Their lack of excellency is the biggest mechanical disadvantage in most situations.
        Did having Attributes above human levels help alleviate this?

        Usually, the Flowing Water path, a Necklace of Solar Charisma (good for extra dice and the "people aren't put off by you being a giant lizard person" feature) or some similar effect is sort of necessary to be around normal humans unless you are somewhere really exotic like the court of an Elder Lunar.
        Sounds like you spent a lot of time pretending to be a human.

        They are generally lacking in good defensive charms.
        Did the fact that they only had 90 Charms ever feel like a major limitation? Did the need to have a teacher to get the first dot on a Path affect how you could advance your character?

        Martial Arts are generally too expensive (and weak) to close the power gap with combat speced opponents.
        Being limited to Terrestrial Martial Arts would have made that a problem. Did the Martial Arts Charms feel necessary to expand your combat repertoire?

        Was there anything you found special or interesting about playing a Dragon King instead of an Exalt?



        Dead But Not Gone: Ghosts
        Ghosts: A Revision (2nd Edition)
        Masters of the Industrial Elements
        Upon the Rock of Tradition: The Memorial Exalted
        ​From The Crucible: Crafting As A Struggle

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        • #5
          Noob question

          Can Dragon Kings Exalt? I think a Dragon King Zenith Caste would be kinda cool.


          The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Penelope View Post
            Can Dragon Kings Exalt?
            In 2e, they couldn't, and I don't expect that to change in 3e. Generally speaking, to Exalt someone, you need them to have a human soul. Dragon Kings and other non-human races have souls, but they're not human ones, they're metaphysically different. (3e has referenced a type of Exalt, the Spoken, who used to exist in the First Age, and were the Chosen of the Voice in the Trench, a submarine god of some sort. They weren't human, and apparently there can be no more Spoken, because the non-human race that existed that their Exaltations were compatible with has been entirely wiped out.)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post

              In 2e, they couldn't, and I don't expect that to change in 3e. Generally speaking, to Exalt someone, you need them to have a human soul. Dragon Kings and other non-human races have souls, but they're not human ones, they're metaphysically different. (3e has referenced a type of Exalt, the Spoken, who used to exist in the First Age, and were the Chosen of the Voice in the Trench, a submarine god of some sort. They weren't human, and apparently there can be no more Spoken, because the non-human race that existed that their Exaltations were compatible with has been entirely wiped out.)
              Thanks. I guess that makes sense.


              The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kyeudo View Post
                Just something like the Necklace of Solar Charisma or were there other things you considered "must have"?
                Also an artifact weapon and armor. Hearthstones were also a big one, since some of the good ones are nearly charms in and of themselves.

                Originally posted by Kyeudo View Post
                Did having Attributes above human levels help alleviate this?
                Sort of. An excellency can almost double your dice pool, while your superhuman attributes only raise them by 1 or 2. That really matters for things like Craft where you need a zillion successes. Also, it gives you a little more staying power, especially when players have a bad habit of blowing all their personal motes relatively quickly in a scene.

                Originally posted by Kyeudo View Post
                Sounds like you spent a lot of time pretending to be a human.
                Also a tamed clawstrider, pet giant gator, and a shark once. In areas where beastmen are more welcome it wasn't necessary because you just look like a variety of them.

                Originally posted by Kyeudo View Post
                Did the fact that they only had 90 Charms ever feel like a major limitation? Did the need to have a teacher to get the first dot on a Path affect how you could advance your character?
                Practically speaking you don't have 90 charms, the upper level are essence locked and going down the Dark Paths is not a common path. Each path is more or less okay at its thing, but they are pretty focused so you don't have a lot of flexibility.

                Originally posted by Kyeudo View Post
                Being limited to Terrestrial Martial Arts would have made that a problem. Did the Martial Arts Charms feel necessary to expand your combat repertoire?
                Yes and no. I generally don't play combat characters, which meant that native DK stuff plus paths was usually enough. The one problem is that MA charms are balanced around Exalt mote pools, not your tiny DK one.

                Originally posted by Kyeudo View Post
                Was there anything you found special or interesting about playing a Dragon King instead of an Exalt?
                Mechanically: The simplicity was nice at times. They have a few fun tricks like Flowing Water shapeshifting that can let them fill a lot of misc niches in a circle.

                RPwise: The sense of history. More even than the returning Solars, DK have a sense of being strange and ancient, approaching things in distinctly non-human ways.

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                • #9
                  WHat's a Dragon King ?


                  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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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chausse View Post
                    WHat's a Dragon King ?
                    In previous editions, they were an anthropomorphic-saurian species with four distinct elementally-aspected breeds. Precursors to humanity, they had a limited number of souls, and their memories were not cleansed between incarnations (but they’d have to be unlocked anew by cultivating their Essence). In modern times they’re on the brink of extinction.

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