Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Does anyone actually Like the Bronze/Gold divide?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #46
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
    At the very least, I find even the name Bronze Faction has some more depth to it, with a hint of irony, if it's a label that has only been applicable for half a decade; if particular dedication to upholding the rule of the Dragon Blooded (in the face of apparent viable alternatives) wasn't a thing until the Jade Prison was broken. The point at which a bunch of them get together and say "in spite of everything that has gone wrong, this is the better course to stick it because it's proven and reliable", and their opponents characterize that as something like settling for the bronze medal.

    It at least resonates to me, because I find shades of what makes compelling narrative in the tragedy of the Irish Civil War.
    It could potentially carry the same implicit criticism in Hesiod's Iron Age, that it is a metal primarily used for war making indicating an age of violence also lacking in sophisticate due to the lower temperature and skill necessary to forge bronze weapons.

    Gold might also have begun as such a criticism, emphasis on how it is pretty (as ideals tend to be) but has little practical use and is easily damaged by rough circumstances.

    Comment


    • #47
      Honestly, I think Kelly pretty much nailed it. The Gold and Bronze factions may've initially cemented around the visions presented in the Great Prophecy, but after the Usurpation, the position on Solars was likely less relevant than the underlying ideological differences of doing what's PRACTICAL versus doing what's RIGHT. I suspect that they probably retained the Bronze/Gold language, but they probably weren't clashing over 'who got the Solar issue right' for 15 centuries. A core of Bronze agents centered around Kejak probably directly implemented the Wyld Hunt, while a core of Gold agents probably tried to rescue any Solar they could manage to turn into a tool of problem solving with limited success... but that'd be no more than a dozen on each side, with a lot of room in the middle for 'soft bronze', 'soft gold' and 'nonpartisan' groupings who each outnumber the hardliner cabals.

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by Caffeine Delusions View Post
        Honestly, I think Kelly pretty much nailed it. The Gold and Bronze factions may've initially cemented around the visions presented in the Great Prophecy, but after the Usurpation, the position on Solars was likely less relevant than the underlying ideological differences of doing what's PRACTICAL versus doing what's RIGHT. I suspect that they probably retained the Bronze/Gold language, but they probably weren't clashing over 'who got the Solar issue right' for 15 centuries. A core of Bronze agents centered around Kejak probably directly implemented the Wyld Hunt, while a core of Gold agents probably tried to rescue any Solar they could manage to turn into a tool of problem solving with limited success... but that'd be no more than a dozen on each side, with a lot of room in the middle for 'soft bronze', 'soft gold' and 'nonpartisan' groupings who each outnumber the hardliner cabals.
        I don't think phrasing as "Practical vs Right" is the proper terminology for it. As the Bronze would not have been looking at it as "Well that answer is obviously the right one, but we're gonna do this instead." I think practical vs idealistic, or optimistic would be better phrasing. As it would show the idea that the Gold would be more willing to take risks or longer shots for potentially better outcomes whereas the Bronze would not be willing to take those same risks if it isn't necessary for a positive outcome even if it would be less than the outcome Gold is shooting for due to better odds.

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by nalak42 View Post
          I don't think phrasing as "Practical vs Right" is the proper terminology for it. As the Bronze would not have been looking at it as "Well that answer is obviously the right one, but we're gonna do this instead." I think practical vs idealistic, or optimistic would be better phrasing. As it would show the idea that the Gold would be more willing to take risks or longer shots for potentially better outcomes whereas the Bronze would not be willing to take those same risks if it isn't necessary for a positive outcome even if it would be less than the outcome Gold is shooting for due to better odds.
          In this case I think it's not Right as in Correct, but Right as in Just. So it's not that Gold is gambling for a better outcome, but rather that they don't think even the fate of the world justifies the Usurpation while there exists an alternative. And it's not that Bronze feels like doing the something that won't work or are moustache-twirling villains, but rather that they are willing to do what is needed to succeed even if it damns them.

          That being said your interpretation also makes sense. I could see the Bronze attracting both people who don't mind getting their hands dirty and people who would never gamble with Creation itself, and the Gold attracting both people who would never condone the Usurpation as well as people who would rather go big or go broke.

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by Epitome View Post
            In this case I think it's not Right as in Correct, but Right as in Just. So it's not that Gold is gambling for a better outcome, but rather that they don't think even the fate of the world justifies the Usurpation while there exists an alternative. And it's not that Bronze feels like doing the something that won't work or are moustache-twirling villains, but rather that they are willing to do what is needed to succeed even if it damns them.
            Exactly. Kelly had already used the 'pragmatic vs. idealistic' language in the post I was referencing, and 'doing what's right' is an extremely common colloquialism for making a choice based on personal ideals, to the point that given context, I was reasonably certain no one was likely to split a hair about it.

            The core of the issue between the two factions is that they're both trying to do what's best for Creation, but the Bronze are inherently adverse to taking risks that could undermine basic survival, while the Gold are willing to take risks if it means the potential for an outcome that offers a better life to those involved. In Destiny-Planning meetings regarding the future of a kingdom who is about to have a horribly unfitting heir take the throne, the Bronze are the ones saying 'Yes, the new monarch's reign will be oppressive, but they'll whip the kingdom's military into shape and hold the borders against Fae raiders. The majority of the citizenry may not be happy, but they'll be alive', and the Gold are the ones saying 'But this one general is REALLY competent and popular with the general citizenry, and she only needs just a few nudges of empathy for the everyman before she'll be ready to give up her loyalty to the royal family and lead a popular uprising. Yeah, it might involve some casualties like any revolution, but she'd be capable of managing a strong military in a way that DOESN'T involve putting a boot on the throats of the poor'.

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by Epitome View Post
              In this case I think it's not Right as in Correct, but Right as in Just. So it's not that Gold is gambling for a better outcome, but rather that they don't think even the fate of the world justifies the Usurpation while there exists an alternative. And it's not that Bronze feels like doing the something that won't work or are moustache-twirling villains, but rather that they are willing to do what is needed to succeed even if it damns them.

              That being said your interpretation also makes sense. I could see the Bronze attracting both people who don't mind getting their hands dirty and people who would never gamble with Creation itself, and the Gold attracting both people who would never condone the Usurpation as well as people who would rather go big or go broke.
              True, but I've also seen far too many arguments in various places that operate on the idea that the Gold was absolutely the correct choice, morally, and for results and that the Bronze were totally in the wrong for not being willing to gamble reality on a 1 in a million or more unlikely prospect to be comfortable with the assignation of "right" to the Gold faction and assume the person means standards or willingness to do things. It does also lose a bit when one also makes the argument that "Right" would be definable by one's own moral compass alone and that the Bronze would also there fore be argued as wanting to do what was "RIGHT" by their own moral compass.

              Comment


              • #52
                In fairness, we don't know how many poison skittles were in the 'Redeem the Solars' bag, but it's heavily implied that at the time, there were more poisoned ones than nonpoisoned ones... like, potentially at a 99-to-1 ratio or more.

                Under those circumstances, even the most starry-eyed of idealists (if operating outside the grips of the Great Curse and the way it shoves Sidereals into Problematic Groupthink) would have to admit that those are BAD ODDS, and not a risk worth taking.

                There's a reason people don't play Russian Roulette with six bullets gambling that the cartridge in the chamber has a factory defect that will prevent it from firing.

                Where the Gold Faction might ACTUALLY have a point worth discussing is the idea of training and shaping Solars that HAVEN'T had multiple Celestial generations of ruling the world in the grips of the Great Curse to go sour. The notion that... yeah, the Usurpation may've NEEDED to happen, but that post-reincarnation there might be a chance to turn the next generation into something that isn't so dangerous rather than just locking most of them away and playing Reincarnation Whack-A-Mole with the rest.

                A lot of the Soft Gold crowd probably spent quite a few days off over the centuries playing 'what if' games about a world where the Solars were allowed to exist, but their role had been redefined from 'god-king' to something more manageable, like 'champion' or 'defender'. Playing with fire, to be sure... but in the defense of that action, if no one had ever played with fire, we never would've learned to cook with it or minimize the risks of having it in our homes.

                Comment


                • #53
                  I think that the argument becomes a lot clearer when you divorce it from the solar exalted specifically. If you judge the visions based on their effects on the world orders: The Deliberative vs The Realm than you can kinda see how both visions would play out. If the Gold Faction won the argument but lost in their mission the world would have been destroyed/unmade/rewritten at the hands of the Exalted Host's overpowered decadence, but under the vision of bronze... well that's still happening, just slowly, spread out over centuries.
                  While the Sidereal's didn't foresee the contagion, balorian crusade, or the rise of the Deathlords... that's kinda the point, the entire host is needed in the deliberative to keep creation running and without them, the world just can't pick up the slack. The dragonblooded may be less powerful and their curse less potent but that's the problem, the same issues that caused the usurpation are still present, just on a smaller scale; decadent exalted rulership of a fragmenting world order that exploits those it's meant to protect while a divided world falls apart. Same problem, just milder, so the effect is slower.
                  When the Celestial exalted were forced to give rulership to the terrestrials, the shogunate wasn't able to maintain the safeguards that the Deliberative could, whether that's first age technology or eclipse treaties. The world is still dying but instead of going out with a bang it's going out with a whimper. The 2e corebook put it best with Nara-o's question "Do you want a better world or one less interesting", cause the bronze also screwed up, just more slowly and so there might still be a chance to fix the mess. I mean, does it really matter if the world get's destroyed now or in a thousand years if the underlying cause is the same?

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Darkfoxdev View Post
                    While the Sidereal's didn't foresee the contagion, balorian crusade, or the rise of the Deathlords...
                    Incidentally, this is something I hope that 3e basically drops. The whole idea that the Contagion/Crusade, and a variety of other bad stuff that hit Creation was all something the Sidereals didn't foresee is, as far as I know, all from 2e, which introduced the whole "outside Fate" mechanic and made large swathes of the standard antagonists in the setting immune to Sidereal powers. I think it was largely because 2e was very in love with forced irony: "Oh, look the splat designated as the best prophets and seers have failed to predict this, HOW IRONIC <Alanis Morissette plays>". But it was a decision that made the Sidereals just look dumb - 100 of the smartest, most powerful people in Creation, with extensive experience in how their own powers work, somehow all completely failed to ask "but what about a powerful supernatural force from outside Fate showing up?"

                    My own preferred interpretation is that the Great Prophecy's vision included the result of the Contagion/Crusade - they were part of the whole "a huge part of Creation will be destroyed, but something will definitely survive" that the Bronze Faction decided to bet on. What I believe, though, is that the Great Prophecy showed the final outcome, but didn't necessarily show every step on the road that lead there. So the Sidereals saw large chunks of Creation no longer existing, dissolved back into the Wyld, great nations crumbled into empty ruins, swathes of depopulated land, and all that. But they didn't see what exactly happened to make that happen. Probably through most of the Shogunate period, they were thinking that they could see the steady decline, as infrastructure slowly wore out or was destroyed by Lunars, and the Dragon-Blooded got more and more fractured and divided, but assumed that things would just continue in that vein for another few millennia, slowly getting worse and worse before finally stabilizing in the new, lower equilibrium that the Great Prophecy foretold. But then, the Great Contagion and the Balorian Crusade hit, and a lot of them got to see all the shit they had predicted happen all at once, probably to people they cared about personally, in an enormous wave of death and destruction, rather than a generational slide.

                    I think it probably broke several of them, emotionally. In particular, I see Chejop's actions, post-Contagion, as largely being an emotional reaction to the horrors there. Before that, he was one of the Bronze Faction stalwarts, certainly committed to the general ideology, but perhaps not fanatical. After the Contagion, though, he became desperate to prove that the Usurpation was the right choice, and he double-downed on the concepts that the Bronze Faction had supported since then (Dragon-Blooded rule, suppression of Lunars and Solars through the Wyld Hunt), latching onto the first promising Dragon-Blooded candidate for world leadership who emerged and throwing all his resources behind her. And since then, I think he's become even more emotionally tightly tied to the Empress and the Realm - if the Realm succeeds, it means he wasn't wrong to do the Usurpation all those years ago, and all the deaths in the Crusade/Contagion weren't in vain.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      I am fine with Sids having crap they can't predict, especially when one of their core themes is that their inward-looking seers who sometimes catastrophically miss things because they're too distanced from Creation and prone to over-relying on their personal information and thus tunnel-visioning. I like that part of 2e's Yu-Shan book for instance where it says that Kejak wasted a bunch of time auditing Uvanavu than actually doing something when the Great Contagion hit--that represents Sids at their worst for me. Solars are prone to catastrophic emotional breakdowns, Lunars are hellbent on revenge even when it doesn't make sense, and Sids tunnel-vision on the loom of fate so hard they miss things and waste time on political shitflinging.

                      Sids are the best educated Exalts by far, they have access to basically seeing the future (not perfectly but being able to do that at all is already extremely) powerful, they can bend fate, they are the best martial artists in Creation, they have the backing of Heaven, and can get across Creation in a matter of hours. They have to have something to counteract that and that something is tunnel-visioning on the loom and their own preconceived notions of things, as well as being distant enough from Creation to be at risk of viewing it coldly.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Darkfoxdev View Post
                        The world is still dying but instead of going out with a bang it's going out with a whimper. The 2e corebook put it best with Nara-o's question "Do you want a better world or one less interesting", cause the bronze also screwed up, just more slowly and so there might still be a chance to fix the mess. I mean, does it really matter if the world get's destroyed now or in a thousand years if the underlying cause is the same?
                        I realize the presentation of the First Age has changed between editions, and we don't really know what prompted the Usurpation in 3E...

                        But in 2E the Solars were futzing with the laws of reality. They literally shattered the concept of linear time into tiny pieces and caused the Time of Cascading Years. To say nothing of enslaving the entire world, forging doomsday devices, breeding bio-engineered horrors, deliberately plunging huge areas of Creation into the Wyld to fight wars, and relaxing to musical instruments powered by the screams of their enemies.

                        The Sidereals organised the Usurpation to stop the Solars doing to Fate what they did to Time.

                        Which is not to say that The Scarlet Realm isn't terrible... just that I'd give my own mother a foot-massage.


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

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post


                          But in 2E the Solars were futzing with the laws of reality. They literally shattered the concept of linear time into tiny pieces and caused the Time of Cascading Years. To say nothing of enslaving the entire world, forging doomsday devices, breeding bio-engineered horrors, deliberately plunging huge areas of Creation into the Wyld to fight wars, and relaxing to musical instruments powered by the screams of their enemies.

                          The Sidereals organised the Usurpation to stop the Solars doing to Fate what they did to Time.
                          Oh I fully agree, but if all that's happening is you're picking your poison between "Solars destroy the world", "Raksha destroy the world" and "Deathlords destroy the world" does a timeframe of a single millennia really matter? Without the Exalted host working in tandem, creation is kind of just dying by inches rather than in leaps and bounds. I don't think the bronze faction was wrong, just that they didn't do a good job planning the transition of power, whether that's the fall of needed defenses and important artifacts, the exile of the lunars putting celestial exalted in opposition to the realm, warring amongst the shogunate or maybe making plans do deal with the ghosts of the exalted monarchs who were killed in the usurpation, a bunch of high essence ghost kings with megalomaniacal tendencies could be a real problem down the line.
                          Last edited by Darkfoxdev; 09-02-2020, 06:39 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post

                            Incidentally, this is something I hope that 3e basically drops. The whole idea that the Contagion/Crusade, and a variety of other bad stuff that hit Creation was all something the Sidereals didn't foresee is, as far as I know, all from 2e, which introduced the whole "outside Fate" mechanic and made large swathes of the standard antagonists in the setting immune to Sidereal powers. I think it was largely because 2e was very in love with forced irony: "Oh, look the splat designated as the best prophets and seers have failed to predict this, HOW IRONIC <Alanis Morissette plays>". But it was a decision that made the Sidereals just look dumb - 100 of the smartest, most powerful people in Creation, with extensive experience in how their own powers work, somehow all completely failed to ask "but what about a powerful supernatural force from outside Fate showing up?"
                            I don't think so. 1e. Exalted: The Sidereals. Sidebar, the Blind Prophets, page 64. That tended to suggest that the Prophecy was somewhat banjaxxed by Sidereal blindness to Outside of Fate thingies... Though maybe 2e up'ed it by stating it was no better than throwing darts while wearing a blindfold or something, and massively extending the amount of things which were Outside of Fate, I don't know.

                            It's a great book but there's still lots of room for improvement and some missteps. (Don't get me started on how the book led to the whole meme of "You think the Sidereals arranged the Solars to be usurped because they *cared* about the quality of lives of people living in Creation? Hah! Naive! Like Sidereals would give a shit about human life! They were only worried to make sure Creation would continue to exist", which IMO put a bad equilibrium into play of the Solars needing to be at risk of being apocalyptically dangerous, rather than a risk of being simply terrible tyrants, as well as placing Sidereals in this weirdly amoral position that deemphasized them as moral actors.)

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post
                              placing Sidereals in this weirdly amoral position that deemphasized them as moral actors.)
                              What's weird about it?


                              I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                              Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                There's an emotionless quality to the Bronze Faction that's not helped them.

                                Part of why I wanted my Sidereal to be in a relationship with Anys Syn is because she's presented more as a plot device than a character, almost everything we know about her is some variation of "she's ruthless and knows lots of martial arts" either because it's compromised her to the Yozis or because Ragara Myrrun may or may not explode in the near future.
                                Last edited by Lioness; 09-03-2020, 09:51 AM.


                                Onyx Path Forum Moderator
                                Please spare a thought for updating the Exalted wiki.

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X