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The feasibility of Threshold Outcastes joining Celestials

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
    Exalted rapidly reach the point where money is an afterthought, and trade is done in things like sorcery, artifacts, and favours.
    Why do you draw a line that divides magical things from mundane wealth? You can buy a daiklave with silver. House Ledaal is on the verge of a civil war, if I give them enough money to buy three mercenary companies and pay their salary for 2 years, that's worth throwing me one of their heirloom blades, precious as they are.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
      I’m not suggesting that every exalt is easily bought with cash, but they don’t have to be. You can be Dante from Devil May Cry. You can ABSOLUTELY be Dante, who sits around doing nothing until the electric company shuts off his power, and his toilets fill up, and then he goes and takes a job.
      You find such a thing in references to Medieval knights during peace time as well. If you're lucky, you have the kind of pull to create the wars that you can then sell service and claim prizes, plunder and ransom in. If you're not, you hang out in ditches and can't even go bandit because you lost your sword.

      Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey
      Like, “I have three estates that are all immaculately manicured and each staffed with their own harem“ kind of rich.
      We could really do with moving past using the word for the part of the house where unrelated men are not permitted to imply some kind of lascivious sex den.

      And then maybe from there past referencing such as a desirable commodity.

      "It sure is great being part of a society that equates social standing with multiple wives. I really love the additional expenses of all their space, servants, food and clothing, and my home is very relaxing with all of the constant schemes to establish hierarchies of prestige and which of my children are going to inherit. A life every person should aspire to."

      Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
      *raises a hand*

      Question. If an outcaste is working for you for money... doesn't that cause lots of problems when your opponent is literally the Realm? Each House is literally the equivalent of a nation state with a number of Dragonblooded and a lot of resources, infrastructure, and whatnot. If a DB is working for money instead of 'fuck the realm', then there's the distinct chance the realm just buys out their contracts and you're left with nothing.
      They didn't get rich by writing a lot of cheques.

      Also, not everybody accepts cheques, so the distance money needs to travel before it arrives can be part of it.

      And some people are just of the type to honour established contracts, either from principle or because it's good praxis to not be seen as unreliable once money changes hands. There's a point at which a reputation for switching sides in the middle of proceedings because the price was better leads to people ceasing to bother paying you at all, not trusting that they'll get their money's worth.

      It would appear that conflicts involving mercenaries have not often been historically resolved by buying out the opposing side.

      Plus, Great Houses being rich does not mean they have perfect fluidity. If they were, there wouldn't be so many references to them needing to take out loans. How many more inches into Ragara's pocket did that bit of treachery cost you? There are Houses where that will be seen as not worth it.


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

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      • #48
        Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

        Why do you draw a line that divides magical things from mundane wealth? You can buy a daiklave with silver. House Ledaal is on the verge of a civil war, if I give them enough money to buy three mercenary companies and pay their salary for 2 years, that's worth throwing me one of their heirloom blades, precious as they are.
        Agree completely.

        Plus Realm money is magic (kinda).


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

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        • #49
          Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
          Why do they need your Anathema's money instead of doing whatever it is they're good at for literally anyone else who isn't a demon walking around in human skin?
          Because Excellencies and Charms make for very strong Bargain Actions.

          (I never did actually read that thread)


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

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
            "It sure is great being part of a society that equates social standing with multiple wives. I really love the additional expenses of all their space, servants, food and clothing, and my home is very relaxing with all of the constant schemes to establish hierarchies of prestige and which of my children are going to inherit. A life every person should aspire to."
            We are talking about people who make their living through contract homicide. The idea that you are the sole patron for a dozen full-time sex workers shouldn't be more offensive than the idea that you are a murderer for hire.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

              We are talking about people who make their living through contract homicide. The idea that you are the sole patron for a dozen full-time sex workers shouldn't be more offensive than the idea that you are a murderer for hire.
              Additionally, the Koran is pretty naked on the purpose of having multiple wives. (At least the Latter Day Saints put lipstick on that pig.)

              And supporting the additional expense as a show of wealth and social standing is pretty apropos. You know, as that's literally what we're discussing here. I think the analogy is a good one.

              Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

              Because Excellencies and Charms make for very strong Bargain Actions.

              (I never did actually read that thread)
              Your honour, the defence rests.
              Last edited by JohnDoe244; 09-14-2020, 08:27 PM.


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

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              • #52
                The way y’all keep randomly switching who’s paying who in this scenario really isn’t helping things.

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                • #53
                  We know the Guild hires Outcastes. Even with the Scarlet Empire and Lookshy existing. We know that there are plenty of wandering DB heroes, who, at least in previous editions could and would set themselves up as Champion in the hundred kingdoms, or as bandit lords or whatever. And we know that, indoctrination or no, some people will want to defect to the other side, REGARDLESS of their personal privilege (see the Cold War). We also know it isn't terribly common.

                  The real question is: Does it make for good story?

                  Somewhere, out of the giant group of individuals who are 'the dragonblooded host of Creation' there will be some who will side with you. Maybe you ran them out of willpower and overpowered their integrity. Maybe they don't really believe in the Immaculate Philosophy. Maybe you saved them from the Fair Folk or a Demon, and they don't care what you are, you're a /person/ at least. Maybe you freed their sister (or granddaughter) from a Guild slave plantation. Maybe they're members of the Cult of the Illuminated. Maybe they're members of your tribe, or your family, or your religion. Maybe they do just want the money, and would rather rule as your lieutenant than get sucked into the Realm and treated as a second class dynast. Oh, better than the unexalted, sure. But they'll always look down their noses at you because you didn't go to school with them.

                  Any individual Dragonblooded can come to follow or work with you for all the same reasons any mortal could. Or any other Solar, for that matter. The real questions are: are you prepared for the failure state? The more powerful person you're recruiting, the more ready you need to be to deal with a negative response. (note this applies equally well to Guild Factors and Lunars as well).

                  And "will this be fun for the ST and other players". If the whole circle is behind "restoring the brotherhood of all Exalted" that's a nifty campaign. If you want to start with a DB henchman, that's interesting backstory. But if the rest of the party is sitting around bored while you and the GM play social influence and argue about setting and intimacies? That sucks.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                    Payment is great. Please pay the people who work for you. In my first post, I literally wrote: "Money is a great motivator for anyone". I'll happily admit that paying people is generally a great way to get them to do what you want. Happily.
                    Yes, you do say money is a great motivator for anyone but literally the rest of your response to me was spent in the headspace of this Resistance focused outcaste who apparently only eats once a week and is content to paint sunflowers.

                    Not someone who refuses to work for an Anathema or someone who might betray their patron.


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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Lioness View Post
                      Yes, you do say money is a great motivator for anyone but literally the rest of your response to me was spent in the headspace of this Resistance focused outcaste who apparently only eats once a week and is content to paint sunflowers.

                      Not someone who refuses to work for an Anathema or someone who might betray their patron.
                      True, but that's a powerful "why".

                      Why don't I, John, betray my patron for riches and glory?

                      Because of the risk. If it goes sideways, I lose everything and die.

                      My super powered Dragon-Blooded, on the other hand, has super powers. She doesn't need money to stay alive (at least not in any great quantity) because she has super powers. She has opportunities that I don't, because she has super powers. Those powers make her a danger that I am not.

                      Charms are literally what seperates the Exalted from mortals. And I'd refer you back to how I entered the thread by saying the Immaculate beliefs are prevalent, but this is a cool and workable idea if you have a common cause.

                      Your right, I do have a low opinion of buying human beings with your fabulous Solar Excellencies. And, you're right, I probably do under-value what a powerful tool "simply" paying people can be. I'm not saying you don't have a valid point -- especially since you clarified "a way, not the best way". You're right: it is a way, and it's often overlooked. Honestly, I didn't even consider it until you brought it up. I'll concede that.

                      (And Baaldam made a great point about how it's easier to collect a paycheck than run a state.)

                      But the great opportunities the Exalted have, and the terrible concequences of Exalted betrayal, derrives primarily from their Charms. Which exist to represent their narrative ability to overcome adversity.

                      (A true cynic might, therefore, suggest Charms to ensure loyalty. But I really don't think that's fertile ground -- which is why I suggested having a common cause instead.)

                      I hardly think it's fair to say I can't argue against you by citing means (Resistance Charms) or motivation (undertaking an enjoyable art instead of risking one's life).
                      Last edited by JohnDoe244; 09-15-2020, 02:50 AM.


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

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                      • #56
                        So here's how I think a lot of dealings with a Great House work.

                        Unless you're somebody prominent enough to actually engage with the matriarch or one of their top advisors, you're not really dealing with the House as such, but one of their scion operatives; either somebody who was assigned to you or who had a purview that you intersect with. I'd say this person has a decent operating budget, but one that they need to account for to their elders. Maybe the cost of bribing away an already engaged mercenary is something that they can square, maybe it isn't, either because it's beyond their budget or would leave too little money to cover other expenses. Even in that case, the Dynast has avenues to fulfil their objective other than their assigned budget, and that's getting into how their own Exalted self makes money; taking out premium loans from Threshold vendors, performing some paid service of their own, maybe leaning on some folks to make "donations". The Great Chain in operation.

                        However, a Solar is involved in the scenario under discussion, and that means the Time of Tumult. As The Realm makes it pretty clear, under these circumstances the Great Houses don't have money to spare, and keep looking for additional sources of it; it's all being bonded up in preparations for war and staking their claims to the empire.

                        The operatives are likely still expected to perform their functions, but going by historical example circumstances such as this are ones in which their budget consists of issuing promissory notes; documentation promising that when their assets are liquid again, they'll redeem the notes for actual cash value.

                        It's possible that somebody could be bribed by the value of such notes over what they're otherwise being paid, but there are plausible complications in them being something that can be exchanged to pay expenses in the meantime. On the Blessed Isle, the Houses might be able to provide pressure to get people to accept the notes as solid, but in the Threshold where they've withdrawn a lot of their power one might expect most vendors and traders to think the notes are worth a lot less than their face value so long as there's no guarantee that the House will even still exist once conflict within the Realm settles down.

                        The people you're most likely to get to redeem such notes for cash in reasonable order are speculators, those folks who can afford to gamble on their full value being redeemed in time or even take the opportunity to inflate them above face value with continuous trading before that. Making a profit and minimising risk there means that you're definitely not getting the full value of them out of it, and your personal circumstances and how much you've failed to exchange them elsewhere informs the rate; you might be lucky if you get half of their face value in cash. That might be better than nothing, but in the end are you sure that it's better than what the Solar was paying and promising you?

                        These are details that I think make for effective and compelling complications to financial competition involving the Scarlet Dynasty during the Time of Tumult, in which their enormous wealth comes with several caveats that can be leveraged into out dealing them.

                        They are also things that make sense to navigate with Bargain Actions. The book doesn't quite describe it as such, but my sensibilities tell me that dice should resolve whether or not somebody will take what they know is a bad deal because it seems to be the best one they can get when they need it, so Orichalcum Rule is in effect.


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

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                        • #57
                          I notice people in this thread are bringing up "why would a DB not go for the realm instead of a Solar" when I specifically stated that the DB outcastes in question hate the realm for its crushing colonialist imperialism.

                          I'm talking about the feasibility of not merely outcastes joining a Celestial Exalt in a mutual alliance, but also the specific case of outcastes whose lands and people have been so savaged by the Realm that they hate it to the point where joining it as a lost egg would be literally unthinkable to them. Some of these outcastes don't believe in the Immaculate Philosophy, either because their people never really believed it even as the Realm oppressed their beliefs, or just weren't raised by it at all (probably the case for DB's who come from non-satraps who have been invaded/pillaged by the Realm and satraps). Others do believe in it, they just hate the realm so goddamn much and have lost so much faith in the Dynasty that they might as well throw their weight behind an Anathema and see what happens, because every single tale they've heard was "the Anathema was actually pretty cool and then the wyld hunt killed them" and eventually you have to wonder if no Anathema seems to actually do this whole "sacrifice babies to Hell and kill everyone" thing there has to be more nuance than the Philosophy states.

                          And a third group are like Ten Winds in the "well, I might as well see what you supposed demons are all about".

                          Finally, I should mention that the deal here is not so much "work for me" and more "let's build a grand nation that can defend itself against the realm--you do the heavy lifting and public stuff, I do my Supernal Bureaucracy thing and keep everything running at 110% to keep up with the Realm behind the curtain." Our Eclipse's offer here is not one where he rules completely and the Outcastes are his vassals/subjects--it's more that he comprises a distinct branch of government alongside them and they are as much leaders of the nation as he is.
                          Last edited by Frostav; 09-20-2020, 04:36 PM.

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                          • #58
                            That sounds great.


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

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