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At what Essence would Anathema become a serious menace to the Realm?

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  • #16
    The Realm has traditionally been portrayed in all editions (regardless of the subtle differences between editions) as at a uniquely vulnerable moment in its history.

    Nonetheless, yes, what Celestial PCs can do in regards to it has more to do with their personalities, strengths and luck / circumstances than their overall Essence level, as such. Whichever Essence level you are, you're going to be more the pebble that was in right (or wrong) place to cause the avalache (possibly unknowingly), rather than the avalanche itself (with full intent to be such).

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    • #17
      Originally posted by prototype00 View Post
      I think people are leery of having Dragonblooded be mooks this edition, so they hype them *ALL THE WAY* up, not realizing that tales of gritty underdogs overthrowing evil empires are a genre trope and extremely doable in game.

      As Isator has pointed out, 4 Ess 1-2 Lunars can ferment revolt that takes down a key Dragonblooded led satrapy. (Though Tegama cheats as he's using a top tier build, Single Point Full Moon).
      To a large extent, a straight-up fight is entirely dependent on how the GM stages it. Five Solars would be in serious trouble fighting thirty Dragonblooded as individual characters*, but five Solars against a Size 2 battle group of Dragonblooded would be a cakewalk.


      *Though not half as much trouble as that poor GM.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Grod_the_giant View Post
        To a large extent, a straight-up fight is entirely dependent on how the GM stages it. Five Solars would be in serious trouble fighting thirty Dragonblooded as individual characters*, but five Solars against a Size 2 battle group of Dragonblooded would be a cakewalk.


        *Though not half as much trouble as that poor GM.
        That goes both ways too, a circle of Dragonblooded against a size 1 battlegroup of Solars wrecks their faces off.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

          That goes both ways too, a circle of Dragonblooded against a size 1 battlegroup of Solars wrecks their faces off.
          It honestly makes me kind of sad how much weaker battle groups make supernatural beings. A few extra dice and static value doesn't come close to making up for all the advantages numbers give you, which means that questions like "can we fight this whole legion" don't really have an answer.

          Ideally, I'd like to see a sharp power jump when you first turn a creature into a battle group, with progressive levels of size providing less and less of a numerical boost (apart from magnitude). I'm not sure how you'd go about it systematically, though.

          EDIT: No, wait, that was a lie. I'd give battle groups a rule like "against smaller targets, the battle group gets double 9s on attack and damage rolls. If they're 3 size categories larger, this improves to double 8s, and to double 7s if they're three or more categories larger. Solo targets like the PCs count as size 0. That should give a sharp bonus to groups made of elite or supernatural units, since they'll have larger starting die pools. To go along with it...
          • Size has no effect on attack, damage, or soak, but you add twice your Size to your Magnitude.
          • Poor Drill reduces magnitude by two, and Elite Drill increases it by two, with corresponding penalties/bonuses to command rolls. No other effect; I hate how fiddly it is now.
          • Might ceases to be a thing; if the group is made of demons or Dragonblooded or something with supernatural abilities, they just get Charms normally.
          The idea of auto-clashing all melee attacks instead of having an AoE (and maybe even a regular attack) feels tasty, but it's probably not worth the hassle.
          Last edited by Grod_the_giant; 11-05-2020, 02:44 PM.

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          • #20
            It's not as much a matter of Essence, as it is of infrastructure, allies, preparation and circumstance. A single Solar, or even a group of them, is as likely to have any lasting impact on the Realm as a similar number of Lunars, for example. That's true even at high essence. On the other hand, a solar that has been left alone for long enough to get some influence, connections, resources and support, can become a real threat even at E1. Especially if (as is the basic assumption of the setting) current circumstances can prevent the Realm from using all the possible power against them.



            The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Grod_the_giant View Post
              It honestly makes me kind of sad how much weaker battle groups make supernatural beings. A few extra dice and static value doesn't come close to making up for all the advantages numbers give you, which means that questions like "can we fight this whole legion" don't really have an answer.

              Ideally, I'd like to see a sharp power jump when you first turn a creature into a battle group, with progressive levels of size providing less and less of a numerical boost (apart from magnitude). I'm not sure how you'd go about it systematically, though.

              EDIT: No, wait, that was a lie. I'd give battle groups a rule like "against smaller targets, the battle group gets double 9s on attack and damage rolls. If they're 3 size categories larger, this improves to double 8s, and to double 7s if they're three or more categories larger. Solo targets like the PCs count as size 0. That should give a sharp bonus to groups made of elite or supernatural units, since they'll have larger starting die pools. To go along with it...
              • Size has no effect on attack, damage, or soak, but you add twice your Size to your Magnitude.
              • Poor Drill reduces magnitude by two, and Elite Drill increases it by two, with corresponding penalties/bonuses to command rolls. No other effect; I hate how fiddly it is now.
              • Might ceases to be a thing; if the group is made of demons or Dragonblooded or something with supernatural abilities, they just get Charms normally.
              The idea of auto-clashing all melee attacks instead of having an AoE (and maybe even a regular attack) feels tasty, but it's probably not worth the hassle.
              I personally just solve the issue by letting most battlegroups use charms that their constituent parts mostly have. Fighting a size 2 battlegroup of bloodapes? They can use their bone shattering roar to make a battlegroup ranged attack. Battlegroup of young terrestrials? They have their excellency and damage enhancing charms. It’s subject to a case by case basis though, some charms like Principle of Motion become really really good when combined with command actions and all the benefits of size/might.

              Which actually still makes them a lot weaker than they would be individually, but I’m okay with that because the game mechanics is not attempting to be a global physics engine from which the setting naturally springs up. If I feel like fighting a legion should be tougher I’ll peel more DBs out of the battlegroup and split the battle up into more scenes, if my players are killing their way through a hell army I’ll battlegroup up the bloodapes.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                I’m okay with that because the game mechanics is not attempting to be a global physics engine from which the setting naturally springs up.
                I don't need a perfect physics engine, but... it's the same issue as high-CR minons in 4e D&D-- if I'm cornered by ten Dragonblooded, I don't know if I'm facing a bunch of mooks I can punch right through or a deadly threat. As the player, OR as a GM.

                It's not a BIG issue, since a good GM can convey the information through context clues and genre conventions, but it's a bit annoying.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Grod_the_giant View Post
                  I don't need a perfect physics engine, but... it's the same issue as high-CR minons in 4e D&D-- if I'm cornered by ten Dragonblooded, I don't know if I'm facing a bunch of mooks I can punch right through or a deadly threat. As the player, OR as a GM.

                  It's not a BIG issue, since a good GM can convey the information through context clues and genre conventions, but it's a bit annoying.
                  Yeah, that’s not the only place that’s an issue either. There’s a line Solar against your Wyld Hunt, is this a Dawn with 5s in all relevant abilities and 50 charms who’s going to slay half your circle unless you spend 3 sessions preparing a carnival of death traps for her? Or is it a Dawn built like Volfer that you’re going to silly hats only*? You just don’t know without the ST dropping hints, like letting you know that 5 of these 20 DBs are recurring villains with names and full sheets, or the Dawn slayed an entire Wyld Hunt on their own.


                  *I can’t link it because YouTube is being dumb but just YouTube search it

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Grod_the_giant View Post
                    I don't need a perfect physics engine, but... it's the same issue as high-CR minons in 4e D&D-- if I'm cornered by ten Dragonblooded, I don't know if I'm facing a bunch of mooks I can punch right through or a deadly threat. As the player, OR as a GM.
                    I mean, if you're the GM and you're planning a fight breaking out... Like... You probably have a mild idea as to whether they're a Battlegroup to be cleared or a group of actual Antagonists because you, ideally, have them statted up.

                    And if you hadn't because you didn't expect it to be a fight, you can tell the players "Heyyo I didn't plan for a fight to start this week so can we pick this up next week?"

                    Now I admit I have some... ISSUES with the antagonists as assumed in Ex3 (Most aren't really that much simpler to stat up than a full character as the only streamlining is an abstraction of stats but you still gotta record their Willpower, Health, attack pools, and Charms and the advice on how to make those is a resounding "What am I, a rulebook? Figure it out") but I don't have a massive problem with Battlegroups as written.

                    Mostly because my read of Battlegroups is that they're intended to simulate the Numerous Horde that exist SOLELY to get chopped down. I wouldn't make a Battlegroup of DBs because DBs shouldn't fill the role of Faceless Troops to be mowed down. Make the Battlegroups be Demons or empowered mortal soldiers and put in as many DBs as actual statted antagonists as you can bear running before you want to kill yourself. (So about 6 for me, tops) I figure that DB War Charms (I'll need to refresh myself on them) will have some Umph that can buff up the efforts of Battlegroups with Command Actions.


                    Disclaimer: In favor of fun and enjoyment, but may speak up to warn you that you're gonna step on a metaphorical land mine

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                    • #25
                      Truly, the two most powerful forces in Creation are Protagonism and the Conservation of Ninjutsu.

                      Also I hope to god I never face a scenario where I have to fight a Battlegroup of Solar warriors.


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

                      Message me for Japanese translations.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Sorcerous Overlord View Post
                        Truly, the two most powerful forces in Creation are Protagonism and the Conservation of Ninjutsu.

                        Also I hope to god I never face a scenario where I have to fight a Battlegroup of Solar warriors.
                        Eh, don't worry. There probably won't ever be a situation where there's enough Solars in one place to justify using a Battlegroup. :P


                        Disclaimer: In favor of fun and enjoyment, but may speak up to warn you that you're gonna step on a metaphorical land mine

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Sorcerous Overlord View Post
                          Truly, the two most powerful forces in Creation are Protagonism and the Conservation of Ninjutsu.

                          Also I hope to god I never face a scenario where I have to fight a Battlegroup of Solar warriors.
                          Tepet Arada steps to the field at the battle of futile blood, seeing six solars gathered to fight, “fools” he says.

                          A lieutenant comes up to him and says “sir! It’s-“

                          Arada cuts him off “dont tell me their names, they’re all just random golden anathema to me now.” He charges in, cutting down three of the golden banners with the first swing of his blade.

                          Truly a master General, exploiting a barely known military truth about the inverse conservation of exalted might.

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                          • #28
                            I'd argue that the attitude and aptitudes of the Solar are a lot more relevant to how threatening they are than their Essence score.


                            He/him

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                            • #29
                              I have an impression that there are a few capabilities in the more discrete Solar Abilities that might give them an edge over Lunars in a similar scenario, but I might be overlooking some of the more interesting Manipulation Charms.

                              Still, the argument for low Essence Solars very well might apply to low Essence Lunars as well. The Scarlet Dynasty would be uniquely vulnerable at this time to them as well, and it could be said that the standards of the Silver Pact have favoured a cautious approach that somebody would need to openly break with to capitalise the most effectively upon this opportunity (although many Lunars might have issues with being too attached to the affairs of their Dominions to break away and do so).

                              Originally posted by Astralporing
                              It's not as much a matter of Essence, as it is of infrastructure, allies, preparation and circumstance. A single Solar, or even a group of them, is as likely to have any lasting impact on the Realm as a similar number of Lunars, for example. That's true even at high essence. On the other hand, a solar that has been left alone for long enough to get some influence, connections, resources and support, can become a real threat even at E1. Especially if (as is the basic assumption of the setting) current circumstances can prevent the Realm from using all the possible power against them.
                              I'm as concerned with the value of things beyond individual Celestial Exalted as anybody, but I'm sometimes concerned about overstating it to the point of obscuring other narratives that ought to be in the wheelhouse of Solars and similar. If Night's Master is the major influence on Exalted, I'd say that should extend to the blind minstrel with the enchanting voice being able to be a major transformative force all by himself.

                              I'm thinking now... do we call a Solar a menace to the Realm if he walks into the Deliberative chamber, compelling them with a combination of the audacity of it and the power to hold people until he is finished speaking, as he delivers the most scathing rebuke of all that they've ever done and paints the most unflattering picture of their personalities and motives? I don't think one's Essence needs to be too high for that, even without accounting for Supernal Ability.


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

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                                I'm thinking now... do we call a Solar a menace to the Realm if he walks into the Deliberative chamber, compelling them with a combination of the audacity of it and the power to hold people until he is finished speaking, as he delivers the most scathing rebuke of all that they've ever done and paints the most unflattering picture of their personalities and motives? I don't think one's Essence needs to be too high for that, even without accounting for Supernal Ability.
                                What has she done to make sure that her Majestic Radiant Presence isn't just going to be overwhelmed by willpower expense and have the exalted deliberative descend on her like she's a feast for crows? Is she posing as a mortal? Dragonblood? How does this Solar just get automatic access to one of the most integral inner chambers of the Realm government?

                                I think those answers should involve a campaign. Maybe if it wasn't the deliberative, but rather another governmental body of a different kingdom that wasn't filled with Exalted, and one of the lynchpins of the globe-spanning empire.

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