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Good points and quotes you find that are applicable to Exalted

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  • Good points and quotes you find that are applicable to Exalted

    Ok I've found some stuff.... and since there's no other place, i might as well start the ball rolling on a thread compilation.

    What kinds of pastries do Dynasts eat? Where in Creation would I find meat pasties? Are cakes and pies common in areas with climate similar to Chiaroscuro? Do the Lintha kidnap master chefs to make their cannibal feasts into delicious pies? What kind of dessert should I bring to a potluck parley with a noble raksha?
    Logically speaking, a proper pastry requires a few ingredients which are not going to be common in all parts of Creation.

    Crusts are going to require good flour, refined sugar, and possibly eggs and milk. Which all speaks to organized agriculture. Not going to happen in the West; they don't really have the arable land to do large-scale enough grain farming for serious pastry-making, and importing fine flour and confectioner's sugar is going to be prohibitively expensive. They'll be aware of pies, but most people will never actually eat one in an average year. Their desserts will be mostly fruit-based, I expect, possibly candied fruits.

    The North has your basic agricultural prerequisites, but the climate is less good for your fruits and sweeter vegetables. You're going to have a bias towards meat, mince-meat, and generally nut-based pies, plus non-tropical fruits in the temperate regions. Expect dense, high-calorie desserts.

    The South and East are prime pie territory, with excellent agricultural land and favorable climates. I would expect the coastal areas of the south to favor lighter, less filling desserts, and even chilled desserts for those who can afford luxuries, such as your Key Lime style pies. The East will have a weight more towards berries and fruit toppings on cakes.

    The Blessed Isle, fat off the tribute of their vassal states, eschews pie in favor of elaborate multi-tiered cakes and delicacies like peacock tongues which are chosen more for their rarity and expense than actual culinary merit.

    Raksha like things that look fancy, and don't actually have to eat regular food at all, so they're like the Blessed Isle turned up to 11. Lots of fondant, lots of things which only come from far away in tiny portions and spoil rapidly. Bright colors.

  • #2
    Banditry is a subject that needs more eyeballs on it.

    Originally posted by StephenLS, Exalted Discord
    I honestly kinda hate the term bandit because it calls to mind “Smelly dirty evil man who lives in a forest and it’s okay to kill him” in anyone who’s played any amount of D&D.
    Which is... not nearly as interesting as the reality of bandit as a delegitimizing term applied to rebels, versus rebel applied as a romantic term to outlaws who need to conceptualize themselves as something other than losers squatting in forests along roads.
    Sometimes bandits a “The veterans of the last war you fought, who you fired without paying, and who are cross with you and know how to fight a war.”​
    Originally posted by Everspace, Exalted Discord
    Generally I posit that:
    • Bandits represent a lot of contextually different people
    • "Not part of society" can be for many reasons, some of which are self-serving, and others due to circumstance.
    • Bandits as a class of "acceptable obstacle" in games like orcs were/are is probably falling into the same holes.
    For me, a lot of "classic" banditry really mirrors displaced or disposed populations from societies. In FFXIV, this could be the Ala Mhegans(sp?), who were kicked out of their country, and essentially booted out of the major urban centers for varying economic or social reasons. They have resorted to banditry for despiration in many cases. Same with the Duskwrights, who are elezen shunned from the societies in Gridania even if they are real residents of there. I feel both Skyrim (which has a really big war with probably displaced peoples) and FO4 (the world is a barren wasteland) mirror this as well, but due to their maker's ineptitude, doesn't really tie in at all so they get reduced to "acceptable targets devoid of nuance". The "Always Evil bandit".
    I see a lot of these sorts of tropes come up with actual real homeless people, who either can't participate in normal society through actual-physical/mental-incapability through no fault of their own, the social-economic situation where "this is the only spot they can live without dieing" due to unable to find or aquire shelter and food. A lot of them turn to theft or other behaviors that are "not great", but like, attempting to sustain themselves which.
    Banditry smells/feels a lot like orcs, which is a jumble of unfortunate tropes to sustain cultures that we probably shouldn't perpetuate without investigating with nuance.



    • #3
      A note on worldbuilding:

      Some from the general exalted thread on SV:
      Think about how they falteringly describe those markets: “They had lots of spices and some colorful rugs.”

      (What spices? What color were the rugs?)

      “You know - spices. Foreign spices. Foreign rugs.”

      (But is it bright turmeric and cumin, cut with flour, glowing yellow in glass jars to attract the tourists? Is it the cinnamon and star anise of the Christmas market, the paper cup of mulled cider? Where are we supposed to be, again?)
      Some good stuff from the general exalted thread on SV:

      You do remember the things were built by slaves to make war upon and kill their masters for them as they could not do themselves, right? I mean, that was the entire point of the exercise. Sol Invictus releases his pack of uncontrollable murder-shinies not to make people into heroes, but to make people who can gut Theion.

      Being so badass you can make war on the world-titans that built Creation is pretty heroic, and in the course of doing so you will probably commit plenty of heroic deeds, but that's really a side effect.
      Panther was a jackass gladiator who killed people because it made for a better show, and drowned himself in drugs and women. He Exalted when he decided there must be more to life than this. That was all - just making an internal resolution to change, and who knows how long that would have lasted in the face of violence, addiction, and sponsor-pressure? Hell, in 2e he doesn't even do that, he works out he wants to change after the Exaltation.

      Dace was Exalted for making a desperate tactical decision that would have killed him and everyone with him if he hadn't Exalted right there - i.e. a mistake. Demetheus Exalted for killing a bandit who was trying to kill him - and specifically not a very tough bandit. Jasara Exalted for exploring a ruin - not for finding anything, mind you, she was led to the actual good stuff by her past life memories. Sayn Exalted because his village was being destroyed and he prayed to the Unconquered Sun for help. Tremalion Exalted when he was thrown in a dungeon. Faka Kun Exalted when she was caught stealing something and decided to run away rather than surrender and go to prison.

      Those are just the canon Solars. I'm not looking at Lunars (who get it for not dying), Dragon-Blooded (who get it for being born), Alchemicals (who get it for being made), Sidereals (who get it for [redacted]), Infernals (who get it for not getting it) and Abyssals (who canonically can get it because a Deathlord likes the colour of their hair). I'm not even looking at the inevitable "nobody farm boy who sees his village burn down/decides to go see the world/declares that someone needs to change things" and gets Exalted for his raw untapped potential huaaaah.

      If you're Exalted, it's because some fragment of the Sun's power saw you and thought "yeah, they could put this to use". That applies to almost every human being, mind you - per developer statements stretching back to 1e, Exaltation is perfectly willing to lower their bar if necessary. The example Jenna Moran gave was, in a world of absolute comfort and decadence, a girl Exalting as a Lunar because her ice cream was colder than she expected but she ate it anyway. With that in mind, it's very difficult not to call Solar Exaltation a lottery, because out of the untold millions who might qualify for it, slightly over 100 actually receive it, and besides the qualia for this worthiness (if it's in any way consistent) is, by and large, a mystery.

      Even without that in mind, even assuming there's a direct and objective cause-and-effect behind Exaltation, it's very difficult to say that anyone who achieved Solar Exaltation deserved it, much less everyone. This is because the power being offered is so wildly out of proportion with anything else a human being can possibly achieve. Arianna deserved the ability to reshape the world to her whims because she studied so hard? Really? She studied that hard, hard enough to deserve being an inheritor of the universe? Did she? Honestly? Is it possible to study hard enough that you actually, genuinely deserve to rule all that the sunlight touches and more besides?

      She certainly thinks so. Divine Right of Kings is much easier to tout when the King of the Gods apparently saw you doing your homework and thought "yeah, she's earned phenomenal cosmic power". I don't believe it, personally, and I don't think readers are supposed to.

      If I bought a lottery ticket - or had it bought for me, or picked it up off the street, or stole it from someone - then yes, I've entered the lottery. Does that mean I earned a jackpot of hundreds of millions, if I win?
      Exaltation is not, and has never been merit-based, because characterizing it as-such would fly in the face of everything Exalted is attempting to speak to in regards to the availability and use/abuse of personal power. Good-hearted and deserving heroes die cold and unmourned in ditches all the time in Creation while tyrants eat hearty meals of stolen grains and livestock, which is both the point and part of what makes it the Age of Sorrows. Exaltation is a lottery by design, drawn from a small but more elite pool of mortals, but it remains a lottery nonetheless no different than circumstances of birth. This goes for every Exalt-type, whether they be Solar, Dragonblooded, Lunar or Infernal.

      Now characters on the other hand, they might think themselves deserving, and it is certainly within their right to imagine so given the trials they have faced and the deeds they have performed. Its extremely easy once you own the power to control your own life to look back in hindsight and claim, "I got here by my own two hands." Which is also part of the point, because thinking that you have somehow Earned the right to an ineffable cosmic power beyond reckoning is the first step towards engineering your own downfall by it.
      Here are some facts about how stupid we all actually are...

      The average adult with no chess training will beat the average five year old with no chess training 100 games out of 100 under normal conditions.

      The average 1600 Elo rated player – who'll probably be a player with several years of experience – will beat that average adult 100 games out of 100.

      A top “super” grandmaster will beat that 1600 rated player 100 games out of 100.

      This distribution is pretty similar across other domains which require purely mental rather than physical skill, but it's easy to measure in chess because there's a very accurate rating system and a record of millions of games to draw on.

      Here's what that means.

      The top performers in an intellectual domain outperform even an experienced amateur by a similar margin to that with which an average adult would outperform an average five year old. That experienced amateur might come up with one or two moves which would make the super GM think for a bit, but their chances of winning are effectively zero.

      The average person on the street with no training or experience wouldn't even register as a challenge. To a super GM, there'd be no quantifiable difference between them and an untrained five year old in how easy they are to beat. Their chances are literally zero.

      What's actually being measured by your chess Elo rating is your ability to comprehend a position, take into account the factors which make it favourable to one side or another, and choose a move which best improves your position. Do that better than someone else on a regular basis, you'll have a higher rating than them.

      So, the ability of someone like Magnus Carlsen, Alexander Grischuk or Hikaru Nakamura to comprehend and intelligently process a chess position surpasses the average adult to a greater extent than that average adult's ability surpasses that of an average five year old.

      Given that, it seems likely that the top performers in other intellectual domains will outperform the average adult by a similar margin. And this seems to be borne out by elite performers who I'd classify as the “super grandmasters” of their fields, like, say, Collier in music theory or Ramanujan in mathematics. In their respective domains, their ability to comprehend and intelligently process domain-specific information is, apparently – although less quantifiably than in chess – so far beyond the capabilities of even an experienced amateur that their thinking would be pretty much impenetrable to a total novice.

      This means that people's attempts to apply “common sense” - i.e., untrained thinking – to criticise scientific or historical research or statistical analysis or a mathematical model or an economic policy is like a five year old turning up at their parent's job and insisting they know how to do it better.

      Imagine it.

      They would not only be wrong, they would be unlikely to even understand the explanation of why they were wrong. And then they would cry, still failing to understand, still believing that they're right and that the whole adult world must be against them. You know, like “researchers” on Facebook.

      That's where relying on "common sense" gets you. To an actual expert you look like an infant having a tantrum because the world is too complicated for you to understand.

      And that, my friends, is science.


      • #4

        The wound wouldn't stop bleeding.

        He supposed his old friend deserved their due. He didn't know a way to fix this quickly. During the war against the primordials he'd prioritised getting good enough to kill his opponent before poison and wounds would become an issue, and after it he'd only invested enough into that particular skill set to render what little challenge remained a minor annoyance.

        The chosen of battles he'd known for millennia, a friend closer that his lunar partner knew that. They also knew that any fight between them would only end one way.

        He hadn't seen this coming, none of them had. The dragonblooded and sidereal turning on the rest of the host... That would have been madness to even suggest. Sure, circles of exalts deciding to kill each other still happened far more often than the delibrative would of liked, but the entire five score fellowship?

        The wound didn't even really hurt that much, just wouldn't stop bleeding.

        When the ambush happened at the feast, he'd killed his fair share of the traitor chosen of the earth, they couldn't stand against him. But then his equipment started to fail, blows he sent missed when they shouldn't, blows that he should have trivially evaded where somehow finding there mark. A death of a thousand cuts seemed inevitable, he had to retreat.

        Then he ran into his old friend. They spouted some nonsense about the Solars destroying creation, about how we'd gone to far. Then wasted there life giving him this bloody wound that just wouldn't stop bleeding.

        Sure there had been some risky proposals which the fellowship as a whole advised against like Operation Wyldlands. But his friend had been one of the people to help plan the bloody thing. Just because the rest of the fellowship couldn't be convinced by the sensible few that agreed with the need to improve our defences, doesn't mean that the delibrative couldn't make the right choice. Every damn major project they went through had some sidereals helping and advocating it. And now somehow they had managed to convince themselves that betrayal was a good idea! And they called Solars mad.

        He was going to die because of this stupid wound.

        When the dragonblooded caught up to him again, they would prevail. They'd done their homework. They'd found the secret weaknesses of his armour and exploited it, they knew the flaw in his perfection and revelled in it, and he could feel more and more of his anchors of power being broken. They had realised he would kill a lot of them before he fell, and decided yeah, it would be worth it.

        And this damned wound wouldn't stop bleeding!!!

        Funny. The preparation, the desperation, the will to die and the conviction to stand against those who'd considered you allies for centuries. It reminded him of that first war.

        But that would make him a primordial to them wouldn't it.

        A monster far beyond them, that had them chained to its will. A being whose whims and apathy lead to the deaths of those they held dear and massacres on a scale far beyond mortal comprehension. An entity that could erase them, and only face censor from their piers.

        Did that make him a monster? or did it make them traitors? Both?

        He'd never really thought about it, but death had a way of giving you perspective. If he was right then, then they were right now. If they were traitors now using the dragonblooded as tools, then he was a tool of even greater traitors then.

        Regardless of the truth, then and now, his name would be blackened and the narrative set to make the victors the saviours of creation, and all loyal to him would be put to the sword. He'd never considered whether that was right then. But thinking of his kingdom in flames, its rivers choked in blood, he certainly thought it was wrong now.

        The blood loss was making him delirious and philosophical.

        Right. This wound would not make him lose his dignity in death.

        He could still sense the dragonblooded long before they sensed him.

        He'd seen what had happened to the Yozi when they'd surrendered to the tender mercies of an exalted host that thought it was justified. And he was at no risk of becoming neverborn.

        If his name was already mud, his kingdom awaiting execution. Then he'd carve out one last legend with his last breaths.

        What few survived this battle would tell horror stories of it for millenia to come if he had any say in it.


        • #5
          Primordials and agency.

          Primordial war pov.


          • #6
            Ancient Greeks and heroics:



            • #7
              This is, like, hilarious.

              I've just checked out the ranges of napoleonic era artillery. The maximum range of the largest one, from Russia, is a 12-pounder with a maximum range of 1800 metres, and an effective range of 825. Flight of the brilliant raptor has a range of 1800 yards, i.e. 1600 metres or 1.6 kilometres.

              The range of the brilliant raptor is a spell that outranges Napoleonic era artillery.

              Anyone marching up to a fort that holds a sorcerer is either suicidal, has good assets, or is just plain stupid.


              • #8
                In 3E, FotBR is Long range, same as a longbow. If that helps.

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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                  In 3E, FotBR is Long range, same as a longbow. If that helps.

                  Got any nice cool quotes you saw before?