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  • Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    I think halving the dice-cap needs to address what happens to non-Solars. Halving Lunars to 3 with the potential for 6, and Dragonblooded to 2 or 3 with a specialty nerfs not just Excellencies but their whole Charm sets.

    If everybody's max dice-cap is moved to 5, but with some way of breaking that cap, how do you keep Solars both the mechanical monarchs of dice mountain, and not end up with them at huge dice-pools for lots of things if not everything anyway?

    It's no necessarily a bad idea, but it has a huge amount of knock on effects that mean redoing things to the point of getting closer to Ex:Ess rather than a simple house rule.

    Though you can keep the dice pool size down by just having more stuff grant successes instead of dice. Things could get interesting if you lifted the Storypath rule that by default bonus successes only apply if the initial roll has at least one success in it. Even though the average successes of rolling 12 dice, and 6 dice + 3 successes if you roll one success is almost the same in terms of average performance, the dice-pool is much more manageable and the odds of failing are higher (if still pretty small).
    I think something along the lines of : DB are limited to +3 dices, Solars are limited to +6 dices, everyone else is in between these 2.

    My personal approach would be to pass everything in automatic success, and limit terrestrial to 1 automatic successes (2 if they have a specialty), and Solars to 1/2 automatic successes (3 if they have some special condition, like investing at least 5 Charms in the Ability or something), but it's less granular that the dice solution, so I don't think a lot of people will buy into my personal preference.

    Probably remove the cap of excellencies based on Ability + Attribute. This way a low solar with a minimum Excellency investment can secure rolls of 2-3 successes, but trained Solars can still reach 8-9 successes on rolls. However, it becomes probably extremely rare to go past 10.

    Of course I'm not proposing/investing in a real Houserule right now since I'm waiting for ExEss, but if I was looking for a "fast houserule" I'd try to go this way first (reduces the size of dice pools). My problem would still be mote management I guess.


    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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    • I don't think you'll ever find a number that's the answer to "how do I stop people using numbers". There's no amount of Excellency that answer the issue of Excellencies being too powerful.

      This is 3e's version of "don't touch perfects until youve addressed lethality".


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

      Message me for Japanese translations.

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      • Originally posted by Sorcerous Overlord View Post
        I don't think you'll ever find a number that's the answer to "how do I stop people using numbers". There's no amount of Excellency that answer the issue of Excellencies being too powerful.

        This is 3e's version of "don't touch perfects until youve addressed lethality".
        I don't have a problem with the numbers as much as what they represent past a certain point given a Difficulty Scale. I don't really mind that there are subsystems like Craft with 100s of successes (other than, it's annoying to handle) because it's clear that 100s successes from a Craft roll is not to be compared to the normal Difficulty Scale.

        I'm just proposing something that try to reconcile the points that have been resumed in the discussion so far : 1) The need of some sort of universal and practical dice adders, but 2) their scalability and usability should be more adapted to the Difficulty Scale. It's still a bit complicated, given that the maximum of the Difficulty Scale given in the book is already feasible by human mortals systemically, so adding dices above this will necessarily result in rolls that go beyond the Difficulty Scale, which is kinda annoying


        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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        • Originally posted by Critian Caceorte View Post
          Apologies if I'm not understanding this correctly, but for your Essence cap idea, are you proposing that the limit on how much Essence you can spend is universal (the same amount among all Exalt types, like "Permanent Essence x 3 motes per turn,") and keeping dice caps the same, or that different Exalt types have different mote caps ("Solars can spend Permanent Essence x 4 motes per turn, and Terrestrials can spend Permanent Essence x 2 motes each turn") and have the same dice cap (like a universal "Max 5 dice").
          Universal Essence x #. The current base caps would remain the same (so you can stack in other Charms to get up to the current RAW numbers is you want), as well as differentiating Excellencies between types based on existing mechanics.

          So Solars can break the limit for their Supernal. DBs can go over their limit when a specialty applies. Lunars can Stunt to go over in some fashion. Probably Sidereals can go over to reduce TNs or some such. The idea there is to keep the same potential, but orient it towards character focus rather than general aptitude.

          I'd also make it per action, not per turn.

          Originally posted by Chausse View Post
          I think something along the lines of : DB are limited to +3 dices, Solars are limited to +6 dices, everyone else is in between these 2.
          For Excellencies or in general? If this is just what the max an Excellency can do, it might work out. If it's the max Charms can do, at all? autXautY covered why this has a lot of potential problems last page.

          My personal approach would be to pass everything in automatic success, and limit terrestrial to 1 automatic successes (2 if they have a specialty), and Solars to 1/2 automatic successes (3 if they have some special condition, like investing at least 5 Charms in the Ability or something), but it's less granular that the dice solution, so I don't think a lot of people will buy into my personal preference.
          I think moving everything to automatic successes is pretty functional. As I mentioned earlier, there's even taking it farther with the Storypath approach (Storypath moved to the default bonuses being automatic successes rather than dice bonuses specifically to keep the rolls smaller). Exalted dice-pools are plenty huge for people that enjoy the buckets of dice feel (which I admit, I sometimes do), so I don't think you'd have an issue with selling the idea on that ground. I think the bigger problem is reducing the caps so far.

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          • Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
            Universal Essence x #. The current base caps would remain the same (so you can stack in other Charms to get up to the current RAW numbers is you want), as well as differentiating Excellencies between types based on existing mechanics.

            So Solars can break the limit for their Supernal. DBs can go over their limit when a specialty applies. Lunars can Stunt to go over in some fashion. Probably Sidereals can go over to reduce TNs or some such. The idea there is to keep the same potential, but orient it towards character focus rather than general aptitude.

            I'd also make it per action, not per turn.
            Ah, I see. That also means that the DB Permanent Essence advantage at Character Creation (Starting with Essence 2 instead of 1) would have a greater effect, since they can spend a lot more at the start of a campaign compared to the other Exalts. Which would help put them on the same level as the others.

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            • Yeah. Though they wouldn't want to go against a Supernal Melee in a duel suddenly, or think they're going to out clever a Lunar because of it. DBs also get way less free Excellencies than Solars, and have less broad ones than Lunars, so it's not a huge shift in relative power. Solars get lots of free Excellencies, but they don't start that great. DBs get less, but they start better (and are better since DB ones tend to have dice-tricks as well). But over time, Solars will start to overwhelm that.

              It adds to the logic of the Wyld Hunt in a narrative sense, since finding and killing Anathema while they're still low Essence even if they're going to come back is a lot "safer" than letting them sit around gaining potency.

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              • This is one of those things where the general difficulty scales are tuned to be somewhat sensible for unExalted characters mostly in mind, and that means that the levels of successes that Excellencies generate can have almost no meaning... while the Craft and Sorcery subsystems, and to some extent places where the combat system goes (and probably a bunch of other mechanics), which completely Exalt PC facing are designed completely in reference to what the Excellencies can pump out (rather than the idea that the sux actually mean something so much?). You then get weirdness in those systems if you try and "tame down" the Excellencies to match the general difficulty scale.

                edit; re Chausse last comment.
                Last edited by Ghosthead; 11-20-2020, 07:54 PM.

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                • Originally posted by Chausse View Post

                  I agree with you about the Dice Adder phenomenon, and I like excellencies. I think my main issues with them is the quantity of successes/dice they give. rolling around 3-12 dices per roll is something I can do, rolling 15+ per roll becomes annoying and makes the Difficulty Scale look really blend. I think the effectiveness of Excellencies would scale much better with the current Difficulty Scale (except specific subsystems like Craft and Socrecy) if their numerical effectiveness was halved.
                  The difficulty scale was borked even in 1E. I had a PC roll 10 successes on 8 dice for some sort of intimidation roll (can't remember the exact attribute+ability) to scare the king into doing what he wanted. I looked at the "5 successes is an epic feat of legend" and paused, by accident creating a lot of tension in the room, and then said, "He dies."

                  "What?!"

                  "Yeah, he keels over dead."

                  "But I just looked at him and didn't even say anything!"

                  "I know, but dude, you got 10 successes so he's just so fucking scared he's died from it."

                  "REALLY?!"

                  "Yeah."

                  "THIS IS AWESOME!"

                  That was part of the first session of my first exalted game. The same PC rolled 6 successes on his Str+Athletics check to land on a metagalapalan bird stealing the princess they had to save. Again, I looked at 5 successes = epic feat of legend" was like "Yeah, you get on the bird." "REALLY?!" My first group loved exalted for that -- their experience was in playing the gimped base characters in oWoD where doing anything meaningful is super hard.

                  Again, a 1-5 success scale even without excellencies was a little too easy. Excellencies exacerbated an already existing problem in the system -- I don't know why the writers of 3E core didn't revisit that in more detail, it wasn't like they were making a new edition, oh oops, they were.

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                  • Originally posted by Tytalus View Post

                    The difficulty scale was borked even in 1E. I had a PC roll 10 successes on 8 dice for some sort of intimidation roll (can't remember the exact attribute+ability) to scare the king into doing what he wanted. I looked at the "5 successes is an epic feat of legend" and paused, by accident creating a lot of tension in the room, and then said, "He dies."

                    "What?!"

                    "Yeah, he keels over dead."

                    "But I just looked at him and didn't even say anything!"

                    "I know, but dude, you got 10 successes so he's just so fucking scared he's died from it."

                    "REALLY?!"

                    "Yeah."

                    "THIS IS AWESOME!"

                    That was part of the first session of my first exalted game. The same PC rolled 6 successes on his Str+Athletics check to land on a metagalapalan bird stealing the princess they had to save. Again, I looked at 5 successes = epic feat of legend" was like "Yeah, you get on the bird." "REALLY?!" My first group loved exalted for that -- their experience was in playing the gimped base characters in oWoD where doing anything meaningful is super hard.

                    Again, a 1-5 success scale even without excellencies was a little too easy. Excellencies exacerbated an already existing problem in the system -- I don't know why the writers of 3E core didn't revisit that in more detail, it wasn't like they were making a new edition, oh oops, they were.

                    That's funny to realize that this configuration was present ages ago in the game. Thanks for your insight from experience.

                    Heavy Arms I didn't mention it, but obviously ALL other dice-adders Charms should disappear, where necessary (things that are not Feat of Strength etc ...). This has implications concerning the points leveraged by autXautY : There should probably be a rework of the mote pool of every exalt, and a redesign of the Anima Banner, among other things. I personally that, given we have Excellencies, all Charms that are dice-adders are useless.


                    My homebrew (Leave comments if you want to help improve) : A quick recap of all the pools and stats for Quick Exalted 3E characters

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Tytalus View Post
                      I had a PC roll 10 successes on 8 dice for some sort of intimidation roll (can't remember the exact attribute+ability) to scare the king into doing what he wanted. I looked at the "5 successes is an epic feat of legend" and paused, by accident creating a lot of tension in the room, and then said,
                      "He dies."
                      On an imaginary scale I just made up that measures houserules by "how utterly transformative it is to the tenor of the game", weighted by "how naturally and commonly it happens at tables", this one has to be at or at least very near the top.

                      RAW, outside of very specific circumstances (like attack rolls), difficulties are "supposed" to be binary. A large dice pool increases the probability of hitting the difficulty, and *maybe* a given roll has steps of difficulties baked in (2 Awareness successes spot the ambushers ahead, and 5 on the same roll also spots their boss who is observing from a distance). But having hit the Difficulty of whatever you're trying to do, you succeed, that's it. Exalted are "supposed" to be epic because of tasks they can *attempt*, not by collateral awesome that happens accidentally when they're doing mundane stuff.

                      That said, *every Storyteller I have ever known* has done this to one degree or another. I think there is something to that.

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                      • At around page 5 I glazed over, but this was a good thread to read (most of) as I'm about to get another Exalted game going.

                        I'll say, having played around in some other Exalted adjacent games recently, I've learned to appreciate the opportunity cost of Ability Dots, the power of TN7, and the glory of Double 10s.

                        At least by the part of this thread where I went crosseyed, no one had addressed the elephant in the room of just how many Ability Dots you get. If you have so many ability dots that putting 3 into Resistance is a no-brainer, then that is the problem. The base idea that 3/3/Specialty Excellency will do in a pinch is solid, for my tastes. The problem is that you can have 3/3/Speciality Excellency for half of the sheet without trying.

                        It's a hard thing to calibrate though, because too few dots and you end up with one trick ponies, or "realistic" but ineffectual characters.

                        While the "pyramid" version of chargen in FATE feels too artificial, it is a reasonable goal to work back from. Trying to give players enough of whatever chargen currency to be Supreme at 1 thing, Incredibly good at 2, fair at 2, passable at another 2, and lacking in the rest. Adjust accordingly. That would need to be after bonus points too, because if you translate a pyramid of 5 dots, that's 25 points, which is probably not coincidentally close to the number we have, but then you are using BP to actually hit those 5s and 4s, so it throws that out the window.

                        When people are talking about difficulty, are they talking about the 1-5 song and dance in the systems chapter, the numbers suggested at the beginning of the Antagonists Chapter, or the actual antagonists and hazards we are presented with?
                        1-5 works for excellency-less ball-parking, but it quickly gets destroyed by magic, as it should.
                        The QC numbers are slightly more informed, but still don't quite accomodate Magic.
                        The antagonists are benchmarked against those numbers, so same.

                        Better out of the box threats would make Exalted much more accessible, and everything being calibrated to "without magic" and every PC type being categorically magical makes that a bit more daunting.

                        With all that said and done, now we get to talk about how these adjusted numbers warp the setting! /killme

                        Edit: should have at least read the most recent page to see that the difficulty thing was talked about in more detail.
                        Last edited by MoroseMorgan; 11-22-2020, 10:33 PM.


                        Raksha are my fae-vorite.

                        Reincarnation of magnificentmomo.

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                        • Dr. LoveMonkey actually made the point about the number of Ability dots on page 2; it's a central aspect of his argument that as you've noted Solars can so easily have enough base dice + Excellencies to barrel through "common" challenges without even straining their points for what they want to focus on.

                          I'm not sure the Fudge/Fate pyramid is the solution. Though there's a whole mess to things to deal with since the initial 3e devs (despite vocal fan opposition) decided to keep the BP/XP divide instead of unifying it into a single system. Which is kind of a whole other thing to dig into.

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                          • Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                            Dr. LoveMonkey actually made the point about the number of Ability dots on page 2; it's a central aspect of his argument that as you've noted Solars can so easily have enough base dice + Excellencies to barrel through "common" challenges without even straining their points for what they want to focus on.

                            I'm not sure the Fudge/Fate pyramid is the solution. Though there's a whole mess to things to deal with since the initial 3e devs (despite vocal fan opposition) decided to keep the BP/XP divide instead of unifying it into a single system. Which is kind of a whole other thing to dig into.
                            I had read their posts as getting close to what I was seeing as the issue, and going the other direction with it (change things to match the dots we have, not change the dots we have to match reasonable outcomes), but that could just be me misreading. Don't want to mischaracterize anyone's statements.

                            I'll out myself as someone that doesn't mind, and even somewhat likes XP/BP divides, because incentivizing certain things at chargen over game growth is a nob to be dialed.
                            The problem is when you have XP/BP and scaling costs resulting in major deficits. Knowing you are reasonably sacrificing some optimization for getting something you want is very different from accidentally missing out on 100xp.

                            Although, thinking about it more. Instead of trying to puppetmaster what people spend their BP on, you could just adjust the amount of ability/merit/charms etc. As is, bonus points can potentially be like half of your chargen.

                            I wasn't advocating for straight doing the pyramid, because like I said, it feels artificial, but backtracking from it. If you only had enough dots to make 5-4-4-3-3-2-2-1-1, you could sacrifice to get all 3s (in a world with no scaling cost), but with the number of dots we have, the cap at 3 from those points, BP, and scaling XP costs, we are in a bit of a bind.

                            To loop back to the original thread premise explicitly, the other thing I've missed being outside of Exalted recently, is Excellencies, exacerbated by the dirth of ability dots in the games I was playing. Spending currency to be more effective is a good thing. Adjust accordingly from there.

                            Edit: oh yeah, and those currency spending for greater effect being explicit and laid out, so you aren't trying to read the tea leaves of "did they not give this ability a dice adder for balance reasons, or word count?"
                            Last edited by MoroseMorgan; 11-22-2020, 11:42 PM.


                            Raksha are my fae-vorite.

                            Reincarnation of magnificentmomo.

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                            • Originally posted by MoroseMorgan View Post
                              Better out of the box threats would make Exalted much more accessible, and everything being calibrated to "without magic" and every PC type being categorically magical makes that a bit more daunting.
                              This is very hard to do, because an enormous number of the QCs in the published books, Hundred Devil Night Parade, and Adversaries of the Righteous are written like that, and what's worse is they're all really good and consistent with relation to eachother. There's a limited number of things that are dangerous that will consistently be encountered by your character in a given type of campaign, and it's not a huge list compared to what abilities you get. Yes, I can easily envision a time where you'd need to make a craft roll to avoid some damage, like a falling First Age skyship or a sinking First Age submarine or something, but it's just not that common or easy to do.

                              For reference, let's look at combat. Exalted is a high action kung-fu game, something like 13 of 26 abilities are directly or indirectly related to combat, evocation trees are all combat, MA trees are all combat, it's a big deal. It takes 3/28 ability dots and 2/18 bonus points to get 5 melee off chargen, and 2/18 attribute dots to get at least 3 dex off chargen, and many people even default to 5. That amounts to roughly 11% of each of those catagories. You're almost 90% invested in not-combat, and you've got a resting defense of 5-7, with excellency.

                              What do the printed QCs look like? Well, some of them are okay. If you attack a party with a group of claw striders who outnumber them at least 1.5 to 1, that can be effective in getting players to at least spend some motes. A Strider's Ambush Hunter and Distract merits are useless, but otherwise they might be okay in certain situations. What else we got?

                              Well there's the manticore, who's stats are...okay, on the other hand their writeup says they're very specifically solo-hunters, so unless it's a solo game no use. It also has the merits Scorpion Lash and Leaping pounce, both of which are near useless.

                              Buck ogre? His BEST attack is 8 dice, he also has a 7 and a 6 one. Don't tell me the Buck Ogre isn't supposed to be a combat enemy either, three of his four merits are combat merits and he doesn't have any dice in anything but combat and Feats of Strength.

                              Quaghead Tribe? Mortals.

                              Isabet Maken and her group? Mortals, and giant frog mutants with 6-die attacks.

                              Bloodthristy? Mortals.

                              Ghostfisher? Solitary hunter with an 8 die attack.

                              Black Hollow? A living black hole that sucks colour from the world, solitary hunter, 9 die attack with 9 base damage. It has a special gambit to distract it with a bright colour. WHY? Who would ever be threatened enough by one to care to do anything except explode it? Oh it's got a special merit to increase penalties to seeing it in dim light, what's it's stealth? 4 dice.

                              Steel Eater? It's a creature that devours metals, including daiklaves. 8 die attack, 10 damage, Defense 2, soak 10.

                              Eight Tailed Mole Hound. 7 die attack.

                              Ixier, Who Dreams for the Dead. Solo fighter, 7 die attack, 4 soak, 3 defense.

                              Fog shark! 7 die attack.

                              Cockatrice? Solo hunter, every one of its attacks is trash except the Eyes of Flame, which simply put it isn't going to get to use with its 6-die join battle and relatively bad rest of statline. It also has a special gambit on how to kill itself using a mirror. WHY? Who is so scared of this thing that you'd ever consider using that?

                              The list goes on, and on, but I'll stop there.


                              On top of all of those bad attack numbers, many, if not most, are even paired with bad damage numbers, so on the 1 in 50 chance you do hit, you don't even do anything.

                              This is just a selection of creatures that are effectively useless against a party that takes 5 melee right off the bat. They're not useful to use to make the party to spend motes if you have a bunch of scenes in one short time period. They're not useful in groups or as mooks, they're just a huge waste of creative talent and publishing space. Of course, if everybody except the really dedicated fighters in the group had 2-3 melee dots, no specialty in melee, and 2-3 dex, they'd be alright. Still not dangerous, god no, nothing even close to resembling the basic geometric outline of the word dangerous, but at least you could use them for something.


                              So for the low cost of 11% of some of your chargen dots, you immunize yourself against all of that up there, the flame eyed basalisks, the giant two headed wyld-ogres, the living black holes, the titanic ghost wyrms, all of it. That's a chargen choice that you're going to be making. Certain parts of that I don't even have a problem with, yeah, a Solar who's the greatest swordsman in the direction, and the most dexterous, probably shouldn't have much to fear from a fog shark. It's just that you can be the greatest sorcerer ever, spending something like 60% of your chargen resources on that, blowing past any concept that you're not one of the greatest wizards of the entire age and just be like "Oh, and by the way I'm also the greatest swordsman ever, untouchable by anything in this world or beyond, who's only concern is going 2v1 against second circle demons. And also I'm immune to coral snake bites, shrug off the arguments of expert social influencers, can spot an assassin a mile away, and can jog along a tightrope with ease."

                              Which, and I've said this before, could even be an okay concept for a game, you just don't even care, by nature of being exalted you get to do those things. If that's the case though 1) don't make it optional, otherwise characters who didn't get the memo are just going to die, and 2) don't fill the damn book with pointless stuff and 3) especially don't fill it with pointless stuff which is so damn cool.

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                              • Originally posted by Chausse View Post


                                That's funny to realize that this configuration was present ages ago in the game. Thanks for your insight from experience.

                                Heavy Arms I didn't mention it, but obviously ALL other dice-adders Charms should disappear, where necessary (things that are not Feat of Strength etc ...). This has implications concerning the points leveraged by autXautY : There should probably be a rework of the mote pool of every exalt, and a redesign of the Anima Banner, among other things. I personally that, given we have Excellencies, all Charms that are dice-adders are useless.
                                You're very welcome! And, yeah, I'm thinking back to when I ran this, and we're talking 2003 or 2004.

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