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What if... there were no Excellencies?

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  • By way of example any actual PC looks something like this. Well make a sorcerer, Mariad the Magnificent, the goal here being to make a badass Solar wizard and then play around with whatever we have left over.

    Phys 3/5/3 8bp
    Soci 2/2/1
    Ment 3/5/3

    Abilities

    5 occult (sorcery) 2bp
    5 lore (first age lore) 2bp
    3 medicine
    5 melee (swords) 2bp
    5 awareness 2bp
    3 resistance
    3 athletics
    5 integrity (demons) 2bp
    2 linguistics
    2 dodge

    Merits

    3 Manse
    3 Familiar
    3 artifact
    1 language

    Charms

    Terrestrial circle sorcery (invulnerable skin of bronze)
    Storm wind rider
    Death of Obsidian Butterflies
    Summon Demon first circle
    Infallible Messenger
    Ox body x 2
    Wound Mending Care Technique
    Excellent Strike
    Fire and Stones Strike
    Dipping Swallow Defense
    Spirit Detecting Glance
    All Encompassing Sorcerer Sight
    Ancient Tongue Understanding
    Supernal Control Method


    Quick Stats

    Sword 13+10 (12 damage)
    Daiklave 14+10 (15/5 damage)
    Parry 7+5
    Dodge 4+3
    Join Battle 8+8 +1 against ambushes
    Soak 13 (light armour and skin of bronze)
    Guile 2
    Resolve 4+4 (+1 against demons)


    That’s assuredly a sorcerer, 5 in lore, occult, an expert healer on top of that, five spells and four occult charms right off the bat. He’s also got more dice to awareness than a great cat has to stealth, without even using an excellency, he’s got combat stats that let him utterly dominate most printed opponents, again without even spending Essence for most of them. Is he really suffering in his sorcery for that?

    This isn’t like a DnD Eldrich Knight where he’s really a fighter, but he’s got some wizardly tricks to throw into the bag, this guy is straight up a sorcerer, he just tacked on that invincible fighter bit with the leftovers. This is also a base level chargen guy too, by the time he reaches Essence 2 he’ll have doubled his number of spells known and maybe picked up another combat charm or two in addition to some more occult ones. Then you take this guy and swap the sorcery and occult for presence and social stuff, that’s your face, swap it for larceny, athletics and stealth, that’s your sneak thief, and then go totally nuts with the Dawn and just make them able to solo most group encounters anyway.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Tytalus View Post

      You're very welcome! And, yeah, I'm thinking back to when I ran this, and we're talking 2003 or 2004.
      I don't mean to make you feel old, but I was only 10 years old at the time ! (Okay I totally mean to make you feel old )


      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 DrLoveMonkey View Post
        By way of example any actual PC looks something like this. Well make a sorcerer, Mariad the Magnificent, the goal here being to make a badass Solar wizard and then play around with whatever we have left over.

        Phys 3/5/3 8bp
        Soci 2/2/1
        Ment 3/5/3

        Abilities

        5 occult (sorcery) 2bp
        5 lore (first age lore) 2bp
        3 medicine
        5 melee (swords) 2bp
        5 awareness 2bp
        3 resistance
        3 athletics
        5 integrity (demons) 2bp
        2 linguistics
        2 dodge

        Merits

        3 Manse
        3 Familiar
        3 artifact
        1 language

        Charms

        Terrestrial circle sorcery (invulnerable skin of bronze)
        Storm wind rider
        Death of Obsidian Butterflies
        Summon Demon first circle
        Infallible Messenger
        Ox body x 2
        Wound Mending Care Technique
        Excellent Strike
        Fire and Stones Strike
        Dipping Swallow Defense
        Spirit Detecting Glance
        All Encompassing Sorcerer Sight
        Ancient Tongue Understanding
        Supernal Control Method


        Quick Stats

        Sword 13+10 (12 damage)
        Daiklave 14+10 (15/5 damage)
        Parry 7+5
        Dodge 4+3
        Join Battle 8+8 +1 against ambushes
        Soak 13 (light armour and skin of bronze)
        Guile 2
        Resolve 4+4 (+1 against demons)


        That’s assuredly a sorcerer, 5 in lore, occult, an expert healer on top of that, five spells and four occult charms right off the bat. He’s also got more dice to awareness than a great cat has to stealth, without even using an excellency, he’s got combat stats that let him utterly dominate most printed opponents, again without even spending Essence for most of them. Is he really suffering in his sorcery for that?

        This isn’t like a DnD Eldrich Knight where he’s really a fighter, but he’s got some wizardly tricks to throw into the bag, this guy is straight up a sorcerer, he just tacked on that invincible fighter bit with the leftovers. This is also a base level chargen guy too, by the time he reaches Essence 2 he’ll have doubled his number of spells known and maybe picked up another combat charm or two in addition to some more occult ones. Then you take this guy and swap the sorcery and occult for presence and social stuff, that’s your face, swap it for larceny, athletics and stealth, that’s your sneak thief, and then go totally nuts with the Dawn and just make them able to solo most group encounters anyway.

        I agree with you this is the standard for the players that I had. I wish they would be a bit less good in multiple field. I thinkmy next games I'm gonna negotiate my players starting with less 5 in their abilities and attributes


        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 Chausse View Post


          I agree with you this is the standard for the players that I had. I wish they would be a bit less good in multiple field. I thinkmy next games I'm gonna negotiate my players starting with less 5 in their abilities and attributes
          By contrast the type of twilight the game seems to be expecting and would be much more manageable

          Phys 3/3/3
          Soci 3/2/3 3bp
          Ment 3/5/3

          5 occult (sorcery) 2bp
          5 lore (first age) 2bp
          3 medicine
          5 bureaucracy (spirit courts) 2bp
          3 investigation
          2 linguistics (holy writ)
          2 ride
          2 melee
          2 integrity
          3 dodge
          2 awareness
          1 resistance
          1 athletics

          Merits
          5 manse
          3 language
          2 retainers
          3 resources 3bp

          Charms

          Terrestrial circle sorcery (invulnerable Sphere of Water)
          Storm wind rider
          Death of Obsidian Butterflies
          Summon Demon first circle
          Infallible Messenger
          Ox body x 2
          Wound Mending Care Technique
          Deft Official’s Way
          Excellent Strike
          Dipping Swallow Defense
          Spirit Detecting Glance
          All Encompassing Sorcerer Sight
          Ancient Tongue Understanding
          Supernal Control Method
          Watchman’s infallible eye 4bp

          Quick stats

          Sword 7+5 (12 damage)
          Parry 3+2
          Dodge 3+3
          Soak 6 (light armour)
          Guile 2
          Resolve 3+3

          Comment


          • You might also think “but doctor love monkey, that guy is useless, some enemies in this game have 5 defence, and his decisive attack is only 5 dice!”

            Well yes, some of them do, but you stunt and excellency and that’s 12 dice. Then your ally attacks them and they have 4 defense, attacks them with a knockdown attack and they have 2-3 defence, somebody pegs them with Live Swelling Sap Strike and its 1-2, and of that triggers a wound penalty it’s 0-1, at which point excellent strike alone 100% ensures a successful hit. Now there’s interactions between characters, tactical choices about trying to provoke a wound penalty, and with 12 dice from the excellency anyway it’s not like you’re even in desperate need of it, it’s just helpful.

            Comment


            • While I think there's a lot of merit to discussing the number of dots, one major issue with a successful implementation of it is that different concepts have vastly different investment criteria regarding maxing out human potential as an Exalted. As noted, combat dominates the Ability spread. This means non-Combat characters can invest deeply into 1-2 Abilities and have high levels of baseline competence with that pile of remaining dots.

              Meanwhile (some) combat focused builds require a much larger chunk of the pool. Melee is probably the most cost efficient (as it has strong all around combat utility), but you still want at least high Athletics and Awareness so you can make full use of Melee in a much more direct way than a Sorcerer actually needs to heavily invest in Lore mechanically. Combat focused Merits are also frequently extremely expensive for what they do.

              I feel like it the current design is keyed towards trying to give the most mechanically diverse basic concepts enough dots to do them justice and still have a few flavor picks, and then doesn't really care that more narrow concepts have a glut of picks for it. Unless you address the disparity in the Ability spreads, it seems like it's very easy to make certain archetypes overly expensive at start.

              Comment


              • Some do, but it's not as much as you might think. Melee is really efficient, so is brawl and most MAs because you get your defense bundled with your offense, but here's an example Archery Dawn. I call it Dovah-meme:


                phys 3/5/3
                soci 2/3/2
                ment 2/2/5

                Abilities

                5 Archery (long powerbow) 2bp
                5 Dodge (Light armor) 2bp
                5 Awareness 2bp
                5 Athletics (leaping) 2bp
                5 Stealth (moonlight nights) 2bp
                3 Resistance
                3 Integrity
                3 Larceny
                3 Socialize
                1 Ride


                Merits

                3 Artifact powerbow
                3 Artifact chain-undershirt
                4 Backing
                4 Fast Reflexes 4bp


                Charms

                Wise Arrow
                Transe of Unhesitating Speed
                Arrow Storm Technique
                Revolving Bow Discipline
                Phantom Arrow Technique
                Rain of Feathered Death
                Sight Without Eyes
                Reed in the Wind
                Reflex Sidestep Technique
                Leaping Dodge Method
                Monkey Leap Technique
                Soaring Crane Leap
                Ox-Body 2x
                Perfect Shadow Stillness
                Invisible Statue Spirit 4bp

                Quick Stats

                Powerbow 16 (damage 15/4)
                Join Battle 11+10
                Evasion 6+5
                Soak 8/3
                Resolve 4+4
                Guile 3+3



                I started out making him a bow fighter, but he just evolved into a stealth archer*. Not bad for a starting character, certainly. Unless he has evocations where he's going to grow from here is probably use Solar xp to get up the lower attributes/abilities and use real xp to get well over a dozen combat charms by Essence 2.

                Why do I have so many points with a chargen character than I can make them an amazing archer, even by Solar standards, with defenses, utility charms, max awareness, stealth charms, and still have enough leftover to make them a master theif, with 3 resistance, integrity, socialize, and have enough bonus points over to indulge in a 4 point join battle merit? I do understand the the idea is "Well isn't it nice that you don't have to worry" but the answer is kind of no for me. If I want a character who's that amazing at that many things, I really feel like he should have some vulnerabilities somewhere.

                It's not like that character is kind of gimped in their supernal for having done that, or is suffering for only having awesome options in their supernal, and trading off being amazing in secondary aspects to have the gaps in their defenses covered.


                *For those who don't know this is a skyrim meme where all characters evolve into stealth archers over time.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Chausse View Post

                  I don't mean to make you feel old, but I was only 10 years old at the time ! (Okay I totally mean to make you feel old )
                  It's fine, I was 19 in 2003, young enough back then.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                    Why do I have so many points with a chargen character than I can make them an amazing archer, even by Solar standards, with defenses, utility charms, max awareness, stealth charms, and still have enough leftover to make them a master theif, with 3 resistance, integrity, socialize, and have enough bonus points over to indulge in a 4 point join battle merit? I do understand the the idea is "Well isn't it nice that you don't have to worry" but the answer is kind of no for me. If I want a character who's that amazing at that many things, I really feel like he should have some vulnerabilities somewhere.
                    Playing devil's advocate* for just a bit, I think the idea is that while such a character is "amazing" by mortal standards at a whole range of stuff, Solars are really differentiated by their Charms, and Charm costs are going to keep you from being "amazing" by Solar standards at more than a few things. In Solar terms this character is clearly an archer who dabbled a bit in Stealth and Athletics; he's no where near "master thief" if we're talking about Solar thieves (he's barely a thief at all by those standards). At an Ability level, his stealthy-scouty archer concept has enough overlap to make him a highly competent sneak-thief with little marginal investment, but that's more to do with natural synergy between the concepts.

                    Which kind of makes me think we're really talking about Difficulties again and not dots? Because this whole line of reasoning only works if a Solar invested in Charms is meaningfully better at her field than even another Solar who is not similarly invested. But if the most impressive thing you can do is succeed at a difficulty 5 roll... then the Charms become win-more instead of meaningful improvements and we're back to page 1 of the thread.

                    *yes, I looked at the argument, noticed that one guy was the devil, and thought "man that guy could really use an advocate"
                    Last edited by Blackwell; 11-23-2020, 10:05 PM.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                      Why do I have so many points with a chargen character than I can make them an amazing archer, even by Solar standards, with defenses, utility charms, max awareness, stealth charms, and still have enough leftover to make them a master theif, with 3 resistance, integrity, socialize, and have enough bonus points over to indulge in a 4 point join battle merit? I do understand the the idea is "Well isn't it nice that you don't have to worry" but the answer is kind of no for me. If I want a character who's that amazing at that many things, I really feel like he should have some vulnerabilities somewhere.

                      It's not like that character is kind of gimped in their supernal for having done that, or is suffering for only having awesome options in their supernal, and trading off being amazing in secondary aspects to have the gaps in their defenses covered.
                      Isn't this character extremely vulnerable socially, to shaping, he can't touch spirits at all, has 0 parry, and only base willpower? What're you going to do when you're stuck out in the Wyld for a while? How're you going to track anyone? Courtly Intrigue? Business deals? Undodgable attacks? Magical locks? Ambushes while you're asleep? Saili-ok not that one.

                      The character has vulnerabilities, they're just not related to the things you invested in (combat: offense, defense and movement on the battlefield). And considering you spent like 75% of your charms (counting all archery+dodge+ox body as combat) and at least 50% of your BP (8/15) on boosting your combat capabilities, I'd certainly hope you were really good at it.

                      Also, is my math wrong or did you use 18 BP? 5x2 (Abilities) + 4 (Charm) + 4 (Merit). I think you'd either have to drop the merit or the charm.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Blackwell View Post
                        Playing devil's advocate* for just a bit, I think the idea is that while such a character is "amazing" by mortal standards at a whole range of stuff, Solars are really differentiated by their Charms, and Charm costs are going to keep you from being "amazing" by Solar standards at more than a few things. In Solar terms this character is clearly an archer who dabbled a bit in Stealth and Athletics; he's no where near "master thief" if we're talking about Solar thieves (he's barely a thief at all by those standards). At an Ability level, his stealthy-scouty archer concept has enough overlap to make him a highly competent sneak-thief with little marginal investment, but that's more to do with natural synergy between the concepts.

                        Which kind of makes me think we're really talking about Difficulties again and not dots? Because this whole line of reasoning only works if a Solar invested in Charms is meaningfully better at her field than even another Solar who is not similarly invested. But if the most impressive thing you can do is succeed at a difficulty 5 roll... then the Charms become win-more instead of meaningful improvements and we're back to page 1 of the thread.
                        Right, because as you say they're definitely not a master thief but with just the excellency and a stunt they get 18 dice to pick a lock. It's Difficulty 5 to pick a complex lock using nothing more than a discarded piece of straw, and this guy does it nineteen times out of twenty and he's not even really trying. Do a 3 die stunt and spend a willpower and now he's really trying, which incidentally pushes that ratio to 999 times out of 1,000.

                        This is clearly a problem, from my standpoint. It's too easy to become marginally invested in something, especially when that marginal investment comes bundled with a free excellency that now doubles your marginal investment into legendary.

                        Again I should point out that this is at least less of an issue when you account for overexpending motes, but even then there are some parts of this which are not.

                        Originally posted by Cactuar View Post
                        Isn't this character extremely vulnerable socially
                        wat.

                        With excellencies and basic stunts he's got 7 Guile, and 9 resolve before boosting with intimacies. The best possible boosted Solar Resolve is 12 with stunts and an applicable specialty.
                        Originally posted by Cactuar View Post
                        to shaping
                        Isn't shaping also based on Resolve?
                        Originally posted by Cactuar View Post
                        he can't touch spirits at all
                        He can't touch immaterial spirits, but once they materialize or possess something to affect the material world he destroys them.
                        Originally posted by Cactuar View Post
                        has 0 parry
                        He actually has 3 parry from dexterity based on Brawl, or 4 from melee if he wants to pick up a sword, but he's a bow-fighter, he doesn't really have much of an opportunity to do that, or really a need to. There are two instances of undodgeable attacks in the corebook which aren't also unblockable, one is Death of Obsidian Butterflies, okay fair, the other is a Tiger Style attack that only works against prone targets and good luck getting a guy with 14 Evasion prone.
                        Originally posted by Cactuar View Post
                        only base willpower?
                        Which in this edition is 5, it's still kind of a lot.
                        Originally posted by Cactuar View Post
                        What're you going to do when you're stuck out in the Wyld for a while?
                        Probably just use my 9-12 Resolve to muscle through the mutations if I have to, or just not go there.
                        Originally posted by Cactuar View Post
                        How're you going to track anyone? Courtly Intrigue? Business deals? Undodgable attacks? Magical locks? Ambushes while you're asleep?
                        Actually, he's great at courtly intrigue, he's got 14+ dice to a socialize influence roll, and amazing at picking magical locks. Ambushes while asleep? My dude, I have 11 dice before excellencies, I stunt that roll and full excellency for 23 dice. Who is beating that? One of the stealthiest foes printed so far is the Fair Folk Lorelei with 11 dice on stealth. If I have a -5 penalty for being asleep during a raging storm I still destroy her stealth pool, and she's one of the better ones.

                        But it looks like that shouldn't be true right? 14 dice on socialize? What? He's not GOOD at that! Well 3 manip, 3 socialize, excellency doubles that, basic stunt for 14. He doesn't look good at it, but he demolishes almost all comers anyway.

                        Most of the other things don't sound like things that happen to me, they sound like things I actively go out and seek to do. Like I don't make business deals, that's not something my character would seek out, and even if I want to make one, anyone in the group who's better at it can do it instead. It's a pretty rare and contrived scene where my character is alone and the only way out unscathed is to win a barter competition. Not impossible, but by comparison really rare.

                        Unless, of course, the campaign is pitched as wheeling and dealing all day long. In which case I ditch the stealth and become the greatest merchant ever instead, and even then I keep my ability to shrug off somebody trying to poison my drink, or spy on me stealthily.

                        Don't get me wrong, I'm very very glad there's at least that. I can't even imagine playing a game using Exalted's mechanics where you couldn't ever even have attemptable actions that you weren't amazing at. It's just that these are limits to my character's abilities, but not really holes in their defenses.

                        Originally posted by Cactuar View Post
                        The character has vulnerabilities, they're just not related to the things you invested in (combat: offense, defense and movement on the battlefield). And considering you spent like 75% of your charms (counting all archery+dodge+ox body as combat) and at least 50% of your BP (8/15) on boosting your combat capabilities, I'd certainly hope you were really good at it.
                        Right, and they should be amazing at combat, they're a Dawn, the point is they're basically incomparable in combat, and also a thief who blitzes past any lock, and one who shrugs off social influence, and bathes in acid, and who sees all and hears all, and who can do spinning cartwheels along a tightrope in a hurricane, and who can vanish into thin air in an instant.

                        Originally posted by Cactuar View Post
                        Also, is my math wrong or did you use 18 BP? 5x2 (Abilities) + 4 (Charm) + 4 (Merit). I think you'd either have to drop the merit or the charm.
                        Yes, my math was just totally off there.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Chausse View Post


                          I agree with you this is the standard for the players that I had. I wish they would be a bit less good in multiple field. I thinkmy next games I'm gonna negotiate my players starting with less 5 in their abilities and attributes
                          My recommendation there is to pair carrot with stick. Kill scaling XP costs [Abilities: 5xp per dot or 4xp favored, with 3xp first dot, matches the normal progression cost but flattens it out, Attributes: 10xp or 8xp is a good flat cost; 10xp matches the current costs, 8xp makes it a little less punitive], and make the "1 bonus point per favored ability dot" only apply to your Supernal. Those two things in conjunction will kill 90% of the drive to start with tons of 5s [because it's no longer punitive to choose to raise 5s after chargen and they're no longer super-efficient use of BP] or using minmaxing attribute spreads [spend my first 4xp raising my Str from 1 to 2, don't mind if I do!]; now that there isn't a "fast, easy way to get good average stats by starting with trash stats", people will more likely begin a bit better-rounded unless a 1 is core to their concept rather than just being a cheap, easy way to get a 5..

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Meianno Yuurei View Post
                            My recommendation there is to pair carrot with stick. Kill scaling XP costs [Abilities: 5xp per dot or 4xp favored, with 3xp first dot, matches the normal progression cost but flattens it out, Attributes: 10xp or 8xp is a good flat cost; 10xp matches the current costs, 8xp makes it a little less punitive], and make the "1 bonus point per favored ability dot" only apply to your Supernal. Those two things in conjunction will kill 90% of the drive to start with tons of 5s [because it's no longer punitive to choose to raise 5s after chargen and they're no longer super-efficient use of BP] or using minmaxing attribute spreads [spend my first 4xp raising my Str from 1 to 2, don't mind if I do!]; now that there isn't a "fast, easy way to get good average stats by starting with trash stats", people will more likely begin a bit better-rounded unless a 1 is core to their concept rather than just being a cheap, easy way to get a 5..
                            That's a question I was planning to spend some time on but you did the maths for me and I'm thankful for that !


                            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 DrLoveMonkey View Post
                              wat.

                              With excellencies and basic stunts he's got 7 Guile, and 9 resolve before boosting with intimacies. The best possible boosted Solar Resolve is 12 with stunts and an applicable specialty.
                              Intimacies also can penalize resolve, which would bring him down to like 6 or 7. Guile only helps if they're trying to read your intentions, not if they've done background research on you. And they don't have successfully read your intentions to apply an intimacy.

                              NPCs can stunt too, so we should probably not count +1 from stunting since that comes out in the wash with the +2 dice to whatever roll they're attempting (and really we shouldn't count stunts in any opposed roll for similar reasons). So you're looking at 5/6 Resolve if what they're asking for hits a Major Intimacy, and that's with using your full excellency to boost your defenses and only accounting for an intimacy penalty, which is hardly insurmountable.

                              Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                              Isn't shaping also based on Resolve?
                              Shaping effects run a wide gamut of stats you have to defend against. Some target WP, some target Resolve, some target Essence.

                              Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                              He can't touch immaterial spirits, but once they materialize or possess something to affect the material world he destroys them.
                              He can't touch or see immaterial spirits, and while most do have to materialize the Belt of Shadow Walking existing means there are effects where you can just stay immaterial and attack material foes.

                              Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                              He actually has 3 parry from dexterity based on Brawl, or 4 from melee if he wants to pick up a sword, but he's a bow-fighter, he doesn't really have much of an opportunity to do that, or really a need to. There are two instances of undodgeable attacks in the corebook which aren't also unblockable, one is Death of Obsidian Butterflies, okay fair, the other is a Tiger Style attack that only works against prone targets and good luck getting a guy with 14 Evasion prone.
                              I mean he also is weak to undodgable/unblockable too :P But you get my point.

                              Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                              Which in this edition is 5, it's still kind of a lot.
                              Is it really? Remember, you're only supposed to get 2 or 3 2-dot stunts during a session of play according to core, meaning you get +2 or +3 WP per session. Sleeping only restores 1 WP, and you've got at least 3 charms that have WP costs on them. So between those, using WP for a success and using WP to defend against social influence you're going to be pretty drained pretty quickly.

                              Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                              Actually, he's great at courtly intrigue, he's got 14+ dice to a socialize influence roll, and amazing at picking magical locks. Ambushes while asleep? My dude, I have 11 dice before excellencies, I stunt that roll and full excellency for 23 dice. Who is beating that? One of the stealthiest foes printed so far is the Fair Folk Lorelei with 11 dice on stealth. If I have a -5 penalty for being asleep during a raging storm I still destroy her stealth pool, and she's one of the better ones.

                              But it looks like that shouldn't be true right? 14 dice on socialize? What? He's not GOOD at that! Well 3 manip, 3 socialize, excellency doubles that, basic stunt for 14. He doesn't look good at it, but he demolishes almost all comers anyway.
                              Fair point on the intrigue - you'd be great about moving about the court and there are likely few circumstances that would render a roll inapplicable.

                              However, you can't use charms to boost your awareness while you're not awake (at least, if the text of sensory acuity prana is to be believed). So you'd get 13 dice (assuming you're even allowed to roll) vs 11 (+2 from stunt - again, NPCs can stunt too), and that's also assuming you don't get any additional penalties for being asleep. Bear Sleep in Lunars suggests that it's at least a -4 penalty, but that might just be for that charm. Still, I legitimately might've missed some place that says you can use charms while not awake - core rules is big after all, and I can't even remember where the Wyld mutation rules are 😅

                              Similar thing applies to magic locks here - who says you even get the roll to pick it without magic beyond an excellency?

                              Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                              Most of the other things don't sound like things that happen to me, they sound like things I actively go out and seek to do. Like I don't make business deals, that's not something my character would seek out, and even if I want to make one, anyone in the group who's better at it can do it instead. It's a pretty rare and contrived scene where my character is alone and the only way out unscathed is to win a barter competition. Not impossible, but by comparison really rare.

                              Unless, of course, the campaign is pitched as wheeling and dealing all day long. In which case I ditch the stealth and become the greatest merchant ever instead, and even then I keep my ability to shrug off somebody trying to poison my drink, or spy on me stealthily.

                              Don't get me wrong, I'm very very glad there's at least that. I can't even imagine playing a game using Exalted's mechanics where you couldn't ever even have attemptable actions that you weren't amazing at. It's just that these are limits to my character's abilities, but not really holes in their defenses.
                              This feels like you've shifted your argument. Your original argument was your character had no vulnerabilities, not you had vulnerabilities that couldn't be covered by another character (or that your character had limits). If the argument is that your character has no vulnerabilities that can't be covered by someone else, that probably can apply to any character you make in any system barring those aimed at specifically disempowering players.

                              Maybe we're just defining what a 'vulnerability' and 'limit' are differently, but saying "My character has no vulnerabilities" (or, more precisely, "I feel like my character should have some vulnerabilities") to me says "My character has nothing they're bad at or areas they're weak in that could be exploited" not "My character has limits."

                              Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                              Right, and they should be amazing at combat, they're a Dawn, the point is they're basically incomparable in combat, and also a thief who blitzes past any lock, and one who shrugs off social influence, and bathes in acid, and who sees all and hears all, and who can do spinning cartwheels along a tightrope in a hurricane, and who can vanish into thin air in an instant.
                              They should be amazing in combat because you invested a large portion of your starting resources into being good at combat. You also invested a decent chunk into being able to do things like spinning cartwheels along a tightrope in a hurricane (DEX 5, Ath 5, 2 athletics charms), so I'd hope you'd be able to do that too.

                              Also, without going too far back into the HeavyArms discussion from earlier, you are not bathing in acid for any reasonable length of time. You can take a dip in acid, at best :P You are not able to hear all/see all - you're very difficult to sneak up on, but you're not hearing a conversation on the other side of a crowded market in Nexus no matter how many dice you throw at it (at least, without some other magic). Well, at least, as long as we're assuming that there's some bar of 'can even attempt the roll' before we start giving things difficulties.

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                              • Originally posted by Cactuar View Post
                                He can't touch or see immaterial spirits, and while most do have to materialize the Belt of Shadow Walking existing means there are effects where you can just stay immaterial and attack material foes.
                                The Belt of Shadow Walking exists? News to me. When I look at the Exalted core book, the Bracers of Universal Crafting are the first three-dot Artifact I see.


                                Similar thing applies to magic locks here - who says you even get the roll to pick it without magic beyond an excellency?
                                This is an interesting example of where Charms that do certain things imply that the ordinary Ability can't do those things - in this case, that lock-picking Charm implies that there exist magically unpickable locks (maybe this is mentioned somewhere else in the books too, but there are other examples which I'm pretty sure aren't).


                                This feels like you've shifted your argument. Your original argument was your character had no vulnerabilities, not you had vulnerabilities that couldn't be covered by another character (or that your character had limits). If the argument is that your character has no vulnerabilities that can't be covered by someone else, that probably can apply to any character you make in any system barring those aimed at specifically disempowering players.

                                Maybe we're just defining what a 'vulnerability' and 'limit' are differently, but saying "My character has no vulnerabilities" (or, more precisely, "I feel like my character should have some vulnerabilities") to me says "My character has nothing they're bad at or areas they're weak in that could be exploited" not "My character has limits."
                                To me "vulnerabilities" implies stuff that a character has a good chance of being forced to deal with in play. So in particular, defending against various common types of attacks. There are effects that let you protect other PCs from physical attacks, social influence, and so on, but those are, rare, specific effects. On the other hand, one player being able to negotiate on behalf of the group comes automatically with that player taking a negotiation skill.

                                The other consideration is vulnerabilities that mean your character is doing worse than expected by the system (or the Storyteller and the general social contract of your game) vs. just lacking some rare capability it is possible to have. Like the book explicitly points out how many combat Charms you should take to be survivable in combat, and it explains in big bold letters what Abilities are important in combat, and it is filled with pictures of people fighting each other. If you don't invest in those Charms and those Abilities, you have a vulnerability that means you're weak at combat.

                                On the other hand, if there's one Charm in the book that prevents you from being attacked in your sleep (or a few Charms), and you don't take the Charms, and then the first session the Storyteller has ninjas attack you while you're sleeping and kill you, I don't think that represents a vulnerability of your character as much as a Storyteller being unfair.

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