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I fixed 2.5 Sidereals

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  • I fixed 2.5 Sidereals

    After six months of work I was finally able to publish my new book, Watchers Upon the Threshold of Reality, on the Storyteller's Vault! This book completely reprises how Sidereals work, from their Charms to their Astrology to their innate ability to see and redefine the future. Sidereal stories may not be for everyone, but I am confident that you will like them more if you use my new book to create and play them.

    https://www.storytellersvault.com/pr...-the-Threshold

    You can also listen to a free actual play on my podcast:
    https://fatewatchersgame.podbean.com/

  • #2
    Nice! Can you give some more specific details about how things have changed? For instance, what's different about the charms?

    (Really trying to resist asking when the other 97.5 sidereals will be fixed)


    Current project: Stranger Creations, unofficial settings and NPCs for Exalted.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Colin_Fredericks View Post
      Really trying to resist asking when the other 97.5 sidereals will be fixed
      Oh man, I missed a CHOICE joke opportunity there...

      The biggest difference between the old Sidereals and the new ones is that knowing the future is an actual mechanic that affects your Charms in a big way now. Once per scene, any Sidereal player can make a request for how the scene is "supposed" to go, according to fate. If your Storyteller likes the suggestion, then they might agree to it outright, but they might also change it to fit their story better. I also changed their Astrology to be much simpler (only one very simple roll is required) and to be more story-driven, so you can also use Astrology and a 12-hour ritual to rewrite the story as you see fit.

      If the thing your player asked for is simple and moves the story along in a fun way, then it just happens without the need to roll. In my first podcast, for example, a player used it to get a ride directly to a far away island with no transfers, and it also introduced a band of plucky adventurers into the story! But mostly, it just makes it much easier for Sidereals to make those things happen using their magic, while simultaneously making it more DIFFICULT for them to do things that go against that narrative. The really fun part is that it gets players and Storytellers equally engaged in the story: because players need to write fate to use their best Charms and hit their Charm dice cap limits, they will literally just tell you what they want to have happen in a scene, and then you can walk them through some version of that in game.

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      • #4
        Any particular reason why the Fateful Excellency increases static values more cheaply than the First and Second?

        I also note that the sidebar on page 39 suggests converting certain classic Charms into sorcery spells, but at least some of the listed Charms have new versions later in the document (e.g. Riding the Dragon, Essence Thorn Practice, Unrelenting Torment Technique). The new Charms do have fairly different effects than the original versions, but either the new Charm or the converted spells should probably have different names at least.

        I'm a little lukewarm on the foresight mechanic, since having one's dice caps subject to how much the ST likes your idea is...not really my style. The Destiny rules do seem a lot easier to understand than I remember from either of the canon Sidereals books, although it certainly is difficult to apply a Destiny to an Essence-user. (The Resplendent Destiny rules are a bit more flexible than the original, which IMO is cool.)

        Overall, I like what I'm reading so far, although I must admit I'm not really the best judge of game balance.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jefepato View Post
          Any particular reason why the Fateful Excellency increases static values more cheaply than the First and Second?

          I also note that the sidebar on page 39 suggests converting certain classic Charms into sorcery spells, but at least some of the listed Charms have new versions later in the document (e.g. Riding the Dragon, Essence Thorn Practice, Unrelenting Torment Technique). The new Charms do have fairly different effects than the original versions, but either the new Charm or the converted spells should probably have different names at least.

          I'm a little lukewarm on the foresight mechanic, since having one's dice caps subject to how much the ST likes your idea is...not really my style. The Destiny rules do seem a lot easier to understand than I remember from either of the canon Sidereals books, although it certainly is difficult to apply a Destiny to an Essence-user. (The Resplendent Destiny rules are a bit more flexible than the original, which IMO is cool.)
          First of all, thank you for buying a copy! I'll be pushing harder to advertise once I have a few more episodes of the podcast to share, but any support helps right now!

          The Fateful Excellency has gone through quite a bit of buffs and nerfs in this edition, so some of it might not fit cleanly into standard comparisons. It is better for buffing DVs even than the 3rd Excellency, but you can only spend two motes on it at first, four if you repurchase it at Essence 3. So if you want a little but consistent boost to DVs, then it's better, and that felt right for the Exalts that are all about seeing the attack coming and getting the hell out of the way. Frankly, I can't promise that it's all perfectly balanced. I just know that in playtesting (with three different groups) it was consistently worse than what a Solaroid could do, but was way more generally applicable (which was the intent).

          I kept most of the original names of the Charms, since they have been around in many cases since First Edition. I am aware that this is somewhat confusing, and I apologize. To be honest, it is REALLY hard to come up with new Charm names. All of the "spells" listed in that sidebar are referring to the Charms as they existed in 2.5, unless otherwise noted.

          These new rules ARE very dependent on your ST, and I'm glad you brought this up. Let me say this for the record: these rules are not going to suit every table. You will need an ST who is open to you changing their story on a regular basis to have fun using this system. I go into great length about this in the Storytelling section, but I would candidly recommend to every ST that runs a game using these rules that they be as generous as possible when considering Foresight requests. The point is not to say yes or no to every idea, but to say yes to MOST of every idea, and add in extra challenges, costs, dangers, etc. that keep that future interesting. If you have the sort of ST that is rigidly committed to telling their story their way, or you don't trust them to be fair with you, then you should probably not use this system.

          But if you DO trust your ST to be fair and flexible, then the system works beautifully. I have played Exalted for over a decade now, and I have never had so much fun running it. Players literally just tell me what they want from their session, which makes it so much easier to provide that experience and give everyone the story they want. Both my new and veteran players really enjoyed it, and I think you will too if you can find the right group to play with.

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