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  • Non-Dragon-Blooded on the Caul Pilgrimage

    What ideas (motivations and/or effects) do you have for non-Terrestrial Exalts following the Caul pilgrimage road? I introduced an Abyssal NPC in tonight's session, and I'm thinking about making the Caul pilgrimage the way to redeem her into a Solar.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Hakkonen View Post
    What ideas (motivations and/or effects) do you have for non-Terrestrial Exalts following the Caul pilgrimage road? I introduced an Abyssal NPC in tonight's session, and I'm thinking about making the Caul pilgrimage the way to redeem her into a Solar.
    Simple.

    Assasination, kidnapping, or robbing of any pilgrims.

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    • #3
      I think the Caul rewards should be tailored to the specific needs of the campaign. I really don't see how the power of Lunar and Gaia would redeem an Abyssal into a Solar - but I do see how it might turn them into something else. Here's my spitball ideas:

      Lunars: Gain the Charm Moon-and-Earth Marriage, ignoring the prerequisites. All their children with their Terrestrial Mate will be born Moon-Touched and blessed by Gaia (Awakened Essence, Exalted Healing, Well Bred) if not Exalted as Dragon-Blooded. Additionally ignore Anima Flux as if the Lunar was a Dragon-Blooded. The Caul is a norishing place celebrating the love between Gaia and Luna - it's not going to grant "kill DB powers". If the Black Lion succeeds in corrupting all the holy sites on the Caul to make them hostile to Dragon-Blooded, the island breaks into pieces and sinks beneath the sea, lost forever.

      Solars: I likely see this as part of a Legendary Social Goal - maybe to heal the rift between Lunars and Dragon-Blooded, if only on the Caul. I could probably see it granting some kind of virtual audience with Gaia and Luna to commune with them. Maybe an Eclipse-style enforced cease-fire on the Caul.

      Alternatively, I see completing the pilgrimage on the "Lunar side" granting the ability to transform somehow. Such as a transgender Solar getting to alter their body as they see fit. Or granting the ability to shapeshift into a (single animal) spirit shape.

      Completing the pilgrimage on the "Dragon-Blooded" side might grant the ability to enter Elemental Aura (only really useful for Immaculate Martial Arts, but there it is). Or immunity to Anima Flux as if the Solar was a Dragon-Blooded.

      The Caul isn't for Solars. I don't have a problem with Solars playing here, but it's not their patrons and their legacy. They're outsiders. And the reward they get, if any, should reflect that. If a Solar wants to to it "for teh lulz" then I'm absolutely okay with the pilgrimage either giving them nothing or straight-up killing them. But if they approach the pilgrimage as a pilgrimage with proper reverence, they should get something. But it should be one thing, probably one thing they could get through other methods (like Sorcery), and definitely one thing less (directly) valuable (to them personally) than if a Lunar or Dragon-Blooded did the pilgrimage.

      Sidereals: The reward should be strange and unknowable. In all the time the Dragon-Blooded have held the Cault, I feel like a Sidereal would have tried, but I feel like that shouldn't help anyone actually know what happened.

      Liminals: I could genuinely see this making them truly "alive". What this means is going to depend on what exactly "alive" means in your Liminal game but you won't be "liminal" anymore.

      Abyssals: I don't see Solar redemption. I do see some kind of transformation from an undead Exalt with power over death to a living Exalt with power over night.

      Infernals: No idea. (I can see Infernals destroying the Caul.)

      Heroic Mortals: Death and rebirth as one of the Dragon-Blooded.

      God-Blooded: Elevation to god-hood.

      Elemental: Elevation to Lesser Elemental Dragon.


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

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      • #4
        Now this is awkward...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
          I think the Caul rewards should be tailored to the specific needs of the campaign. I really don't see how the power of Lunar and Gaia would redeem an Abyssal into a Solar - but I do see how it might turn them into something else. Here's my spitball ideas:

          Lunars: Gain the Charm Moon-and-Earth Marriage, ignoring the prerequisites. All their children with their Terrestrial Mate will be born Moon-Touched and blessed by Gaia (Awakened Essence, Exalted Healing, Well Bred) if not Exalted as Dragon-Blooded. Additionally ignore Anima Flux as if the Lunar was a Dragon-Blooded. The Caul is a norishing place celebrating the love between Gaia and Luna - it's not going to grant "kill DB powers". If the Black Lion succeeds in corrupting all the holy sites on the Caul to make them hostile to Dragon-Blooded, the island breaks into pieces and sinks beneath the sea, lost forever.

          Solars: I likely see this as part of a Legendary Social Goal - maybe to heal the rift between Lunars and Dragon-Blooded, if only on the Caul. I could probably see it granting some kind of virtual audience with Gaia and Luna to commune with them. Maybe an Eclipse-style enforced cease-fire on the Caul.

          Alternatively, I see completing the pilgrimage on the "Lunar side" granting the ability to transform somehow. Such as a transgender Solar getting to alter their body as they see fit. Or granting the ability to shapeshift into a (single animal) spirit shape.

          Completing the pilgrimage on the "Dragon-Blooded" side might grant the ability to enter Elemental Aura (only really useful for Immaculate Martial Arts, but there it is). Or immunity to Anima Flux as if the Solar was a Dragon-Blooded.

          The Caul isn't for Solars. I don't have a problem with Solars playing here, but it's not their patrons and their legacy. They're outsiders. And the reward they get, if any, should reflect that. If a Solar wants to to it "for teh lulz" then I'm absolutely okay with the pilgrimage either giving them nothing or straight-up killing them. But if they approach the pilgrimage as a pilgrimage with proper reverence, they should get something. But it should be one thing, probably one thing they could get through other methods (like Sorcery), and definitely one thing less (directly) valuable (to them personally) than if a Lunar or Dragon-Blooded did the pilgrimage.

          Sidereals: The reward should be strange and unknowable. In all the time the Dragon-Blooded have held the Cault, I feel like a Sidereal would have tried, but I feel like that shouldn't help anyone actually know what happened.

          Liminals: I could genuinely see this making them truly "alive". What this means is going to depend on what exactly "alive" means in your Liminal game but you won't be "liminal" anymore.

          Abyssals: I don't see Solar redemption. I do see some kind of transformation from an undead Exalt with power over death to a living Exalt with power over night.

          Infernals: No idea. (I can see Infernals destroying the Caul.)

          Heroic Mortals: Death and rebirth as one of the Dragon-Blooded.

          God-Blooded: Elevation to god-hood.

          Elemental: Elevation to Lesser Elemental Dragon.

          We kind of know what the Dragonblooded end does. It's that their next child will definetly be exalted.
          For the Lunar end, I agree it's not going to be "murder all the Dragonblooded" powers--I'd probably go with "Can change their Totem Spirit" or something more inward facing. Well Bred is a social merit at this point, so that's...odd for a sign of Gaia's blessing. Thematically, Lunars just aren't about legacy and family lines the way dragons are--that should be reflected in the "reward" for completing the pilgrimage.
          Black Lion claiming all sites won't sink the island, just as the Dragonblooded claiming all sites won't--It's a place celeberating Gaia and Luna's love, not the Dragons and Luna, and certainly not the Dragonblooded and the Lunars. That and I kinda find the idea of "if the Black Lion SUCCEEDS he'll destroy everything he loves" kinda...undercutting his character and making him a boring extremist.
          Elementals might get something. But that's it. The other Exalts have no reason to regard the Caul as a holy place for them--Mount Meru is probably better, or a lost First Age temple to the Sun or something similair.
          Last edited by Epee102; 01-17-2021, 08:05 AM.


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          • #6
            I'm referring specifically to stuff like:

            "Third Daughter of the Leaves took Garianghis, and she holds it now for her own, having slain citizens that couldn’t escape. [...] she contents herself with strange rituals that, rumor has it, are intended to poison the dreams of what few Dragon-Blooded remain in the Caul."
            "She cares little for it herself, concerned more with obscure rituals she believes could use Garianghis’ power to imprison every Dragon-Blood on the Caul in ceaseless nightmare."

            "Sandswept Garda-Empress means to use the memory of Sekima as a weapon and has spent more time within it than any other. The deeper her connections to Sekima’s people grow, the more she lays her plans against whatever future pilgrims may trespass here. Woe betide such unfortunates, for if she’s successful, the memory of Sekima will become a living hell, aggressive and unwelcoming."


            Not just the Lunars holding all the shrines, that would be fine.

            And Well Bred does increase the chances of your kids Exalting.

            I think changing your totem spirit is fine, but why would you want to?

            I think the other Exalts don't need anything from doing the pilgrimage, by default. But if you want to run a story about other Exalts doing the pilgrimage... then it should do something?

            Like, by default, the Reclaimation can't happen. But if you want to run a story about the Reclaimation happening, then I'll give you ideas as to what might happen.
            Last edited by JohnDoe244; 01-19-2021, 01:59 PM.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Epee102 View Post


              We kind of know what the Dragonblooded end does. It's that their next child will definetly be exalted.
              For the Lunar end, I agree it's not going to be "murder all the Dragonblooded" powers--I'd probably go with "Can change their Totem Spirit" or something more inward facing. Well Bred is a social merit at this point, so that's...odd for a sign of Gaia's blessing. Thematically, Lunars just aren't about legacy and family lines the way dragons are--that should be reflected in the "reward" for completing the pilgrimage.
              Black Lion claiming all sites won't sink the island, just as the Dragonblooded claiming all sites won't--It's a place celeberating Gaia and Luna's love, not the Dragons and Luna, and certainly not the Dragonblooded and the Lunars. That and I kinda find the idea of "if the Black Lion SUCCEEDS he'll destroy everything he loves" kinda...undercutting his character and making him a boring extremist.
              What JohnDoe244 described "if the Black Lion succeeds in corrupting all the holy sites on the Caul to make them hostile to Dragon-Blooded" seems to go considerably beyond claiming all the holy sites and seems to point out to quite different readings of the elder's character and intentions, ihmo.

              Originally posted by Epee102 View Post
              Elementals might get something. But that's it. The other Exalts have no reason to regard the Caul as a holy place for them--Mount Meru is probably better, or a lost First Age temple to the Sun or something similair.
              It's holy either way and that on itself as in "a place touched by the divinity and where they might be more attentive to the acts or words of mortal beings", what might be special enough in a number of games, even if the history behind the place's holiness if not directly resonant with the nature of other exalts. Just saying.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                I'm referring specifically to stuff like:

                And Well Bred does increase the chances of your kids Exalting.

                I think changing your totem spirit is fine, but why would you want to?

                I think the other Exalts don't need anything from doing the pilgrimage, by default. But if you want to run a story about other Exalts doing the pilgrimage... then it should do something?

                Well Bred...doesn't? I don't think it does--oh huh. I swore 3e fixed it and made it clear that it was _just_ a social pedigree. I'm a tad disappointed now, adding that to the list of houseruled ones--the benefits to resolve and reputation seemed more than enough for that.
                Changing your totem spirit was the only thing I could think of for lunars, because I think it's wierd to focus on their offspring for it. I admit, I'm disappointed the Lunars book didn't address it, and hope that the Kickstarter book does.
                As for the last point and Baldaam's...I mean, it is a holy site in that a divinity walked there, but I disagree that they should get something from it beyond the spiritual experience of a pilgrimage. You can make that a story, that in it of itself might be fine--and I agree with the notion of an audience with Luna or something, but I don't think it deserves a mechanical reward no. That's a point of ST divergence I suppose.
                Last edited by Epee102; 01-17-2021, 10:09 AM.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Epee102 View Post


                  Well Bred...doesn't? I don't think it does--oh huh. I swore 3e fixed it and made it clear that it was _just_ a social pedigree. I'm a tad disappointed now, adding that to the list of houseruled ones--the benefits to resolve and reputation seemed more than enough for that.
                  So you propose to have a version of the Dragon Blooded in which there are no fluctuations to the potential for Exalted children based on family history, but there is still a metric by which one is a more or less desirable marriage prospect based on... what, exactly?


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Epee102 View Post
                    Well Bred...doesn't? I don't think it does--oh huh. I swore 3e fixed it and made it clear that it was _just_ a social pedigree.
                    The Well-bred merit states that the children are significantly more likely to exalt. What it does not do is give hard numbers on that.

                    Should it come up, it will be a narrative decision as to whether or not a character's children exalt; not something left to a roll of the dice. (See the Breeding and Exaltation box on page 143.)

                    The only mechanical bonus given are on those bargaining dice rolls. It is fine as it stands.
                    Last edited by Greyman; 01-17-2021, 11:12 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                      So you propose to have a version of the Dragon Blooded in which there are no fluctuations to the potential for Exalted children based on family history, but there is still a metric by which one is a more or less desirable marriage prospect based on... what, exactly?
                      I rewrote this a few times to elucidate my discomfort percisely.
                      I'm fine with the inherent dragonblooded idea that dragonblooded tend to exalt on lineage, and that "two dbs are more likely to have a db child than a db and a mortal".
                      I'm not okay with there being a significant difference between dragonblooded, to the degree as to provide a meaningful merit. I preferred the merit when it represented the social mythology that you had a higher chance of an exalted child, not when it was a fact.

                      The idea that a scion of a great house, who's father and mother and both sets of grandparents and all four sets of great-grand parents all exalted, being more likely to have an exalted child than an Outcaste who's last exalted relation was 5 centuries ago should be a social fiction.

                      Originally posted by Greyman View Post
                      The Well-bred merit states that the children are significantly more likely to exalt. What it does not do is give hard numbers on that.

                      Should it come up, it will be a narrative decision as to whether or not a character's children exalt; not something left to a roll of the dice. (See the Breeding and Exaltation box on page 143.)

                      The only mechanical bonus given are on those bargaining dice rolls. It is fine as it stands.
                      Mechanically it's fine. I just find the sidebar unneccessary and the statement at the start of the merit uncomfortable.
                      Last edited by Epee102; 01-17-2021, 11:18 AM.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Epee102 View Post
                        I'm not okay with there being a significant difference between dragonblooded
                        Well that does dramatically change the entire dynamic of House Nellens in particular, and really the whole Scarlet Dynasty. Does House Mnemon have no reputation for good breeding?

                        Not to mention it means portraying outcastes as just as capable of producing Exalted children as anybody else, which ought to dramatically increase their numbers in the Threshold.

                        Originally posted by Epee102
                        I preferred the merit when it represented the social mythology that you had a higher chance of an exalted child, not when it was a fact.
                        But that's never been the Merit or Background.

                        The only reversal of this kind was with leftover children, and that one actually did go in the direction of "being leftover detracts from bloodline" to that being an untested misconception of the Dynasty.

                        I presume you're stating that the Merit would represent a bonus to marriage negotiations based on a complete misconception, but there are setting implications dotted all over the Realm based on Exaltation rates being a thing of much concern that is heavily documented and speculated upon. To keep that social quality while removing its actual basis is to portray the Dynasty as, well, very stupid.

                        As for the sidebar, I for one am grateful to have for once given some basis for what the ratio of Exalted to unExalted Dynasts is, compared to previous Editions in which it's an important question whose answer is completely up in the air. To have been told how many children on average they have but an awkward shrug for the matter of how many of them were even Dragon Blooded.
                        Last edited by Isator Levi; 01-17-2021, 11:29 AM.


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                        • #13
                          Doing the Caul pilgrimage is far more significant than the well bred merit. It guarantees that your next kid will exalt. That's as whole lot beyond "likely to exalt" to me. Obviously the pilgrimage would mean even more to someone with a lesser pedigree.

                          I'm thinking that the pilgrimage for Lunars would grant them access to some benefit register to shape shifting. I'm thinking a hearts blood form unobtainable any other way. Maybe some boost to their spirit shape that can't be replicated with charms? I dunno I'm spitballing but it should be something that's lunar specific. To me that means shape shifting.

                          For other exalt type that make the pilgrimage they get a slow clap and a thumbs up. The Caul isn't about other exalts and that's ok. There's plenty that a group can get done in the Caul that doesn't involve actually going on the pilgrimage. Same is true of Lunars and DB. No one should NEED to go on the pilgrimage to make the Caul a worthwhile setting


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                            I presume you're stating that the Merit would represent a bonus to marriage negotiations based on a complete misconception, but there are setting implications dotted all over the Realm based on Exaltation rates being a thing of much concern that is heavily documented and speculated upon. To keep that social quality while removing its actual basis is to portray the Dynasty as, well, very stupid.
                            I'm more than happy for the Dynasts to have promoted a mythology that concentrates power into a handful of families "for the sake of keeping the blood pure", when that is in fact not actually metaphysically supported and is maintained for the same reason any eugenics based colonial empire of aristocrats promote such a belief system. So...Yes? Yes. I personally find that more interesting than there actually being a difference between Mnemnon and Nellens exaltation rates.

                            Edit: AS for rate of Outcastes, yeah, I don't mind there being a large number of non-realm dragonblooded families, with the Realm's larger share coming from active efforts to incorporate existing states and recruit lost eggs more than their actual eugencis program having any validity.
                            Last edited by Epee102; 01-17-2021, 11:32 AM.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by armyofwhispers View Post
                              Doing the Caul pilgrimage is far more significant than the well bred merit. It guarantees that your next kid will exalt. That's as whole lot beyond "likely to exalt" to me. Obviously the pilgrimage would mean even more to someone with a lesser pedigree.

                              The Well Bred merit came up when it was suggested that the child of a Lunar who completed the pilgrimage would recieve that merit among others.


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