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What do you think about the Leadership rules?

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  • #16
    I actually think it's easier to fix Mandate of Heaven than Creation-Ruling Mandate.

    Mandate of Heaven's cardinal sin was that Dominions reused pre-existing traits and terminology in this overly cutesy way. I remember thinking that Tepet Fokuf was a literally sorcerer because I didn't have the Storyteller's Companion and the MOH write-up for the Imperial City listed him as such because that's what the system called all leadership figures in a Dominion for some fucking reason.

    However, I consider MoH an overall better system because it worked on the idea that a Dominion had traits like a limit track that was eroded as you pushed it until the society acted out. CRM I find leaned too heavily on being context-sensitive and was similarly reliant upon the Storyteller to figure out consequences, creating this weird situation where the ST who could make the most use of it probably wouldn't have needed it.


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    • #17
      I can see what you mean. If Mandate of Heaven was streamlined that'd be ideal, as overall I found it too clunky.


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      • #18
        I think it's important to remember that the Leadership rules are meant not only as an Adventure generator, but as a response to the failings of late 2e.
        Namely, that late 2e systems turned entire peoples into numbers on a page, and removed potetnial drama of running a kingdom by letting you just...throw dice at the problem. It turned the game into a Civ or Crusader kings. It is explictly within an Exalts power to run their kingdoms offices efficiently. It is not within their power to run it wisely.
        I wasn't there for 2e, but at the same time I've never felt the need for a Buer system more than a list of "example times" alla feat of strength. Its harder to make a list, because "how long does it take to file a business liscence" is something that varies from town to town, not just nation to nation not just direction to direction etc.


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        • #19
          You’re absolutely right Epee102. Heck, “how long it takes to file a license” is something that can vary based on who called in sick that day.


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          • #20
            Originally posted by Epee102 View Post
            I think it's important to remember that the Leadership rules are meant not only as an Adventure generator, but as a response to the failings of late 2e.
            Namely, that late 2e systems turned entire peoples into numbers on a page, and removed potetnial drama of running a kingdom by letting you just...throw dice at the problem. It turned the game into a Civ or Crusader kings. It is explictly within an Exalts power to run their kingdoms offices efficiently. It is not within their power to run it wisely.
            I wasn't there for 2e, but at the same time I've never felt the need for a Buer system more than a list of "example times" alla feat of strength. Its harder to make a list, because "how long does it take to file a business liscence" is something that varies from town to town, not just nation to nation not just direction to direction etc.
            But at the same time there's a time when random chance and the of risk of failure does play into bureaucratic decisions, which is then when a system (an system) becomes valid options. If you want to play out a grand scale war of your Solar empire invading the realm for example, you have a few options:

            1) Focus on the Solars and narrative the results elsewhere. Limited player input.
            2) Play out each and every battle. Such a thing may take like a year out of game handling all that
            3) Use a macro-scale subsystem to handle events such as moving troops around and minor skirmishes, zooming to a micro-mode (IE: Combat and game sessions) for major events/setpieces.

            None of these options in way way give players wisdom on how to run things. Things should only be rolled if there's an imminent threat of failure or something can be discovered from an action. If it doesn't have a chance to create something dramatically interesting, then there's no purpose in rolling. Examples:

            1) Threat of failure: You need to make a filing to handle resupplying your city after a large and difficult battle. Resources are very strapped in the town, and if your first shot fails then by the time it resolves the city will run out of resources. People will likely face a famine, causing all sorts of annoying problems. Also it'll be winter, so forget about growing crops.
            2) Discovery: You want to file an order to get a ship built. For a city this normally wouldn't even warrant a roll, but the storyteller demands one anywho with difficulty 5 and a -3 penalty. The player makes the roll, then follows up with a secondary roll of Perception + Bureaucracy/Investigation. The player discovers the reason why a roll that should've automatically succeeded was that some sort of spy was attempting to sabotage his plans. This begins a whole new plot point. The failure state is there, but can be secondary compared to the discovery.
            Last edited by Sandact6; 01-23-2021, 02:42 PM.


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            • #21
              Originally posted by Epee102 View Post
              I think it's important to remember that the Leadership rules are meant not only as an Adventure generator, but as a response to the failings of late 2e.
              The RAW 3e Leadership rules are non-functional as an adventure generator. That's why people house ruled that in. The RAW are anti-adventure. Adventuring makes running your Projects worse, non-adventure throwing Merits at them running makes them better.

              This may be a response to 2e, but it doesn't mean it's a good response to it.

              Namely, that late 2e systems turned entire peoples into numbers on a page, and removed potetnial drama of running a kingdom by letting you just...throw dice at the problem. It turned the game into a Civ or Crusader kings.
              Eh...? If being able to throw dice at problems removes potential drama, then Exalted has never been capable of doing much drama because it's a system all about throwing dice at problems. The evaluation of a RPG system should be if the way you throw dice at a problem boosts the impact of the drama or decreases it. If dice inherently remove drama than why are we even using them? Instead if we all agree that 2e's method of using dice with Leadership wasn't enhancing drama, than the response should be a Leadership system that addresses why that wasn't the case, rather than just tossing out any semblance of a system.

              It is not within their power to run it wisely.
              Huh!?!

              Where does this come from? Why should we at all accept this to be the case? What the heck is wrong with the idea of the game enabling an interested player from making a character that can wisely run a government?

              I wasn't there for 2e, but at the same time I've never felt the need for a Buer system...
              It's not a need for a "Bureaucracy system."

              It's a need for the Bureaucracy Ability to actually matter to the mechanics of the game or be removed for something else (if not removed as part of a trimming process). Consider for a moment that in 3e Core the word "bureaucracy" does not come up once in Chapter 5. "Merchant Prince" is supposed to be a viable concept for the game. Bureaucracy is supposed to be an essential Ability to that concept... but it doesn't do anything to actually justify that being the case.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                I can see what you mean. If Mandate of Heaven was streamlined that'd be ideal, as overall I found it too clunky.
                Yeah, the main thing I want from a system widget here is something that helps strike a balance between having a sense of verisimilitude and a power fantasy of being a capable leader.


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                • #23
                  I’m thinking if I had to bring Dominions into 3rd edition then their main traits would be expressed as Intimacies with Ties being towards popular leaders, religious figures, culturally significant landmarks, sorcerous workings that impact the quality of life, customs and institutions.

                  Losing or gaining Major and Defining intimacies causes accumulation of Limit at 1 dice for Major and 2 dice for Defining. The reasons for loss are self-evident but ideas gaining sudden popularity can result in pushback.

                  Limit gained like this is cumulative if it affects multiple intimacies at once. Afterall a society is comprised of multiple individuals with different priorities.

                  The final thought I’ve had on this for the moment is that you could and should try to game when these limit breaks occur as they’re a reflection of social tensions not the Great Curse. Ideally there’ll be political rivals (even if they're notionally on the same side) playing limit chicken with the PCs.


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