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  • #91
    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
    Compared to, what, the hyper fun of not being able to use the vast majority of antagonists?
    Please read my earlier posts, I have already addressed this.

    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
    At least there is a roller coaster of fun turns.

    You notice how Metroid fusion uses an enemy you can't hurt to build tension? You do that in Exalted. You fall back. You Disengage. Enter stealth. You use situational bonuses (like poison, traps, onslaught).

    Yes, you're right, you will immediately stop feeling awesome when you fight one of the 3 opponents more powerful than you. That doesn't mean it's not fun.

    (Unless you're ST sucks.)
    Your analogy falls to pieces here. In Metroid Fusion? The game shows me SA-X blowing through a wall, using a wave-spazer-ice beam, then blowing the station to bits. Then the game outright tells me I will die if I try to fight SA-X. In a good video game, such enemies are foreshadowed with this, because this is done by people who know they are doing.

    If a new ST throws players against Octavian? It’s very likely they’ll have a TPK on their party. There is no advice on how or when to throw such things to players. It doesn’t foreshadow anything.

    I play Exalted specifically because I can be a big damn hero, the system billed itself on that. If I want to run like hell against an enemy I have no chance of realistically beating just because of pure math and my only function in a battle is to bleed them of motes and onslaught? I’d go back to Exalted 2e because that’s what PD spam was. Initiative damage has far more of a noticeable measure of how someone is doing in combat, compared to motes which felt like you were slamming into a brick wall.

    I find it unfair to call it an ST sucking when the corebook doesn't give advice on how to judge difficulty and leave it as an enormous hazing ritual for new players. I tire of it John because the complete and utter lack of resources on how to run a game hasn't been published for years. I have gotten thanks from many people that my advice solved massive roadblocks they've been having with the game specifically involved with the mechanics, and you have no idea how livid that makes me feel. The only questions I should have to ask are really specific rules interactions, not literally write a book on how to run a game that has no ST guide or even chapter. Even second edition has a Storytelling chapter and book to go with it immediately out of the gate. Whenever or not they're good is another discussion, but at least they tried.

    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
    What would that Storyteller guide say about using the antagonists who are taking up huge amounts of book space, and for the antagonist based books it's player money as well? Just use the ones that are appropriate, and if the way your players spend 2bp that means 5 out of 150+ antagonists, and that's just too bad?
    I have spent literally the entire thread giving out suggestions. They have worked well for myself and others. If you do not want to use them then that is your call.

    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
    I think John is right that just squinting menacingly at a player who doesn't even mention swords in his backstory until they erase some of the 5 dots from their melee score is workable. I'm just tired of reading through so many antagonist writeups that seem cool, that have really fun games in them, and having to throw them away into the useless drawer because everyone tosses some throwaway line into their backstory about how they practice dueling for fun and to keep fit and that justifies their invincible fighting powers.
    And I don’t enjoy being a peanut gallery whose only use to essentially ineffectually paw at other opponents. I have given multiple explanations in the thread how to get around those or adapt them to your games in lore friendly ways.


    If your players agree to such things? Cool, have at. But as a baseline for the game as a whole? I reject it completely. Let people be free to make what they want and decide on what stories to make by themselves.


    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
    If you're throwing a 12 die attack at an opponent with 3-5 defense, you didn't just waste a bunch of motes to do nothing but apply an onslaught penalty. You apply an onslaught penalty regardless, and have, and might miss, but you'll probably hit and deal damage, or get the chance to roll on your gambit.

    I like the relative safety and comfort to know that if I really wanted to, I could drastically increase my odds, rather than do the best I can and hope for RNGesus the coin flip goes my way.

    Before you reply, read my previous posts to ensure I did not already answer the question or point you want to field in return.

    Originally posted by Elenian View Post
    I still find this discussion fascinating but I don't have a huge amount to add to it (though I'm curious whether other people share my impression that Lunars may be even easier to accidentally break the antagonists chapter with than are Solars.)
    Outside of a few charms, Lunars are largely better than Solars so yes.


    Originally posted by Elenian View Post
    This is a simplifying assumption, and, like any such assumption, it's going to introduce biases into your evaluation. If, as you say, you habitually evaluate things by making the assumption that random number generators always output their average result, that's going to skew in favour of, for example, single powerful combatants and against charms such as Double (/Triple) Attack Technique that payoff dice spikes.

    Because using this middle ground has worked well for me with Exalted in the past. Hell, it even worked decently with Shadowrun. It’s how I adjust the balancing for literally all my charms, NPC’s, and subsystems. If you click on my homebrew list in my signature, you’ll see just how far this has carried me. Since releasing this advice in my ST guide years ago, I’ve gotten countless thanks of people saying that such a trick is a useful way to gauge balance in Exalted. Because by assuming that middle road, one easily more feels the highs and lows.

    As for Double/Triple Attack Technique, I’ve extensively cited my reasons why it (and quite frankly the rest of Steel Devil) is a dumpster fire whose only purpose is to serve as a trap for new players. You can find them here and here. I don't mind dice swings, but DAT/TAT are simply too RNG-based compared to other MA's.

    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
    It's much worse than that. Consider this, the average roll of a d20 is 10.5, so we'll assume 10 because 10.5 is impossible. A DnD fighter has 15AC, and a goblin has an attack bonus of +4, whereas the goblin has 14AC and the fighter a bonus of +5. On an average roll the goblin doesn't hit and the fighter does. Now run a fight of a fighter vs 10 goblins using the "If would miss on average, it misses, and if would hit on average it hits" rule. Now run it again rolling actual dice, and you'll find that the fighter actually misses close to 50% of his attacks, and the goblins hit close to 50% of theirs, even though an average roll on the die is a miss.
    I’ll add another thing I said above.

    The reason why I said the base is more important is also because dice adders are boring and people want to use the cooler options when they have a chance. The excellency in this case is a means to an end. Compared to the other way around? Where you need that excellency to break even on the difficulty alone? Then the excellency becomes the end itself, I need to use it in order to hit a difficulty so that my cool effect does activate.

    One path is a self-imposed restriction placed upon myself, an entertaining little game of whenever I want to go full in and almost certainly hit or risk it and play it safer. The other requires me to go full in just to get a coin flip. But hey, if I miss I still apply onslaught. All in a day’s work for the peanut gallery to support Sho Nen Hiro.


    Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
    Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

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    • #92
      Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
      Why would that be the case?
      I'm not certain if it is. I haven't actually *played* a Lunars game. But, my thinking is this:
      Lunars get approximately a trillion attribute dots, and, being attribute exalted, encourage you to think about characters that are in part defined by how fast-as-a-cheetah/strong-as-a-yeddim/cunning-as-a-fox they are. So you're extremely likely to start with a five in something. But the way Lunar dicecaps are calculated basically means that this one five can contribute to any dicepool. The result is that 'noncombat' Lunars don't even need to have a tenuously-backstoried Melee 5 in order to be able to overwhelm most challenges with the power of a Celestial Excellency. [Though, at least you won't have a resting parry of 7...].

      Eg, suppose you're an Octopus totem Changing Moon calligrapher and sushi chef. You have Dex 3, Melee 1, a pair of chef's knives, and you took Agile Beast Defense and Bending Before the Storm (picking up the Excellency along the way) because you read the sidebars and though you needed two or three combat charms to avoid death at the hands of random brigands. If you stunt in your Manipulation of 5, you can throw, like, 18 dice at a withering attack with a basic stunt.

      (I should stress that I think this is all more or less working as designed - Lunars are supposed to be more versatile than Solars.)

      Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
      It's much worse than that. Consider this, the average roll of a d20 is 10.5, so we'll assume 10 because 10.5 is impossible. A DnD fighter has 15AC, and a goblin has an attack bonus of +4, whereas the goblin has 14AC and the fighter a bonus of +5. On an average roll the goblin doesn't hit and the fighter does. Now run a fight of a fighter vs 10 goblins using the "If would miss on average, it misses, and if would hit on average it hits" rule. Now run it again rolling actual dice, and you'll find that the fighter actually misses close to 50% of his attacks, and the goblins hit close to 50% of theirs, even though an average roll on the die is a miss.
      Yes, exactly. Hence my 'skew in favour of single powerful combatants'. If you use this assumption to test two opponents who are each make 1 attack per round and have no effects that trigger on [lots of overflow sux, nat 20s, etc] then you're not going to go too far wrong, but it's going to give the wrong answers in exactly the kinds of cases we're talking about here.

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      • #93
        Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
        I find it unfair to call it an ST sucking when the corebook doesn't give advice on how to judge difficulty and leave it as an enormous hazing ritual for new players.
        It actually does exactly this on page 495, where it specifically says that any value over 10 is something you should be cautious of, and used sparingly so that players do not feel forced to maximize their stats in order to have a fighting chance.

        I mean, the book says it right there! Players should not feel the need to maximize their stats in order to have a fighting chance in this game, so try not to use enemies with pools over 10 dice very often. It doesn't say "Players shouldn't feel the need to min-max their BS charm combos and take 10 combat charms off chargen" it specifically mentions that they should feel like they have a fighting chance with unoptimized stats.

        That's the Storyteller advice we have in this book, if we had a Storyteller guide it would be built along those lines.

        Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
        I’ll add another thing I said above.

        The reason why I said the base is more important is also because dice adders are boring and people want to use the cooler options when they have a chance. The excellency in this case is a means to an end. Compared to the other way around? Where you need that excellency to break even on the difficulty alone? Then the excellency becomes the end itself, I need to use it in order to hit a difficulty so that my cool effect does activate.

        One path is a self-imposed restriction placed upon myself, an entertaining little game of whenever I want to go full in and almost certainly hit or risk it and play it safer. The other requires me to go full in just to get a coin flip. But hey, if I miss I still apply onslaught. All in a day’s work for the peanut gallery to support Sho Nen Hiro.
        I actually think that an excellency-less Exalted system, or maybe excellency-lite would a lot better and more fun to get around.

        Also in your own storyteller guide you tell the story about how you played a Dawn who was so badass he ended fights in one round. The other players at your table loved it, because it meant they could focus on other things that weren't combat. If YOU don't like taking a less prominent role in combat, you should play the Dawn.

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        • #94
          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
          It actually does exactly this on page 495, where it specifically says that any value over 10 is something you should be cautious of, and used sparingly so that players do not feel forced to maximize their stats in order to have a fighting chance.

          I mean, the book says it right there! Players should not feel the need to maximize their stats in order to have a fighting chance in this game, so try not to use enemies with pools over 10 dice very often. It doesn't say "Players shouldn't feel the need to min-max their BS charm combos and take 10 combat charms off chargen" it specifically mentions that they should feel like they have a fighting chance with unoptimized stats.

          That's the Storyteller advice we have in this book, if we had a Storyteller guide it would be built along those lines.
          The guideline is vague and fuckall. This is like telling a telling a soldier about to march into a war the bare basics of how to command his troops before patting him on the back and getting to it. It doesn't tell the significance behind these dice pools and how they relate to players at different stages. Mine does.

          You know what it doesn't tell you? She pitfalls of designing something specifically dangerous for the non-optmiziers, and how something that may be a good challenge for those people are completely and utter hell for those without. I know this because I've had many, many people thank me for telling them the information I did. The information in the book is fuckall.

          I've also addressed the issue of charm count. Charms are an exalts version of power yes, but unless you're 25 charms in or using some broken combo (Essentially anything Brawl) then the difference isn't heaven and earth.

          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
          Also in your own storyteller guide you tell the story about how you played a Dawn who was so badass he ended fights in one round. The other players at your table loved it, because it meant they could focus on other things that weren't combat.
          That game also had people who 5/5'd their main combat stats. My Dawn had assloads of charms, but the rest of them could mathematically keep up with averages. Their charms could go into other places, but if combat started then they didn't need to be worried if the enemy glanced in their direction. They wouldn't be able to fight the same thing my Dawn did, but they'd be able to hold their own... and also hit a defence of 8 if they really wanted to (2e PDV value). The only exception of this was a Sidereal socialite, who knew that she sucked in combat IC and OOC, played the game to that aspect, and stayed out of combat unless absolutely necessary (I.E.: Was ambushed).

          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
          If YOU don't like taking a less prominent role in combat, you should play the Dawn.
          Or I can decide to actually be relevant in combat if I really wanted to by tailoring my stats to within the sweet spot, and always be engaged with the rest of the party like what happened with my Heaven's Reach party, or I can choose to be bad in it as a character point with our party Sidereal.
          Last edited by Sandact6; 02-25-2021, 03:04 AM.


          Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
          Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

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          • #95
            XP budgets are fairly unwieldy, and my experience is that players often end up slightly unhappy with arrays. My current solution is this:

            - players get 8/6/4 on attributes and 30 dots on abilities; no ability can go higher than 3 in this step
            - then, they get 3 extra points to distribute among abilities (4s and 5s can be bought in this step)
            - we don't use BPs. Instead, PCs have a customization budget to buy things that don't affect numbers inflation (Charms, non-artifact merits, WP, etc), and a separate budget where they have to choose between getting two bumps to any attribute or ability, grabbing one (1) Artifact at 3+ dots, or snatching a Charm with an Essence minimum 1 higher than whatever score they are starting with
            - we don't use xp; instead, we use a thing adapted and refined from an idea someone floated on Discord at some point, where characters can advance one attribute, or an ability rated at 3+ at the end of every story
            - all ability mins are lowered by 1


            Evocations for the demonic tattoos gained from the Pact with Mara sorcerous initiation || Pyre-Kindler (Soulsteel and Red Jade Grimscythe, Artifact 3) || Tenebrous Descent (Stormcaller's Black Jade Reaver Daiklave cousin, Artifact 5)
            Advice for running the corebook shikari antagonists

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            • #96
              Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
              The guideline is vague and fuckall.
              Not it’s not.

              3-6 dice “QC is skilled enough to rival the heroic prowess of the Exalted. This is a fair challenge to players with moderate to significant investment in the area.”

              7-10 dice “even exalts will rarely have this degree of skill in more than a few areas. This is a match for highly invested specialists.”

              11-14 dice “likely to defeat even specialized characters, storytellers be cautious using them so players don’t feel the need to maximize their stats just to have a fighting chance. Such ratings should be noteworthy even among the exalted”

              What does that give us with somebody who has 3/3? 6 dice is a challenge, add up to +4 dice to that and you get somebody that’s defeatable, but very hard. More than +4 dice? Well now you’re being forced to maximize your pools to even have a fighting chance, that puts you into the 11-14 range.

              It’s actually almost exactly your advice about relative dice pools, it just makes it absolute, and assumes that 6 dice represents moderate to significant investment. It’s just that, it doesn’t feel like backing your stats at chargen is a significant investment because it’s so easy to do.



              Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
              That game also had people who 5/5'd their main combat stats.
              So the 5/5ed their stats and you STILL put them in the peanut gallery? That doesn’t sound like fun to me, I made my character a combat badass, but the Dawn just killed all the enemies before I got to go.

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              • #97
                Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post
                XP budgets are fairly unwieldy, and my experience is that players often end up slightly unhappy with arrays. My current solution is this:

                - players get 8/6/4 on attributes and 30 dots on abilities; no ability can go higher than 3 in this step
                - then, they get 3 extra points to distribute among abilities (4s and 5s can be bought in this step)
                - we don't use BPs. Instead, PCs have a customization budget to buy things that don't affect numbers inflation (Charms, non-artifact merits, WP, etc), and a separate budget where they have to choose between getting two bumps to any attribute or ability, grabbing one (1) Artifact at 3+ dots, or snatching a Charm with an Essence minimum 1 higher than whatever score they are starting with
                - we don't use xp; instead, we use a thing adapted and refined from an idea someone floated on Discord at some point, where characters can advance one attribute, or an ability rated at 3+ at the end of every story
                - all ability mins are lowered by 1
                Interesting solution, it looks like it could work quite well.

                Comment


                • #98
                  Originally posted by Sandact6;n143?6894
                  Please read my earlier posts, I have already addressed this.
                  Round and round we go.

                  Sandact, I'm not telling you that you're playing the game wrong.
                  I'm not trying to get you to change the way you play the game.

                  Your homebrew is widely regarded. You have a good understanding of how Exalted does work. You have a clear vision of how Exalted should work.

                  I am notoriously bad at reading folk's emotional state from text, but you're telling me that you feel livid and that you don't want to continue this conversation.

                  You don't have anything to prove. I like you. If you don't want to discuss this then just stop.

                  But you keep making the same point over and over, and we keep addressing it over and over, and now you're complaining that you're repeating yourself.

                  If you want to advance the conversation, then say something new.

                  "The way people build characters means that they breeze over all opposition."

                  Sandact6: This is called WW statting. The stats are bad intentionally. Just let the players win all the time. Embrace the insanity and enjoy the ride. [1]

                  "But... the stats are good? They're well balanced against each other and against the sample PCs?"

                  Sandact6: Just homebrew all the monsters to have maximum stats. Mortals are supposed to suck. [2] Then homebrew all the Charms. And the subsystems. And ignore the advice in the book and homebrew your own ST guide.

                  "But... the corebook, since 1E, has said that mortals are supposed to matter?"

                  Sandact6: Well, they don't. [3]

                  "But... they do if you build your characters like the six sample characters the game gives us? In fact... all the NPCs matter if you follow the advice the game actually gives you?"

                  Sandact6: Look, the stats are deliberately too low for casual players. Because it's easier to publish characters whose stats are too low and buff them, than to publish characters whose stats are too high and buff them. [4]

                  "Wouldn't it make more sense just to publish characters whose stats are correct? Wouldn't that be easier for casual players? And isn't it easier to nerf the three over powered characters than it would be to buff all 60+ other NPCs? In fact, here's one of the most powerful characters in the game getting taken down by a bunch of casual builds that look like the sample characters the game gives us? Right out the box, no homebrew required?"

                  Sandact6: Ah but those casual builds are using Excellencies. Only the top 5% of players in the game use Excellencies. [5]

                  "Only the what?"

                  Sandact6: Okay, okay, everyone uses Excellencies. But the point is that the content shouldn't be too hard for the players. And if it is then you should nerf it. [6]

                  "But then... isn't it fundementally easier to nerf the three, literally, count them, three enemies in the book that are too powerful than to buff literally every other creation up to the 5/5 level?"

                  Sandact6: I just told you it's easier to buff than to nerf!

                  "But it's literally three-"

                  Sandact6: You will be misreable if you have to fight something more powerful than you. Look at this video about Metroid Fusion, it's great storytelling advice on how to build tension. [7]

                  "By using a character more powerful than the players? Yeah, that is a good technique. But the problem is that if you build the PCs with solid fives, there isn't anything more powerful than the players unless you homebrew. If you build like the game suggests, then an ST who doesn't suck can make powerful enemies fun."

                  Sandact6: If the ST just throws you face first at what is meant to be a powerful enemy, in a white room fight, without any foreshadowing or preparation then you will immediately die. [8]

                  "Yeah. You will. That's sucky STing."

                  Sandact6: Well, I'm a good ST. I wrote a guide that helps people enjoy the game. [8]

                  "I know. I've read it. It's filled with good advice. Like 'I’m here to say unless that NPC has a serious reason to increase their stats, I’m telling you to avoid this temptation.' Advice which you kinda reiterated in this thread, in fact."

                  I don't disagree with your mechanical anaylsis. A difference of ~4 dice means characters are opperating on different tiers.

                  When I made fun of your math (which, in retrospect, was pretty shitty of me - I'm sorrry), it was because DrLoveMonkey specifically laid out the exact circumstances of the game, and you outright ignored him to reiterate a point you'd already made instead of the actual argument being presented. I reacted as if this was a deliberate strawman and I escalated there, and that wasn't cool.

                  The point is that Exalted works (as in the mechanical systems work and the play experience is fun) even if the players are on different tiers.

                  This is not to say that you can't have fun if the players are on the same tier. Clearly, you have fun with Exalted.

                  But the entire point of this thread is that if you play like you do (and, again, there's nothing wrong with playing like you do) then in order to challenge the players you have to create a vast amount of homebrew. And you, Sandact6, create a VAST amount of homebrew.

                  We are not saying "the game is not fun if you play like Sandact".
                  We are not saying "Sandact is a bad ST."
                  We are not saying "Sandact's version of Exalted is wrong."

                  I'm saying "you have to homebrew a lot more if you play like Sandact."

                  And you do. Have to homebrew. A lot more.

                  I don't know what argument you think you're making when you post "I have already addressed this" when I say that the number 3 is lower than the number 60. Because the number 3 is lower than the number 60.

                  I'm not going to get into my personal issues with Holden and Morke, but believe me -- I feel your frustration. I have commented many, many, times my opinion of 3E core. I feel very strong negative emotions about it. There's a scene in Guardians of the Galaxy where Rocket Raccoon kicks a patch of grass in utter frustration -- that's how I feel when I find myself having to even vaguely defend 3E Core. You're not wrong. Let me say that again: you, Sandact6 are not wrong. And I agree with lots of what you've said.

                  But if you build weaker characters, exactly like the book suggests, you don't have to change as much of the book.
                  If you ignore the advice in the book, you have to change the systems in the book to compensate.

                  That's it. That's my sum total point.


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

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                  • #99
                    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

                    Not it’s not.

                    3-6 dice “QC is skilled enough to rival the heroic prowess of the Exalted. This is a fair challenge to players with moderate to significant investment in the area.”

                    7-10 dice “even exalts will rarely have this degree of skill in more than a few areas. This is a match for highly invested specialists.”

                    11-14 dice “likely to defeat even specialized characters, storytellers be cautious using them so players don’t feel the need to maximize their stats just to have a fighting chance. Such ratings should be noteworthy even among the exalted”
                    Stop cherrypicking and read the post you’re replying to in full. It doesn’t tell you why such things are significant or how such things matter to a PC. In d20 systems I can tell exactly what chance my players have of rolling an result, because the math is very simple to work back from. Exalted is not like this. It soft hand tells you those things, but doesn’t tell you why such things are the case. I’ve using the same sections for years yes, but I understand the math behind the hood to know when and why higher stats are necessary and more importantly what is overkill and why.


                    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                    What does that give us with somebody who has 3/3? 6 dice is a challenge, add up to +4 dice to that and you get somebody that’s defeatable, but very hard. More than +4 dice? Well now you’re being forced to maximize your pools to even have a fighting chance, that puts you into the 11-14 range.

                    It’s actually almost exactly your advice about relative dice pools, it just makes it absolute, and assumes that 6 dice represents moderate to significant investment. It’s just that, it doesn’t feel like backing your stats at chargen is a significant investment because it’s so easy to do.
                    No, my way is different. The book tells you “Easy/Normal/Hard/V. hard are these categories”. My response is “No, the difficulty depends on the relative dicepool compared to your opponent.” It doesn’t tell you why this is the case in the book, and considering the amount of people I had thank me for my guideline, I think it pretty well hit the mark. I taught a man how to fish, rather than just giving him fish.


                    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                    So the 5/5ed their stats and you STILL put them in the peanut gallery? That doesn’t sound like fun to me, I made my character a combat badass, but the Dawn just killed all the enemies before I got to go.
                    Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                    That game also had people who 5/5'd their main combat stats. My Dawn had assloads of charms, but the rest of them could mathematically keep up with averages. Their charms could go into other places, but if combat started then they didn't need to be worried if the enemy glanced in their direction. They wouldn't be able to fight the same thing my Dawn did, but they'd be able to hold their own... and also hit a defence of 8 if they really wanted to (2e PDV value). The only exception of this was a Sidereal socialite, who knew that she sucked in combat IC and OOC, played the game to that aspect, and stayed out of combat unless absolutely necessary (I.E.: Was ambushed).
                    The difference is these players had the option of contributing and feel like they’re making a huge difference in the combat, yours does not. Likewise their smattering of combat charms, while no way comparable to my Dawn, still allowed them to keep up in a way that wasn’t heaven and earth. They could still land the difficulty if they wanted to, just lacked the raw power or very wide assortment of tricks my Dawn had. If they wanted to do more themselves, they could try to catch up and invest in their own combat charms, and it would be their choice to try and better in combat.

                    I propose options, you impose limitations. Big difference between the two.

                    Secondly in my guide, I explicitly said about 90% of my XP was combat. This doesn’t meant I started off killing all enemies immediately and forever, rather it happened over the course of the game. You’re reading things and missing out vital inferring clues to them. It also supports what I said before, the main measure of an Exalt is charm count, not the ability pool. A character whose spent 90% of their resources invested into combat is going to be a hell of a lot better than one without, but due to the way most charms work the other players still felt like they were contributing in some way.


                    Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
                    Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

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                    • Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post

                      Stop cherrypicking and read the post you’re replying to in full. It doesn’t tell you why such things are significant or how such things matter to a PC. In d20 systems I can tell exactly what chance my players have of rolling an result, because the math is very simple to work back from. Exalted is not like this. It soft hand tells you those things, but doesn’t tell you why such things are the case. I’ve using the same sections for years yes, but I understand the math behind the hood to know when and why higher stats are necessary and more importantly what is overkill and why.




                      No, my way is different. The book tells you “Easy/Normal/Hard/V. hard are these categories”. My response is “No, the difficulty depends on the relative dicepool compared to your opponent.” It doesn’t tell you why this is the case in the book, and considering the amount of people I had thank me for my guideline, I think it pretty well hit the mark. I taught a man how to fish, rather than just giving him fish.
                      I don’t even understand what you’re saying here. Are you suggesting the book spell out “3-5 dice is a challenge for moderately to significantly invested characters. This is because 1-2 dice tends to roll very few successes, and is unlikely to roll as many successes as a player with 5-6 dice. Adding more dice than this increases the number of successes you roll, so a character who has 7-10 dice is likely to roll even more successes than a character who was 5-6 dice, as is this very dangerous even to highly invested specialists”




                      Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                      The difference is these players had the option of contributing and feel like they’re making a huge difference in the combat, yours does not.
                      My players face characters with dicepools typically in the range of 6-9, so yes actually they do keep up.

                      Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                      Likewise their smattering of combat charms, while no way comparable to my Dawn, still allowed them to keep up in a way that wasn’t heaven and earth. They could still land the difficulty if they wanted to, just lacked the raw power or very wide assortment of tricks my Dawn had. If they wanted to do more themselves, they could try to catch up and invest in their own combat charms, and it would be their choice to try and better in combat.
                      Explain to me how they felt they were contributing to a one round combat where you killed all the enemies, and told you they were glad they didn’t need to do combat stuff because you took all the heat.


                      Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                      Secondly in my guide, I explicitly said about 90% of my XP was combat. This doesn’t meant I started off killing all enemies immediately and forever, rather it happened over the course of the game. You’re reading things and missing out vital inferring clues to them. It also supports what I said before, the main measure of an Exalt is charm count, not the ability pool. A character whose spent 90% of their resources invested into combat is going to be a hell of a lot better than one without, but due to the way most charms work the other players still felt like they were contributing in some way.
                      Sure, that’s fine. Why can you start at chargen, and spending 10% of your resources, not 90%, 10%, and become an invincible combat god who slays all andutterly ignores the pathetic attacks of 100 meter long undead sand worms and vicious Wyld spawned monstrocities.

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                      • Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                        I don’t even understand what you’re saying here. Are you suggesting the book spell out “3-5 dice is a challenge for moderately to significantly invested characters. This is because 1-2 dice tends to roll very few successes, and is unlikely to roll as many successes as a player with 5-6 dice. Adding more dice than this increases the number of successes you roll, so a character who has 7-10 dice is likely to roll even more successes than a character who was 5-6 dice, as is this very dangerous even to highly invested specialists”
                        Because such metrics are worthless. Many Storytellers I’ve seen look at the guideline then shrug and issue higher difficulties than the half successes as dicepool thumbstick. They don’t understand how drastically those difficulties spike and quite often shocked when they look at the math. For example on a standard roll when rounded to the nearest whole number https://anydice.com/program/20bab

                        4 dice:
                        61% chance of 2 successes
                        33% chance of 3 successes
                        14% chance of 4 successes

                        6 dice:
                        59% chance to roll 3 successes
                        36% chance to roll 4 successes
                        18% chance to roll 5 successes

                        10 dice:
                        57% chance to roll 5 successes
                        39% chance to roll 6 successes
                        23% chance to roll 7 successes

                        40 dice (Unrealistic in play, but just to provide an extreme example):
                        54% chance to roll 20 successes
                        44% chance to roll 21 successes
                        35% chance to roll 22 successes
                        27% chance to roll 23 successes

                        See how quickly that nosedives off a cliff? Even the higher dicepools have their chances cut nearly in half just by two successes later. This is why I propose the three dice rule, and anything more than a four die difference (about two successes) means you’re going to have a bad time. This knowledge I find is superior to saying “This is a medium/hard” area. I don’t mind assigning players a 25-33% chance of success at base, but I need to understand how to get to those odds. The book says they're extremely dangerous, but doesn't punctuate just how and why. It did not show its work.

                        And before you tell me how this relates into needing lower dicepools, this bit of information goes beyond that. It’s pretty much universal regardless of what your stats are. The only time it does not matter are times of extreme dice manipulation like craft, which thankfully people better in math than me crunched those numbers.

                        This is before I go into the nightmare that is soak: the second great filter regarding combat that can make or break ST's


                        Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                        My players face characters with dicepools typically in the range of 6-9, so yes actually they do keep up.
                        Good for you, non-ironically. As I said, if something works for your game use it. But I’m not advocating it for the game as a whole.

                        Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                        Explain to me how they felt they were contributing to a one round combat where you killed all the enemies, and told you they were glad they didn’t need to do combat stuff because you took all the heat.
                        Did you read only read the first sentence then discard the rest? Legit question, because I already answered this.

                        Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                        The difference is these players had the option of contributing and feel like they’re making a huge difference in the combat, yours does not. Likewise their smattering of combat charms, while no way comparable to my Dawn, still allowed them to keep up in a way that wasn’t heaven and earth. They could still land the difficulty if they wanted to, just lacked the raw power or very wide assortment of tricks my Dawn had. If they wanted to do more themselves, they could try to catch up and invest in their own combat charms, and it would be their choice to try and better in combat.
                        The point is that if they wanted to contribute in combat, they could. They be behind in raw power, but wouldn’t be significantly handicapped. Even if our abilities varied wildly, we all had the same BAB. The point was they had options, not being told that your goal is to basically be Sakuya to the group’s Naruto/Sasuke. You’re 100% power when fighting together, but if the peanut gallery is missing then Sho Nen Hiro can bring the other 96%.
                        Last edited by Sandact6; 02-25-2021, 06:59 PM. Reason: broken link


                        Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
                        Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

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                        • Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                          Because such metrics are worthless. Many Storytellers I’ve seen look at the guideline then shrug and issue higher difficulties than the half successes as dicepool thumbstick. They don’t understand how drastically those difficulties spike and quite often shocked when they look at the math.
                          If they read the guideline that says "3-6 dice is a fair challenge for players who are moderately to significantly invested in that area" and just go say "Eh, fuck it, what does the Rulebook know about the rules, suck 12 die attacks, fools" that's kind of their fault. It specifically calls out to use caution, because anything with more than 10 dice is a serious badass and is "likely to defeat even specialized player characters if they're not equally optimized or using magic"

                          The other way is just bandits in Daedric armor. "Hmmm, I want these agata to be a pretty challenging fight. They're giant horse sized wasps from hell made of gemstones. Checking out my players stats that means...a 13 die attack pool, and Evasion 8 ought to do it." No! If my character has maximum combat stats, they physically can't go any higher in the system, I should feel like I'm playing a Solar who's stats can't get any higher. Nevermind that still means I'm just taking the enemies that are in the book and homebrewing my own pools for them.

                          Maybe you could also include the successes chart, if you expected that people just wouldn't believe you when you told them that they shouldn't be making QCs with 11+ pools, but the advice is still there anyway. The problem is that when players just optimize anyway for no other reason that you can fully flesh out two whole character concepts with enough dots to spare to just do that, there's silence.

                          Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                          Did you read only read the first sentence then discard the rest? Legit question, because I already answered this.
                          I just still don't understand. You start the combat, everyone rolls join battle, you scream "I'm the DAWN BITCHES!!!!" and you slay every foe on the board, then everyone claps eachother around the shoulders and congratulations all around everyone on how they contributed to the fight. How?

                          They COULD contribute, if you held back enough to let them fight, but you don't, and if you did they'd only be contributing because you let them have some scraps. How on Earth is that less of a peanut gallery than reliably hitting and dealing damage to enemies, just maybe not quite as much as the Dawn.

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                          • Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                            If my character has maximum combat stats, they physically can't go any higher in the system, I should feel like I'm playing a Solar who's stats can't get any higher. Nevermind that still means I'm just taking the enemies that are in the book and homebrewing my own pools for them.
                            I think I disagree with this - while 5 dex, 5 melee, and a speciality means your stats can't go any higher, your combat ability and investment can go a lot higher. They've invested 22-26xp in melee. A starting character could easily spend over 50 xp on melee, and a character who's been played for a while can invest 100s of xp in melee.

                            The way exalted character creation is designed, a ton of the granularity is in charms, and between charms having prerequisites and static dice boosts being very powerful (at least in combat), "maxed stats without few-to-no charms" is a fairly low investment. But huge amounts of the granularity in difficulty and written QCs is in the space of dots in ability, not in the space of maxes stats with variable numbers of charms.

                            A solar with only 1 or 2 abilities at 5 will very either run out of charms they can legally buy, or buy a huge number of charms in those two abilities. Even ignoring charm prerequisites, a lot of charms aren't as efficient as improving your ability by 1, which costs fewer xp than a charm.

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                            • Originally posted by autXautY View Post
                              The way exalted character creation is designed, a ton of the granularity is in charms, and between charms having prerequisites and static dice boosts being very powerful (at least in combat), "maxed stats without few-to-no charms" is a fairly low investment. But huge amounts of the granularity in difficulty and written QCs is in the space of dots in ability, not in the space of maxes stats with variable numbers of charms.
                              Most of the granularity is in charms, most of the power is in dots. Or, rather, enough power is in dots to make it not matter really, especially with excellencies allowing each dot to count for two. A character with Melee 3 Dex 3 and Excellent Strike, Dipping Swallow, Fire and Stones, One Weapon Two Blows, and Peony Blossom Technique is less effective, but MUCH more fun to play than a character with 5/5 and just the excellency. At least in most cases, there's times when you're suffering a -5 penalty where not having dipping swallow would be the end of you.

                              As shown above 4 dice makes a big difference, getting those other 4 att/abil dots gives you not only 4 base dice to clown everything with, but a total of +8 to max out with if you want to, when most things are built with the idea that if you have 3/3 you can spend motes to assure victory against difficult things, but it does at least take motes.

                              So you can spend a bunch of resources on charms, 4bp for just one charm, or spend half that to get those last two dots of melee and become MUCH more powerful than that charm would let you be.

                              What's the alternative here anyway? Do all exalts by default just end up with 5 in combat abilities, making each of them directional masters in the art of violence even before they were Exalted, and so we build with that assumption and keep all the investment into charms? The only other way about it would be to maybe ditch excellencies or something and have the ability matter way less than the charms you bought in it, so somebody with 3/3 but 5 melee charms would be leaps and bounds better than somebody with 5/5 and the excellency, but that would require such a major rework, and there's a ton of people resistant to the idea.
                              Last edited by DrLoveMonkey; 02-26-2021, 01:44 AM.

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                              • Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                                What's the alternative here anyway? Do all exalts by default just end up with 5 in combat abilities, making each of them directional masters in the art of violence even before they were Exalted, and so we build with that assumption and keep all the investment into charms? The only other way about it would be to maybe ditch excellencies or something and have the ability matter way less than the charms you bought in it, so somebody with 3/3 but 5 melee charms would be leaps and bounds better than somebody with 5/5 and the excellency, but that would require such a major rework, and there's a ton of people resistant to the idea.
                                Why would those be the only options?
                                What about detaching the die cap from the base pool for critical rolls like combat, so a combat inept character is less efficient when they need to throw 20 dice at the problem but can get it done? Or increase the effect of Willpower, by making it so any combat roll that benefits from a WP autosux counts the base pool as 5+5, making it a question of WP expenditure instead of raw numbers? Or what about going the other way, and limiting Attribute+Ability+Excellency (and other Charm dice) to some sub-20 number (15 perhaps), again causing 5+5 to be more mote efficient but not the One True Way?
                                There's countless ways to poke at the system and get it away from 5+5 or GTFO.

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