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My (kind of opposite) problem with something else in chargen

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    The problem in question isn't, "can you make a character that through a combination of previous life skills, Exaltation, and some time as an Exalt, that justifies having high stats?" So focusing on things like how long a new character is presumed to have been an Exalt isn't really that helpful.

    The problem in question is, "why does the game suggest that it's valid to make characters that haven't yet invested into post-Exaltation training, but then pressure you into having stats beyond what that concept would suggest by locking things (mostly Charms) behind high ratings?"

    There is a side tangent on the issue of surviving the earliest parts of becoming a Solar (the Exaltation itself, and the time period directly after) before the character would start getting some of those char-gen resources. Because that's part of the issue with the narrative of the "person that just Exalted takes advantage of Exalted training times to boost their stats quickly," in that they have to survive a period between not having those stats and the time it takes to get them.
    On the second problem I agree with it being a problem. I thought they were going to lower ability ratings but you can't go more then E2 to in a few cases E3 without everything being ability 5. I was hoping for for something more gradual with other exalts.

    On the side tangent I do have to point out that surviving and repeatedly preforming those actions is a way to get better at them. The more a person climbs through harsh, terrain, uses his charm to off-set his opponent, and craft more tools for the next fight is a way to build up more competency in it.
    Last edited by Epimetheus; 03-14-2021, 12:30 PM.

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    • #62
      Reminder that plenty of classical heroes did start as just farmboys aside from being demigods, with their parentage being considered all the justification needed for their prowess.

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      • #63
        Originally posted by habitableexoplanet View Post
        A veteran soldier is better than the average professional soldier, but if you're going to war, you're not at all surprised to see a veteran soldier.
        War is also a bit of an outlier as it concentrates professionals in one place at one time, and every side in the war is (generally) bringing the best fighters they have to the conflict.

        A large chunk of people in creation need to travel at least a day round-trip to get to a blacksmith, and another large chunk living in a place with just one blacksmith. Finding "elite" blacksmiths isn't as expected outside of the biggest industrial centers in Creation because there just isn't a reason to have enough of them in one place unless that place has a lot of smithing needing done. And most highly skilled individuals are going to have some social pressure to set up shop where their skill can benefit them the most.

        I think 3 can be "noticeably better than the average professional" but not "in towns, the best in living memory" - like, if the town has ten people who reach a professional level at something and two are notably better than the others, those two might have 3 dots.
        While the game might be better if that was how the phrasing was handled, I don't think that really gets to the "veteran" or "elite" aspect of the text. Those two are far more likely to have a specialty or higher Attributes or more Willpower than actually have a 3 based on descriptions. After all, a 4 is someone so good that rich people send their 3 rated expensive private attendants to 4s when there's something so special a 3 can't hack it. That doesn't really mesh well with 1/5 professionals being a 3 on either side of how skilled that descriptively makes them.

        This goes back to 1e (and the WoD) where 3 was above average compared to the general population, but average for a working professional, 4 was exceptional/elite/etc., leaving 5 to be the "genius" rating. 3e eliminated the old 2 between amateur and professional, and it compresses things oddly from a descriptive stance.

        Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
        On the side tangent I do have to point out that surviving and repeatedly preforming those actions is a way to get better at them.
        The book actually talks about this when pointing out that training times are supposed to be flexible, and that "learning on the job" is actually a sub-optimal approach compared to a mixture of structured and practical training (as well as the assumed time spent on training). While it doesn't really matter to a caste/favored Ability, since you can double the training times on those and still not really impact how insanely fast they train up, it does mean things like Attributes would progress much slower if you're just increasing them through survival applications of your skills.

        Originally posted by Sith_Happens View Post
        Reminder that plenty of classical heroes did start as just farmboys aside from being demigods, with their parentage being considered all the justification needed for their prowess.
        Reminder: we know, but that's not the point. The point is that the books say you can play a character that justifies their prowess through hard work, not having it divinely handed to them, but then doesn't really make that as viable as this sort of approach.

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        • #64
          Originally posted by Sith_Happens View Post
          Reminder that plenty of classical heroes did start as just farmboys aside from being demigods, with their parentage being considered all the justification needed for their prowess.
          I think that's taken care of by charms, like the excellency.

          A Solar swordsman with dex 3 melee 2 is a greater swordsman than the greatest mortal who ever lived. The mortal has 11 dice, the Solar has 11, and more charms beside that that grant additional abilities.

          Which is pretty amazing. Somebody with just average professional skill with a blade and slightly above average dexterity suddenly outpaces the most legendary and storied mortal as soon as they get their exaltation, without even changing any dots.
          Last edited by DrLoveMonkey; 03-16-2021, 04:15 AM.

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          • #65
            I feel like there's an elegant solution to be had when you consider 2 points: 1) The sheet is not necessarily the character and 2) Celestial Exaltations carry flashes of memories and thus conceivably skills through their reincarnations.

            When Soaring River parries and knocks the raid leader to the ground with a stick, it feels like she has done it 10,000 times. The captain stares up at her, awestruck by the blazing mark on her brow but also that same mark on the scores of glowing figures behind her. (This is also a pre-established Exalted trope seen on pages 21 and 24 of the Tale of the Visiting Flare.)

            Soaring River can have the meager dots from Supposition 1, AND her sheet can have the high dots needed for Supposition 2. This is possible because not all the dots have to represent her stats. The sheet can also represent the long line of Solar behemoth-slayers that now inhabit the daring farm girl.

            If you really want to, you could ask a Storyteller to let you run 2 separate sheets: one for Aang and one for the Avatar state. Mechanically, you might switch based on a particular Anima level or when your Defining Intimacy is at stake. You may have inadvertently hit on a new and interesting style of play.

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            • #66
              I do think it's worth reiterating that while playing the farmgirl Dawn is an option, it's not really the default assumption for Solar Exalted (who are generally Exalted in a caste because they're already peerless experts in what that caste does.) Even a farmgirl Dawn is likely to eg. be the best arm-wrestling brawler in her village, or was taught to hunt and use a bow by her uncle until nobody in town is a match for her, or her father was a soldier who made her practice with a quarterstaff every day or something - ala the Luke Skywalker shooting womp-rats example someone mentioned above.

              Exalting in something that you genuinely didn't do before at all - or even something you were merely competent at - isn't really central to the Solar theme. It might make more sense for eg. Sidereals, so perhaps they should have lower ability minimums for intro charms to fit the theme of "this is my destiny so as a total newbie Sidereal, the flow of Fate guides me even if I've never trained a day in my life before." When you start talking about a Solar starting with 1 or 2 in the Ability that is central to their concept, though, it starts to feel like you're forcing in a concept that is somewhat unusual for a Solar. Which is fine! Unusual characters can be cool.

              But they're also going to play a bit differently, and the mechanics may not provide full support for doing everything you would normally expect (because you're not playing the expected character) - eg. the Dawn whose highest combat skill is a 1 would be like Allison Ruth from Kill Six Billion Demons, and would need to rely on others a bit until they've found a teacher or time to train or the like. To me, that's what you're asking to play when you start with low or merely average skills in your main focus as a Solar.

              If you want to say "my Exaltation granted me peerless skill even though I had no prior training!", well... just start with at least 3 in your main combat skill, then?

              But I'm not understanding what people are asking for if they want to start with Melee 1 or 2, and also be an amazing Solar warrior. Solar excellence comes from their skill - that is to say, you have to actually be above average at what you do in order to get much out of it. For a Solar, starting with Melee 1 or 2 literally means, thematically, that you want to start as someone who hasn't yet grasped the pinnacle necessary to draw on their Solar prowess, and whose story is therefore going to start low-key as they struggle to unlock it.

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