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Homosexuality in Exalted second edition

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  • #61
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    Though being Exalted, I imagine marrying men to men and women to women is just as common if it benefits the house. That's what demons stitching together a child is for.
    Unless something has changed, the Realm still broadly considers sorcery to be unnerving and the sort of thing that's *useful* but generally held at a remove. The Precedent of Rawar *exists* but is a narrow and explicit exception to the stigma. Sorcery isn't a common skill--the Heptagram being by far the smallest school of all the secondaries--and the services of one can be costly in ways beyond mere talents of jade.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
      Yeah, I mean, your wider point is fair and I agree. The Realm is a terrible place to grow up (regardless of edition -- even if 3E is significantly less terrible than 1E). It is all about the overbearing family and ruthless peers (and the crushing burdeon of expectation).

      But the specifics? Highly variable between editions.

      (Nowhere in the 3E text does it say that 90-95% of Dragon-Blooded don't marry for love. That's your inference from where the actual text says "The vast majority of Dynasts accept these arranged marriages". 51% is a majority. But a vast majority doesn't have to be 95%: 66% would mean that twice as many accept it as refuse it, that's a pretty vast majority. Your interpretation of the text is valid -- it could well be 95% -- but it's your interpretation of what the book says. It's not what the book actually says. Which is my point: not that you are wrong (I agree with you -- I think at least 90% of Deebs don't marry for love), but that we need to be clear what we're talking about. Which edition are we talking about? Are we talking about what the text actually says or our own headcanon?)
      Notice also, that even within the editions things aren't always consistent (or at least consistently presented).

      2e DB manual for example, opens with a comic showing us Tepet Elana flat out ignoring her arrianged marriage. And it does not present it as anything harder than just deflecting nagging from her husband-to-be. Even though we're being told she is being ordered by her family to follow through with it, she does not seem to have any problem with just ignoring this. And she doesn;t seem to be worried at all when doing it. That's our very first presentation to the idea of arrianged marriages in 2E DB splatbook. It's bound to color all the other informations we're receiving further on.




      The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.

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      • #63
        Originally posted by Astralporing View Post
        Notice also, that even within the editions things aren't always consistent (or at least consistently presented).

        2e DB manual for example, opens with a comic showing us Tepet Elana flat out ignoring her arrianged marriage. And it does not present it as anything harder than just deflecting nagging from her husband-to-be. Even though we're being told she is being ordered by her family to follow through with it, she does not seem to have any problem with just ignoring this. And she doesn;t seem to be worried at all when doing it. That's our very first presentation to the idea of arrianged marriages in 2E DB splatbook. It's bound to color all the other informations we're receiving further on.
        The fiction is just a tiny blurb that doesn't tell us anything. It doesn't tell us why she's able to stall. What are the concequences to her actions. What happened afterwards. The fictional comics don't really dictate the narrative of the world. It colors the situation between one arranged marriage not all of them.

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        • #64
          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
          Poster: The Dragonblooded of the Realm may be haughty and terrible but they're genuine nobility. A Dragonblooded may kill a peasant for disrespecting him but if that peasant's village was threatened by the Fair Folk then he would give his life to defend it.

          Developer: Actually, most Dragonblooded of the Realm would gladly sacrifice the village to save themselves. Those who wouldn't tend to be PCs.
          See, I don't believe in death of the author for RPGs. Storytelling is a communal experience, and developer intent is important for making a shared narrative -- everyone should be on the same page, so clarity in intent is very helpful.

          But this isn't born out in text.

          We see folks like the Slug who does sacrifice himself to stop the fair folk. And when it backfires horribly on him, he just doubles down on helping folks. We see stuff like Tepet Elana throwing herself directly into danger to protect those who can't protect themselves. We see Mnemon personally engaging in a Wyld Hunt because she considers it her duty (Mnemon, who murdered her fiance and sent assassins after her son in order to make a power grab). We see the 3E sigs refuse to burn down a village to smoke out an anathema. The defenders of Thorns marched out against Juggernaut.

          We don't really see Dragon-Blooded of the Realm just sacrificing others to save their own skins. Even in Fangs at the Gate, the Dragon-Blooded are (by and large) defiant and heroic (in the classical sense).

          The average Realm Dragon-Blooded is a terrible person. They're slave-holding imperialists who murder folks for being moral. But the characters we're presented with in Chapter Fictions, Aspect Books, and Comics do have noblesse oblige/white man's burdeon.

          If the intent is that the average Dragon-Blooded would sacrifice a village to save themselves, the devs should put that in the published text.

          (That said, Elana and the Slug are portrayed as being exceptional in their devotion to duty. I certainly don't think the average DB would sacrifice their life to defend a village of nobodies. And I'm not saying I know Dragon-Blooded better than the developers -- it's just that the published text reads to me as being between the two extremes.)


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

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          • #65
            Originally posted by Mockery View Post

            Unless something has changed, the Realm still broadly considers sorcery to be unnerving and the sort of thing that's *useful* but generally held at a remove. The Precedent of Rawar *exists* but is a narrow and explicit exception to the stigma. Sorcery isn't a common skill--the Heptagram being by far the smallest school of all the secondaries--and the services of one can be costly in ways beyond mere talents of jade.
            I also have to imagine that poor kid. Imagine being a child at school, and everyone else had their mother grow them in their belly and give birth to them, and you were put together by a demon taking clumps of dead flesh, mashing them together, and then putting it into a hellfire oven. You would die from the harassment.

            Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
            Pasiap's Stair used to kill off 65% of its student body over its ten year curriculum. Two out of three found eggs who took the coin died in school.
            Stuff like this crosses the line for me from grimdark to grimderp. In Canada's residential school system for first nations children the mortality rate was about 5% overall, at some particularly bad schools during outbreaks of tuberculosis it spiked to as high as 70%. That's the rate of a system engineered for genocide against the lowest class in the nation, not a system engineered to produce military officers from the highest class.

            Shaka Zulu would be sickened seeing people treat soldiers that way. Russian Spetsnaz forces would call you insane for doing it. Bai Qi would call you a backwards barbarian in need of compassion.

            It's like when people write for Warhammer 40k and say that the laborours on planet Oppreseon Prime live to be an average of 12 before dying of exhaustion, or something. It's only there to show dumb levels of dark child labour with no actual thought put into how an eight year old is supposed to truck a 10 pound rivet gun one handed up a ladder and start pounding away at a beam, or how the hell a planet has a stable breeding population when nobody lives to see puberty.

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            • #66
              Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

              Stuff like this crosses the line for me from grimdark to grimderp. In Canada's residential school system for first nations children the mortality rate was about 5% overall, at some particularly bad schools during outbreaks of tuberculosis it spiked to as high as 70%. That's the rate of a system engineered for genocide against the lowest class in the nation, not a system engineered to produce military officers from the highest class.

              Shaka Zulu would be sickened seeing people treat soldiers that way. Russian Spetsnaz forces would call you insane for doing it. Bai Qi would call you a backwards barbarian in need of compassion.

              It's like when people write for Warhammer 40k and say that the laborours on planet Oppreseon Prime live to be an average of 12 before dying of exhaustion, or something. It's only there to show dumb levels of dark child labour with no actual thought put into how an eight year old is supposed to truck a 10 pound rivet gun one handed up a ladder and start pounding away at a beam, or how the hell a planet has a stable breeding population when nobody lives to see puberty.
              It's the place where they train the army in a rather brutal way. It's not a nice nice school, they get treated like soldiers and worked like soldiers. A majority of students though drop out, if they don't get hurt. I don't think that's changed though, it's just not stated so bluntly
              Last edited by Epimetheus; 04-07-2021, 07:05 PM.

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
                It's the place where they train the army in a rather brutal way. It's not a nice nice school, they get treated like soldiers and worked like soldiers. A majority of students though drop out, if they don't get hurt. I don't think that's changed though, it's just not stated so bluntly
                You don't get to drop out of Pasiap's Stair. You graduate or you die. In 3e, the vast majority graduate.


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                • #68
                  A two thirds death rate is just a really bad way to run an army.

                  Here's what you do, what all professional military organizations have done for thousands of years. You take a group of people who are motivated to fight, though debt, threats, bribery, social pressures, desperation, patriotism, whatever. Then you train them to some bare minimum standard which is reasonably achievable, maybe 5%-15% can't do it for whatever reason and they need to stop. You don't want somebody who can barely breathe due to a lung condition on your battlefield.

                  Now you have 90% of the guys you started with, but every one of them is at least a bit useful. They can follow orders, dig a latrine, hold a spear in formation, they work. From that you take the most skilled and dedicated people and keep promoting them and giving them options for better training. Different people might have different skills, you give some people scout duty, some important guard duty, you make some teachers to raise the ability of those around them. That's how you get guys like Alexander's Hetairoi, US Army Rangers, those guys.

                  I face off with that against the guy with a 2/3 death rate in their training school. I have over twice their numbers, and while their best military strategist died in a forced march at high altitude because his brilliant tactical mind was inhabiting a body less than perfect lungs, mine got by and graduated to platoon commander. Most of the rest of them have permanent injuries from the training that tried but failed to kill them. They have horrible morale because the people they signed up to fight and die for ended up killing their friends before they even saw the enemy.

                  I'm winning that war every time.

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Eric Minton View Post

                    You don't get to drop out of Pasiap's Stair. You graduate or you die. In 3e, the vast majority graduate.
                    I don't remember reading up about pasiap's Stair I just assumed it was part of the house of bells. I don't think it existed in 1e at least not in the dragon blooded book which I've scoured a bunch of times to see where it is. The house of bells was the one that had the highest mortality rate among the schools. Mostly because of the methods done to accelerate training and also because performance was based on your weakest link.

                    Edit-I could only find it in the 2e dragon blooded book so I don't really know what to say about it since I was treating 1e as the baseline more than 2e.

                    Double edit- I forgot about the outcaste book.
                    Last edited by Epimetheus; 04-07-2021, 10:11 PM.

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                      A two thirds death rate is just a really bad way to run an army.

                      Here's what you do, what all professional military organizations have done for thousands of years. You take a group of people who are motivated to fight, though debt, threats, bribery, social pressures, desperation, patriotism, whatever. Then you train them to some bare minimum standard which is reasonably achievable, maybe 5%-15% can't do it for whatever reason and they need to stop. You don't want somebody who can barely breathe due to a lung condition on your battlefield.

                      Now you have 90% of the guys you started with, but every one of them is at least a bit useful. They can follow orders, dig a latrine, hold a spear in formation, they work. From that you take the most skilled and dedicated people and keep promoting them and giving them options for better training. Different people might have different skills, you give some people scout duty, some important guard duty, you make some teachers to raise the ability of those around them. That's how you get guys like Alexander's Hetairoi, US Army Rangers, those guys.

                      I face off with that against the guy with a 2/3 death rate in their training school. I have over twice their numbers, and while their best military strategist died in a forced march at high altitude because his brilliant tactical mind was inhabiting a body less than perfect lungs, mine got by and graduated to platoon commander. Most of the rest of them have permanent injuries from the training that tried but failed to kill them. They have horrible morale because the people they signed up to fight and die for ended up killing their friends before they even saw the enemy.

                      I'm winning that war every time.
                      Edit-I've been rereading the passage about the stair for 1e and there's much less death then house of bells. Only a handful of students die every year. However, the point is house of bells is that they get a short merciless training. While the Stair is first emotional abuse to mold them into someone befitting of the realm while training them to serve it. Not to say that both aren't abusive just that the out of the two the House of Bells tends to heap on more live exercises.
                      Last edited by Epimetheus; 04-07-2021, 10:19 PM.

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                      • #71
                        West Point doesn’t even have a 1% mortality rate among its cadets though. Turns out killing your prospective officers is kind of a bad idea.
                        Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 04-07-2021, 10:20 PM.


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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                          West Point doesn’t even have a 1% mortality rate among its cadets though. Turns out killing your prospective officers is kind of a bad idea.
                          Realm has always had a mortality issue. It's culture and tech level don't have level of advancement as a modern day society. The great houses never had an issue getting rid of someone if they were so useless that they couldn't contribute. It's also why most dragon blooded are expected to marry out of devotion rather than love and the ones who don't usually end up getting screwed unless their love happens to be of great benefit to someone else in their family. Being a dragon-blooded in the realm can be almost as bad as a peasant but for drastically different reasons.

                          Also, reading both 1e and 2e sections of Pasiap's Stair. I have to say, 1e had way better writing and imagery in general. 2e was very blunt and tended to go with what was more, I'm going to say edgy. It feels more like it's trying to shock you rather then just explain how the society works.
                          Last edited by Epimetheus; 04-07-2021, 10:43 PM.

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
                            Edit-I've been rereading the passage about the stair for 1e and there's much less death then house of bells. Only a handful of students die every year. However, the point is house of bells is that they get a short merciless training. While the Stair is first emotional abuse to mold them into someone befitting of the realm while training them to serve it. Not to say that both aren't abusive just that the out of the two the House of Bells tends to heap on more live exercises.
                            I still think that doesn't make sense. This isn't a case of not believing anyone could be so cruel, it's simply not effective for the world's only superpower to be operating like that. You can be extremely abusive without going so far as killing people, especially if those people are Exalts who can't die from disease or grievous, but not instantly fatal, wounds. An Exalt can have a falling blade lop their leg clean off at the hip and cause them to trip into a septic pit, and even completely untreated they will survive that.

                            If you're getting to the point where a significant number of your exalted students are dying, then at least as many are being permanently maimed, and what are you even accomplishing by doing it? Are the people who survive that with all their limbs intact radically more skilled than they would be if you just eased up a bit and ended with them almost all alive?

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

                              I still think that doesn't make sense. This isn't a case of not believing anyone could be so cruel, it's simply not effective for the world's only superpower to be operating like that. You can be extremely abusive without going so far as killing people, especially if those people are Exalts who can't die from disease or grievous, but not instantly fatal, wounds. An Exalt can have a falling blade lop their leg clean off at the hip and cause them to trip into a septic pit, and even completely untreated they will survive that.

                              If you're getting to the point where a significant number of your exalted students are dying, then at least as many are being permanently maimed, and what are you even accomplishing by doing it? Are the people who survive that with all their limbs intact radically more skilled than they would be if you just eased up a bit and ended with them almost all alive?
                              The house of bells weeds the people who are the best from those who aren't. The ones who either dropout or leave due to wounds are considered failures. They cannot hold a imperial legion post ever after that. It doesn't help that dragon-blooded can't heal crippling wounds like a celestial. A slice leg is permanent baring exceptional treatment. The ones who pass are the best. The have the ability to lead a unit to victory, that's the mentality behind it. The realm is in constant war and they need their children to be the best. It's the most consistant thing about them. It also represents how important it is for the dragon-blooded to be on top of their game from the moment they're born until they die.

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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
                                The house of bells weeds the people who are the best from those who aren't. The ones who either dropout or leave due to wounds are considered failures. They cannot hold a imperial legion post ever after that. It doesn't help that dragon-blooded can't heal crippling wounds like a celestial. A slice leg is permanent baring exceptional treatment. The ones who pass are the best. The have the ability to lead a unit to victory, that's the mentality behind it. The realm is in constant war and they need their children to be the best. It's the most consistant thing about them. It also represents how important it is for the dragon-blooded to be on top of their game from the moment they're born until they die.
                                I simply don't believe that's true. In theory the ones who pass are the best, but maybe some of the best just made a mistake and died one day. Maybe one guy passes who's the best, and the next guy who's kind of average loses an arm and in spite of being pretty good, by exalt standards which means legendary by mortal ones, he's out now too.

                                There is no training schema in the world right now that operates like that. If you need the very very best, you pick from the group who's already good and just make the best of them better. You don't give high school students grad school work and pick the small percentage of geniuses who can actually keep up, and then tell the rest that they aren't getting any kind of education whatsoever. I've looked around and I can't find one single historical example of anyone operating like that either, it's not just a modern thing.

                                Things don't have to be perfect, in fact they shouldn't be, but having that high of a mortality rate is crazypants. It's on the level of an evil overlord giving his troops 1/3 rations to make them mean and fearful of him to keep them in line. You don't end up with an obedient vicious fighting force, you end up with a bunch of mutinous husks who can barely hold their spears upright, and the only actual purpose is because the writer either couldn't think of a better way to show how evil the overlord is, or had no concept of what happens when you feed soldiers 1,000 calories a day.

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