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I wish we had more old-man exalts

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  • I wish we had more old-man exalts

    I'm not sure if I can put this out right, but here goes.

    Most exalts we see, have their stories just beginning. They're mostly young, up and coming, and usually have their lives ahead of them. I think the exceptions are Admiral Sand, and Yurgen. They have big plans for the future, even before exalting, and tend to not think of dying anytime soon. Unless of course they exalt.

    I'm just thinking of an old character. He might be an old hero, or he might be someone with regrets, failings, and hidden shames. Either way, he's already got an established life for himself, doesn't work much anymore, and spends his twilight years watching the sunset. He has children or grandchildren. Or maybe he does not. Maybe he has high status, and wishes to keep it, or maybe he takes the chance to go for an adventure.

    Also matter what, I will have him do say:

    "Oh gods.... why? Why now? Why not before, when I needed you most of all? When I had dreams, hopes, and the burning desire to use it? Why not 30? Or 20? Or 10 years ago? Why now, on the eve of a life filled to the brim with regrets, missed opportunities, does the blessings from the gods come here? They did not come when I picked up a pitchfork to protect my family, and failed. They did not come when my companions on bittersteel ridge were slain, over and over. They did not come when I was persecuted, when I was chased out. Why now? When the fires of my youth have died down??
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bo7mgo7YyLI

  • #2
    To a certain extent... isn't that sentiment exactly why it doesn't happen? Exaltation was a process designed for a purpose, that (for most Exalts) seeks out candidates with specific qualities to elevate them to that grander scale purpose. In a world like Creation, why would someone already so past their prime still be picked for Exalting when there's so many candidates out there that would still have the active drive to use their new powers?

    When I think of the Molly Grue scene, I think "Exigents would play to this beat the best," which by itself speaks volumes of why it would be rare to see. The next Dawn to Exalt could come from hundreds for sources of a heroic warrior and settling on the young and in their prime options is obvious. An Exigent Exalted could have a much narrower requirement, and thus vastly increase the chances that an appropriately heroic mortal might have this sort of reaction.

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    • #3
      Dace wasn't quite elderly, but he was definitely supposed to be an example of an older guy getting his second wind as a signature character.

      Still, I feel this is one of those things where a roleplaying game might present fewer characters than it encourages you to make.


      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
      Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
        To a certain extent... isn't that sentiment exactly why it doesn't happen? Exaltation was a process designed for a purpose, that (for most Exalts) seeks out candidates with specific qualities to elevate them to that grander scale purpose. In a world like Creation, why would someone already so past their prime still be picked for Exalting when there's so many candidates out there that would still have the active drive to use their new powers?

        When I think of the Molly Grue scene, I think "Exigents would play to this beat the best," which by itself speaks volumes of why it would be rare to see. The next Dawn to Exalt could come from hundreds for sources of a heroic warrior and settling on the young and in their prime options is obvious. An Exigent Exalted could have a much narrower requirement, and thus vastly increase the chances that an appropriately heroic mortal might have this sort of reaction.
        But exaltation isn't fair. There might be someone who would, who could use quite a bit of help... but there was no Exaltation available. Or maybe he just wasn't chosen.

        But what matters is that this person *would* have been willing to use the power that he was given. And yes, the dude may be old... but Yurgen was still old and trying to die, before he got Exalted. Besides, this doesn't just extend to solars. Lunars and Sidereals are included.

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        • #5
          That is one of the advantages to Ex3's choice of art style.
          The manga inspired art of 2e didn't really show age very well- I remember Lea's observation that 2e Dace came across as a younger man who shaved his head rather than an older man who'd gone bald.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Lioness View Post
            That is one of the advantages to Ex3's choice of art style.
            The manga inspired art of 2e didn't really show age very well- I remember Lea's observation that 2e Dace came across as a younger man who shaved his head rather than an older man who'd gone bald.
            And we've gotten a few wrinkly looking Lunars. Assuming that they're showing their true faces, statistically they'd be more likely to have been Chosen old rather than having lived long enough to age.


            I have approximate knowledge of many things.
            Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
              But exaltation isn't fair. There might be someone who would, who could use quite a bit of help... but there was no Exaltation available. Or maybe he just wasn't chosen.
              Um... exactly? It isn't fair in the sense of who needs it, it's only "fair" in the sense that it follows its design and picks the candidate that most suits its criteria. There have been lots of heroes in Creation that might have gotten an Exaltation if one was around for them at the right time, but it wasn't in the cards. The question is why would they get another chance after they've hit the mental point you describe in your OP?

              Even Yurgen wasn't some old fuddy duddy enjoying his final years before passing away. He's part of a tribe were as a cultural matter those that survive to a certain age leave their people to survive on the ice. Surviving on the ice is supposed to be impossible to do for any length of them, so knowing that they seek something that will give them a quick death of starving or freezing. Yurgen was still such a badass that he was enduring past the beasts and weather, and for doing the impossible he got Exalted. It's pretty different than a grandfather sitting around with his grandchildren, having seen his family flourish, in a culture where he'd be allowed to age gracefully and die surrounded by his family who's not out there doing something that might impress the gods.

              Besides, this doesn't just extend to solars. Lunars and Sidereals are included.
              I'm not sure how that changes my point.

              Regardless of the splat, the game biases Exaltation towards certain characters for the simple reason of them being the kind of characters that are easy to toss into adventures.

              Sand, Dace, Yurgen... they're not characters who would respond with, "why now, why not earlier?" when granted power. They're characters that seized that power and ran with it, because that's more what the game wants: characters that are going to react to that surge of power positively with an urge to got out and use it, not characters that are going to overly lament what could have been if they'd gotten it before some regret (which isn't to say any of them don't have regrets that they might have avoided if Exalted younger... but even younger Exalted can have those moments).

              They're not characters that had to think about taking a chance on adventure, they're characters who only needed to Exalt to keep going before their bodies started to fail them.

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              • #8
                Don’t know enough about Exalted to participate, but this is a fascinating debate.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                  It's pretty different than a grandfather sitting around with his grandchildren, having seen his family flourish, in a culture where he'd be allowed to age gracefully and die surrounded by his family who's not out there doing something that might impress the gods.
                  Panther was a character that was Chosen when he was struck by a fit of malaise about the value of his life, and heard the voice of the Unconquered Sun say "you want a purpose, then go spread righteousness".

                  I think it can be a compelling narrative to have somebody in contemplative old age selected on a basis of having a particular epiphany are being in the right state of mind to apply long experience in a manner pleasing to the Sun. It might often apply to the Castes that are based more in personality, intellect, or relationships, but even a fighter might only have the particular outlook desired when their life is near its end.

                  I should also think that a lamentation to the Heavens is a perfectly dramatic reaction for a character to have to their Exaltation, at any age. Perhaps what they lament about is not strictly accurate or rational, but those aren't qualities I would want at all times in the Exalted. Emotions can run high, you can say things you ought not to.

                  Like, we've got more than one former slave Exalt, I think it would be a reasonable characterisation to have some of them be less grateful and more "could I not have had this before the slavery", and be unsatisfied with the notion that they didn't because they weren't impressive enough yet.


                  I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                  Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                    I should also think that a lamentation to the Heavens is a perfectly dramatic reaction for a character to have to their Exaltation, at any age. Perhaps what they lament about is not strictly accurate or rational, but those aren't qualities I would want at all times in the Exalted. Emotions can run high, you can say things you ought not to.

                    Like, we've got more than one former slave Exalt, I think it would be a reasonable characterisation to have some of them be less grateful and more "could I not have had this before the slavery", and be unsatisfied with the notion that they didn't because they weren't impressive enough yet.
                    I can definitely see the Lunar warrior Strength of Many being quite particularly ambivalent toward such a notion indeed.

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                    • #11
                      Of course this discussion applies equally to old women. Don't forget them!


                      She/Her. I am literal-minded and write literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to make a joke.
                      My point of view may be different from yours but is equally valid.
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                      • #12
                        Be the change you want to see in the game.

                        Make more old guys.


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

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                        • #13
                          Isator Levi

                          I think you're treating a lot of my points as stated far more absolutely than I meant. Again, I said "overly," as in get too bogged down in what could have been if things. It's not like Molly (the source of the quote in the OP) is just lost in the moment. Even after she agrees to go on the quest because it's the right thing to do, it's not like her mind really changes about anything. Of course, she didn't get offered anything either, her part in the story doesn't have some point where you can say she's analogous to an Exalt. What she has is the experience and wisdom her much more powerful companions lack.

                          In the end, the compelling narrative isn't inherently about age, but experience.

                          My issue with some of the concepts in the OP, is about not just what makes for a compelling narrative, but one that's also fun to play in the game being discussed. There's lots of compelling narratives possible in Creation that aren't well suited to the game play (esp. the default assumption of playing in a group).

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                          • #14
                            I think you identify a cool character type Accelerator, but I'm not sure you've shown us that there aren't enough of them. It seems like there's a good amount of them!

                            (As an aside I don't think there's any limitation to manga at indicating character age, or even any slight disadvantage.)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Erinys View Post
                              Of course this discussion applies equally to old women. Don't forget them!
                              Very good point

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