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I wish we had more old-man exalts

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  • Accelerator
    replied
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

    Maybe. Maybe not. Conversation helps to smooth out those bumps to reach understanding.
    Alright, sure. I'm worried about being too redundant, but maybe I'm being too uninformative. Generally speaking I kinda wish that there were more... unconventional types? I'm not quite sure how to say it, but I always liked the concept of the everyman. Not the bland everyman of the isekai novels, but just a normal person, maybe someone who's old, and thought that his story was over, suddenly digging deep down and realizing that there was a core of adamantium inside of him all along, just something he's never had to truly use before. Never truly pushed to that level. Until that day.

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Originally posted by Accelerator View Post

    I didn't properly communicate that across the text, didn't I?
    Maybe. Maybe not. Conversation helps to smooth out those bumps to reach understanding.

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  • JohnDoe244
    replied
    A single thread in a tapestry, though it's color brightly shine, can never see its purpose in the pattern of the grand design.

    Originally posted by 3E Core
    But who does Exaltation come to? When? How?

    Solar Exaltation is unpredictable, though a few generalizations can be made. Solars are often men and women who have already accomplished great things and displayed excellence in some discipline or other. This isn’t universal—sometimes a Solar is simply a person of enormous potential who has never had the opportunity to exercise it, or who is possessed of greatness of spirit.

    [...]

    Solar Exaltation could bless anyone of sufficient mettle at any time and station of life—it has uplifted princes and paupers, children and great-grandfathers, savants and sell-swords, saints and assassins.
    Last edited by JohnDoe244; 09-09-2021, 11:58 AM.

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  • Accelerator
    replied
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

    I think it's worth including characters who are suited to being Exalted because of their deeper personal qualities or a holistic examination of their life, at the same time as there are things that hinge upon the single event, whether that be an impressive person faced with a noteworthy challenge that they rise to admirably, or a totally unexceptional person who, with the right opportunity, bucks expectation and takes a shot at something incredible.

    That last one makes me consider the possibility of an elderly character who actually feels as though their life was a wasted, unaccomplished thing (and they're not exactly wrong), and then something happens and they see this as the one chance to do something worthwhile and there's nothing to lose anyway, and as they go for it everything eases up and smoothes over and in the moment it's done they realise that they're glowing.
    Yes! This is the kind of thing I'm trying to go for!

    ... Crap.

    I didn't properly communicate that across the text, didn't I?

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  • JohnDoe244
    replied
    One fanon view I saw likened it to falling in love.

    A puny mortal catches the king of heaven's eye and that's that.

    Everyone has the potential for greatness.

    Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
    I mean, in this case, what precisely counts as 'doing something'?
    My answer to this is basically the same as my answer to most Exalted questions.

    Forget everything you know about Exalted.
    Forget what your ST has told you.
    Forget what you read in Keychain of Creation, or on the wiki, or the discord, or this forum.
    Forget what Minton or Vance or any other dev or writer has said.

    Pretend you have no experience with Exalted.

    Look it up in the books. What does the published text say?
    Last edited by JohnDoe244; 09-09-2021, 08:20 AM.

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Really, I think a person suited to Exaltation is a lot like pornography; the Unconquered Sun can't define it, but he knows it when he sees it.

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
    Define 'doing something to get the attention of those that empower you'.
    There's considerable variation between editions and Exalted splats here; which is part of the problem.

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
    I mean, in this case, what precisely counts as 'doing something'?

    The reason why I say this is because of, well, not all of them hit the stereotype of high-flying heroes. Demetheus was a street kid that wandered around doing manual labour and beating up people when they deserved it, and was basically just a good person who wanted to help other people. Panther looked at a life of fighting and drinking, and wondered if this was all there was. Arianna was literally reading when she Exalted. Sure, studying and educating herself in a culture that considered women to be inferior. Sayn just... prayed to the Unconquered Sun for help, and then he was given it. (What, did he roll 10 successes on that prayer roll? Is that all that's needed for an exaltation?) Perfect soul prayed to the Unconquered Sun for help against the Dragon blooded, and when that failed, struck the statue in anger.

    What, did Sayn just pray so hard, so epically, that the Unconquered Sun said 'wow, let's give him the mightiest power a mortal can ever get!'. Did Arianna study and work so hard that she became worthy of being able to speak reality into existence? Ten thousand other people have prayed to Heaven from help against the Dragonblooded. Why Perfect Soul? Demetheus wasn't noted as doing anything special when he Exalted, only using his powers for good and protecting others.
    This is the kind of thing that illustrates how the books have generally been less concerned with assessing the quality of the actions prior to Exaltation than the fandom often has been.

    From the side where the players can see it, it can be enough for the character to just have done something that aligns with the theme of the Caste, and then goes from there. The other side, the decision making process that chooses this instance of that thing over any other, is obscure to players and characters by design.

    Although I'd want to look back at the Caste book to get more of Sayn's context.

    I think the story of Janest is a good thing to consider. She points out how there are other maidens with greater martial skill and spiritual devotion, but it's implied that why Ten Sheaves Chose her is because of the depth of her love of the valley and dedication to its protection.

    I think it's worth including characters who are suited to being Exalted because of their deeper personal qualities or a holistic examination of their life, at the same time as there are things that hinge upon the single event, whether that be an impressive person faced with a noteworthy challenge that they rise to admirably, or a totally unexceptional person who, with the right opportunity, bucks expectation and takes a shot at something incredible.

    That last one makes me consider the possibility of an elderly character who actually feels as though their life was a wasted, unaccomplished thing (and they're not exactly wrong), and then something happens and they see this as the one chance to do something worthwhile and there's nothing to lose anyway, and as they go for it everything eases up and smoothes over and in the moment it's done they realise that they're glowing.

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  • Accelerator
    replied
    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
    Okay, but Panther's "doing something" precisely was giving up on his life and not doing anything.

    Arianna's "doing something" was "thinking in a library".

    I don't understand the complaint.
    .
    I mean, in this case, what precisely counts as 'doing something'?

    The reason why I say this is because of, well, not all of them hit the stereotype of high-flying heroes. Demetheus was a street kid that wandered around doing manual labour and beating up people when they deserved it, and was basically just a good person who wanted to help other people. Panther looked at a life of fighting and drinking, and wondered if this was all there was. Arianna was literally reading when she Exalted. Sure, studying and educating herself in a culture that considered women to be inferior. Sayn just... prayed to the Unconquered Sun for help, and then he was given it. (What, did he roll 10 successes on that prayer roll? Is that all that's needed for an exaltation?) Perfect soul prayed to the Unconquered Sun for help against the Dragon blooded, and when that failed, struck the statue in anger.

    What, did Sayn just pray so hard, so epically, that the Unconquered Sun said 'wow, let's give him the mightiest power a mortal can ever get!'. Did Arianna study and work so hard that she became worthy of being able to speak reality into existence? Ten thousand other people have prayed to Heaven from help against the Dragonblooded. Why Perfect Soul? Demetheus wasn't noted as doing anything special when he Exalted, only using his powers for good and protecting others.

    The closest was me saying that you need to be doing something to get the attention of those that empower you, which doesn't match up with the picture painted in the OP of a character that's gotten to the point in their life where they're not doing anything, and was contrasted by Blackwell against older characters tending to fall into pulpy tropes about why they're older and still doing things that would get attention for Exaltation.
    Define 'doing something to get the attention of those that empower you'.

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    I'm not really sure four characters, three male and one female, really exhausts the possibility of what characters that Exalt later in life could be. It's not like you've actually pointed to a bunch of other characters not being discussed.

    A bit more diversity of character types, 3/4 of them are military leaders, and a bit more diversity in how age has shaped their motivations in what their goals are. Yurgen and Sand are both fighting to build up what they championed before Exalting into something bigger and more resilient, while Dace and Fire Orchid basically jumped back into their younger motivations now that their bodies weren't undermining their goals.

    Your comment that it doesn't matter if Arianna is 30 or 80 is kinda the problem. Despite my disagreement with putting in Exalted that go the full Molly Grue mentality, it would be nice to see more characters where the age of their Exaltation (obvs. doesn't apply to every splat) is an important part of their characterization and their paths would be significantly different based on how much experience with the world they had. Sand is the only character brought up so far that really hits that note; you can't make him younger and keep the same motivations and goals. Even Yurgen could have become the Bull of the North if he Exalted younger; going out on the ice isn't really something that's stated in either edition to be what drove him to work to unify the tribes of the North and take on the Realm itself. If he'd be left for dead after a battle or hunt, survived, and came back a Solar, the idea of him turning into a warlord still makes sense.

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  • JohnDoe244
    replied
    Double post.

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  • JohnDoe244
    replied
    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

    Citing Scroll of Exalts instead of the Castebooks isn't inventing stuff.

    Then my 2E lore is not as comprehensive as I thought it was. I thought the Bull of the North was detailed in the corebook on page 344 and made no mention of wrestling a bear. What page of Scroll of Exalts has the bear wrestling Exaltation detailed?

    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    Correct. But if we want to see the books do better with characters that represent different ages at Exaltation, our only option is to talk about it as a community in the hopes that the developers consider things for the future of the game.

    It's not about needing the book's permission to make X, it's about wanting to see representation of X in the text.
    The most famous Solar, in universe and out, is the one who Exalted in old age.

    And he's not a remarkable outlier, because there are other characters, male and female, who also Exalted later in life.

    In fact, we have "boys no older than my son", teenagers, 20-somethings, 30-somethings, "late middle aged", and retiree, canon Exalted.

    What does "do better" look like to you? What, specifically, do you want?

    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

    That doesn't make her a counter-example to the observation that established characters that Exalted at an older mortal age tend to be men, and tend to fall into a specific range of tropes that are closely correlated to male-gendered social roles.

    Nobody is saying otherwise.

    The closest was me saying that you need to be doing something to get the attention of those that empower you, which doesn't match up with the picture painted in the OP of a character that's gotten to the point in their life where they're not doing anything, and was contrasted by Blackwell against older characters tending to fall into pulpy tropes about why they're older and still doing things that would get attention for Exaltation.
    Okay, but Panther's "doing something" precisely was giving up on his life and not doing anything.

    Arianna's "doing something" was "thinking in a library".

    I don't understand the complaint.

    I don't accept that walking out into a wasteland to die or lecturing young people is "male gendered" (though, the Bull in the North does, I concede, cite his gender as part of the reason he's going out to die). The two older Exalts we have marching into one last Expendables-style explosive mission, are one male (Dace) and one female (Karal).

    The Solars we have who Exalt at an older age do tend to be men. 75% to 25% in the listed examples thus far.

    They do not fall into male-gendered social roles. In fact we see a complete inversion: 75% of the given examples don't fall into that stereotype.

    The tendency you are complaining about simply doesn't exist.

    It isn't. At the most, it's an observation of a rather fixable trend in Exalted that leans in a slightly sexist direction by falling into older genre tropes that aren't fully detached from their sexist origins.
    Except it doesn't. It's pure fanon, unsupported by the text. The published text actively runs opposed to these tropes.
    Last edited by JohnDoe244; 09-09-2021, 05:06 AM.

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  • habitableexoplanet
    replied
    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.

    Being old is when you have a long white beard, and the longer it is, the older you are.

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
    Regardless of Arianna's actual age, her aesthetic is one of a white-haired scholar, and (more pertinent to the point I was making) she Exalted reading a book in a library. That's not "action-heroism school".
    That doesn't make her a counter-example to the observation that established characters that Exalted at an older mortal age tend to be men, and tend to fall into a specific range of tropes that are closely correlated to male-gendered social roles.

    Nothing about Exalted says you must be out wrestling a bear on sheet ice to win the Sun's favor.
    Nobody is saying otherwise.

    The closest was me saying that you need to be doing something to get the attention of those that empower you, which doesn't match up with the picture painted in the OP of a character that's gotten to the point in their life where they're not doing anything, and was contrasted by Blackwell against older characters tending to fall into pulpy tropes about why they're older and still doing things that would get attention for Exaltation.

    Further, if this is meant as a metacriticism of how Exalted "is sexist, actually",...
    It isn't. At the most, it's an observation of a rather fixable trend in Exalted that leans in a slightly sexist direction by falling into older genre tropes that aren't fully detached from their sexist origins.

    Object away. But object to what's there, don't invent stuff to get mad at.
    Citing Scroll of Exalts instead of the Castebooks isn't inventing stuff.

    Absolutely nothing stops you from making an elder who Exalts.
    Correct. But if we want to see the books do better with characters that represent different ages at Exaltation, our only option is to talk about it as a community in the hopes that the developers consider things for the future of the game.

    It's not about needing the book's permission to make X, it's about wanting to see representation of X in the text.

    Leave a comment:


  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
    Regardless of Arianna's actual age, her aesthetic is one of a white-haired scholar, and (more pertinent to the point I was making) she Exalted reading a book in a library. That's not "action-heroism school".

    Regardless of whether Arianna is 30 or 80, your old lady who actually is 80 can also Exalt when reading a good book.
    Specifically thinking through a particularly challenging cipher, but yeah, that's the kind of thing that can be accessible at a lot of ages. Heck, one could even do a narrative of a person only able to give some challenging passage their full attention in venerable old age, and it's the accumulation of life experience that allows them to interpret it, and the feat warrants Exaltation.

    (For the record, design notes for Arianna present her as intended specifically to be an inversion of the first thing people would expect out of a Caste of scholars and sorcerers)

    Originally posted by JohnDoe244
    Admiral Sand Exalts from giving youngsters a "back in my day" speech.
    Well that one depends a bit on Edition. I have a preference for the original version where his deal was more that people wanted him to take charge again but he didn't want to leave retirement and hoped that the squabbling local elders would pull together, but when he recognised how much his town was being hurt by things he asked those guys what their plans were and was not satisfied with their answers, and that was the moment that did it.

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