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  • Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
    Make a shield and they'll bypass it, steal it, or convince you to remove it. Hide in the deepest darkest hole, and they'll find you. Make an army, and they'll tear through it. Any out of context problem has to be truly out there, before there's a chance a united and determined Exalted host will fall to it.
    I think this is kind of nebulously true, but it isn't always. There's lots of things in the first age that the Solars probably wanted dead, but at their best they could only break and/or imprison them, like Mahacara, the Eyeless Face, Juggernaut, ect. I don't imagine slaying those monsters is impossible for the Exalted to do, but even very powerful ones failed to do it when they tried, so it's not inevitable.

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    • Originally posted by armyofwhispers View Post
      1) I'd say that the ability to task bind unwilling subjects is a concept that degrades the setting and should not be allowed at all. Removing character agency is deeply problematic in any setting, but especially so in a setting such as Exalted.
      We do know that unwilling binding is probably possible, though, since the gods still apparently labored under some kind of ban on attacking the Primordials - otherwise, why create the Exalted, or, at the very least, why not fight alongside them? That said, I'd certainly be very wary of applying these to any PCs. At minimum, an unwilling target should probably have to be in front of the sorcerer and incapable of struggling too much during the whole time of doing the working, which gives their friends lots and lots of time to save them. And I'd rate all Exalts as a "more potent supernatural creature" anyway, so we're talking Solar 3 to bind one unwillingly.

      Originally posted by armyofwhispers
      2) Demons, ghosts and elementals already have mechanics in place to bind them to tasks. I can't remember exactly where it was said but I seem to recall a Dev ruling that spells and workings weren't interchangeable. If something is a spell it's because that's how that power works. You couldn't achieve the same thing by repeating a working over and over again.
      Given workings take longer and have xp costs, I don't think it's unbalanced to allow workings to do this. And I'll note that one of the canonical workings is to invite a demon into Creation, so clearly there's overlap between spells and workings already.

      Originally posted by armyofwhispers
      You should never be able to put this kind of binding on a Yozi. I don't care if they're willing, I simply think it's better for the setting if it isn't possible to make a Yozi do your bidding for a year.
      While I'm not actually advocating that this be used for that, it's definitely possible to bind the Yozis this way - what else are the surrender oaths, after all? And an Eclipse could talk a Yozi into swearing an oath to do something like this, so the potential for shenanigans already exists. I think it's best to present the possibility, but rely on sensible STs to say "getting Adorjan to agree to be your servant for a year and a day is the epic capstone quest of the whole chronicle, and will take enormous effort."

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      • Originally posted by The Unsung Hero View Post

        That's a great response and I appreciate it. But your comment at the end about the Oath-binding really brought me back to my goal of it. A Geas, as I understand it, isn't an oath that you can break. It literally enforces a form of conduct, so there aren't consequences for breaking, it just keeps you from being able to do a thing against it. This may not be a literal interpretation of the word in all it's uses, but it's how it's been depicted in Exalted so it's the form I'm using here.

        We're talking a situation where someone or something agreed to be bound to or against a task and they can't voluntarily break it, not punishment if they do.
        It might help for your use in story, but while a geas tended to force behavior they were much closer to the eclipse oath power than the Lelouch's ability in Code Geas. (With an added thing that apparently they gave one power bonuses as long as you followed them.) Hell most of the stuff I've found actually mentions that they were usually in the form of do/don't do this or something (commonly death) will happen.

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        • Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post

          I don't know man. The What Fire Has Wrought chapter fiction has a Solar escaping from The Imperial Manse after years of imprisonment. I "get" that it's supposed to be related to the disappearance of Big Red, but we see the Solar incapacited by poisons and bound in chains, then taken to the most secure place on the Blessed Isle, then he's busting out a few years later.

          It's your game, and I bow to whatever explaination you care to offer, but it seems to mesh with the idea of NPCs growing in experience and developing the charms they need in the face of adversity to me. *shrug*
          It certainly can happen for a specific Solar NPC if it makes for a good story. It isn't an inevitable occurrence for every single Solar NPC who gets imprisoned.


          Developer for Exalted.

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          • Originally posted by armyofwhispers View Post
            twothings:

            1) I'd say that the ability to task bind unwilling subjects is a concept that degrades the setting and should not be allowed at all. Removing character agency is deeply problematic in any setting, but especially so in a setting such as Exalted. I'm not talking about demon summing here, I'm talking about applying those mechanics to humans and/or exalts. Consider that if such a thing were even possible what it would connote for the state of pre-usurpation interactions between solars and everyone else.
            Yeah. There is a reason even in Unknown Armies, the game where "I reset the last 24 hours of the universe or I change the past retroactively so that I was always born a woman and everyone remembers me like one" are acceptable (if high level) spells, there is a hard NO on mind controlling, or using magic to force someone to do something that he/she didn´t want.

            Because it is a game about power and consequences. And the consequences should come from things that YOU did. If not, there is no agency in the story, except for the few that are the ones controlling other people. I see Exalted in pretty much the same way

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            • Originally posted by Eric Minton View Post

              It certainly can happen for a specific Solar NPC if it makes for a good story. It isn't an inevitable occurrence for every single Solar NPC who gets imprisoned.
              Thanks for responding. I really appreciate your input. I know I can be a little offputting and I had a bad relationship with John and Holden, so it really means something to me that you're willing to continue this conversation.

              I think it's immensely satisfying, and helpful to the setting, to say that just because a Solar (or anyone really) could possibly do a thing, that doesn't make said thing inevitable. Not restricting or proscribing things opens great avenues for drama (will they/won't they is infinitely more interesting to me than can they/can't they).

              To loop back a bit. Say for argument's sake a Solar NPC is imprisoned. The scenario I envisage has the players try to rescue them, but ultimately have to make some kind of tragic choice between (for example) rescuing their friend or saving a town full of innocent people. The Circle reluctantly abandons their NPC Solar ally and saves the town. Next story arc the Solar has escaped on their own and gone missing, the Circle has to track down their old friend, uncovering clues, wondering how they escaped, whether imprisonment has changed them, whether they resent the Circle for not saving them, etc.. Ultimately they're going to find their old friend and ask them how they escaped.

              Now mechanically, I have used ST fiat to bump up this characters attributes and abilities and given them a bunch of new charms. It's an NPC, so I don't need to worry about XP costs or training times -- it's important to the drama so it happens.

              But do you have any advice on how to narrate this? How does my NPC Solar train up their Dexterity/Intelligence/Larceny/Stealth and learn charms for abilities they never possessed before whilst in prison? Do you have any (purely narrative) inspiration for me (specifically for justifying an NPC, not as some kind of Word-Of-Dev for bypassing PC training requirements)?

              Or am I on my own here, and perhaps the only Solars who do escape are the few to developed their abilities before being imprisoned but them broke out when the time was right (or perhaps had Deux Ex Machina/Sidereal aid break them out)?


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

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              • Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                To loop back a bit. Say for argument's sake a Solar NPC is imprisoned. The scenario I envisage has the players try to rescue them, but ultimately have to make some kind of tragic choice between (for example) rescuing their friend or saving a town full of innocent people. The Circle reluctantly abandons their NPC Solar ally and saves the town. Next story arc the Solar has escaped on their own and gone missing, the Circle has to track down their old friend, uncovering clues, wondering how they escaped, whether imprisonment has changed them, whether they resent the Circle for not saving them, etc.. Ultimately they're going to find their old friend and ask them how they escaped.
                If I may jump in, can I ask how much time do you imagining passing?

                Now mechanically, I have used ST fiat to bump up this characters attributes and abilities and given them a bunch of new charms. It's an NPC, so I don't need to worry about XP costs or training times -- it's important to the drama so it happens.

                But do you have any advice on how to narrate this? How does my NPC Solar train up their Dexterity/Intelligence/Larceny/Stealth and learn charms for abilities they never possessed before whilst in prison? Do you have any (purely narrative) inspiration for me (specifically for justifying an NPC, not as some kind of Word-Of-Dev for bypassing PC training requirements)?
                Have you seen Avatar the Last Airbender? Look at Uncle Iroh and the exercises he did in prison to train up strength while in prison. Do the same for dexterity.

                The noise he made in doing clapping push ups he disguised as looking like a fool clapping after a moth. That can be a justification for stealth.

                If there is banter with the guards, an exchange of daily riddles can be justification for intelligence boosting.

                Larceny can be seen as slowly picking the main lock of your cage and using stealth exploring more. Getting bearings, so that when your NPC does decide to run, he knows the ins and outs of the place, rather than taking his first chance and stumbling into a guard room or something. Hide items or stash items.

                Or am I on my own here, and perhaps the only Solars who do escape are the few to developed their abilities before being imprisoned but them broke out when the time was right (or perhaps had Deux Ex Machina/Sidereal aid break them out)?
                You're the ST, and it's an NPC. The players themselves don't need to know that the NPC trained up Intelligence, Dexterity, Stealth or Larceny specifically. They just need the cool story. For the example in What Fire Hath Wrought, maybe it is a combination of growing in skill and wards failing. Maybe the guards were distracted by events outside. They underestimated the solar and since they never gave him trouble, never double checked his cage or became suspicious. Maybe there is a loose bar, a la O'Chul in Order of the Stick.

                It doesn't have to be a Siddy breaking them out. There can be plenty of mundane excuses as well.

                Again, your players don't need all the details. They just need the cool story from their ally.

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                • Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                  I think it's immensely satisfying, and helpful to the setting, to say that just because a Solar (or anyone really) could possibly do a thing, that doesn't make said thing inevitable. Not restricting or proscribing things opens great avenues for drama (will they/won't they is infinitely more interesting to me than can they/can't they).
                  You might also like this quote from Stephen Lea Sheppard then:

                  Originally posted by SLS
                  To put this another way, there are people in the real world who would desperately like to be good at a thing, but have found in practice they don't have the knack for it. Some people want to make video games but can't wrap their heads around coding. Some people want to be gymnasts but are, in practice, klutzes. Moreover, this is prevalent in media -- in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, it's a major plot point that Jade Fox just intrinsically isn't as good at swordsmanship and martial arts as her protege Jen was, and Jen had to hide this... and when Jade Fox learned that Jen had a knack Fox didn't, Fox became so jealous she immediately tried to kill Jen. "The dude who doesn't have it in him to be the best, and is insanely jealous of the protagonist, who is the best, as a result" is a staple of shounen stories.

                  (There's a sort of philosophical feel-good counter that says "You can excel at anything if you just put your mind to it," but I don't buy into that because it feels like victim-blaming when it runs into people who genuinely want to be good at a thing and aren't -- "You're just not trying hard enough; you don't really want it." Far better to acknowledge that failure to develop a skill is not a moral failing when an honest good-faith effort has been put toward it.)

                  Just because you can spend your XP however you want doesn't mean everyone in the setting can learn anything they want. The phenomenon of "I would like to be great at this thing, but I don't seem to have it in me" is alive and well in Creation (as is "I would like to be good at this thing, but while I may or may not have it in me, I do not have it in me to muster the self-discipline necessary to apply myself properly to learning it"), and while the Exalted are meant to exemplify the greatest potential of humanity, they aren't meant to be perfectly adaptive Amazo robots or Nimrod nanotech sentinels or liquid metal T-1000s who can alter themselves to match any challenge. It is perfectly reasonable to imagine a Twilight who just won't develop the physical attributes or Charms necessary to punch through a brick wall, no matter how much punching through a brick wall might benefit him, because that's not who he is and that's not where his field of excellence lies.

                  (Mind you I wouldn't build a prison for ten such exalts, because one of them might have a hidden potential for feats of amazing strength they had just heretofore not been in a position to need to develop, and you run the risk of him breaking the other nine out.) ​
                  Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 07-11-2019, 10:14 AM.

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                  • .... What about training charms

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                    • Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
                      .... What about training charms
                      What about training Charms? What's your question?

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                      • I'd say it depends on the pupil. If he is willing to be trained, and his player or the ST for a NPC is willing to let him go in that direction (they could want not to for dramatic reasons) then it works. It not, it doesn't.

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                        • Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                          What about training Charms? What's your question?
                          I imagine it's:

                          Do you feel training charms are can substitute having the "potential" for greatness within a field.

                          And I see what SLS is driving at, but it doesn't jive with me. Everyone has limits. If I start training today, I'm never going to beat Ussain Bolt's speed record. But if I start training today, I certainly could become much better at running.

                          Barring what we would recognise as a medical condition, anyone can put their ten-thousand hours in and buy the first three dots of any ability. Going beyond that, sure, progress will not be possible for the majority of people in the majority of fields. I haven't got any 4s on my RL character sheet and I don't see that as any kind of victim-blameworthy, moral failing. But if I wanted to bring my coding up-to-par, I could if I put the hours in instead of browsing the Exalted forum.


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

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                          • Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
                            .... What about training charms
                            Training charms are magic.

                            To go from Strength 3 to 4 takes four months of intense 8 hour work outs each day. But with training charms that can be boosted in a week.

                            Maybe the mortal isn't willing to spend four months of intense training to get there. But a week isn't so bad.

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                            • Yeah, the fact that Tiger Warrior Training can turn any peasant who can do the training into an elite soldier is part of the charm's power.

                              But of you're training people normally, while you can improve everyone, some people are never going to be great at it.


                              Avatar by Jen.
                              My Exalted characters:
                              Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
                              Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng

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                              • Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post

                                I imagine it's:

                                Do you feel training charms are can substitute having the "potential" for greatness within a field.

                                And I see what SLS is driving at, but it doesn't jive with me. Everyone has limits. If I start training today, I'm never going to beat Ussain Bolt's speed record. But if I start training today, I certainly could become much better at running.

                                Barring what we would recognise as a medical condition, anyone can put their ten-thousand hours in and buy the first three dots of any ability. Going beyond that, sure, progress will not be possible for the majority of people in the majority of fields. I haven't got any 4s on my RL character sheet and I don't see that as any kind of victim-blameworthy, moral failing. But if I wanted to bring my coding up-to-par, I could if I put the hours in instead of browsing the Exalted forum.
                                Tbh, I don't think your view as expressed here massively contradicts SLS's point. Saying "almost anyone can improve their athletics if they train every day" doesn't really contradict "if you imprison a Twilight scholar/bureacrat in the world's greatest prison, they won't necessarily be able to buy from Larceny 0 to Larceny 5 and Lock-Opening Touch."

                                (I'll also point out to the person earlier who mentioned the Night escaping from the Imperial Manse, I forget who, that they were a Night Caste, the caste best at escaping. It doesn't mean a Solar artist or blacksmith or sailor or archer could definitely do the same.)


                                Avatar by Jen.
                                My Exalted characters:
                                Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
                                Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng

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