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  • Originally posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post

    Nope. The devs have said that since the various summoning spells (Demon of the First/Second/Third Circle, Summon Elemental, and probably the ghost-summoning spells when they appear) are so powerful and flexible inherently, that they don't feel they can be balanced with a control spell effect.
    I had a feeling that was what was going on. Right now I'm just doing this to help me learn, but I think if any of my players eventually pick this as their Control Spell, I might give them some bonus, even if its as simple as a couple extra dice / successes on the binding roll or the banishing roll.

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    • Originally posted by Reminiscent Oasis View Post
      Is there any benefit of having Demon of the First Circle as your Control Spell? I'm statting up an old First Edition character of mine who was a demonologist before Exalting and it would make sense for that to be his Control Spell, but I'm not seeing any benefit for doing so.
      There's no advantage, but neither is there a drawback.

      If you want your character to be marked by sorcery (beyond having demon servants) , then consider Infallible Messenger as a Control Spell - the control effect is quite useful, and having the six winged messenger lurk in the background is a rather thematic tell.

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      • Originally posted by Reminiscent Oasis View Post

        I had a feeling that was what was going on. Right now I'm just doing this to help me learn, but I think if any of my players eventually pick this as their Control Spell, I might give them some bonus, even if its as simple as a couple extra dice / successes on the binding roll or the banishing roll.
        Personally, I'd lean towards making any control spell bonus for the summoning spells be more flavor-based than strictly mechanical, since they really are quite potent. One thought I have had is to allow the sorcerer to use their Occult, rather than Lore, to declare facts about demons/elementals. That means that summoners can use their practical knowledge of the beings they summon, rather than obscure academic information, to define various traits and facts about their targets.

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        • Originally posted by Reminiscent Oasis View Post

          I had a feeling that was what was going on. Right now I'm just doing this to help me learn, but I think if any of my players eventually pick this as their Control Spell, I might give them some bonus, even if its as simple as a couple extra dice / successes on the binding roll or the banishing roll.
          Are you looking to give it a control effect so that someone who took it as their first spell doesn’t waste their chance at getting a signature control spell, or is it more because you want a character to be marked by their summon spell and have it change them?

          If it’s the former I suggest just letting their second spell be a control spell for their effects, of it’s the later they might kind of be like that anyway, with a stomach bottle bug inside them, living armor wrapped around their chests, flanked by living cloud arsenal bodyguards and a harpist entertainer.

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          • So, we all know by now that most Exalted Charms (the main exceptions being Martial Arts Charms) aren't codified techniques or magic spells, but just expressions of the Exalt's natural skill affirmed by their mastery of Essence. Or however you'd like to phrase that.

            In most cases, that kinda makes sense. I have a bit of trouble parsing something like Glorious Solar Saber as an expression of skill, but I guess I'm just going to have to learn to accept "I am so good at swordsmanship that even my soul can take physical form as a sword" as an explanation.

            But I keep coming back to Infallible Alibi Approach (WFHW p. 208). This Charm dissolves previously-concealed evidence at a distance (fine so far I guess), and then...leaves the Dragon-Blood with a tattoo over their heart chakra which reveals to witnesses (who roll moderately well) that she has used this Charm?

            How does this work, if Infallible Alibi Approach (like all DB Charms) is explicitly not a discrete technique that is actually known to people who study Essence and the occult? Does the tattoo just spell out "I DESTROYED EVIDENCE OF MY CRIMES LOL" in a traditional occult cipher? In any case I'm not sure how this weird tattoo of guilt actually makes sense as the result of an Essence-driven feat of skill anyway.

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            • Well, I mean the evidences essence needs to go somewhere, doesn't it?

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              • Originally posted by Jefepato View Post
                So, we all know by now that most Exalted Charms (the main exceptions being Martial Arts Charms) aren't codified techniques or magic spells, but just expressions of the Exalt's natural skill affirmed by their mastery of Essence.
                Well, the first thing I'd point out is that this idea of charms is only really perfectly true for Solar Exalts, whose charms are most essentially "human skill, dialed up to cinematically impossible levels". Other Exalted, even those who have Ability-based Charms, diverge at least somewhat from this. The Dragon-Blooded charms are "elemental manipulation, as channeled through various Abilities". I think that this difference in focus means that Dragon-Bloods have a somewhat narrower range of possible things they can do with their Charms than Solars do. There's many ways to accomplish, for example, "hit someone hard with my sword" with just skill. But if you're limited to using Earth essence to do that, the range of possibilities is a bit narrower. (Note, I'm not saying that the DB charms in the book are the only possible ones and that their charmset is constrained to that! This is more of a theoretical difference - if we were to somehow homebrew all possible Solar and DB charms, we'd find that the latter was a smaller set than the former. But both would be vast collections, far more than the ones we already have.)

                The other thing to think about when it comes to Dragon-Bloods specifically is that there pretty much has to be far more of them who know a particular trick compared to Solars, Lunars, or other Exalted with more limited numbers. There's about 300 Solars. That means there's only ~60 Night Castes, and not all of them are going to focus on Larceny. A naive calculation might suggest there's only ~8 Solars who focus on Larceny (60 divided by 8, the number of potential Caste abilities), and of those, not all are going to explore the same branches of Larceny, so even fewer will necessarily know the same Essence 5, Larceny 5 charms. Whereas with the Dragon-blooded, there's over 10,000 of them. If we do the same math, it suggests that there's over 400 of them in the world who focus on Larceny at any given time, and given their shorter lifespans, that actually means there's probably more stories and legends of people who knew the really cool Larceny tricks, since the characters "cycle" faster than other Exalted types. So, the upshot is, any trick a DB can pull off is more likely to be known to the community at large.

                Originally posted by Jefepato
                How does this work, if Infallible Alibi Approach (like all DB Charms) is explicitly not a discrete technique that is actually known to people who study Essence and the occult?
                It doesn't have to be known as "the charm, Infallible Alibi Approach", to be known as "something Water essence can do", and the results to be recognizable. I don't think the general idea of charms not being codified techniques isn't supposed to mean that people can't spot patterns in how various Exalts' essence do things. Instead, it's cautioning against treating them like spells or martial arts techniques in other games. Your matriarch in House Peleps isn't going to sit you down and say "I'm now going to teach you Infallible Alibi Approach". But she can say "I'm going to teach you how to manipulate Water essence to dissolve evidence if it would be discovered. Just be careful, an inevitable consequence of this is that the essence will come back and leave a mark on you showing that you've done this. Incidentally, that's why your Aunt Adina never takes off her tunic or goes into the public baths."

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                • Originally posted by Jefepato View Post
                  In most cases, that kinda makes sense. I have a bit of trouble parsing something like Glorious Solar Saber as an expression of skill, but I guess I'm just going to have to learn to accept "I am so good at swordsmanship that even my soul can take physical form as a sword" as an explanation.
                  If it helps on that one my mental approach is more that the solar is so thoroughly internalized how swords (or whatever weapon they choose to manifest it as if they had a different prefence.) that they learned to force their own essence to trace along and fill the weapon outline.


                  Originally posted by Jefepato View Post
                  But I keep coming back to Infallible Alibi Approach (WFHW p. 208). This Charm dissolves previously-concealed evidence at a distance (fine so far I guess), and then...leaves the Dragon-Blood with a tattoo over their heart chakra which reveals to witnesses (who roll moderately well) that she has used this Charm?

                  How does this work, if Infallible Alibi Approach (like all DB Charms) is explicitly not a discrete technique that is actually known to people who study Essence and the occult? Does the tattoo just spell out "I DESTROYED EVIDENCE OF MY CRIMES LOL" in a traditional occult cipher? In any case I'm not sure how this weird tattoo of guilt actually makes sense as the result of an Essence-driven feat of skill anyway.
                  So first the easier part of the explanation; the mark. Think of it more like a distinctive style of mark that appears, if a person passes the check then they recognize the mark in two things, first that it is occult in origin not a stylized tattoo. The second part is recognizing the style of the mark and relating it back to a thing they've seen, read about, or seen. So think about it like in those stories where vampires are shown and the first step in identifying a victim is noticing the bite wound recognizing that they're a bite mark and then needing to associate it with things in such a way as to rule out things like the victim being bitten by a snake or something.

                  Now as for the trickier part, the charms not being distinctive things in universe.Think of it less like saying, "These are all completely unique powers and unrelatable or identifable by others" and more like the exalts aren't going through a skill tree and selecting abilities when they learn their abilities. To try and clarify a bit more, in 2e charms explicitly existed in universe as concrete things. Infernals were noted as gaining access to the charms of the Yozi through their exaltations, and in the event that the Infernal created a new charm (non-heresy keyword) the Yozi who's tree it fell into learned it immediately. So an Infernal gaining the second purchase of Vitrolic Corona Endowment (the part of it that creates a weapon instead of augmenting an existing on) is only getting a spear unless they technically make a new variant for that purchase because it makes spears and that's it.

                  With 3e having the charms not be distinct its more that the exalt just has access to power and is using it generate effects. They can be taught, but its not teaching them the prereqs to unlock an existing thing so much as teaching them to shape raw energy into an effect. So an exalt learning something like GSS is basically just learning how to shape their essence into a weapon, not necessarily a sword, and there isn't a pre-existing power that makes it happen buried in the exaltation.

                  Now as for the recognizable part, that is more external codification of the seen effects. So Infalible Alibi Approach isn't something carved into the DB's essence and blood, however it is a trick that a number of exalts, or individuals studying them, have noticed and grouped together under a heading for easier discussion or teaching. This doesn't mean it functions exactly the same just that specific major aspects were the same even if parts of the flavor aren't. So even if two describe their mindset when triggering it differently and something like one having it dissolve into water, another has it turn to sand, a third watches it turn to mist and blow away, etc. Followed by the effort leaving a distinctive mark on the exalt that used it, and while some might have it be just a really weird symbol, another has an arcane script, and a third gains a mark that looks the destroyed evidence, it is always on the same area and to the discerning eye the work of the world's essence going working on the exalt and not the exalt doing a thing.

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                  • How long (in game sessions) is a typical "Story" in your experience? I've noticed that 3rd Edition has a lot more effects that reset "once per story." Previously my group never really paid much attention to these narrative construct time units, but with Story gaining more importance I probably should now. Or at least figure out how much I need to fudge those numbers.

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                    • Originally posted by Reminiscent Oasis View Post
                      How long (in game sessions) is a typical "Story" in your experience?
                      I aim for about 3-4 sessions per story, personally. Mind you, my campaign is run (more or less) monthly. If you're running more frequently, you might be able to fit more sessions per story. On the other hand, I've been thinking that 3-4 sessions is probably too long per story based on monthly sessions. With that much time between sessions, I think people are more likely to forget they've already used an ability in this story, or (even worse by my standards) get so used to it not being unavailable that they get out of the habit of even considering it even once the story has reset.

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                      • I also aim for 3-4 sessions mostly because I feel that a problem being brought up and not resolved for longer than that starts to make the PCs kind of out to be shitty. There can totally be a campaign arcing villain, or a massive problem that takes the whole campaign to truly solve, but within that you need to have smaller victories. So every fairly major victory warrants a story end for that little arc I think. Taking longer than 3-4 sessions it starts to get a bit antsy.

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                        • In most of the games I play, stories tend to be longer, maybe 6-7 sessions, maybe more (though the current one is 5). I think this is because ages ago, we used to get end-of-story XP, so the STs didn't want to give out it too much. Also, we naturally assumed that a story lasts for one story arc, which is much longer typically than 3 sessions. The game I run tends to be the one where the PCs are most dynamic, and we're on story 3/session 14 I think. Thing is, no-one has 1/story charms, or Craft, so it mostly just matters for crippling injuries.

                          I am not saying that Stories (the game term) should be that long balance-wise, just that 3-4 sessions tends to be the middle of our story arcs so feels weird to say is the end of a story.
                          Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 01-05-2020, 04:03 AM.


                          I run... Lunars: The Apocalypse! Exalted 3rd edition. Fimbulwinter is upon the world as an Ice Age begins, and only six young Lunar heroes have a chance of saving humanity.

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                          • Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                            In most of the games I play, stories tend to be longer, maybe 6-7 sessions, maybe more (though the current one is 5). I think this is because ages ago, we used to get end-of-story XP, so the STs didn't want to give out it too much. Also, we naturally assumed that a story lasts for one story arc, which is much longer typically than 3 sessions. The game I run tends to be the one where the PCs are most dynamic, and we're on story 3/session 14 I think. Thing is, no-one has 1/story charms, or Craft, so it mostly just matters for crippling injuries.

                            I am not saying that Stories (the game term) should be that long balance-wise, just that 3-4 sessions tends to be the middle of our story arcs so feels weird to say is the end of a story.
                            I still occasionally give out end of story xp, especially if that story ends and we have a bit of a downtime going on where the characters are going to do some longer term stuff that we don't need to do in detail. It just slightly speeds up the Essence progression a bit and gives more to do with the downtime when you get it.

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                            • Sometimes way too long with my group.
                              Occasionally real life happens, someone's away or not at 100% and a session's intended plot devolves into slice of life. It's like Sidereals game last night became the quest to find good noodles in Juche.


                              Onyx Path Forum Moderator
                              Please spare a thought for updating the Exalted wiki.

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                              • Ha, yeah that happens to us all the time.


                                I run... Lunars: The Apocalypse! Exalted 3rd edition. Fimbulwinter is upon the world as an Ice Age begins, and only six young Lunar heroes have a chance of saving humanity.

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