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Myterious Criteria For Lunar/Solar Exaltation: What About Sidereal/Infernal ?

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  • Myterious Criteria For Lunar/Solar Exaltation: What About Sidereal/Infernal ?



    ~ Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ ~

    - And then she Exalted as an Oracle, because she got Chosen by Jupiter, not because she fit the "Must Be Mysterious" check-box of the Exaltation, m'kay -

    Q: May I just say that if Third Edition explicitly leaves as a mystery the exact criteria by which Solar and Lunar Exaltations choose vessels (Inugami)
    A: It's back to the gods choosing them. Fuck that noise. (John Mørke)
    Yay, make it easier for me to import character from other franchise into Exalted without cramming some "Must Be Awesome/Survive" moment into their backstory, creating your own character will also be more fun without being told "NO ! Your Character is not Exalted material !". Not to mention going on a journey to Heaven to ask Conky why he chose you only to get "Huh, who the hell are you, oh, those Exaltation shards are automatic so........oops, it's gonna be my turn at the Magic X-Box, bye ~ " as the answer is......so nay.

    Since we are already in a "Exaltation condition" thread, can I ask if Infernal will also have their criteria be a mystery. Having to insert "Must be after a personal failure" plus "Be approach by a demon" plus "In a cocoon for 5 days" in a row make creating my own character a very..........horrid experience, not to mention if I want to play expy character from other games as Infernal I have to alter their history way too much which is very frustrating, what if I just like their charm and not the whole Angst-about-my-greatest-failure.

    Also, must every Sidereal got chosen when they are still kid/teenager, I would like my Joybringer to get Exalted when she is on her deathbed and the only way to do that is make-up some kind of excuse like "The supermote got malfunction and stuff" or having her lived an unhappy life right up before she is about to die, I can go with either options really, but it would be nice to have more choice in your backstory which the whole "Less Automatic Supermote, More God's Chosen" will enable quite easily.


    The no.1 fan of Demetheus. I also draw Exalted things and is looking for commission works ~

  • #2
    Presumably the Gods still have certain stringent criteria by which they Chose...I highly doubt they personally hand out Exaltation to just *anyone*...so, there may be no effective difference. What does it matter it the process is automatic or deliberate, if "Must Be Awesome/Survive" is still a requirement to get the attention of the empowering agency in the first place?

    I don't mind the failure aspect of Infernal exaltation (again, it already is Chosen by a conscious agency), but I do hope it sees some changes, esp in the "5 day waiting period" area...

    Sidereals Exalt when Fate says they do; "Fate", in this case, being the ST/Player. So, you're idea is, and always has been, perfectly valid, nevermind that that's not the usual way it happens. In fact, I had a similar idea for a Vizier who Exalted as an old man, which led to many people being far more scared of him than they should have been, because he *looked* a lot older than he really was, relative to all the other Sids!

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    • #3
      Presumably the Gods still have certain stringent criteria by which they Chose...I highly doubt they personally hand out Exaltation to just *anyone*...so, there may be no effective difference. What does it matter it the process is automatic or deliberate, if "Must Be Awesome/Survive" is still a requirement to get the attention of the empowering agency in the first place?
      Well, Havest does get an Exaltation even though he's quite a sleazebag with little talent pre-Exalted :'P (didn't he got busted by his target and is about to be killed just before he exalted as a Solar ?)


      The no.1 fan of Demetheus. I also draw Exalted things and is looking for commission works ~

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      • #4
        It was a while ago, when 3E was first being promoted, but I definitely remember Holden talking about how TUS will now be choosing more "Heroic" people, and so we probably won't see people exalted just for being epic serial killers or rapists (both of which Havesh is).

        Things may have changed since then, but that suggests that we either won't be seeing that NPC again or he will be very different if we do...

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        • #5
          I'm currently thinking ambiguous might be a better term than mysterious. I mean, by and large, the Incarnae and the Deathlords and the Yozis will be choosing people who'll be akin to themselves and have a capacity for doing the sorts of things that they want, it just might not always be clear how a person possesses these qualities or what sets them apart from others.

          I keep thinking of Rosemary's Baby, where it has that line with the Satanist telling Rosemary that of all the women in the world she has been chosen to bear the child of the Devil. It's like, the phrasing seems meant to imply that there was some kind of criterion or at least intuition in the thing, and it's phrased in a manner as though Rosemary should feel honoured and validated by being so chosen, but it doesn't exactly explain anything.


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

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Hand-of-Omega View Post
            It was a while ago, when 3E was first being promoted, but I definitely remember Holden talking about how TUS will now be choosing more "Heroic" people, and so we probably won't see people exalted just for being epic serial killers or rapists (both of which Havesh is).

            Things may have changed since then, but that suggests that we either won't be seeing that NPC again or he will be very different if we do...
            Havesh wasn't a serial killer or rapist when he was Exalted, just a poor guy who'd been kept down by prejudice all his life. He just killed the one guy (which isn't exactly a high body count for a Solar). He only became those things afterwards.

            I'll be very disappointed if Havesh is gone, he was one of my favourite Solar NPCs (Lyta did the same job better, but you need more than just one Solar villain).
            I will be very annoyed if the new book tells me I can't make thoroughly evil and selfish (but in a glorious, Exalted way) Solar NPCs for my players to oppose.

            But honestly, I think they'll keep it all vague (I hope they do, anyway... I'm really not a fan of the Gods choosing the Exalts if that's supposed to in any way require some sort of moral test, that goes right against the 1st ed concept of the game. At least being vague avoids that while letting other players/STs who do like that idea to still have it).
            Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 11-21-2014, 09:39 AM.


            STing Bronze Age Exalted

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            • #7
              On the one hand, setting down hard rules for what a god looks for in an Exaltation candidate is restricts the range of possible character concepts. This is generally bad.

              On the other hand, having a finite range of personalities that can get an Exaltation of any given type makes character design simpler and splats/castes easier to understand. This is generally good.

              Personally, I'd rather deal with a scenario where gods choose people based on their own idiosyncratic criteria, moral tests and all, than with a scenario where Exaltation is basically random. It's easy to alter a god's selection criteria if you don't like them, but a setting-wide principle that being Exalted is almost exactly like winning the lottery (except you don't know you're playing) is much harder to fix.


              On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

              Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz

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              • #8
                On Havesh, Solars feeling more like they're on a mission from god to save the world is compromised if many of the Solar Exalted are selfish, depraved, cruel, arrogant, etc.

                On the other hand powerful, encountering ultra skilled, driven, disruptive people in the manner of Solars who aren't necessarily "good" heroes pushing the world forward are interesting to deal with - especially when you can't just tell what they're like by the color of their anima.

                And in a sense take us closer to a common sense view of reality, where both high levels of ability and folk hero personalities who stand up to the man, and give him what for, are fairly often found together with what we'd consider to be deeply amoral tendencies.

                It's a question of what you want out of the Solars.

                Like a typical Sidereal fan (who I guess tend to place more of their faith in a different sort of heroism than the Solars offer), I don't personally have much use for Solars as people who are to be followed as much as powerful people who there can be warmth with, but just as often need to be negotiated with, watched and treated with diplomacy.

                Other people probably want more of the feel of being part of a specific group who are chosen to fix the world and take it higher and greater. So tradeoff.

                Back to the thread topic, yeah, with Sidereals I'd be interested in characters who came to the service of Fate, connection with Fate or harmony with Fate at varying stages of life and circumstances without it necessarily always being a part of them throughout their life, or feeling like their Exaltation was dormant for a long time in an "inefficient" way. But that being hard is another tradeoff, for Sidereals who feel like distinctive heroes who are chosen in a distinct way and all follow the same kind of journey (if we feel its worth it or not).

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Isator Levi

                  Not if none of those things are actually an impediment to saving the world, and occasionally even a boon.

                  If reforging the Silk Road and imposing the Pax Mongolia is a substantial achievement in making the world safer, there's at least one mass murderer and rapist who it helps to have on your team.
                  Yes, that's true, you've made this point before (referencing an anime I can't remember with Nobunaga?) there's more compatibility than I suggested. Still I do think a conscious or unconscious intent towards repairing the world is important to some people's ideas of the Solars.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by semicasual View Post

                    On the other hand, having a finite range of personalities that can get an Exaltation of any given type makes character design simpler and splats/castes easier to understand. This is generally good.

                    Personally, I'd rather deal with a scenario where gods choose people based on their own idiosyncratic criteria, moral tests and all, than with a scenario where Exaltation is basically random. It's easy to alter a god's selection criteria if you don't like them, but a setting-wide principle that being Exalted is almost exactly like winning the lottery (except you don't know you're playing) is much harder to fix.
                    I find that players are generally fine with being a Twilight because their character is about Crafting, or being a Slayer because they're a brutal fighter. I've never seen a player want to be told what personality or morality their character should be for a splat. That's one of the appeals of Exalted after all: your Paladin doesn't have to be Lawful Good, your Vampire doesn't have to be Chaotic Evil, etc.

                    Telling people what personalities their characters should have rarely works well anyway, because some players always end up having the same personality (or one of two or three stock personalities that they can convincingly roleplay) for their characters anyway, because not everyone's good at convincingly roleplaying a wide range of personalities. I'm sure we've all seen, at some point, the PC who's supposed to be a lovely hero but ends up killing a bunch of dudes (and the player will insist it was the right thing to do).
                    To be fair, I do have one player who seems to believe that Solars are supposed to be shining heroes of wonderfulness, returning God-Kings who have come to claim their rightful thrones... so he refuses to play them, ever, because he thinks its stupid. I've played with him for about 7 years and he's never played a Solar. Whereas none of the other players seem to believe Solars are supposed to be like that, they just see them as the generic power Exalt, so they'll happily play Solars.
                    I've never seen any player go "I want my guy to be a good guy... so I'll play a Solar." That's entirely incidental to which splat they are.


                    Personally, I'd rather deal with a scenario where gods choose people based on their own idiosyncratic criteria, moral tests and all, than with a scenario where Exaltation is basically random. It's easy to alter a god's selection criteria if you don't like them, but a setting-wide principle that being Exalted is almost exactly like winning the lottery (except you don't know you're playing) is much harder to fix.
                    It doesn't have to be like winning the lottery. Strange and mysterious tests which are known and understood only by the Gods will do. But if people, both in the setting and the players, know that Solars are chosen because they're good guys, that causes a whole bunch of problems.
                    One of which is that people really don't agree on what's "good" or "heroic" (in the modern sense). I really don't want to see players arguing OOC about whether characters are good or not and thus "deserve" Solar exaltation.
                    Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 11-21-2014, 11:34 AM.


                    STing Bronze Age Exalted

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                    • #11
                      Anyway, as to the OP, I imagine they'll keep the "Sidereals are chosen because of their destinies" because that fits in with the paradigm they want anyway.

                      As to Infernals... I'm not sure, but I imagine that Infernals will change quite a lot, so their reasons for exaltation will change a lot. My guess is they'll just be chosen by the Yozis (though possibly still with a choice as to whether or not to become Infernals, as that's genre-appropriate for them) rather than needing to have failed something important. Which will be nice.
                      I'm generally in favour of anything that widens the sorts of personalities and backgrounds you can play. It's always sad when someone has a fun and mythic concept that just doesn't fit the paradigm that Exalted demands for certain splats.
                      One friend of mine used to point out that you can't do the reluctant hero who just wants to farm but has to fight instead (a common trope in both ancient myth and modern superhero stories), since they lack the heroic motivation to change the world that Exalted 2nd ed called for.
                      It'll be nice that you don't have to have a motivation now, because it doesn't always fit (sometimes it does, but presumably you can still take an intimacy for a motivation in 3e).


                      STing Bronze Age Exalted

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                      • #12
                        Sidereals are technically Chosen at birth, with the Exaltation basically being dormant until a destined time. I don't think that should necessarily always be as a kid/teen.

                        Originally posted by Hand-of-Omega View Post
                        It was a while ago, when 3E was first being promoted, but I definitely remember Holden talking about how TUS will now be choosing more "Heroic" people, and so we probably won't see people exalted just for being epic serial killers or rapists (both of which Havesh is).

                        Things may have changed since then, but that suggests that we either won't be seeing that NPC again or he will be very different if we do...
                        I hope this has changed. Solars only being relatively "good" people (as opposed to some being selfish jerks who have the will to exert power) would be a terrible conceit.

                        Originally posted by semicasual View Post
                        On the other hand, having a finite range of personalities that can get an Exaltation of any given type makes character design simpler and splats/castes easier to understand. This is generally good.
                        It's really not good. This is the mindset that created the Lawful Stupid Paladin. It shuts down more stories when it creates and that is de facto a bad thing.


                        "Chicanery-No: If a player uses this Charm in an abusive or exploitative manner, the ST may punch him right in the goddamn face." --TheDementedOne

                        "Happiness is very brittle and short-lived in the Exalted community, because ressentiment is our cultural touchstone." --Gayo

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hand-of-Omega View Post
                          It was a while ago, when 3E was first being promoted, but I definitely remember Holden talking about how TUS will now be choosing more "Heroic" people, and so we probably won't see people exalted just for being epic serial killers or rapists (both of which Havesh is).

                          Things may have changed since then, but that suggests that we either won't be seeing that NPC again or he will be very different if we do...
                          Heroic doesn't mean good, they mean heroic in the very mythological sense.


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                          • #14
                            To me there should be some criteria to exalt. Otherwise its effectively random. Making it feel more like dumb luck you are a solar rather than something earned or deserved. I'd rather have "I'm a solar because I'm awesome" than "I'm a solar because Sol was drunk that day."

                            I have always viewed it as, you exalt as a solar for your potential to do great things than your current capacity. Someone that, if you had power you'd have the drive to do great things with it. You didn't exalt because you were risking your life to save someone from bandits, you exalted because you showed you were the kind of person that would stand up for others. Of course thats not to say you cant become corrupted because power corrupts and you now have lots of power. I think thats good, sometimes it doesn't work out. Sol is the "unconquered" Sun, meaning he is unsurpassed but not perfect. Sometimes he screws up and exalts someone that shouldn't have been.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                              I find that players are generally fine with being a Twilight because their character is about Crafting, or being a Slayer because they're a brutal fighter. I've never seen a player want to be told what personality or morality their character should be for a splat. That's one of the appeals of Exalted after all: your Paladin doesn't have to be Lawful Good, your Vampire doesn't have to be Chaotic Evil, etc.
                              The gods' requirements don't need to correspond to D&D alignments, or even to "morality" as we would understand it. The UCS might pick people on the basis of "Awesomeness", "Audacity," or "Being a Human between 21 and 35 with American Citizenship and at least 3 years experience in Lumberjacking", for all we know now. I'm just saying that there being requirements does limit what characters you could make, but those limits aren't necessarily bad.

                              Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                              It doesn't have to be like winning the lottery. Strange and mysterious tests which are known and understood only by the Gods will do.
                              "Strange and mysterious tests" = idiosyncratic criteria. I'm afraid this is a logical binary - either the gods have some set of standards by which they judge people to be worthy of Exaltation, or they do not. If they do not, then who gets Exalted can only be random because any act of choice requires a reason for choosing, by definition.

                              Originally posted by Zelbinnean View Post
                              It's really not good. This is the mindset that created the Lawful Stupid Paladin. It shuts down more stories when it creates and that is de facto a bad thing.
                              The only players who actually make Lawful Stupid paladins are people who don't consider the consequences of their actions for the game or the group. Their mistakes should not tarnish what is otherwise a reasonable idea - that holy crusader-type people shouldn't believe in just anything, or, more generally, that not all possible stories should be told with all possible characters.

                              Remember, we're not playing FATE or some other character-and-setting ambiguous system. There are specific themes and aesthetics that Exalted tries to hold to, and I think it is acceptable to try to direct players to build those themes and aesthetics into their characters.


                              On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

                              Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz

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