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How to make a Wyld hunt Incompetent but not too incompetent

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  • Jorlem
    replied
    Originally posted by Gaius View Post

    I don't think the two need be mutually exclusive. Holden may have just meant that Lunars and Solars (and theoretically Abyssals) are the only entities that are always pegged as Anathema. That said, if the passages do contradict, I'd go with the KS update: if I recall correctly, the forum quote came out well before the KS one, so the KS remark is probably the most up-to-date.
    To add to this, there could easily be different uses of the term. Realm officials might limit Anathema to Solars and Lunars, but a group of outcastes who band together to take out a group of Fae could still easily call the beings they fought Anathema even if the bureaucrats in the Realm would disagree.

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  • Lioness
    replied
    Originally posted by Zelbinnean View Post
    Yeah that is very problematic. She'd probably be better in a "Zak failed Basic Flight but I passed him" type of scenario (with her as Zak - BSG reference, btw). Or just "I had such great connections and my instructor was one of daddy's old Brotherhood buddies so he passed me" type of stuff - which is VERY evocative of real-life scenarios. Would explain a few things about her being up jumped without hitting the Brannigan threshold.
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
    Personally, I'd redo Liara as somebody who would be a lot better as a socialite, but is under intense pressure due to her family. She doesn't really recognise the fact that she'd rather be doing something else, and her misuse of subordinates is a combination of venting unexamined frustration, lashing out against people she's jealous of for having a better handle on their situations, and desperately hoping that one of them will have a success she can validate herself with.
    It really depends on what you want from her as an NPC.
    She's more like the latter in our Infernals game but she was never the physical antagonist that the Ex2 Antagonists section intended her to be, I'd probably feel kind of bad about hitting this version of her.

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Likewise, Mnemon dealing with the Mask of Winters is probably like some early modern European nations having alliances and open relations with the Ottoman Empire; sure you're a ravaging horde from out of the east that threatens to sweep over all civilisation, and we definitely believe that you're living in sin and are going straight to Hell, but we have common enemies and/or you have luxury items we want, so that should be no impediment to us getting along for a bit. It's a relationship that definitely plays out differently to one where those issues aren't present; the belief that you can exploit, even get along with, terrible heathenous monsters doesn't mean you're tolerent of them.

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    I think the key question regarding Lookshy would have to be whether the fact that they don't have a specific administrative apparatus to enable Wyld Hunts means that the number of individuals who gather together to independently act in the spirit of their religion is insignificant. If one is drawing a comparison to denominations of Chistianity, I'd say it's like the difference between Catholicism having a doctrine of salvation through good works, and thus charitable organisations embedded right in its hierarchy, and denominations that lack or reject that doctrine and, if they even have hierarchies at all, lacking organisations devoted to it, but where there are still members of those faiths who collectively engage in charity work in the spirit of Christianity. Or the difference between missionary work in Catholicism (lauded, but not mandatory) and the Church of Latter Day Saints (all able bodied people are expected to take part), where the Realm maps to the latter. It would appear that when it comes to Lookshy, while the actual government does not directly support Wyld Hunts, and while the locally placed Immaculate Faith doesn't really have a hierarchy to organise them, if you're an Immaculate Dragon Blood who knows of Anathema and doesn't at least support the idea that a bunch of your fellows should get together and hunt them down, then you're a bad Immaculate. Lookshy still seems liberal (for want of a better word) enough to tolerate those individuals who opt not to Wyld Hunt, or even to aid Anathema, but it will probably cause tensions in their society, like the Medieval European attitude to Polish Christians engaging in cordial diplomatic and trade relations with Slavic "pagans"; a Dragon Blood who does the opposite of Wyld Hunt who goes to a Gens get-together for winter festival is getting into an argument with some family members, at the very least.

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  • DrLoveMonkey
    replied
    I think a really important thing to work out first would be if outcaste Wyld Hunts go after anathema or not, because apparently outcaste Wyld Hunts exist now. Basically if hunting anathema is so steeped into the culture that DBs everywhere of every nationality do it then Lookshy needs a good reason to be the odd one out.

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  • Gaius
    replied
    Originally posted by Godjaw View Post
    This is rather strange, because we have direct quotes from Holden saying the exact opposite.

    http://avatarcomic.net/ExaltedWiki/m...p?title=Exalts
    I don't think the two need be mutually exclusive. Holden may have just meant that Lunars and Solars (and theoretically Abyssals) are the only entities that are always pegged as Anathema. That said, if the passages do contradict, I'd go with the KS update: if I recall correctly, the forum quote came out well before the KS one, so the KS remark is probably the most up-to-date.

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  • Aquillion
    replied
    Originally posted by Godjaw View Post
    Did the Shogunate end? Lookshy still follows the old Shogunate, the animosity between Lookshy and the Empire is because they didn't recognize the Empress as a the new Shogun, so it became the Scarlet Empire instead. Lookshy is what is left of the Shogunate, and part of their plans to hold over the Riverlands is rebuilding the Shogunate.
    Yes, it did end. Lookshy might retain certain aspects of its identity from back then, but it hasn't existed in a time-capsule.

    Even if it hadn't, like I said above, I seriously doubt that the Wyld Hunt remained unabated and evenly-followed as a perfectly unchanged cultural institution from the date of the Usurpation to the Great Contagion. It would have been more pressing early on, and would have had more drive behind it early on; and as time passed, the DBs who remembered Anathema at their height would die off, and the Wyld Hunt would lose its urgency. The Sidereals saw this; that was why one of their demands to help prop up the Empress was that she continuously push back against Anathema. They would not have made this such an important part of their agreement if they didn't think it was necessary.

    Lookshy has just as much an incentive to have an active Wyld Hunt as the Empire.
    It absolutely does not. The Empress' power, at least in part, is derived from the Bronze Faction supporting her. In exchange for that support, the Bronze Faction demanded (essentially) one thing. That thing was the Wyld Hunt as practiced by the Realm, and the degree of institutional support the Realm provides for it; as well as Sidereal control of the Immaculate Faith, as manipulated by the Sidereals and used to continuously reinforce pressure against Anathema.

    Lookshy doesn't subscribe to the same Immaculate Faith as the Realm. They're, like... Greek Orthodox Christians, in a world where the sole purpose of the Pope is secretly to ensure that the religion constantly hates Anathema. They do not accept the Mouth of Peace, who is seen as a tool of the Realm. She sort-of is a tool of the Realm, but she is definitely primarily there to make sure that the Realm continues to hunt Anathema as part of the Sidereals' big plan. Saying that Lookshy has the same incentives as the Realm to hunt Anathema makes a mockery, in other words, of everything the Bronze Faction has been doing in that regard in the Realm for the past 700 years.

    Does Lookshy inherit the basic story of the Great Uprising and the core beliefs about Anathema? Definitely. Are Anathema seen as reincarnating soul-eating sorcerers? Yes. You cannot walk around in Lookshy with your Solar or Lunar anima flared and expect people to just shrug it off, no. They totally remember that they fought a war against Anathema untold centuries ago.

    But are those beliefs anywhere near as important in Lookshy as they are in the Realm (where, again, the Mouth of Peace has existed for the past 700 years specifically to reinforce anti-Anathema dogma)? No. Nowhere remotely as significant, politically or culturally. That would be nonsensical. Sure, anathema are dangerous, but so are rogue gods, and rival nations, and mortal warlords, and fair folk and ghosts and demons and other DBs and Tyrant Lizards and bears. The unique focus on Anathema held by the Realm and its state religion is something that was deliberately worked out in a deal between Kejak Chejop and the Empress, not an intrinsic part of all DB DNA everywhere.


    And, again, I'll reiterate the other part of this (since I think it's equally important) -- what I've described above is why it makes sense for Lookshy to have less focus on hunting Anathema than the Realm, and to be more open to at least temporary alliances (even if they tell themselves that they'll deal with you later or something), why the Threshold is generally a safer place for Anathema to flash their anima without immediately getting Lookshy sending a Wyld Hunt into their face. 2e might have described this a bit badly, but I don't find the outcry about it to be remotely convincing -- it makes perfect sense for Lookshy's outlook on Anathema to have drifted from the Realm's in the past 700 years, during which the Realm had a leadership whose sole religious mandate was secretly "KILL ANATHEMA KILL THEM NOW THE WORLD DEPENDS ON THIS" and Lookshy didn't.

    But the question, to me, is "do we want the books to show Lookshy and the Realm differ this way?" And I think that the answer is "obviously, yes." Part of the purpose of Lookshy (and other groups of DBs outside the Realm) is to let people tell stories with them that could not be told with the Realm.
    Last edited by Aquillion; 12-21-2014, 04:35 AM.

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  • Godjaw
    replied
    Originally posted by Greyman View Post
    Yes: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...n/posts/733062

    Though it does go on to add that in practice it is most often associated exclusively with solar and lunar. But if the Terrestrials can agree that something is a threat that cannot be tolerated, a Wyld Hunt is often viewed as a righteous and proper response,

    This is rather strange, because we have direct quotes from Holden saying the exact opposite.

    http://avatarcomic.net/ExaltedWiki/m...p?title=Exalts

    "Anathema" is a category referring specifically to the Solar and Lunar Exalted (and hypothetically to the Abyssals, since they're compatible with Immaculate depictions of the Solars and legends of Danaa'd locking the Solars away in the Underworld). (Holden)

    Q: The undead are considered Anathema, aren't they? (Inugami)
    A: No. The Anathema are a specific thing, not an Immaculate buzzword for "anything we think is grody." (Holden)

    Also, since people have asked quite a few times-- no, Exigents aren't Anathema. The Immaculate Order and its Sidereal architects aren't simpletons and in the bigger, wider setting of EX3, "all non-DB Exalts" isn't a workable Anathema definition. Exigents basically fall under the same heading as God-Blooded-- the result of improper congress between gods and mortals, and thus shameful and karmically banjaxed, but not the end of the world or anything. (Holden)
    Last edited by Godjaw; 12-21-2014, 12:43 AM.

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  • Greyman
    replied
    Originally posted by Godjaw View Post

    You have a citation for this, because all evidence read actually stipulates that yes, Anathema are a specific thing.
    Yes: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...n/posts/733062
    Here is an excerpt from the EX3 text covering the dread institution of the Wyld Hunt:
    The Immaculates apply the technical term Anathema—in the Realm it’s a formal clerical finding—to anything that the order finds abhorrent to stable and prosperous life. Solar and Lunar Exalted are always Anathema; the label can also potentially encompass Fair Folk, beastmen, elementals, and demons who threaten Realm interests, as well as gods and their Exigent champions who’ve gone into open rebellion against the Immaculate Philosophy.

    Though it does go on to add that in practice it is most often associated exclusively with solar and lunar. But if the Terrestrials can agree that something is a threat that cannot be tolerated, a Wyld Hunt is often viewed as a righteous and proper response,

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  • Godjaw
    replied
    Originally posted by Greyman View Post
    One thing to keep in mind is that "Anathema" in third edition will not just mean "the Celestial Exalted".
    You have a citation for this, because all evidence read actually stipulates that yes, Anathema are a specific thing.

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Originally posted by Aquillion
    The Wyld Hunt is what it is in the Realm because the Empress has been pushing it constantly from above as part of her deal with the Sidereals
    Possibly, but going by the excerpt in the Kickstarter post, even then it's not an official institution. It might receive support, but it's still basically something a group of private individuals get together and engage in at their own discretion, even if cultural propriety demands that an Immaculate master always run the show. I admit, I actually wonder how much that specific quote of Holden's from way back when still holds force...
    Originally posted by Aquillion
    This is not the same thing, obviously, as saying that they never engage in Wyld Hunts -- I'm sure they do, now and then. But they have no built-in incentives the way the Realm does
    Again going by the Kickstarter post, it seems that their incentive is a matter of culturally reaffirming the dominance of the Dragon Blooded. Some of the lines suggest that if a group of Terrestrial officers get together and collectively and privately decide to, say, assinate a troublesome prince of the Confederation who is causing trouble for Lookshy, that could qualify as a Wyld Hunt.

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  • Greyman
    replied
    One thing to keep in mind is that "Anathema" in third edition will not just mean "the Celestial Exalted". The target of Wyld Hunts will be any supernatural threat to the Immaculate Philosophy, and there are plenty of such in the Riverlands.

    Plus while Lookshy's Immaculate Faith might be less evangelical/fanatical that the Immaculate Order, it does promote the path of the Righteous Warrior so Wyld Hunts will definitely be a thing Gente's do to (im)prove themselves.

    Another thing is that in second edition Lookshy wasn't exactly welcome-with-open-arms friendly towards visiting Solars. It was presented as more of a guarded wariness. Sort of a, "we've got bigger things to worry about right now, so if you don't make trouble, the Legion won't crush you," kind of thing.

    Lookshy will likely still take pains for its hunts not to be seen as rank imperialism. The Realm can send out it's Shikari to curbstomp through it's satrapies, but Lookshy will have to navigate carefully through the politics of the River Province and only send hunts after clear and agreed threats.

    So Lookshy having Wyld Hunts is not incompatible with the city not being automatically hostile to every Solar passing through.

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  • Godjaw
    replied
    Originally posted by Aquillion View Post
    Snip
    Did the Shogunate end? Lookshy still follows the old Shogunate, the animosity between Lookshy and the Empire is because they didn't recognize the Empress as a the new Shogun, so it became the Scarlet Empire instead. Lookshy is what is left of the Shogunate, and part of their plans to hold over the Riverlands is rebuilding the Shogunate.

    Lookshy has a strong identity with Dragonblooded. They don't supply the artifacts to the Riverlands, they supply the Dragonblooded. The Immaculate Faith is a big part of this identity. The Wyld Hunt is a big part of the Immaculate Faith. The Immaculate Faith was created by the Sidereals, the Immaculate Order is a version of the faith that was designed to legitimize the rule of the Empress and control her Empire. Lookshy follows the Immaculate Faith, and so they adhere to the tradition of the Wyld Hunt.

    Lookshy has just as much an incentive to have an active Wyld Hunt as the Empire. They are Anathema, they are a threat to Creation. If Lookshy seeks to solidify it's hold in the Riverlands, they need to actively pursue elimination of threats, be they the deadly hordes of the Mask of Winters, to the terrible Anathema. They don't have the petty infighting and civil unrest that the Empire currently has, they are very much a unified block of people, of Dragonblooded. That is something very formidable.

    As for the Empire recalling resources from the Wyld Hunt, it isn't because it's not worth it. It very much still is, but the Great Houses are more concerned with their personal power and the impending civil war that's just teetering on the tip of the blade.
    Last edited by Godjaw; 12-20-2014, 02:37 AM.

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  • Aquillion
    replied
    Originally posted by Zelbinnean View Post
    Sure, but at least acknowledge that (1) the Shogunate conducted Wyld Hunts; (2) Lookshy was a part of the Shogunate and considers itself the Shogunate's legitimate successor state; (3) the religion of Lookshy, dating to the Shogunate, contained all of the "we hate Anathema" stuff that persists relatively unchanged in the Realm's offshoot religion.

    So to me there is not a real reason for Lookshy to have a radically different Anathema policy from the Shogunate. They're still DBs, they still buy into the Great Uprising story, etc.
    The Shogunate ended 700 years ago. There are probably no DBs in Lookshy who are still alive from that time. A few might remember their grandparents talking about it, but in general I suspect that most Exalted don't live out their full lifespan, especially given how frequently Lookshy has been at war.

    For those 700 years, Lookshy hasn't, particularly, had any reason to prioritize the Wyld Hunt or to treat it as a huge deal. I mean, yes, they deal with Lunars when they feel Lunars are a threat to them, and opposition to Anathema survives as a cultural theme in a way that means someone could use it to justify starting a huge war in the same way, say, the kings and popes of Europe used their religion to justify the Crusades -- but like the Crusades, it's only going to happen when it's practical for Lookshy, which means almost never.

    The Wyld Hunt is what it is in the Realm because the Empress has been pushing it constantly from above as part of her deal with the Sidereals; and the Sidereals didn't push for that because they thought it would be cool, they did it because they were afraid that if they didn't, the Wyld Hunt would gradually lose priority and fade into a quaint tradition occasionally drudged out by leaders who want to justify something they wanted to do anyway, rather than something that governs Dragon-Blooded policy. (And consider the fact that the Sidereals feared this -- it is reasonable to assume that this is what was happening near the end of the Shogunate.) I feel Lookshy should, in general, justify that fear -- that is, they haven't totally forgotten it, no, but I doubt that Lookshy ever devotes significant resources to hunting down Anathema solely for the sake of hunting down Anathema.

    This is not the same thing, obviously, as saying that they never engage in Wyld Hunts -- I'm sure they do, now and then. But they have no built-in incentives the way the Realm does, so in this case "opposing Anathema" is a tool leaders pull out when they need to justify something they wanted to do anyway, rather than something that factors significantly into Lookshy policy. If a nation-state that has something Lookshy wants has a prominent Anathema within it, Lookshy will totally use that as an excuse to go to war; but if an ally has one, Lookshy will mostly look the other way.

    More generally, from a meta standpoint the game benefits from having a variety of different settings within it, with their own values and perspectives (especially on Solars, who are often the default PCs); this allows players to adjust the kind of game they're looking for by setting it in different parts of Creation. Making it clear that Lookshy's government is more flexible about Anathema than the Realm adds more to the game than trying to turn Lookshy's policies in that regard into a carbon-copy of the Realm's.

    (Of course, Mnemon -- who actually believes in the Immaculate Faith -- has a secret alliance with the Mask of Winters, who has openly declared himself to be a returned Anathema, so I think people sometimes overestimate how hardline the Realm is on the issue, too. A huge amount of the cultural pressure that kept them on-task in that respect came from Sidereals through the Empress; with her gone, a lot of the DBs who've thought, in the past, "why exactly are we wasting so many resources on this?" have more of an opening to make their case. Obviously there are also a lot of Immaculates who would push back -- probably violently -- but the end of the Second Age is meant to be a time where the entire world is in chaotic flux, not a world where everyone without exception is irrevocably bound to views established 1500 years ago.)

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  • webkilla
    replied
    I prefer to present the wyld hunt not as incompetent - but as underfunded.

    Nobody likes Peleps Deled - so the realm noble houses have stopped sending funding to them... but Deled is too stubborn to step down and let a well liked DB take over so the hunt can resume getting funding.

    This also means that if a circle of solars piss off a deathlord the wyld hunt might end up getting a few chests of jade and silver anonymously sent to them from Thorns and whatnot - or if the players run affoul of the guild or a scavenger lord, they might sponsor a hunt (in exchange for getting all the artifacts the circle has of course)

    IMO this makes a lot more sense. It opens the hunt up to getting help from the player's enemies - which IMO helps play up the idea of the setting being a living and dynamic world.

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