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  • I admit, I am rather intrigued by what would happen when a Culture Mind is subjected to Husband-Seducing Demon Dance and becomes completely infatuated with a Solar.

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    • You could experiment with your players finding I AM from DotFA, who is basically a Mind in all but name. Might be interesting to see the results.

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      • Man, just waded into this conversation.. I LOVE the culture book and also Exalted.
        I think this was said before - but this scenario really depends HEAVILY on which "story physics" are considered real?
        Is this an exalted story, or a culture novel?

        My personal take would be that Creation and the Exalted would definitely be an "outside context problem": really, its a world that seems to get close to being a simulation of a real world but then gets all the little things wrong - flat, surrounded by strange chaotic dimensions, etc. This would work best if Creation was not just "oh, another world we've found" but rather the a culture Mind discovering a loophole in physics and entering a strange new dimension (heck, hyperspace sorta works by skimming between strange dimensions).

        Like the return of Authochton - which way to we want to play this? Is it a couple of Special Circumstances operatives being infiltrated into creation to try and work out what the hell they found, Or is this a circle of exalts who manage to break out and are now interacting with spaceships and hi tech?

        Either way, this would be a fun story I think. The Culture novels are interesting because its never about the "tech". Its always about personalities and their reactions. About the specific operative and their internal response to the situation - and what they think is the appropriate response. The SC agents are almost like Exalted - they can "do" pretty much anything, but its the fallout of those activities that makes the novels interesting.

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        • I could so see this novel A mind discovers a new edge case of physics and makes a "portal" into creation. Sends a few drones (human level AI) in to scout around. Get shocked when they are subsumed and taken (siddies bring them into fate, and then either kill or "turn" them).

          Decides, "nope nope, too dangerous, lets stop this experimentation". And then gets shocked when a few years later the portal is reopened from the other side and these apparent primitives come through.

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          • I agree with what you said in the last paragraph two posts above, Dyonisus.

            The readon why the novels made such an impression on me is the fate of their protagonists - Gurgeh, Horza, the SC agent with the nuke in her head -.

            Blessed with super-natural gifts, talents, ressources and insight, offered a life of leisure, comfort and enlightenment, and yet doomed - similar to Greek mythological heroes but closer to us in some ways.

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            • All other considerations aside, I'll point out that Exalted already has a concept of automaton intelligences that are not susceptible to emotion-based effects.


              I have approximate knowledge of many things.
              Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
              https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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              • I've been working on a character concept over the last few days that is heavily influenced by the Culture Novels. A former Lookshy city planner, Chosen by the Sun, who becomes obsessed with finding out more about this primordial "Machine God" referenced in some incomplete texts on subjects he can't quite wrap his head around. He's has a double-motivation: On the surface he genuinely wishes to be of the greatest possible benefit to humankind and, to achieve that aim, he wants to build a new kind of civilization that will maximize human happiness. This is an enormous task that will have him questioning everything from the socio-economic power structures of the world to the role of the Exalted themselves. He would also label Hell, the Underworld, the Wyld and even Autochthonia as Outside Context Problems. The Loom of Fate would deeply disturb him ("What do you mean it governs causality and no one knows how it works or what to do if it breaks?!")


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                • My main question is, what allows him to think so abstractly? Frankly, most people--including very powerful people--are enmeshed in getting things done on a more local or regional level - to benefit the people they actually see day-to-day, rather than some nebulous population beyond the horizon.

                  I'm not sure if it'd actually work in 3e and it's based off a huge set of assumptions in 2e that I'm hesitant to call kind of Sue-ish, but that's just how it feels to me.


                  "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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                  • Good point. I think I'll scale-back his concept to being of the greatest benefit to Lookshy with the idea that he will expand that compassion outside its borders once he realizes that people from all over Creation aren't all that different.


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                    • Can I give my 2 cents?

                      I think the most dangerous part of the Exalted Host, isn't because of their normal power at creation levels. Its their versatility. If you were to import a solar exalt into Modern Creation, they will be able to develop charms based on cars, computers, guns, and planes. Sure, maybe they're just not cut out for it. Maybe they're the equivalent of that old grandma who barely understand internet explorer, or that man who's afraid of planes. But most will, and most will understand. They'll start with excellencies, allowing them to match the best mortal programmer or sharp shooter. Then they get better. If they invest enough effort, they'll be able to drive a motorcycle through the DMZ, or snipe a man from the moon, or hack into nuclear silos and use the nukes for themselves.

                      You can never truly be safe from an exalted. You can never just lock them up into a cage, pat your back, and then walk away. The sidereal will just use avoidance kata. The solar will use lock-opening touch. The Lunar will either buff their strength to bend the bars, or develop a dexterity charm that will let them squeeze through the gaps. The Dragonblooded will dissolve into either wind or water, then reform on the other side.

                      You cannot build a wall, and then just say 'ok, we're safe now', and laugh at the primitives hammering on the other side. The solar will develop Wall-evading technique. The Lunar will walk through the realm of dreams and exit on the other side. The Dragonblooded will hammer on the stone force it to give way. The Sidereal will have always been on the same side as you. No way to run. No way to be safe. No way to look at them, and say 'Yeah, there's no way they're going to get out of that'. Because some will, and some will survive, and some will come after you. Then you'll lose.

                      The only way to permanently be safe from the exalted host is to kill them all, and if you fail, and some humans are left alive, I guarantee you that the solar exaltations will flock to them.

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                      • The big thing is the Culture generally assumes that a technocratic, perfectly raitonal planning thing could mange people to a point ot bring about utopia. That it's just a matter that folks in power aren't competent enough and those who are competent are not in power.

                        A big quesiton you have to ask is whether that is actually the case. While there was a lot of Solar utopia-stuff pushed in 2e, a big thing to remember is that ultimately, whether the super-competent and powerful person were in charge is not actually a big problem with human history. And in fact, a lot of times, folks who are very competent and in power, but who also think soemthing is a Really Good Idea on Paper have created massive human cost as a result. Some of the greatest human disastors in history could, arguably, be described in context of folks doing the reasonable/systematic thing and finding what they're tyring to fix well, isn't. This is the thesis of books like Seeing Like a State as a note, which is a big influence in 3e.

                        This is actually a big factor of the Culture and the series that has to kind of be considered. Socieites might not be something that you just can brute force your way and predict outcomes form and contorl those outcomes like an engineering problem. They instead might be more dynamical in their nature. That is to say, a dynamical system is one with determined results, but unpredictable outcomes. There's no Laplace's Demon to this that you just need to be smart enough about. There are systems that at best you can get probabalistic outcomes for, and no matter what, that's all you get. ANd sociites are ones which have ludicrous amounts of widgets to fuck any of that up, all of them determined dynamical systems. This isn't just quantum mechanics as a note. There are macroscopic systems that behave like this, in ecology, psychology, and computer science to name a few.

                        So looping this to Exalted, a big thing to ask is whether or not Solar indivdiual competence can generate the things the Culture has. I, personally, don't even think the Culture is possible. And even if it were, Solar Exalted, who are ultiamtely very competent humans with not a lot of restraint to stop them when they get a "bright idea" to very competently execute, are probably amongst the worse people to possibly try to implement something like it.


                        And stuff.
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                        • ok...

                          I'm going to ignore the solar's personalities and character. Its irrelevant for now.

                          Solars. Bureaucracy supernal. Lore supernal. Essence 5. Perfection.

                          Solars can block anything. Using anything. They can pick up a spoon, look upon a full on blast of gridfire, then parry it away. A solar can be eating dinner, have a nuclear missile explode 10 meters away, and use the fork he is using to turn back the shockwave and radiation. Solars can withstand anything. Adamant skin technique allows him to withstand any blow. From a rpg to the punch of a giant 3 yeddim wide.

                          Solars can shoot perfectly. If they can perceive it, they can hit it. Accuracy without distance means that if they were to stand on one end of the solar system, and see a pebble floating on the other end, they can pick up a pistol, aim, pull the trigger, and hit it. Without fail. Because that's what solars do. They do something perfectly, with the end result already confirmed and spoken for.

                          Its not just super competent person being in charge. Its also super competent person being in charge, and that person's power flowing from 'peak human' to 'stepping out of the mists of legend'.

                          No matter how good a bureaucrat Stalin can be (and he wasn't really one), he can't fix everything. If a man in the western section lies and says that the amount of steel is rising, when instead it is actually falling, due to his fear of being punished for laziness, Stalin can't do anything about it. Same with feudal kings. King Richard can't deal with the fact that one of his tax collectors have been overcharging, because he doesn't have the available information. Or a corrupt bureaucrat that's subtly pushing his family's appeals and applications to the front of any line. Or a bribed crony intentionally misplacing a report of corruption that was meant for the big boss.

                          Solars can make their bureaucracies move faster by an order of magnitude. Solars can use their superhuman skills to purge the bureaucracy of any incompetence and corruption. Solars can use their superhuman power to make their organizations immune to corruption. Solars can use their training charms into making ordinary mortals into the best organizers and bureaucrats in the world.

                          I think that Solars, with enough power, can successfully run Communist states, Laissez-Faire, or any type of government, as long as they're willing to put the effort in doing so. If they have the idea to attempt something? They will succeed.

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                          • This is a pretty significant thread necromancy, dude - I'm pretty sure some of these people don't participate on the forums anymore.


                            Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
                            I'm going to ignore the solar's personalities and character. Its irrelevant for now.
                            This is never going to be true.

                            Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
                            Solars. Bureaucracy supernal. Lore supernal. Essence 5. Perfection.
                            1) You can't have two Supernals.
                            2) Being Essence 5 makes your Supernal irrelevant.
                            3) If that was all you needed for "perfection," then why was there ever a Usurpation?

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                            • Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                              This is a pretty significant thread necromancy, dude - I'm pretty sure some of these people don't participate on the forums anymore.


                              This is never going to be true.

                              1) You can't have two Supernals.
                              2) Being Essence 5 makes your Supernal irrelevant.
                              3) If that was all you needed for "perfection," then why was there ever a Usurpation?
                              Ok. Fine.

                              When I was saying supernals, I meant either one. But biased towards Bureaucracy.

                              Essence 5 is for extra power. Speed the wheels gets stronger the higher your essence.

                              "Perfection".

                              ​I was talking to Blaque . When I say perfection, I meant that if a solar puts an organizational goal or has a plan for his government, he's going to do it, he's going to carry it out, and he's going to succeed. Whether its 'put all these orphans in good families' or 'perfectly distribute welfare across the nation, so that none go hungry or without medicine' or 'redistribute supplies because this state is communist'.

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                              • Originally posted by Blaque View Post
                                The big thing is the Culture generally assumes that a technocratic, perfectly raitonal planning thing could mange people to a point ot bring about utopia. That it's just a matter that folks in power aren't competent enough and those who are competent are not in power.

                                A big quesiton you have to ask is whether that is actually the case. While there was a lot of Solar utopia-stuff pushed in 2e, a big thing to remember is that ultimately, whether the super-competent and powerful person were in charge is not actually a big problem with human history. And in fact, a lot of times, folks who are very competent and in power, but who also think soemthing is a Really Good Idea on Paper have created massive human cost as a result. Some of the greatest human disastors in history could, arguably, be described in context of folks doing the reasonable/systematic thing and finding what they're tyring to fix well, isn't. This is the thesis of books like Seeing Like a State as a note, which is a big influence in 3e.
                                That's complete nonsense. First, the Culture isn't a complete utopia. I mean... things like Meatfucker exist. Wars still happen, and people die in them. It's just a lot better than things are today.

                                Yes, "Utopia" in the sense of "the best possible system" isn't possible because there's no clearly-defined "best"; but throughout history, the human condition has varied greatly from time period to time period and from place to place; and while there has been significant random variation, I think it's clearly absurd to suggest that it is all random. Some things clearly lead to better standards of living, longer lifespans, and so on.

                                That means that it's reasonable to conclude that things could be better. The progress we've made might be meandering and often come at great costs; there's a lot of room to argue over what has actually worked or what the actual causes are, and so on. But it proves that progress is possible. And while technological advancement (including super-AI overlords or whatever) certainly isn't always going to automatically improve things forever, the fact that we already come so far is sufficient reason to conclude that it is at least possible for us to make a better world. More specifically, technological advancement is capable of changing the core underlying assumptions and interactions that have lead to problems in the past - diseases and famines still happen, for instance, but we have far better tools to control or limit them today.

                                We don't need perfectly-rational AIs who can predict every possible outcome. We just need to be able to iteratively improve on what we have. And there's no reason to think that that's impossible. Culture Minds are not perfect (and to an extent they're a stand-in for vague future technology that we can't, of course, perfectly predict today.) But I think it's silly to suggest that using tools like that couldn't improve the human condition at all, and nothing about that degree of improvement strikes me as so implausible as to warrant this sort of scorn.

                                Beyond that, while I get that you're looking down at the overly-simplistic assumptions people make when talking about what a super-smart AI or the like could do... just throwing up your hands and saying "it's complex and therefore can never be solved better than we've solved it today!" is just as overly-simplistic.

                                I think a more reasonable criticism is that the tools that allow people to drastically change the human condition in sci-fi novels like those could be just as easily used to change it for the worse - historical progress is no predictor of future performance! - and that that's probably more worth worrying about given the state of the world today. But "a better society is impossible because things are complicated, maaan" strikes me as lazy thinking, too.

                                And "yeah, but think of all the times when people tried to make society better and then BAD STUFF happened!" is even worse. Like... yeah, we're well aware things can go horrifically wrong even with smart people and the best of intentions. That's not a reason to stop pushing for things to be better, not when the day-to-day status quo causes more pain and suffering and death than anything else.

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