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The three unbreakable rules

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  • The three unbreakable rules

    In Exalted, there are three tenants that are considered to be unbreakable : Time moves in one direction, Dead is dead, and Perfects are absolute.

    However, what is written in the book is not always what happens at the table. Has there ever been a time where anyone has broken these rules, or decided to ignore them because it made a better story? I seem to a discussion where it was pointed out that the history of Exalted paralleled the different eras in Chrono Trigger almost to a T, and a time travel game based on that might be a lot of fun.

  • #2
    I always thought Sidereals had a Manse where they can practice their very dangerous Sidereal Martial Arts. The Manse allows them to turn back time to the beginning of the Sparing match, so any effects on your opponent would never happen. The manse could never go back more than an hour and it is localized to the area around the manse. The Hearthstone allows the owner to control the manse's ability.


    I write things.

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    • #3
      I did, at one point, violate another tenet: I had a character's past life have been part of a project that resulted in something called The Hammer of Humbled Blood, which literally beat the Exaltations out of Terrestrials into a physical form for study.

      I did try to render this as a horrific thing, but given that one of my players was of the mentality that "at a certain point, Solars should just automatically treat Terrestrials as Extras", I'm not sure entirely how well that took.

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      • #4
        Ouch, I didn't even consider that one as even being up for debate. That's harsh, and unlikely to ever be tolerated at my table, damn.

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        • #5
          Yeah, the third tenet was that the bond of Exaltation was inseparable while its bearer still lived; all three restrictions are really just expressions of the one restriction: "No backsies."

          Perfects are totally surmountable where they're surmountable. "Defense wins" was really more established to make the game easier to run, not as a statement the game upholds as a core tenet. Besides, that's a game mechanic issue, not a setting one, and possibly one getting chucked for 2e (considering how the spoilered bit for game mechanics said, IIRC, that if two rolls were tied, the better stunt won).

          (Also if it was supposed to be a core tenet then it's really bad that so many folks were trying to get around it in various books.)
          Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 04-29-2015, 07:00 PM.


          He/him

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          • #6
            I've never actually done it in a game (as they've never lasted too terribly long), but I'd be willing to allow Shadow of the Colossus-style resurrection pretty readily.

            If I were to ever do time travel, it'd be in a game built around it, like the Soul Reaver series.

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            • #7
              There are good reasons for these...but at may tables they are surrounded by considerable gray areas. The exceptions don't often come into play but being there makes for less certainty which is usually for the best.

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              • #8
                I was in a game once where the Zenith was killed in combat and some other PC (probably the Twilight) decided to enact some ritual using the living soul of the Zenith's seneschal to restore life to his body (and his Exaltation, which was stuck in there or whatnot).

                The end result was a heinous act which the Zenith repudiated once he was restored and told what had happened. He decried the Solars who had participated in it, foreswore his ties to them, and walked off. And began actively opposing them.

                To him, some lines were not meant to be crossed, and destroying his servant's soul to restore his life marked the participants as no better than the Deathlords or soul-eating raksha.

                My Eclipse, who was the new kid on the block to begin with, completely agreed with him and sided with him.


                "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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                • #9
                  It was for Heaven's Reach, so things were a bit different, but I once played a Twilight who was trying to solve the Primordial Infection. So he got on a ship for a slow trip between stars, designed a soulgem/dreamstone brain implant to record all his memories and trap his souls, and had a lot of clones grown. He tried various things to get rid of the curse, and when they killed him he had the gem and exaltation moved into new clone bodies.
                  Last edited by Exthalion; 04-29-2015, 09:22 PM.

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                  • #10
                    One of the official 2E books already breaks one of the 3 by giving the Yozi a limited ability to bring the dead back to true life (and even totally unaltered if they are in a good mood and decide to not turn them into an abomination in the process).


                    Exalted Whose Name is Carved in Leaves of Jade

                    Senator of the Greater Chamber

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                    • #11
                      We went a million years back in time to stop time-travelling demons from rewriting Creation's history.
                      It seems to have worked mostly, but a few things have weirdly changed, like a country randomly in a different part of the world.
                      Also, no-one believes us because everyone knows time-travel is impossible.


                      STing Bronze Age Exalted

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                      • #12
                        I mean, read the sidebar that accompanies it. They seem to have done it solely so they could thumb their nose at the concept of certain things being off limits.

                        CAVEAT EMPTOR
                        The Yozis’ capacity to alter history within
                        Malfeas would seem to break Exalted’s principle
                        that death is irrevocable. Well, yes, but only
                        within certain limits. It applies only to people
                        who die within Malfeas. It happens solely at the
                        Storyteller’s discretion. Finally, it involves letting
                        a sadistic, nigh-omnipotent enemy of Creation
                        change the last five days of the character’s history
                        any way it wants. Anyone so foolish or desperate
                        deserves whatever he gets.

                        "Yeah this totally breaks one of the few hard rules of the setting and is a terrible deal that can only be made in limited circumstances which nobody will ever want to take but we felt it was a good usage of word count to stick this setting defying but still useless thing in here"


                        Exalted Whose Name is Carved in Leaves of Jade

                        Senator of the Greater Chamber

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mizu View Post
                          I mean, read the sidebar that accompanies it. They seem to have done it solely so they could thumb their nose at the concept of certain things being off limits.




                          "Yeah this totally breaks one of the few hard rules of the setting and is a terrible deal that can only be made in limited circumstances which nobody will ever want to take but we felt it was a good usage of word count to stick this setting defying but still useless thing in here"
                          Also the dev team later said that was not a thing, I forget if its in the errata, but it is a thing which was later stated as being the result of someone not thinking things through. Frankly I like the one that was used as a potential explanation for the Emissary of Nexus worked better since it was just a suggestion and not the a hardline setting rule.

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                          • #14
                            One of my best games yet had a lengthy arch that involved time travel. An abyssal tried to create time travel, to make a time paradox so that Creation would break. So the PC (it was a one-on-one game) was sent back to his past incarnation and had to avoid straying to far from original events, lest he weaken present Creation.

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                            • #15
                              My stance on resurrection is that it's basically unknowable.
                              You can clone your dead friend with all their memories with no "came back wrong" bullshit but sooner or later they're going to do something that seems out of character that makes you question if this is something the original person would've done or if this is a new person indoctrinated to act like your dead friend slipping with their performance.

                              It'll be especially hard to tell if this person remembers being an Exalt and now they're not, that's a pretty big shake up that could radically change anyone's outlook even if they are a perfect copy.


                              Onyx Path Forum Moderator

                              Plug for the Sword of Creation forum, a new hub for Exalted related content

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