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  • #31
    Originally posted by Hand-of-Omega View Post
    Can't believe I forgot about the gunzhosa/ashigaru power armor...but I imagine the folks who want to get rid of the Warstriders, Skywolf and such would like to see those gone as well...

    Also, elite Rangers: yea or nea?
    No one got rid of the warstriders and such. They just reduced the numbers and changed them from being made in factories to being very powerful and singular (in the case of warstriders and flying ships, at any rate) items.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Hand-of-Omega View Post
      Can't believe I forgot about the gunzhosa/ashigaru power armor...but I imagine the folks who want to get rid of the Warstriders, Skywolf and such would like to see those gone as well...
      I think portray it more as magic armour than Warhammer or Iron Man power armour.

      The armour is some of the infantry-enhancing stuff, so it's comparatively acceptable.

      Originally posted by Sanctaphrax
      I hope they either play down the Spartan inspiration
      Besides using the word helot, what is the "Spartan inspiration" of Lookshy? I've always had trouble identifying it.


      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
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      • #33
        Originally posted by Dulahan View Post
        I liked the 1e version of it, pure and simple. the one described in Outcastes.
        Agreed, for the most part. A Dragobblood led society that is more reasonable than the Realm, if still imperfect.

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        • #34
          Why I think Gunzosha are worth keeping around.
          Originally posted by Neph
          I've wrestled with this. I remember the first time I read Exalted: the Outcastes and I came across gunzosha troopers. I thought... wow... people who give up half their life to fight on the same battlefield as Exalted. That's pretty damn cool.

          And then you have thaumaturgy and the power of alchemy and ways for mortals to temporarily become powerful.
          I think it would be reasonable to imagine a mortal who uses a combination of alchemical regimens, power armor and other Shogunate gear to take the field among Exalted. Of course, to play on a weak Terrestrial level, he's a drug-addicted wretch whose body and soul won't last a decade... and that's assuming the great powers of the world don't strike him down for his impertinence.

          The Exalted setting allows for such a hero, the scarred super-veteran who is cheating the system every way possible at once for the briefest moment of glory. These are the people who become Celestial Exalted when there is a Celestial Essence available. But what if that day never comes? Such a character makes a stark object lesson in the way the setting works.

          Let's assume for a moment that you have an Outcaste brotherhood with this superveteran thaumaturge as a member. Let's say he can generally keep up when he has to. After the battle with the mutant horde, they're all sitting around the campfire tending their wounds and unwinding. The Terrestrials are cleaning the gore off their armor and laughing, taking in Essence from food and fellowship. Their ally has removed his war-carapace and is carefully smearing a glowing paste onto his cuts to accelerate healing and prevent infection. The paste leaves disfigured purple scars and he's a patchwork of them now, but he wouldn't win any beauty pageants with his array of glittering amulets riveted through skin and muscle and bone. His companions pass around the wineflask. He can't drink wine. He can only sip a bitter mineral water whose formula and tincture is carefully regulated because he can't be sure how anything else will react to the complicated batch of drugs churning through his hardened and aged flesh. He can feel a burning with every swallow and his blood barely smells like blood any more... less iron... more... he can't find a name for it because no analogue exists in nature. He's not even sure if he's human any more or whether he could breed a new species if the drugs hadn't left him sterile years ago.

          That's what it takes to play the game with Exalted as an equal or something close (or something equally harsh).
          Using the Merits and Flaws, you CAN be Frodo with a Legendary Artifact so dangerous that none of the magical beings can be trusted with it. Or you can be like the guy in Princess Mononoke and be Dying for your power. Etc.

          It's ok to break the system a bit, given that people in the Exalted setting do that sort of thing. Of course, the system always breaks you back with interest. That's another part of the setting.


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          • #35
            Yup, Juicers do make cool tragic heroes

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
              Besides using the word helot, what is the "Spartan inspiration" of Lookshy? I've always had trouble identifying it.
              It's a city-state that holds a position of prominence among its neighbors due to its military prowess. Said military prowess exists because Lookshy maintains that all of its citizenry should aspire to serve the city-state through force of arms first and foremost. Lookshy holds strongly to a a code of laws and conduct set down in a time long past, but is having trouble maintaining itself as the advantages it once held are slipping away due to its inability to maintain the Old Ways. Lookshy leads a coalition of other city states against a foreign monarch that is vastly more powerful in terms of troop quantity and wealth, but whose generals are hampered by their decadence, political infighting, and the whims of their monarch. Soldiers from Lookshy frequently sell their services to other city-states and are prized above all other mercenary forces. These same mercenaries are often lent to allies at a steep discount or as a means of securing other services from those allies. The helots, in addition to the name are fairly similar, even if there are some differences. Both Sparta and Lookshy are oligarchies with strong families competing against each other. Both are isolationist in their foreign policy. Oh, and both inspire writers to depict them in white-washed hero worshiping tones that ignore what is almost certainly a brutal military autocracy.

              Hoplite warfare can't really exist in Exalted as written so I guess that's a big detriment, but that could be said about a lot of ancient warfare styles when superhuman stuff gets involved. The fact that Lookshy lets its citizens be something other than soldiers is another negative. Come to think of it, the whole approach to citizenry in general is different, unless I missed something about Lookshy mess hall dues or land ownership.

              note: when I say citizen I mean actual Lookshy citizens, not people that just happen to live there.
              Last edited by Ithle; 01-18-2014, 08:10 AM.

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              • #37
                I've always been a fan of Lookshy's more mercenary elements. I generally frame those comments about them being 'fair' in their dealings with other nations around this central concept - they are only on your side because you are paying them, either in money or political alliance or whatever... but while you continue paying them, they take great pride in being dependable and competent. They sell their services at a reasonable cost, and have a vested interest in keeping the Scavenger Lands reasonably stable (anarchy leads to less contracts).

                Regarding their powerful arsenal, I'm not so much a fan of this idea that they have literal warehouses full of stuff that they carefully ration out as needed. Rather, I'd like it if their continued superiority could be used as a strong indicator of just how important infrastructure is in producing such wonders. They don't have warehouses, they have technical manuals and a well-developed industrial base.... but without their network of trade agreements and mercenary contracts throughout the Scavenger lands, they wouldn't be able to obtain the rare materials to make the most of that. This makes them an extraordinarily valuable ally for your player's to be able to call upon, as well as a lucrative source of espionage-type missions and a terrifying enemy to make, even before you factor in the Dragon-Blooded.

                (This is sort of the case in 2e. They built Skywolf, after all, which is an Artifact N/A airship, even if building another one right now would tie up too much of their industrial capacity with Thorns on the horizon.)

                I'd like for them to be one of the last examples of a Shogunate-era society, which stands in contrast to the Realm's more modern system, and for this to be both a good and bad thing depending on who you happen to be. I'd like the Gunzosha to stay, and perhaps for them to be seen as one of the easiest methods of social advancement in Lookshy for your family. An offer presented to some of those dispossessed by one of the latest brutal conflicts in the Scavenger Lands - 'Become a Gunzosha, and we will extend free citizenship... with all it's benefits... to your loved ones. Through your sacrifice, you will build a better world for them.'

                There's a lot of stuff I want from Lookshy, really, which actually makes me more impressed that Eric Minton has apparently managed to hammer a cohesive overlook into just over five hundred words....

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Ithle View Post

                  It's a city-state that holds a position of prominence among its neighbors due to its military prowess. Said military prowess exists because Lookshy maintains that all of its citizenry should aspire to serve the city-state through force of arms first and foremost. Lookshy holds strongly to a a code of laws and conduct set down in a time long past, but is having trouble maintaining itself as the advantages it once held are slipping away due to its inability to maintain the Old Ways. Lookshy leads a coalition of other city states against a foreign monarch that is vastly more powerful in terms of troop quantity and wealth, but whose generals are hampered by their decadence, political infighting, and the whims of their monarch.
                  That makes it sound more like Rome.


                  I have approximate knowledge of many things.
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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                    That makes it sound more like Rome.
                    Except Rome didn't have a more powerful neighbor that it was only able to check through alliances with other nations that it would much rather have ignored in order to tend to things within it's own borders.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Grey Seer View Post
                      There's a lot of stuff I want from Lookshy, really, which actually makes me more impressed that Eric Minton has apparently managed to hammer a cohesive overlook into just over five hundred words....
                      It's an extremely high-level overview, as is normal for corebook entries. Players and Storytellers interested in a detailed examination of Lookshy will have to go back to Scavenger Sons or await the release of Different Skies.


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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Oriares View Post

                        Except Rome didn't have a more powerful neighbor that it was only able to check through alliances with other nations that it would much rather have ignored in order to tend to things within it's own borders.
                        Carthage.

                        The Etruscan League, if you want to go a bit earlier.


                        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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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                          That makes it sound more like Rome.
                          You could say those same things about a lot of city states. No surprise that all those guys from that same region had similar ways of doing things. However, you'll note I didn't say anything about a republican tradition and Rome wasn't too keen on lending its soldiers out as mercenaries in the way Sparta was. Nor did Rome maintain that individual martial prowess was the ideal all citizens should aspire to. The decline of Rome and the decline of Sparta/Lookshy are also wildly different. Lookshy and Sparta fall apart because their way of life is fundamentally untenable, Rome fell because... well I'm sure you know how complicated it is, but it's not because 'holy shit who thought this was going to work?' Serfdom is fairly important to both Sparta and Lookshy, but only appeared in Rome at the very end when shit hit the fan.

                          edit: However, as others have said the Lookshy helots are different from Spartan helots. They're definitely more Japanese influenced than Spartan because they're more similar to the Ashigaru infantry, but we can't call them that because of the artifact of the same name.

                          Carthage was powerful, but more of an equal whereas Sparta and Persia were on a completely different scale (it's likely that more Greeks fought against Alexander than fought for Alexander when he went against Persia. Unfortunately, this also undermines my argument that Sparta and Lookshy are alike because we never hear anything about the Lookshy general So-and-So who gets indicated after the war ends because someone finds out he's been taking bribes from the Scarlet Empress). I mean, the parallels between the King of Persia and the Scarlet Empress are fairly obvious and especially so when you consider the position Sparta held during the Persian invasion versus the position Lookshy held during the Scarlet Empress's invasion.
                          Last edited by Ithle; 01-19-2014, 07:26 PM.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                            Shintai means geographic features where spirits reside, but nobody wants that to strictly adhere to its original cultural context.
                            Shintai (神体) litereally means "god-body" and was used in Kindred of the East originally for the way Exalted uses it (literelaly turning your body godlike). It's a bit less lifting a word and using it differently and more a different interpretation of wha tthe word litereally means.

                            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                            ... I think helots should be about what they're portrayed as in Scavenger Sons; serf workers who form the bulk of basic infantry. If the idea that they're really up on being distinguished from slaves needs to be a big deal, I can see it being presented in a context of cultural conditioning, or at least internal pride rather than excessive devotion to the cult of the state. ...
                            I honestly as I have thought on it over time think helot is kind of misused in Lookshy. The way they treat them is much more like peasants during the Sengoku and Edo Periods of Japan, which is shit but still tolerable comapred to a group who's actually pretty memorable for how utterly shit their lives were even compared to other enslaved or peasantry groups in the pre-industrial world. It kind of makes the term use rather random seeming in a sense if you ask me.

                            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                            ...

                            I mean, looking into actual serfdom... certainly far from ideal, but has certain complications that can make getting a handle on it a bit slippery (with the notable exception of Russian serfdom, which was fairly restrictive and brutal).
                            As I gather, helots were worst than serfs. Or it's how i have seen it presented. There's a difference between teh somewhat ambivilant but known as necessary role peasants often played in medeival societies (there's a bit of convenient lie during the Edo period that peasants were technically the "highest ranked caste"). Versus helots, who part of the Spartan right of passage invovled acts of overt terrorism against.

                            And stuff.


                            And stuff.
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                            • #44
                              As for Lookshy itself:

                              I always found the idea of it being kind of the Brotherhood of Steel neat. I think it being still in effect a Shogunate legion that has settled down and setup shop and collected the Realm's worth of an arsenal in one spot is still neat. That said, I do think it wouldn't hurt to point out that the other major asset of Lookshy is that it's the second-largest single society of Dragon-Blooded in Creation and it's concentrated into a single city-state region rather than spread accross a continent and empire. This means that it'll have a very different character to it and is partially feared not just for their weapon stockpile but the fact they have three thousand super soldiers who have the training to use it.

                              On the helotry, I kind of am in a mindset that the term helot is just not appropriate for what they are. There's a class of citizens and peasants, but the way Lookshy runs makes me think Roman-style patricians and plebians or Athenian citizens and not-citizens more than it does Spartan citizens and helots. The term just has different connotations in its use anywhere but here and comes off as token exoticism as it is. Lookshy having actual slaves doesn't help this either. I think a basic concept of citizen (Dragon-Blooded and their familes), some term for non-citizen with less baggage and slave fits the place more. Even just peasant fits better I would say.

                              Lookshy's political influence interests me a bit. I always saw them running on Cold War US style stuff, wtih funneling funds or troops to conflicts to pick more palettable results, having garrisons and advisors, but extracting really only the retainer cost. It seems like a much more "soft power" method to things than the Realm's empire and feels more like an extortion racket than an exploitation. I wouldn't mind this played-up.

                              I also wouldn't mind seeing more on Lookshy's version of the Immaculate fatih. I always got this kind of Protestant-to-Catholic contrast between Lookshy and the Realm's flavor of the religion. I also think the Order of Chaplains could do to have more fleshing-out. Things like sohei and their socrerer-exorcist methods in contrast with the sorcerer-engineers would be pretty sweet. I honestly always imagined them having a sponsered small Zen garden or something in some cities.

                              Less friendly to Anathema. No standing permanent Wyld Hunt doesn't suddenly mean they tolerate the presence of Solars or Lunars in their city.

                              Probably no more of that destiny of doom on them and seals agaist Sidereal interference. Was that in 1e at all?

                              And stuff.


                              And stuff.
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                              • #45
                                I like how their political system made the cities place on the sliding scale of good-guy, bad-guy made the city an incredibly versatile.


                                A story where a mercenary run Lookshy exist fits the "Stay out of our interests, and we will stay out of yours," perfectly. Something to fear, but not to hate. Something that can help you if you can get the right ears pointed in your direction.

                                A imperialist party Lookshy fits power fantasy good guy games, and evil empires.

                                The purist party is always fun to bring up for court intrigue if anathema characters get too friendly with the local politicians.



                                I personally perfer a portrayal a city that is incredibly diverse (Many of the foreign legions of the confederation of rivers choose to become helots,) with heavy Vietnam, United states, and yes, Sparta influences. One in a political age of turmoil, where many from one side or another ague amongst themselves over what direction the nation should take, and where patriotism is at outright dangerous levels.
                                - I mean, a nation that makes use of Gunzhosha needs a large base of patriots to continue fielding as many gunzhosha as the books claimed they keep (And replace gradually over every 10 years. Yes. I do like the parts of the Gunzhosha idea where people are accepting tremendous self sacrifice to become more then they ever could have been in an ordinary life.)

                                Of course, this means the place needs enough going for it to justify the massive patriotic fervor going on in this place, but it only takes a few dangerous political movements to prevent it from becoming stagnantly good and uninteresting.


                                Similarly, some of the conflictions are some of my favorite points to bring up in characters, the inaccuracies in how the word helot is used make it easy to portray it as written, or portray what is written as propaganda, and my favorite character, period, did serve as a indentured servant (Which, I will have you know, lasts for only five years, and you have the legal right to be treated well during this, as written.)

                                (He of course, has his own special interpretations of the cultures favorite phrases, especially ones that would conflict with certain cultural values, extending "Every man must earn his justice." To "Every man must earn his justice, but in order to earn anything, one must first have justice. That is why here, in Lookshy, justice is offered to all..... (Extending into a brief the world/this city is half full speech.))

                                Of course, such cultural values/cultural saying conflcitions are part of what I love about the city. As it lends itself incredibly well to various characters giving their own interpretations of what the world is, and what it should be in their own way.... Politics, World Views, people who mean well, but cannot agree on what the world should be. The tragedies that can happen when all doesn't go well, be it from politics induced negligence, or a radical group gerrymandering its way into power and pushing out radical changes with little to no checks and balances.



                                I hate the idea of this place being written in a way that suggests that there is one true Lookshy, and probably wont use lore that suggests that this should be the case.

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