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  • 3E Mountain Folk

    I always did like the three-casted pseudo-dwarves, and I just realized something when going over Debris of the Fallen Races again:

    Chaos Seers are based on a Virtue degrading. Virtues are no longer in the game except as a common ideal of Creation.

    This set me off on thinking how the Mountain Folk will work now that Charms aren't the end-all be-all, just the default (raksha have a more WoD-ish "dot level" power set, I hear). While it makes sense for Jadeborn to have Charms given how the inventor of Exalted is also their direct and sole creator, I'm also interested in seeing if there's an alternative. Also, what their society and technology looks like now that the writers are dialing back on the magitech bloat (though to be fair, if there's any society that has common Artifacts, it's the Mountain Folk).

    I also theorize that Chaos Seers' madness is based around eroding Intimacies and then developing garbled new ones based around screwy, glitched directives from the Loom. It enables them to be more complex and more importantly, playable characters (this one could be a complete sociopath with a morality that resembles nothing anyone else has, but this one over here could be desperately trying to hold on to what remains of her sanity, and the third one could have completely lost it but is otherwise only harmful to himself, since he can't tell if someone's being nice to him just to get his predictions).



  • #2
    Originally posted by Leliel
    if there's any society that has common Artifacts, it's the Mountain Folk
    Did the Mountain Folk ever have common Artifacts? Did they even really have a society? Why did they ever bother having more than one city when all of their government and culture and more advanced artifice was in the hands of just ten thousand people? What did those cities ever even look like? Endless rows of barracks punctuated by the occasional factory and mansion?


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

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
      Did the Mountain Folk ever have common Artifacts? Did they even really have a society? Why did they ever bother having more than one city when all of their government and culture and more advanced artifice was in the hands of just ten thousand people? What did those cities ever even look like? Endless rows of barracks punctuated by the occasional factory and mansion?
      Actually, we do know. what their cities look like. They're honeycombed caverns and tunnels, filled with various minor devices; glowing crystals, mushroom farms, and they have a monorail maintained by earth elemental helpers. We also know they have enough Artifacts to regularly outfit the Warriors with minor Artifacts, even the basic units. Apart from that, yeah; we know more about their culture than their society, and we're also a little hazy on their art. It also makes sense for them to just have Urvar and minor outposts elsewhere with the current demographics and only Artisans being able to really forge new Wonders.

      I will say that thinking about the Earth monorail raises another idea; perhaps the reason Jadeborn are so easy to confuse with earth elementals is that much of Jadeborn society is, in fact, earth elementals? I can see Urvar as the only city where true Mountain Folk are a majority, with the rest having a token presence; most of their citizens are, in fact, elementals and humans (mostly beastfolk and underpeople). The non-Jadeborn are taught how to maintain their Wonders and even build minor ones if they show the talent, but the Mountain Folk are the real rulers, and the rulers of the Mountain Folk are the Artisans that ship major Wonders out to their client city-states.

      Good start?


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      • #4
        I'm interested to see what they do as well, even though these guys are like the most peripheral element possible in Creation, so could be written pretty much never.

        I think the Mountain Folk as they stand are a little more complicated than my preference is - I'd like them to be "just" Raksha (or at any rate, strange Wyld persons) crystallised into order and craft by the Pole of Earth and the Imperial Mountain, with a specific society.

        I'd probably (divisively) loose the idea of them being crafted by Autochthon (which in a way was mainly Mike Goodwin being cute and cribbing from Tolkien's dwarven creation myth), so much as Auto being a first and early, and important, and now gone, patron. I'd have modern day, and ancient Mountain Folk are as rough and readily polytheist as the rest of Creation's world. I like Autochthon only having one chosen people, really - the Autochthonians - otherwise he tends to feel a bit overloaded, and his Chosen lose some impact, to me (so the Autochthonians are genuinely like "We are *the* Chosen People of Authchthon" rather than"... and there's also these other guys".)

        I'd like Chaos Seers to simply be about the Fair Folk nature breaking through to the Mountain Folk. More than much to do with the Loom, I guess. For some reason mention or awareness of the Loom of Fate outside of the context of Sidereals or the Gods of the Bureau of Destiny feels wrong to me. And I assume the Fair Folk should occasionally have an uncanny precognition of the mad anyway, simply because the actual faeries aristocracy of folk tale often do. The Fair Ones are not quite bound by linear time in these matters.

        Keep the three caste structure, together with the hidden aristocratic "Artisan" layer of their society that does not interact with the surface society. That's cool. I think it would be nice for them to have a civil society with theatres and pubs and so on, of sorts.

        Don't know if I'm keen on the Great Geas. On the one hand, the Exalted paving their First Age rule with the casting aside of allied, yet potentially competing, non-human races, is very cool. On the other, do I really want there to have ever been or potentially millions of Artisans around, given that they're theoretically quite mighty? Plus, does it do good things for Mountain Folk-Exalted interactions?

        No idea if the idea of endless war in the underways (or what they were called) with exiled races is worth keeping. I suspect not, because you don't need that kind of threat added in to Creation, but a fair amount of monsters and dangerous gods and loose demons and wildlife is cool.

        (By the way, did the Mountain Folk content ever describe how the Mountain Folk construct their underground cities, in terms of how they dispose of "spoil" without much access to the surface? Reading a little about mining in a novel recently and it made me wonder.)

        With magitech, I'm actually not sure whether about whether being heavy on magitech is bad (if we're using that word magitech).

        It's more that in 2e (and maybe late 1e) this seems to have got caught up with the ideas that engineering, technology, rationality and science were both a distinct paradigm and the more efficient superior of nature, emotion, intuition, sorcery, irrationality and spirituality (and to an extent lots of the related rw modern ideological junk, that normally swirls around New Atheist types and Carl Sagan wannabe types). I think if you put a stake through the heart of those ideas, then magitech can sort of hang around and be cool, so long as you don't go too close to "The Mountain Folk still have their own First Age down there" or "Essence is just magical electricity!".

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        • #5
          I'm kind of down on the Mountain Folk as a whole, and think they require a major overhaul, so I'm going to leave off on this thread for now.... except for this.
          Originally posted by Leliel
          they have a monorail maintained by earth elemental helpers.
          At least the trains all run on time, but they don't go anywhere...


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

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post
            I'm interested to see what they do as well, even though these guys are like the most peripheral element possible in Creation, so could be written pretty much never.

            I think the Mountain Folk as they stand are a little more complicated than my preference is - I'd like them to be "just" Raksha (or at any rate, strange Wyld persons) crystallised into order and craft by the Pole of Earth and the Imperial Mountain, with a specific society.

            I'd probably (divisively) loose the idea of them being crafted by Autochthon (which in a way was mainly Mike Goodwin being cute and cribbing from Tolkien's dwarven creation myth), so much as Auto being a first and early, and important, and now gone, patron. I'd have modern day, and ancient Mountain Folk are as rough and readily polytheist as the rest of Creation's world. I like Autochthon only having one chosen people, really - the Autochthonians - otherwise he tends to feel a bit overloaded, and his Chosen lose some impact, to me (so the Autochthonians are genuinely like "We are *the* Chosen People of Authchthon" rather than"... and there's also these other guys".)

            I'd like Chaos Seers to simply be about the Fair Folk nature breaking through to the Mountain Folk. More than much to do with the Loom, I guess. For some reason mention or awareness of the Loom of Fate outside of the context of Sidereals or the Gods of the Bureau of Destiny feels wrong to me. And I assume the Fair Folk should occasionally have an uncanny precognition of the mad anyway, simply because the actual faeries aristocracy of folk tale often do. The Fair Ones are not quite bound by linear time in these matters.

            Keep the three caste structure, together with the hidden aristocratic "Artisan" layer of their society that does not interact with the surface society. That's cool. I think it would be nice for them to have a civil society with theatres and pubs and so on, of sorts.

            Don't know if I'm keen on the Great Geas. On the one hand, the Exalted paving their First Age rule with the casting aside of allied, yet potentially competing, non-human races, is very cool. On the other, do I really want there to have ever been or potentially millions of Artisans around, given that they're theoretically quite mighty? Plus, does it do good things for Mountain Folk-Exalted interactions?

            No idea if the idea of endless war in the underways (or what they were called) with exiled races is worth keeping. I suspect not, because you don't need that kind of threat added in to Creation, but a fair amount of monsters and dangerous gods and loose demons and wildlife is cool.

            (By the way, did the Mountain Folk content ever describe how the Mountain Folk construct their underground cities, in terms of how they dispose of "spoil" without much access to the surface? Reading a little about mining in a novel recently and it made me wonder.)

            With magitech, I'm actually not sure whether about whether being heavy on magitech is bad (if we're using that word magitech).

            It's more that in 2e (and maybe late 1e) this seems to have got caught up with the ideas that engineering, technology, rationality and science were both a distinct paradigm and the more efficient superior of nature, emotion, intuition, sorcery, irrationality and spirituality (and to an extent lots of the related rw modern ideological junk, that normally swirls around New Atheist types and Carl Sagan wannabe types). I think if you put a stake through the heart of those ideas, then magitech can sort of hang around and be cool, so long as you don't go too close to "The Mountain Folk still have their own First Age down there" or "Essence is just magical electricity!".
            Much of that's precisely what I was thinking. Dial back on the magitech, or even better, lose the distinction. The Jadeborn are genuinely advanced, but it's in subtle ways that has much to do with understanding the spiritual nature of stone and geomancy as it does with raw engineering. More Dwarf Fortress-like, minus the sociopathy (mostly). I also think the Jadeborn should come off as Fallen, a lot of their knowledge and tech is lost to modern Mountain Folk; they may be able to rebuild, but they've lost their old empire forever.

            I would keep the Endless Hordes, if only due to the idea of Lovecraftian monsters from deep under the Earth being way too cool to leave. However, I will note they always came off to me as somewhat pathetic as a threat; they're wandering monsters, not a demonic and alien army (the Underpeople are the most organized, because they're also the most capable of peaceful coexistence). They should come off as thugs who generally aren't a threat unless someone else organizes them and somehow creates a way to resist the surface environs. If you've read Spears of the Dawn, the Darkbrood are the Jadeborn's Night People; something that's helped define their society and a constant threat, but a very minor one overall on the world stage.
            Last edited by Leliel; 08-16-2015, 02:08 PM.


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            • #7
              Right now I'd like to give them rituals inspired by Second Edition Thaumaturgy with varying levels of enchantments taking the place of mass produced Artifacts.

              For example, the Skirmish Pike wouldn't be a one-dot artifact that seems to be standard issue in their forces but rather a well-crafted mundane spear that has essence trapped in them by a six hour ritual similar to Invoke the Elemental Benediction giving the wielder the ability to spend 1wp to make it crackle like a taser for one scene then the essence is used up and the ritual has to be performed again for it to be anything more than a mundane spear.


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              • #8
                I'd honestly make them very much like Tolkien's First Age Noldor. Powerful and proud, they are masters of smithing, cutting and hewing, some of them are possessed of great virtue but they also can be covetous to the point of madness, and at times are filled with a wild passion. They stay away from the surface, living in massive caverns lit with cunningly crafted lamps, their towers shining in the half-light of the deeps.

                The Silmarillion is fine inspiration for Exalted and this would be a good way to draw on that more, without disturbing the main aesthetics. I'd also dump the magitech, though I'd dump pretty much all magitech from the setting (which is not to say that stuff like Warstriders shouldn't exist, just that they aren't technology).

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                • #9
                  Oh yeah, here's a thing:

                  Give them something to do.

                  Dragon Kings? They have Rathess, Varang, that one ghost city...Mountain Folk? They're pretty much invisible outside of the material specially dedicated to them. Make them behind one of the new countries on the rapidly grown map, or something.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Leliel View Post
                    While it makes sense for Jadeborn to have Charms given how the inventor of Exalted is also their direct and sole creator, [...]
                    On the risk of beating a dead horse:
                    For the 3rd Edition, Autochthon's involvement in the creation of the Exalted is, so far, indeterminate*, be it the amount or the nature of his involvement.

                    *: Yeah, I looked that word up. English is my second language, I'm allowed to do that =P


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Leliel
                      Make them behind one of the new countries on the rapidly grown map
                      Do Mountain Folk really seem to fit well into the role of secret benefactors of nations? On the face of it, that feels to me as though it would work about as well as it did for the Lunars. Don't get me wrong, though, I certainly think that Mountain Folk should have a sense of things they do that actually involves them in the setting at large as well as a certain vague sense of what they live for within their own mysterious domain beyond "make stuff, I guess" and fight an endless horde of irrelevant monsters.


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

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                        Do Mountain Folk really seem to fit well into the role of secret benefactors of nations? On the face of it, that feels to me as though it would work about as well as it did for the Lunars. Don't get me wrong, though, I certainly think that Mountain Folk should have a sense of things they do that actually involves them in the setting at large as well as a certain vague sense of what they live for within their own mysterious domain beyond "make stuff, I guess" and fight an endless horde of irrelevant monsters.
                        I actually meant in the same manner as Varang and its Dragon King astrology. One can be inspired and not ruled and/or backed.

                        Though, the idea of secret rulers beneath the earth does have more traction than werebeasts. It's not something that should define all the Jadeborn, or even most, but one nation which is quietly backed by the Folk is not a bad plan. Maybe some Artisan wants to influence the world somehow to leave some kind of legacy. An empire capable of its own culture and leaving a mark for generations seems lasting enough.


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                        • #13
                          I have stalled in my long time task of trying to make a useable rewrite for the Mountain Folk and 3e's approach is the reason why.

                          Frankly I see no way that can be preserved in anything resembling their current form. They have been mentioned only in passing by the dev team, but it is my understanding that they will return to being a variety of Fair Folk associated with Autochthon, as they were in early 1e.
                          Last edited by Crumplepunch; 08-16-2015, 02:27 PM.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Leliel View Post

                            I actually meant in the same manner as Varang and its Dragon King astrology. One can be inspired and not ruled and/or backed.

                            Though, the idea of secret rulers beneath the earth does have more traction than werebeasts. It's not something that should define all the Jadeborn, or even most, but one nation which is quietly backed by the Folk is not a bad plan. Maybe some Artisan wants to influence the world somehow to leave some kind of legacy. An empire capable of its own culture and leaving a mark for generations seems lasting enough.
                            Why need it be secret? Imagine a city of hills capped with crystal palaces where streets wind above and below ground and basements outnumber upper stories. Mortal craftsmen labor side by side with Jadeborn workers in the workshops of masters, mushroom farms grow below grain fields to exploit area based fertility magic, and Artisans sit as "advisers" to the all mortal ruling councils.

                            The Jadeborns biggest problem is a fixed population, so outsourcing food production and low level production work frees them up to carve more soldiers. The Artisans are more than rich enough to pay mortals for the labor, and the Great Geas means that they can't just rule a city somewhere like some alpha test of the Locust Crusade. Actual compromise and exchange of ideas between humans and Jadeborn could help both of them.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Leliel View Post

                              I actually meant in the same manner as Varang and its Dragon King astrology.
                              Was Varang really enhanced by the idea that its fixation on astrology was something that this one Dragon King taught them?


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

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