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  • Originally posted by Chausse View Post

    I would totally disagree personally.

    The Charms reflect the themes of the Exalted you are playing in published game. DB has a ton of Charms to do stuff with your family and stuff because a core theme of DB games in the conventional setting is "Do stuff with your family and stuff". Lunars have Charms to dismantle and destabilize impressive empires from the inside/outside because it's one of their strategies of warfare against The Realm you can play in the conventional setting.

    In the First Age, where the themes would certainly have been different, I'd expect each of the different Exalted to have a different set of Charms.
    I wasn't referring mainly to the Charms to dismantle and destabilize empires, but rather the Charms that support and stabilize societies. I agree that we can't conclude that Lunars could do X in the First Age just because they do X in the Age of Sorrows, but I think it's reasonable to believe they were doing these things for other reasons.

    Originally posted by 3E Core
    [COLOR=rgb(0.000000%, 0.000000%, 3.900000%)]Though never forsaking the divine monstrosity at their Essence’s heart, they became guardians, guides, world-walkers, judges, and mystics.
    ....
    [/COLOR]
    [COLOR=rgb(0.000000%, 0.000000%, 3.900000%)]Thus, for much of the First Age, the Lunars and the Solars were inextricably intertwined, twin aspects of the Old Realm’s glories. [/COLOR]


    I think charms like Tabbo-Enforcing Beast and Divine Monster Judgment reflect the Lunar's First Age themes.



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    • Originally posted by habitableexoplanet View Post

      I wasn't referring mainly to the Charms to dismantle and destabilize empires, but rather the Charms that support and stabilize societies. I agree that we can't conclude that Lunars could do X in the First Age just because they do X in the Age of Sorrows, but I think it's reasonable to believe they were doing these things for other reasons.



      I think charms like Tabbo-Enforcing Beast and Divine Monster Judgment reflect the Lunar's First Age themes.


      We don't know because we don't really have a playbook for First Age Lunar.

      I respect your head canon personally, I find cool that you prefer putting forth Bureaucratic guys that can put order in growing societies in the golden age of humanity, but I think it's important to keep in mind the Charms you read are thought for a game happening right now, in the Age of Sorrow, and not for The First Age.

      That's why for example I disagreed with you saying "The greatest feats of the First Age Lunars was putting societies in order and not fighting Behemoths". From what I understood (or it has just become an head canon in my head at this point I can't even remember), Creation was possibly 10 times bigger at its apex. I can't even imagine the Exalted conquering all this land, during or after the Primordial War, without big adventures and Behemoth fighting and Evil Ancient societies venerating former primordials and etc ...


      My homebrew (Leave comments if you want to help improve) : A quick recap of all the pools and stats for Quick Exalted 3E characters

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      • Originally posted by Chausse View Post

        We don't know because we don't really have a playbook for First Age Lunar.

        I respect your head canon personally, I find cool that you prefer putting forth Bureaucratic guys that can put order in growing societies in the golden age of humanity, but I think it's important to keep in mind the Charms you read are thought for a game happening right now, in the Age of Sorrow, and not for The First Age.

        That's why for example I disagreed with you saying "The greatest feats of the First Age Lunars was putting societies in order and not fighting Behemoths". From what I understood (or it has just become an head canon in my head at this point I can't even remember), Creation was possibly 10 times bigger at its apex. I can't even imagine the Exalted conquering all this land, during or after the Primordial War, without big adventures and Behemoth fighting and Evil Ancient societies venerating former primordials and etc ...

        I completely agree that there were big adventures, and Behemoth fighting, and battles against human foes. The heroism displayed in these battles was more epic and dramatic than anything yet seen in the Age of Sorrows, itself more epic than anything in our own fallen world. But I think the dream of the First Age calls upon us to imagine a world where, despite the fact that Solars and Lunars could and did slay behemoths with their bare hands, the deeds of bureaucrats in organizing and leading ordinary, peaceful people displayed even more grandeur and heroism.

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        • Originally posted by habitableexoplanet View Post
          It also just amuses me if the historically most powerful Ability is one of the ones that translates least well into fun and powerful gameplay.
          Mostly because to have enough organisational pull to shape society you'd need to have already satisfied criteria some games would consider victory conditions.


          Onyx Path Forum Moderator
          Please spare a thought for updating the Exalted wiki.

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          • My headcanon is that the common view is that the slavery on the Blessed Isle is nowhere near as bad as most people in the real world think.
            -No slave is born on the blessed isle. If you are born on the isle, you are a free person. Also, if your parents were slaves the empress had set up a fund to support the children to have a paid for apprenticeship. The mother can chose whether to raise the child or to give it up for adoption into the immaculate faith. Many children raised by their parents return to the homeland of their parents to work their craft there. Letting the competency of the realm spread into the world and bringing the light of knowledge to the threshold and beyond. This fund has since then been plundered by the warring houses causing much unrest in the enslaved population.
            -There are laws protecting slaves rights. These are held in high regard by more than 90% of all dynasts(exact number varies in house and per campaign). These laws are rarely broken by dragon-blooded but relatively often by patricians. Driven by jealousy of the demi-god parents and siblings they tend to grow bitter and resentful. Many of them think that it has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they lack any claim to greatness and they therefore does not resist their baser impulses or desires. Dragon-blooded members of a family are expected to take harsh measures against this, but it is common enough for the rumors spread by the enemies of the realm to have a basis in truth.
            -The worst treated slaves are criminals. Food is scare and work is manual. Just having people rot in a cell for the rest of their life is wasteful. Instead they are put to work in mines and on ships. But even they have rights; the right of free children, the right of salvation (to visit a temple once per year) and the right to subsistence(they must be fed well enough to manage to work).
            -Cynis views the slave trade differently. The guilds uses inherited debt. If your parent is in debt and dies, you are also in debt. The realm does not. Cynis gets people to sign themselves into slavery either for the house to pay of their debt or for house Cynis to fake documents that their children were born on the isle, if their worth are nowhere near the sum of their debts. This gives a person a chance that the suffering is theirs alone and gives a chance for a better future for their children. After all, the debt-collectors of the guilds are a far worse option than working the fields, given food and a pair of clothes and knowing that at least your children have a chance at a better future. The Empress knew well of Cynis widespread forgery of birthnotes but only used it as a tool to punish members of the house that had displeased her. Cynis also used their drug trade as a way to acquire debts for people to pay off.
            -The Empress, and as such the empire, views the feeding of the fair folk as abhorrent. She fought the balorian crusade after all. And the guild uses it as a tool for economy. Many of the wars driven into the scavenger lands has been to stop the slave trade perpetrated by the guild. The guilds presence in the Threshold is a sign of patrician corruption or the rare few corrupt dragon-bloods. With the empress disappearance the guild has invested large sums of money into the houses open to trade with them. Giving those houses an advantage over others.
            -The world is a shitty place. Many seek the stability of the realm for themselves and their families. And working a field on the blessed isle is by many considered better than starving to death, which is a sad truth in the age of sorrows.


            Reasons for this
            -This is to make dragon-blood NPCs seem as having a rationale at claiming to be bad people without being disloyal or even treasonous.
            -The dynasts are super-human creatures that are capable of cooperation and organisation. I refuse to believe that a system designed by them and for them is so heavily reliant on widespread suffering.
            - I want to make the empress disappearance to be a cause of not only economic and cultural decay but also moral.
            - I want to dig deeper into the mind of a patrician, a person who failed so hard at nothing they could control and be judged by their better who will look to be 20 when they push into the aging years.
            -A player dragon-blood is not forced to be a complete monster. They can be part of a smaller house that refuses the guilds inhuman trade, treats their workers well and pays the right of Free Children out of their own pocket. That house will be weaker politically, which is great for the setting of an underdog house story.

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            • Originally posted by slovorg View Post
              My headcanon is *snip*
              A large chunk of that either is or was canon. And the rest just makes logical sense. Agree 100%.


              Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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              • Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                A large chunk of that either is or was canon. And the rest just makes logical sense. Agree 100%.
                Thanks!

                More headcanon. The following bit is more me disliking the entire premise of the silver pact and wanting them as antagonists.

                The Silverpact is the most powerful group of lunars. But not the one with most members. The silver pact is held together by the oldest lunars. And the war between the Sidereals and the Dragon-blooded is against the silver pact. This is the reason why so few nations are heavily involved with lunars.

                The most numerous faction is the Iron Front. A group that formed during the balorian crusade and was disbanded shortly afterwards. But during the centuries since then Young lunars have not looked at the most stable nation in the world and considered it the most pressing danger against creation.

                An enterprising lunar of the No moon Caste sought histories of when the exalted host was united. She found mentions of the Iron Front which received heavy support from many mysterious people and in her quest to unite the host she stumbled across a Chosen of Mars. They discussed war theory at length, neither knowing what the other one was. They discussed the nature of warfare, how it takes an enormous conflict to bring a warring people together. But that it is possible. The Chosen of Mars and the Chosen of Luna began an unlikely friendship that day. A few weeks later, they met again, the Chosen of Mars eager to have the same discussion again but change small things about it. Such is her habit. Imagine her surprise when the Lunar remembered her. They soon found out their natures and chosen of Luna had at this point found enough to know of the Maidens chosen to know what her friend was.

                Neither struck first and the lunar posed a question. Is not making peace, a fundamental part of war? The chosen of Mars conceded that it must be so. As nothing lasts for ever and when a war ends there must be peace. They struck an accord that day and vowed to meet again. Discuss with their kind and see if peace can triumph. Many sidereals thought the idea unlikely, the lunars would never agree to it, but the Chosen of Mars was given a quest, by whom is uncertain. Find Twelve Chosen of Luna, willing to risk a meeting with the mouth of peace on the Blessed Isle. Each to arrive on their own and at different times. If she could find that many, then discussions of peace would begin. The Mouth of Peace was warned and guarded. But the Chosen of Luna and the Chosen of Mars both knew that peace was possible. And the Lunars, ever independent and many tired of the war they never knew the reason for leaped at her words. Tales of the Iron Front and the war against the fair folk during the balorian crusade. The fair folk that many on the fringe had lost loved ones to.

                Twelve was not found. Thirty four was. They did not come to discuss peace however. They came to discuss a Wyld hunt. A hunt for the Wyld. Many sidereals were shocked. Many were happy. Many more were skeptical. But the silver pact attacked the meeting. Angry at the betrayal of their young and four lunars died to protect the three Sidereals that had come to the meeting. The Lunar that had started this was one of the fallen. In Yu-Shuan their bravery was praised and the Silver Pact warrior had in her fury sealed the pact of the reforged Iron front. The Surviving Lunars and Sidereals kept communication going and with the help of Lunars and Sidereal Astrology fewer and fewer Lunars are snatched up by the pact and instead introduced to their power by the Iron Front. A group dedicated to staying strong for creations sake. But they are young, disorganized and weak compared to the elders of the pact and their enemies are many. But now in the age of sorrows they will see if they stand the test of time.

                EDIT: Corrections. Forgot to reread before posting.
                Last edited by slovorg; 03-31-2020, 04:33 PM.

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                • I'm not sure if this counts as headcanon, but...

                  Ok, let's say it. The book itself states that after the Primordial War, where Exalts, gods, and all others took one look at the time fuckery carried out, said 'ok, that's enough' and locked it all down? That means that everyone had been using time-travel, in order to alter the victory, pasts, and defeats. That means that people were using time travel. In other words, people were using time-travel with all its associated effects. Like the grandfather paradox. The primordials manipulated time and the linear cause and effect, in order to try and win the war. They failed, obviously, constant time-travel forcing the exalts to adapt and transform themselves to situations that constantly shifted and changed, their protection against reality warping effects saving them from the grandfather paradox.

                  One version of the Primordial war was fought in a setting not unlike Heaven's reach, where Dragonblooded fighter pilots battled it out with the crystal machines of She Who Lives in Her Name, as Solar Admirals sent their ships into deadly strategems with the greatest war-minds of the Primordial Host. In the great debate halls of the GREAT LIBRARY, where all the universe was composed out of books, Lunars and Sidereals leapt into the stories and narratives themselves, doing battle with the character-word servitors of He Who Bleeds the Unknown Word within the tale, the books shuddering and shifting as each pushed and pulled, fighting for the fate of the universe. In another, the Exalted host marched on dusty plains, fighting againt the great Primordial Markdukth, strangling him to death.

                  Curiously, in all multiple universe created by time-travel and subsequent alteration of the timeline, no primordial ever thought that it would be a good idea to attempt to befriend the species that these new superweapons were attaching themselves to to use as hosts. There was only slavery, domination, and threats and enslavement and adoration. Or at least, nothing that an exalt with a few integrity charms couldn't simply shrug off.

                  This also explains partially the insanity of the elder exalted. These people were plucked from numerous timelines and worlds that never were, fighting beings greater than them than they were ants, and they slew them, only to find themselves in a universe where they had known and loved was gone. Left only with the exalted host and their shared victory. This is why so many went mad, and why so many simply turned their eyes away. They had already lost so much. Losing their peers was unthinkable.

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                  • Headcanon for the significance of ethnicity on the Blessed Isle:

                    Officially, there is no legal distinction between groups, neither a special privileging of the Wàn nor particular recognition of or protection for minority groups. The primacy of the Scarlet Empress was not based on being a representative or champion of the Wàn people but of the power by which she saved the world and decisive action thereafter to establish the Realm. The sanctioned narrative is the one described in the book; that all are now one people, joined in superiority to the barbarians beyond the Inland Sea.

                    The reality is more complicated. For one thing, much of what is described as customary in things such as dress or social structure originates with the
                    Wàn one, their majority status forming a lot of the basis of what is regarded as characteristic of the Realm; other forms of custom can have issues with being marginalized or treated pejoratively out of a perception of them being unfamiliar or alien at best and being an actual enclave of something barbarian or subversive at worst. Their majority tends to create a bit of a glass ceiling for other groups in cases where they predominate in most of the higher social positions under the Scarlet Dynasty and promote one another's interests. This also means that in cases where another group has significant presence in some service or industry (often related to traditional practices that they capitalised on or were patronised for or the circumstances that first brought them to the Blessed Isle),Wàn neighbours can look on them with jealousy or suspicion more often than not. Under normal circumstances, prejudices related to these topics don't penetrate much into everyday life in places where groups are heavily mixed, such as the large towns and cities (especially coastal ones), but people can take note of things like microaggressions and having a slightly more difficult time dealing with local authorities. In more severe times, it can become a necessity for a group to close ranks lest the majority gang up on them with things like scapegoating or being used as outlets for general frustration.

                    The orthodox perspective of the Immaculate Order is that ethnic distinctions are of no significance in the Perfected Hierarchy; so long as one lives their life in accordance with Immaculate practice and in emulation of the Dragons, one's status is wholly that of one's position at birth, and of equal standing to all others in that category. The Order is probably the most diverse institution of the Realm, and generally makes efforts of outreach to minority groups and promotes wider integration. There are however schools of thought which hold that whole groups can possess greater standing in the Hierarchy as determined by how long they have embraced the Immaculate Philosophy, with distinctions such as whether or not this means a Wàn peasant is of superior stature to one from a group that only became part of the Realm five generations ago, or if it's indicated by the greater number of higher positions that are born among the Wàn. While articulating such ideas outright is both a minority view in the Order and disavowed by its leaders and most of its top scholars, a significant number of monks unconsciously hold similar sentiments.

                    Among themselves, the Dragon Blooded are not supposed to lend any significance to ethnic identity, even though a more objective genealogy would recognise that a small minority of them are ethnically Wàn by virtue of their descent from resident Shogunate families and that group predominating among the mortals they sometimes intermarry with; the Scarlet Dynasty more or less holds that being Dragon Blooded is collectively an ethnic group in its own right that is not only distinct from but supersedes all others (on the whole, they do present a more diverse cross-section of appearances than the rest of the Realm's inhabitants). Regarding the wider citizenry of the Realm, the divisions that can arise among people are regarded as a petty consideration of mortals that the Exalted are supposed to hold themselves above; such prejudices among mortals are not seen as unenlightened so much as quaint. Despite this, one can find a decent number of Dynasts who view the custom, dress and appearance of the majority as the more natural and familiar, and can display shows of contempt for those who deviate from it significantly, although being recognised as doing so openly among one's peers can lead to a drastic loss of face. Even among themselves, there can be occasions in which a Dynast finds somebody among their own number reminiscent of a group resident to the Threshold or outright enemies of the Realm (especially in cases where an individual or family actually is descended from foreign royalty or the dalliance of an adventurer) and feel hostility towards them because of it; there is even a very small subculture of what are essentially conspiracy theorists in the Dynasty that would suspect such Exalted as having barbarian sympathies or being a fifth column. To actually express anything like that in public is a dramatic faux pas, the kind of thing that can irreparably destroy a reputation through the combination of disrespect for another Exalt and evincing the provincial mindset of a mortal.


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

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                    • Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                      Headcanon for the significance of ethnicity on the Blessed Isle
                      I really don't like any of this.

                      It's very well thought out, and if you have fun with it then I'm glad, but I really don't like the idea of writing racism into a game. I want to stress, that if this is fun for you, I do not intend to guilt/shame you, and I really do think this is logical (especially the DB section). But if I sat down at your table and you dropped this, I would stand back up and walk out without a second-thought -- this squicks me out big-time.

                      (And that's ok, most of my games are all about the squick. I lean into squick. Random strangers on the internet don't get to change what my games are about because I play what's fun for me. You certainly don't have to justify yourself or anything, but I really felt like I had to comment here.)


                      Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                      • Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                        I really don't like any of this.

                        It's very well thought out, and if you have fun with it then I'm glad, but I really don't like the idea of writing racism into a game. I want to stress, that if this is fun for you, I do not intend to guilt/shame you, and I really do think this is logical (especially the DB section). But if I sat down at your table and you dropped this, I would stand back up and walk out without a second-thought -- this squicks me out big-time.

                        (And that's ok, most of my games are all about the squick. I lean into squick. Random strangers on the internet don't get to change what my games are about because I play what's fun for me. You certainly don't have to justify yourself or anything, but I really felt like I had to comment here.)
                        I apologise if this seems antagonistic....

                        But JohnDoe, there is a literal master race sitting on the blessed isle. Actually, they pop up everywhere, are powered by bloodline, and the mechanics of their powers discourages 'miscegenation', and the big religion of the setting considers them to be the very pinnacle of human morality.

                        Isn't it a bit too late for this?

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                        • Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
                          I apologise if this seems antagonistic....

                          But JohnDoe, there is a literal master race sitting on the blessed isle. Actually, they pop up everywhere, are powered by bloodline, and the mechanics of their powers discourages 'miscegenation', and the big religion of the setting considers them to be the very pinnacle of human morality.

                          Isn't it a bit too late for this?
                          That's canon.

                          If you want to tell stories about racism, you can do it in canon with DB vs mortal. Or Realm vs Barbarian.

                          This is adding an extra level of racism to the game... so you can be more racist?
                          Because Exalted isn't racist enough, it has to be based on skin color?

                          And it's adding racism which the setting intentionally and explicitly doesn't have.

                          Racism is a key plot point in Dynasty of Dovak, I'm not against exploring themes of prejudice.

                          I'm against adding in extra racism as headcanon.

                          It's like saying "although in canon Rawar was trans, in my headcanon the Empress and Realm in general is deeply transphobic".

                          It's like a bunch of white supremacists insisting that Americans of French descent are whiter than Americans of German descent. It's not a distinction that makes sense for that group, and it doesn't add anything. It's just dropping a duce on German white supremacists.

                          It's like looking at the Draka and saying "I see the white übermensch themes... but I really want just a whole additional level of racism. That'd make things more enjoyable for me. There's just not enough prejudice in the Domination..."

                          I'm not saying "Exalted isn't allowed to explore race and prejudice".
                          I'm saying "If you look at The Realm and think the thing it needs to be more fun for you is an extra level of discrimination and prejudice that your players will have to deal with, then I don't want to play with you."

                          I don't see anything in this headcanon that does anything but limit player options and create barriers for characters. I like that, in canon, I can (and do) play a dark-skinned Dynast, married to a light-skinned Dynast and just have that relationship be considered normal and not have to contend with Wàn genocide conspiracy nuts.

                          (But, again, I'm playing a game where a Dynast assaulted a god-blood barbarian because "it's not like she's a person". If this is fun for you, then play it with my blessing -- I'm not here to preach. My one and only point is: this headcanon is not to my personal tastes.)
                          Last edited by JohnDoe244; Yesterday, 07:24 PM.


                          Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                          • Years ago, the previous developers asked me about representation in Exalted (I'm mixed race, my grandfather was a Moroccan) and I pointed out that the Wan (before they were called that) have traditionally been presented as "anime ethnicity" where they're supposed to be east asian but have a lot of characteristics that are way more common in white people and even some exotic traits like blue or green hair but strangely it's darker skin that tends to break people's sense of verisimilitude!

                            This feels like a throwback to attitudes I've seen expressed about the Realm in 1st and 2nd edition.
                            Last edited by The Hug Ninja; Yesterday, 07:24 PM.


                            success is the ability to go from one failure to the next without any loss of enthusiasm

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                            • DBs might not be a good venue for having a story involving racism. They actually are just better than mortals as far as capability goes. Which is actually really cool from a "Okay, what if a race of humans actually were drastically smarter and longer lived and stronger than the rest of us?" fantastical sci-fi perspective kind of thing, but it doesn't line up well with actual racism. At least as far as I know, it's possible that polynesian people are secretly all superheroes.

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                              • Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                                This is adding an extra level of racism to the game... so you can be more racist?
                                Because Exalted isn't racist enough, it has to be based on skin color?

                                And it's adding racism which the setting intentionally and explicitly doesn't have.
                                The text does not mention skin colour or complexion in any way. In fact, appearance comes up all of once, near the end, while the rest is about modes of dress and cultural mores and the Wàn being normative, with all the drawbacks that entails.

                                You're still free to dislike it, of course, but please dislike it for what it actually is.

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