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  • #46
    Originally posted by Dairugger View Post
    Final Fantasy XIII has some interesting ideas to be mined from it. Too bad the presentation and execution of those ideas was so... lack-luster...
    I agree and Square-Enix admitted it and went through a somewhat major internal restructuring over it. Too many hands in the cookie jar. It's a shame, really. They have a really interesting mythos going on with that series and it's not at all used to its fullest potential.


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    • #47
      Originally posted by Hand-of-Omega View Post

      I also have something similar to this Linowan headcanon! As to the "10K Dragons" thing...pretty sure that IS already canon. What gives you the idea that it's not?
      It pops up as if Ten-Thousand is a sacred number in a few places after 2E enshrined the number as a literal value as opposed to a figurative one in the Dragon-Blooded origin story.

      Ok, here's some more headcanon stuff:

      Great House Colors - The 1st ed DB book remarks on the Great Houses having their own colors, and how it varies between some families dictating their descendents adhere to the official schemes regardless of personal aspect, while others let you wear whatever you want. But what ARE the colors of the Great Houses? We know they match elemental affinity with the House founder, so this is what my group goes by:

      Cathak: Orange
      Cynis: Bright green
      Ledaal: Lavender
      Mnemon: White
      Nellens: Light brown
      Peleps: Dark blue
      Ragara: Dark brown
      Sesus: Burgundy
      Tepet: Sky blue.
      V'neef: Blue-green

      Manosque: dark green
      Iselsi: black
      Jerah: olive

      Yes, Princess Mnemon wears white. We just pretend all the official art is from her "lavender phase" when she was first studying sorcery, since it was what so many other sorcerers wore. : )

      The Question on the Origin of Sidereal Prophecy - Sidereals know Fate is a thing their superiors make up. It is a thing they can edit on the fly with Charms and grumpy Pattern Spiders, or schedule changes in by writing complicated astrological plans into the Loom. Fate is also something that does not account for all manner of creatures, which Sidereals are well aware of since so many of their tricks involve dragging someone into Fate. Yet they also have predictive powers in Charms such as Wise Choice, Of Things Desired And Feared, and Of Truths Best Unspoken... so how reliable do they believe that magic is, and where do they think it comes from? They are unaware of samsara after all.

      The various sorcery schools still extant among the Fivefold Fellowship each house different proponents. The divine statisticians of the Theanoan led Sapphire Pagoda believe prophecy is inherently probabilistic and tapping into deep magics within the Loom itself, likely scenarios emerging from the foam of ten thousand weaves and woofs interacting with each other. {Think Dune mentats} The Salinan masters within the Sidereals argue that prophecy must come from outside the Loom, from the same mystical "mind of Creation" that their school believes in; to them all prophecy is sacred and infallible, the fault one of interpretation and judgement on the part of the Sidereal who makes the casting. The Silurians, secret masters of the Heptagram, keep the best records of prophecies shared with the Bureau of Destiny and employ gods solely to look through scrolls trying to find correspondences and explanations for each; some wonder if they are not seeing the future, but making it when they invoke Jupiter's magics, drawing out raw fate-stuff from the Wyld and setting it to the Loom. Were that true, would it mean that other roads could have been taken, if only their minds were capable of imagining them?

      Ok, Maybe We Can Have A Bit of Grimdark - Breaching the Seal of Eight Divinities was a great mistake. Perhaps the Great Maker's sickness altered the sympathetic magics of the Seal, perhaps the destination it was supposed to open to had long since been lost to Creation. Whatever the reason, the Locust Crusade did charge forth.. deep into the Underworld. It's Warhammer 40k as hell down there, with Autochthonian nations scrambling to find more uses for all this soulsteel they are harvesting and First And Forsaken Lion sulking and refusing to march until his demands are met.
      Last edited by Shinjo; 02-06-2014, 12:53 AM.

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      • #48
        I just had a thought about what symbol the Scarlet Empress would use for the Realm. Each Great House has it's own mon, of course, but it has been stated before that in Creation, the Pentacle is the symbol of the Five Elements, and thus the symbol of the Dragonblooded host.

        So, I had the idea that the fancy version of the Pentacle would be: the Five Elemental Dragons coiled around each other in a continuous circle, their stylized elemental breaths forming the lines of a pentacle. The personal symbol, portrait or mon of the Scarlet Empress would be in the center.

        Since this would look pretty darn bad@%&, I decided that if I ever ST'ed a game this symbol would be the version the Realm put on fancy ceremonial banners, decorative murals, and artifact armor, and would be inset into the floor of the Imperial throne room in the five colors of Jade, studded with precious gemstones of appropriate complimentary colors.
        Last edited by Prometheus878; 02-06-2014, 01:22 AM.


        Mouse monk riding a tiny pig avatar courtesy of the very talented forumite Jen!

        Jen's original portrayal of Mouse Monk, featuring some human or other named Tybalt Farwander.

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        • #49
          In Creation, all rivers run East, away from the elemental pole of water where it came from.

          Only the Solars can look upon the Sun and not be blinded by it's radiance, only the Lunars can look upon the Moon and not feel awe and fear and only the Sidereals can look upon the Stars and not feel a sense of anxiety. However what each of these Chosen see or feel varies from Exalt to Exalt, and is a deeply personal thing.

          Time Travel exists in Creation as a spell in the Celestial circle, it's just utterly useless (and therefore boring and thus not in any of the books) for most purposes, as the ability to channel essence renders you immune to any changes that might take place because of it, even if it would benefit you.

          The Unconquered Sun (and a few of the other Incarnate) desperately wants to intervene in Creation and help the poor mortals, but he gave his word that Creation would belong to the Exalted, for good or ill. As a middle ground he takes the form of someone known as Little Beam, where he helps out where he can and assists the Chosen in to becoming greater heroes without betraying his word.

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          • #50
            Oh, right.

            The Last Supplicant of Endless Power and the Sword of Creation are not alone. Rather, there are three more mighty Engines matched to their ability to redirect and create dragon lines and essence flows on a Creation-wide scale.

            In the West, the largest and most active of the Neck's volcanoes... isn't. In fact, the entire active chain are built around the overflow vents of the Intercessor of Light and Shadow, a titanic subterranean device whose function is to manipulate light on a massive scale, shading and cooling those regions that receive too much heat and sunlight - including the entire South - and shifting that light through Elsewhere to illuminate an equal area of the deep seabed of the West, allowing it to bloom with aquatic harvests. The sacrifices demanded by the 'volcano gods' are instead a desperate stopgap whose lives are spent to stabalize the Intercessor's progressively-failing internal functions.

            In the east, a titanic stone pillar, half a kilometer across and twelve tall, perfectly vertical, is exactly what the unwary eye might take it as - a Singing Staff on an unimaginable scale, capable of raising mountain ranges, opening seas, lifting continents out of the ocean - or drowning them. It has, however, been an age since anyone has climbed the Reflective Mother of Hill and Vale, and so it waits, as forgotten as the Supplicant.

            The last of the five, the Boreal Father of Gale and Zephr, was in perfect working order - when the returning waters of the White Sea crashed over it and drowned it for an age. If anyone could reach it, they'd have access to the central Weather Control capability of the 1st Age, the artifact for which Mantis Towers were originally a fine-tuned supplement and later a desperate stopgap attempted replacement.



            Iä! Iä! Moe fthagn!

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Mercury View Post

              Sidereal Titles - It's not supported by Sidereals 2e, but I've always liked the pervasive idea that each Sidereal has an assigned role within the Bureau of Destiny in addition to their general-purpose conjunctions. Things like the Sidereal who is in charge of maintaining the seals Heaven has placed on forbidden gods, or the Sidereal assigned to figure out what the hell terrestrial gods are actually supposed to be doing.

              Someone might have beatne me to this, but the write ups of several of the Sidereals in the 1ed Cult of the Illuminated book suggests that this is very much a canonical line of thought.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Shinjo View Post

                It pops up as if Ten-Thousand is a sacred number in a few places after 2E enshrined the number as a literal value as opposed to a figurative one in the Dragon-Blooded origin story.
                Ah, you mean the DB origin story? For all we know, the "ten thousand" gained its figurative meaning *from* that incident, in Creation! The phrase has to come from somewhere, there's as good as anywhere else...But clearly there are more than that NOW, and when they use that phrase now, it is figurative, hearkening back to a "glorious past". Unless there's a quote that shows otherwise...?

                Creation was not always flat: Like my Merela example, this isn't one I'm committed to, just an idea that I like to entertain, but probably wouldn't use in actual gameplay. Before the Three Spheres Fuckup, Creation was round, like a planet...or possibly square, or maybe even some other 3D geometrical shape. Only the Gods truly appreciate just how much landscape the world lost...

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Valles View Post
                  Oh, right.

                  The Last Supplicant of Endless Power and the Sword of Creation are not alone. Rather, there are three more mighty Engines matched to their ability to redirect and create dragon lines and essence flows on a Creation-wide scale.

                  In the West, the largest and most active of the Neck's volcanoes... isn't. In fact, the entire active chain are built around the overflow vents of the Intercessor of Light and Shadow, a titanic subterranean device whose function is to manipulate light on a massive scale, shading and cooling those regions that receive too much heat and sunlight - including the entire South - and shifting that light through Elsewhere to illuminate an equal area of the deep seabed of the West, allowing it to bloom with aquatic harvests. The sacrifices demanded by the 'volcano gods' are instead a desperate stopgap whose lives are spent to stabalize the Intercessor's progressively-failing internal functions.

                  In the east, a titanic stone pillar, half a kilometer across and twelve tall, perfectly vertical, is exactly what the unwary eye might take it as - a Singing Staff on an unimaginable scale, capable of raising mountain ranges, opening seas, lifting continents out of the ocean - or drowning them. It has, however, been an age since anyone has climbed the Reflective Mother of Hill and Vale, and so it waits, as forgotten as the Supplicant.

                  The last of the five, the Boreal Father of Gale and Zephr, was in perfect working order - when the returning waters of the White Sea crashed over it and drowned it for an age. If anyone could reach it, they'd have access to the central Weather Control capability of the 1st Age, the artifact for which Mantis Towers were originally a fine-tuned supplement and later a desperate stopgap attempted replacement.
                  YOINK! Totally using that.

                  Also, I kind of like the idea of Gargantuan Artifact Engines in general. Creation needs more, I think. 4 (2 Titans, 2 Dragon Line Engines) isn't enough.

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                  • #54
                    Also, I now have to go and stat up a Firedust Headcannon.

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                    • #55
                      It varies from game to game. In particular, as a warm-up exercise before plotting out a new campaign, I answer four key mysteries: the disposition of the Empress, the identity of the Emissary and the nature of the Games of Divinity, and the doom of Sacheverell's awakening. Unless the game is in explicit continuity with another game, or I had a cool idea for one of them that I want to make plot-central this time when it was plot-irrelevant the first time, I come up with a new answer. I tweak all kinds of other aspects of the setting as well, inventing or deleting whole spans of cosmology just to fit each story. Some elements have become very consistent though.

                      1.) 90% of the "signature" characters do not exist. The exceptions are mostly Dragon Blooded, because there are enough of those in the world that I don't feel like I'm wasting a finite resource letting one exist that doesn't inspire me. The ones who actually show up in my games tend to be major movers and shakers - the Empress, Chejop Kejak, the Deathlords, figures it would be more obnoxious than it's worth to prune from the setting and replace.

                      2.) Creation is not the distant past of the World of Darkness (and I never considered it to be, no matter what the shitty 1E ad copy and that one sidebar some jackass snuck into a Mage: the Ascension book said), but is the distant future of Universe much like our own. Going with the theory of a cycle of universal expansion and collapse, Creation occupies the next loop after our world reverts to a pre-Big Bang state. All the elements that are call-backs to Earth Mythology and popular culture are just that - ancient patterns from the Universe Before re-asserting themselves, as opposed to dimly-remembered precursors to our own myths.

                      3.) Ramethus was not killed. One of the conditions of the Yozi surrender, demanded by Gaia herself, was that the Exalted would imprison rather than slay any future hostile Primordials they faced, unless killing them was the only solution to an creation-wide existential threat. The Exalted agreed, because even they were pretty creeped out by preliminary investigations of the Neverborn. It was too late to jam Ramethus into Malfeas with his pals though, so he got a private prison ream. The Sword of Creation was constructed after this event, and taps into the power of the Primordial who forged himself into the Ultimate Weapon. A risk no one anticipated is prison-realms merging. Qaf used to be in solitary confinement for example, but now his slopes are riddled with gateways to Malfeas. It's possible that gateways to Ramethus could be created in time. What that would mean for the Sword of Creation is uncertain.

                      4.) There were two other Primordial traitors who allied with the Incarna. One of them was killed by Akuma, and is just as messed up and cranky as any other Neverborn now. The other, I leave ill-defined so I can do different things with the idea. In my last game, he was Qaf, and that's why Qaf is in solitary confinement. After the first Neverborn died, but before Malfeas surrendered, Qaf double-crossed his allies and tried to return to Team Primordial. In the game before that, the fourth traitor was Khronos, who was mostly just neutral during the war, and quietly faded from the spotlight to tend to his dominion.

                      5.) The Sidereals have an open charmset. Making expansion charms, or learning one someone else made, carries a 25% EXP tax (round down). Greater Astrology charms do not exist, but many of the things they do have been investigated as expansion charm options. Sidereal facility with Martial Arts is in part the result of tampering with the constellation of the Sword, which is just as broken as the Mask, but in different ways.

                      6.) Lunars, holy crap, Lunars. Everything a Chimera can do in 2E, an actual regular Lunar in my games can learn to do without a single scrap of permanent limit. Chimerism is redefined as a state of profound instability represented by permanent Limit, where the Lunar exceeds the bounds of his essence and attributes, but at the cost of control. There was never a breaking of the Castes. There are three Lunar Castes, and there have only ever been three Lunar Castes. Moonsilver Tattoos are a popular tool for Lunars who spend a lot of time in the Wyld, but provide no benefit other than persistent anti-shaping. There are no Casteless lunars. Lunar Castes are in flux for a brief period after Exaltation, a month at most, and then settle in according to what fits that specific Lunar best. There is not, and has never been, a Solar Bond. A Lunar can learn charms that allow him to tie himself to a person, place, thing or idea in such a way that can be used to mimic the useful storytelling parts of the Solar Bond, however. A Lunar can dissolve this bond at any time. Everyone who can learn shapeshifting magic has a Tell, Lunars included. Lunars are better than any other shapeshifters (whether through Sorcery, Demonic Shintai, artifacts, etc.) at suppressing or concealing their Tell. The nature of the Tell for beings that have only one "natural" shape is usually to blend right in with that shape. Certain events (completing or discarding a Motivation, developing a new natural shape, or other major personal changes) can alter the existing Tell.


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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by chalicier View Post
                        Also, I now have to go and stat up a Firedust Headcannon.
                        A Dragon King invention, to make use of the spare body parts from their sacrifices of hearts to the Unconquered Sun. It takes as ammunition the heads of those ritually slain (some sort of ritual, even quick - heart-rip-and-offer in combat will do - just not any random corpse), propelled by firedust. At times it was among the more economical of their artifact weapons. After the Primordial War, certain Solars took great lengths to track down every single remaining copy and permanently redesign it to use fire pearls instead, but they could never be certain they got them all.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by The Hanged Man View Post
                          6.) Lunars, holy crap, Lunars. Everything a Chimera can do in 2E, an actual regular Lunar in my games can learn to do without a single scrap of permanent limit. Chimerism is redefined as a state of profound instability represented by permanent Limit, where the Lunar exceeds the bounds of his essence and attributes, but at the cost of control. There was never a breaking of the Castes. There are three Lunar Castes, and there have only ever been three Lunar Castes. Moonsilver Tattoos are a popular tool for Lunars who spend a lot of time in the Wyld, but provide no benefit other than persistent anti-shaping. There are no Casteless lunars. Lunar Castes are in flux for a brief period after Exaltation, a month at most, and then settle in according to what fits that specific Lunar best. There is not, and has never been, a Solar Bond. A Lunar can learn charms that allow him to tie himself to a person, place, thing or idea in such a way that can be used to mimic the useful storytelling parts of the Solar Bond, however. A Lunar can dissolve this bond at any time. Everyone who can learn shapeshifting magic has a Tell, Lunars included. Lunars are better than any other shapeshifters (whether through Sorcery, Demonic Shintai, artifacts, etc.) at suppressing or concealing their Tell. The nature of the Tell for beings that have only one "natural" shape is usually to blend right in with that shape. Certain events (completing or discarding a Motivation, developing a new natural shape, or other major personal changes) can alter the existing Tell.
                          Oh hell, tell me more.

                          What could Chimera do?

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by God_of_Awesome View Post

                            Oh hell, tell me more.

                            What could Chimera do?
                            Took me a while to dig up the relevant house rules. Here's the outline:

                            - A Chimera is a Lunar for whom Limit Break has become a near-permanent affair, with brief returns to sanity at best. This is through a combination of Permanent Limit and more rapid accumulation of Temporary Limit.

                            - Lunar Limit is explicitly bestial. It is the Monster overwhelming the Man. While Lunar Limit Break conditions are still triggered by Virtues, they are more strongly tied to Totems.

                            - Lunars can develop additional Totems. Doing so gives them an additional Limit Break condition, or doubles limit gains for an existing one, if the Totems overlap in temperament. The charm Deadly Beastman Transformation doesn't trigger this, as it's creating a hybrid of other True Shapes, not adding a new one.

                            - It's also possible to shed additional Totems, and some Lunars eliminate their original one, or even fail to develop one in the first place. These individuals still have Limit Conditions, but theirs tend to be a little more subtle (if no less ultimately debilitating). Aside from that, there are no advantages to being Totem-less, and many disadvantages, including whole inaccessible charm trees, and no cost discount on any shape but their original human one. This option has only been used by my players if the Totem they have in mind requires Knacks they can't afford at character creation, and they don't like the idea of their character having a temporary totem until then.

                            - Form Lock is removed from Anima Flare, but becomes a part of some (but not all) Lunar Limit Breaks.

                            - Permanent Limit is a temptation for all Celestials. This is what made First Age Solars extra crazy towards the end. Lunars and Sidereals don't know exactly what's going on obviously, but both have learned to police their own ranks for the behaviors indicating Permanent Limit. The Lunars are especially vigilant, because Chimera tend to blow their cover and invite the Wyld Hunt more frequently. Even if a Chimera is far enough gone that they're just going to kill him themselves, the Lunars prefer to handle this sort of thing internally, if only to retrieve any artifacts and other resources from the Chimera, and keep the Wyld Hunt from honing its skills.

                            - There are ways to reduce Permanent Limit, but they're not easy at all, and get harder the more one accumulates.

                            - In addition to making the threshold to Limit Break smaller, Permanent Limit increases the difficulty of partially suppressing Limit Break, making it practically impossible with more than a couple points.

                            - Accumulating Permanent Limit lets you bypass Attribute, Ability and Essence prerequisites for some Charms. I hadn't worked out the exact balance for this. I wanted it to be strong enough that antagonists who used it as a path to power didn't seem like idiots, but not so strong that PCs who chose not to use it also didn't seem like idiots.

                            - Using a Charm or Knack that you could only learn due to Permanent Limit causes Temporary Limit. Thus, even a guy with only one such charm and one point of Permanent Limit is going to Limit Break a lot more often than otherwise. Unless he took Permanent Limit and spent EXP on a technique he doesn't intend to use, for some crazy reason.

                            - Alternately, Permanent Limit can be bought to add to Peripheral Essence, a popular conversion option for characters who later raise their traits to a level that they don't need Permanent Limit to meet any of their Charm Prerequisites. Accessing this pool risks Temporary Limit, although I was still playing around with different rates for this.

                            - Accidentally accumulating Permanent Limit, such as via Wyld exposure, is impossible. It's always a deliberate decision made by an individual trying to surpass their natural boundaries even further than their Exaltation and degree of enlightenment permit. In other words, it's not something I'd ever consider foisting onto a player who wasn't interested.

                            - All current Chimera Charms/Knacks/Whatever have been distributed to appropriate places in the regular Lunar charm set. Any Lunar can learn them. They're considered weird and highly specialized, but not a sign of any instability in the Exaltation itself. Prerequisites have been adjusted where needed to match the power and versatility of comparable regular charms. Because former Chimera Knacks tend to be higher essence powers, they are still popular reasons for a young Lunar to invest in Permanent Limit.

                            - Moonsilver Tattoos don't interact with Permanent Limit in any way. All they are is a popular anti-shaping Artifact.

                            - Raksi and Ma-ha-suchi are both unrepentant Chimera, but potent enough that neither the Wyld Hunt or other Lunars are in any hurry to go after them.


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                            • #59
                              - Most major NPCs are not actually assholes. Many of them are selfish or oblivious, and a few are really evil and mentally broken, but most are just trying to do the best they can, and get in conflicts with each other because no one ever agrees on what is best for Creation and there is usually no arbitrating authority to settle disputes between powerful people.


                              On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

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                              • #60
                                The idea of Sidereal titles is awesome and something that should continue to exist! Totally yoinking that!


                                My 'headcanon' is pretty simple honestly: every version of Creation I run has Moogles in it and Chocobos somewhere, and I always ask players about the media they like, and then make a few Creation-ized references to that media during the game. It's something I do in every RPG I run, and the players typically appreciate it.

                                For ex, and this is totally a cliché for Exalted I'm sure, I had one new player who was a total Final Fantasy NUT, even more than me at the time, so I mentioned phoenix down being used in rare healing concoctions, and Prince Resplendent yadda yadda was pretty much Sephiroth to the player's Cloud Strife.


                                My only MAJOR change is that I discard the enhanced lifespans of the canon Exalted completely. The idea of the immortal god-king serves its purpose I'm sure, but I find the game and the questions it poses are much more interesting if for all their power the Exalted Host will only live the same span as mortal men and women. Longer if they dip into anagathic effects enough, but the longest-lived Exalt in my Creation was Merela, and then only for about 300 years, and THEN only because she had been the direct recipient of the Mandate and was touched by Sol, so she had some extra OOMPH to her.

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