Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Priesthood in Exalted

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Priesthood in Exalted

    Zenith, Midnight, No Moon, and all Sidereals are automatically considered Priests when they exalt. What does that mean exactly? What is a difference between a Night Caste with Performance praying than a Zenith? What benefits, responsibilities, expectations come with being a priest in Exalted?

    Also, what if said Night Caste wanted to become a priest? Is there a process for becoming ordained? What if there is a Sidereal who is tone deaf and has no interest in learning the various rituals required? Are they a priest only in name?

    Also, are there any Dragonblooded Aspects that get the same Priestly benefit? If not, which Aspect would be best suited for Priesthood? Wood for Performance? Air for Occult? Even the military has Chaplains, so I don't think it would be too out of theme for there to be a Dragonblooded Priest. I might be coming from an American Bias here, but there should be more than ~260 Exalted Priests in Creation.


    I write things.

  • #2
    In First and Second Edition, priests had a lower difficulty to Performance rolls directed at the deity they were priests to (with the respective Exalted being priests to everybody).


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

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
      What is a difference between a Night Caste with Performance praying than a Zenith?
      The Night isn't a priest. Unless he is.

      Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
      What benefits, responsibilities, expectations come with being a priest in Exalted?
      For ordinary priests, it's a matter of simultaneously being the representative of the mortal community to the divine, and vice-versa. As such, it's going to vary both by the community and by the gods in question.

      Exalted priests are admittedly something of a whole other ball of wax. Their priesthood is declared from on high in a way that even the gods must acknowledge.

      Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
      Also, what if said Night Caste wanted to become a priest?
      He can become one.

      Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
      Is there a process for becoming ordained?
      Probably. He'll most likely need to establish himself with the gods he intends to act as go-between for.

      Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
      What if there is a Sidereal who is tone deaf and has no interest in learning the various rituals required? Are they a priest only in name?
      Considering how strongly "interacting with gods" is rooted in the Sidereal wheelhouse, I don't think it can be "in name only" with them, in anything even resembling a typical Sidereal game.

      Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
      Also, are there any Dragonblooded Aspects that get the same Priestly benefit?
      No.

      Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
      If not, which Aspect would be best suited for Priesthood?
      All of 'em can present something valuable to a god.

      Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
      I might be coming from an American Bias here, but there should be more than ~260 Exalted Priests in Creation.
      There almost certainly are. Hell, in my seafaring game, Misu the Eclipse pirate is the high priest (and only living priest) of Kireeki in the Neck. Zeniths, Sidereals, et al., are just effectively priests of all gods.


      He/him

      Comment


      • #4
        Nothing is stopping an exalt from being a Priest of X God, or even of a group or pantheon of gods. Scroll of Heroes has being a priest as a merit, but that's terrible and you should ignore it. Instead, just have any character who reasonably should qualify as a priest count as a priest for that diety. A slightly smaller difficulty for contacting a god through prayer is not going to break your game, so just run with it.

        The other interesting point you brought up is military chaplains. These are going to vary dramatically from culture to culture on Creation even moreso than on Earth, since Creation has millions of gods that can actually provably interact with the world. The Realm would likely have a few immaculate monks (not Terrestrials, necessarily. Remember that most Immaculates are mortal) with each legion to look after the spiritual and mental well being of the soldiers, as well as reminding any gods that Realm Legions are under the protection of the Terrestrial Exalted and the Immaculate Faith. Non-immaculate nations would have priests travel with the army in order to provide prayer and sacrifice to whichever god(s) they are trying to gain support from. Frequently, two rival armies would even be praying to the same god(s). Imagine two Greek city-states going to war with each other. Both would likely have priests praying to Ares and Athena for guidance and victory (as well as a dozen other related gods, I just listed two war gods for ease), with each god offering support or not based on the prayer/sacrifice, their individual moods, relationships with the mortals involved etc. For a good example of this, read the Illiad and pay attention to the petty politics and favor-mongering that determines who each god is supporting at the given moment. (http://www.shmoop.com/iliad/the-gods.html is a decent high-level summary)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Exalted 2nd Edition, pg. 132
          The dramatic action to secure a god’s attention is a (Charisma + Performance) roll at a difficulty of (7 – the Resources value of the sacrifice). Players of priests (those who live a full-time life of worship and commune) subtract one from the difficulty of all prayer rolls. Among the Exalted, the Zenith, Midnight and No Moon Castes are all priests regardless of vocation, as are all Sidereals.
          If a Night caste (or anyone else) wants to become a priest, then they should do one of the following:
          1. Become an active member of a clerical organization - ordainment methods will vary from clergy to clergy, but generally I'd expect to spend some years training, doing service to the church and community, and living an aescetic lifestyle. This would be followed by taking a series of oaths codifying what is expected from you as a priest, getting a title and probably some kind of uniform.
          2. As #1, except you're not part of anyone's organization and have to make everything up. Again, do service to the people and the gods to show your worthiness and make some promises you intend to keep.

          I would rule that any ordained Immaculate, regardless of their Aspect (or even if they aren't a DB), is a priest (mechanically speaking. The correct term might be "monk", depending).


          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.

          Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz

          Comment


          • #6
            So, anyone can become a priest, but only of a specific god or group of gods and get game play benefits when praying to their god. Zenith, Midnight, No Moon, and all Sidereals are priests of every god and get game play benefits when praying to any god.

            How much would it break the game, if there was a house rule that a particular DB aspect get the same "priest of all gods benefits"? Or maybe "Priest of all terrestrial gods" benefit? Would that be a violation of some Celestial/Terrestrial Exalt divide?

            A Legion on the march would be going into territories with unfamiliar gods. Having generalized priests among the Dragonblooded would be useful even during the First Age.


            I write things.

            Comment


            • #7
              Though now that I think about it, if you look at this from the Bronze/Gold divide, it makes sense not to have Dragonblooded "Priests of All." It would make it unbalanced for there to be thousands of generalized Priests on the Bronze side and less than a hundred on the Gold side.


              I write things.

              Comment


              • #8
                Gonna step a shade more Doylist for a second here. DBs don't have "generalized priests" because it doesn't fit their place in the setting. Consider the tenets of the Immaculate Order: one is that the gods stay the fuck out of mortal affairs. If a foreign god wants blood sacrifices to let your army travel his mountain pass, he's breaking the rules and you're entitled to beat his ass because you're a Prince of the Earth.
                Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 09-21-2015, 01:15 PM.


                He/him

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
                  How much would it break the game, if there was a house rule that a particular DB aspect get the same "priest of all gods benefits"? Or maybe "Priest of all terrestrial gods" benefit? Would that be a violation of some Celestial/Terrestrial Exalt divide?
                  Rather than dealing with gods, it might be interesting if different Aspects had some kind of similar bonus when interacting with Elementals of their type.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by wonderandawe
                    I might be coming from an American Bias here, but there should be more than ~260 Exalted Priests in Creation.
                    Jeez, in those terms, close to a third of the Celestial Exalted all doing the same job is already too many. There are far too few Exalted to tie up with broad, necessary jobs like that. I mean, being a Zenith means that you're inherently a priest to everybody, but being a priest is likely to not be the thing you are. Or rather... that you're a priest is just one aspect of your heroic persona, it's not you filling out a position. It's not quite as bad as things saying "Leviathan was the only admiral who wasn't a Solar" (so I'm guessing that the Old Realm had... about six admirals? In the entire world?), but it's up there.
                    Originally posted by wonderandawe
                    It would make it unbalanced
                    An imbalance between the Bronze and Gold Factions? Inconceivable!
                    Originally posted by wonderandawe
                    thousands of generalized Priests on the Bronze side
                    That's the Immaculate Order, isn't it?
                    Originally posted by TheCountAlucard
                    one is that the gods stay the fuck out of mortal affairs
                    Except for salt gods.
                    Originally posted by TheCountAlucard
                    If a foreign god wants blood sacrifices to let your army travel his mountain pass, he's breaking the rules and you're entitled to beat his ass because you're a Prince of the Earth.
                    How does this square with the Upright Soldier offering the proper prayers to gods of Directions they wish to campaign in, various associated ones, and Mars herself?


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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                      How does this square with the Upright Soldier offering the proper prayers to gods of Directions they wish to campaign in, various associated ones, and Mars herself?
                      "Mars herself" isn't saying "Offer up three men on my altar or an avalanche shall bury your legion." The Upright Soldier (who, let's face it, is an ideal more than a person) is praying to her because he's supposed to, just like the target of his prayers isn't supposed to extort undue worship out of him.


                      He/him

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                        How does this square with the Upright Soldier offering the proper prayers to gods of Directions they wish to campaign in, various associated ones, and Mars herself?
                        I imagine it goes something like this: a Dynast should pray to the local gods for guidance, passage and victory etc. offering up all due honors and praise. The moment that god tries to demand something OTHER than a basic "you're awesome, stay out of our way" prayer, some Immaculate priests or other Terrestrial exalts stand off to one side meaningfully sharpening knives while asking "What was that? Sorry, didn't hear you the first time, I was busy cleaning the LAST uppity god out of my boots"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          First, the bonus provided is so minuscule that it's not worth getting butt-hurt about.

                          Second, the Exalts who have it all have it for a reason. Zeniths are the priests of the Unconquered Sun, the king of all gods. He says "listen to those who carry my word," and the other gods do ( to the degree a -1 diff penalty helps with that). Sidereals deal with gods as part of their job description. Midnights get it because they are inverted Zeniths.

                          Dragon-bloods, as originally conceived, were the foot soldiers in the Primoridal War. They were not made to rule, they were made to serve. There is even a line that gods tend to respect mortals MORE than Dragon-Blooded, because mortals might Exalt as Celestials one day. That line irks many people, but it informs the play style. The disrespect of the gods and the elemental courts necessitate the Immaculate Order's mafia-style tactics in dealing with them The gods don't respect them, so instead they have to respect the flow of essence and the threat of violence.

                          I don't see much value in diluting the dynamic of the Dragon-Bloods being the rulers of Creation via universal oppression. If you want to have the respect of (some) gods, be a Celestial. if you fancy the idea of needing to beat respect out of them, play a Dragon-Blood. There are few things more viscerally satisfying than punking some powerful creature after it talks smack to your character. Frat boy fun to be sure, but fun it is.

                          There is nothing that stops a Dragon-Blood from being a priest or one god, or even of a whole court of gods/elementals, with a good story. . They just don't have (and don't need) the inborn title of priest. Mechanically it's a small benny, and narratively the story is more interesting without it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            That line has a lot of problems, but under circumstances like this, I think that one of the bigger ones is that it distracts people from how Games of Divinity makes it clear that the only reason gods ever listened to the Exalted was because of power and propitiation and the authority of the Incarnae, and even then there were cases of rogue gods who tried to take as much as they could get away with and had to be beaten back into line by the Exalted.

                            Gods didn't support the Shogunate not because of "hey, you're not Celestials, we only like Celestials", but because of "hey, you're not Celestials, you're less likely to be strong enough to keep us from taking what we want or not having to do any work, time to party" (among other factors, probably).

                            The gods are going to be very well-represented among the wicked figures who have grown bloated off of an Age of Sorrows who are really disturbed by the return of the Solar Exalted. A dog of the unbroken earth is not likely to bow and scrape before you because finally the rightful rulers have returned; they'll have stronger incentives to try crushing your skull between their teeth while you're still soft and young, so that you can't start building things again or keeping them from being given milk and meat in exchange for not destroying farmsteads.

                            EDIT: All of that said, I could still see Terrestrials as not really having a priest Aspect for the same reasons I advocate for a portrayal of Yu-Shan in which they have fewer rights than Celestial Exalted. I don't care for gods with an in-born deference, but quite like ones who are haughty and elitist, who hold Solars who would interfere with their schemes in the same kind of elevated contempt that a Dynast would hold another Dynast as compared to a citizen.

                            Originally posted by SaintedPhysician
                            The moment that god tries to demand something OTHER than a basic "you're awesome, stay out of our way" prayer, some Immaculate priests or other Terrestrial exalts stand off to one side meaningfully sharpening knives while asking "What was that? Sorry, didn't hear you the first time, I was busy cleaning the LAST uppity god out of my boots"
                            Nope. The tax on salt is to pay the costs of sacrifices to the salt gods to make them willing to permit the harvest of their salt. The incredible power of the Scarlet Empress is represented by the fact that these sacrifices are worth about ten times less than they are in the Threshold, and all of the salt gods of the Blessed Isle have to negotiate as a bloc rather than individually.
                            Last edited by Isator Levi; 09-22-2015, 05:33 AM.


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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                              The incredible power of the Scarlet Empress is represented by the fact that these sacrifices are worth about ten times less than they are in the Threshold, and all of the salt gods of the Blessed Isle have to negotiate as a bloc rather than individually.
                              As an aside, that never made sense to me. If anything, shouldn't that make them able to enact higher sacrifices? After all, since they have what amounts to a monopoly on salt mines on the Blessed Isle, wouldn't their go-to negociation tactics be "either accept [amount] of sacrifice, or we refuse to give you our salt alltogether". (Of course, the military power of the Realm and the Immaculate Order wouldn't let them pull that shit as much as they'd like too, but the fact that they are negociating together should make them more powerful, not less!)

                              Compare that to for exemple Chiaoscuro, which is said to have low taxes (thus making traders more inclined to come here to trade) because merchants can choose to negociate with single Delzan nobles, and are able to go someone else if they consider the price too high.

                              So, for the Delzan, negociating separatly amounts to lower taxes, and for the salt gods, negociating together amounts to lower taxes? WTH?

                              Edit : And yeah, you can say that the real reason is the fact that the Empress and the Order are incredibly powerful, and force the salt gods to agree to really low sacrifices, but then why do you even need to make them negociate as a bloc? Wouldn't it make even more sense to put that military pressure on one small group of salt gods at a time, accentuating that power imbalance even more? Gaagh!
                              Last edited by LeTipex; 09-22-2015, 05:55 AM.


                              Ultimate Jade-Screened Exalted Scholar, Savant of the Immaculate Texts, No Moon Scholar
                              THDR : Future Dragon-Blooded campaign, and other links.
                              If you like Ex3, you can support Holden on Patreon!

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X