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[Ex3] Why Gods Need the Exigence

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  • Tiresias
    started a topic [Ex3] Why Gods Need the Exigence

    [Ex3] Why Gods Need the Exigence

    I'd thought it'd be interesting to start a thread about what would push various gods to pray for the Exigence in order to obtain an Exalted champion. Based on the spoilers we've had so far, I'm assuming Exigents are Exalted when gods are faced with a massive threat to their purview that they're too weak to resist. So, starting with...

    Sunipa, Goddess of Eastern War

    Sunipa's purview includes honourable rules of engagement, military discipline, elite units, Dragon-Blooded officers and duelist-champions. Potential threats to her domain include:
    - An invasion from the Realm, which would likely shift the focus of Eastern warfare away from elite units and back to full legions. In addition, the prevalence of Dragon-Blooded officers and champions of the Realm might cause Sunipa's patronage of the Dragon-Blooded to slip back to Tachi-Kun, the God of Central Warfare and technical patron of the Realm's warfare.
    - Barbarian hordes commanded by Lunars have no care for the proper rules of engagement. A massive beastfolk invasion would force the states of the River Province to turn away from Sunipa's military and religious doctrine in order to survive.
    - Solar warlords rise and begin conquering neighbouring lands in the name of their personal glory, which goes against Sunipa's military ethics and causes her power to wane as other warlords follow suit.
    - Mask of Winter's undead legions are sustained by mass slaughter. Not only does he ignore the honourable rules of engagement, his conquest of the East will likely render Sunipa obsolete eventually if he is not opposed.
    - The return of the Solars means a rise in Solar champion-duelist who also fall under Sunipa's purview. This threatens to undermine her patronage of the Dragon-Blooded, as well as the support she received from the Bronze Faction.
    - A fallen tyrant Exalts as a Getimian and begins to encourage wars of disproportionate retribution throughout the East. The bloodshed and resentment escalate at a rapid pace, making peace between the nations impossible. The Celestial Bureaucracy's influence over eastern warfare erodes, creating new opportunities for Rakan Thulio and his allies to expand their war against Heaven.

  • EmanantVolition
    replied
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
    A thought I had on what might drive a black market Exigence.

    ​Many weak gods are probably satisfied, or at least resigned, to being too far behind the curve to ever make so much as a decent entry in the game of divine politics. Your own Exalt would help, but the Unconquered Sun would never answer such a petition.

    Such a god is probably also too weak to make much of a bid in the necessary black markets, but a consortium of many might be able to pool assets and contacts sufficiently.

    They tell themselves that they'll find a way to share custody of it, and may even believe such, but one way or another they'll eventually start eliminating each other until only one remains.

    The resulting Exalt is probably only the Chosen of that god, but the violent and treacherous build up might give a certain edge to their powers.

    I actually just had a similar thought about weak gods pooling together to get an exigence before I stumbled on this thread, and asked John about it via tweet. He indicated that that was a fairly unlikely scenario. He didn't say it was flat out impossible though, FWIW. I'm thinking to the extent it happens, it is likely as you said, via the black market, as opposed to officially granted by the UCS. At least, that's how I plan to handle it in my own campaign.

    Leave a comment:


  • Isator Levi
    replied
    I will say that one thing that complicates the issue of gods being new to something is the question of how often new gods come up.

    ​I myself have lower interest in the idea that the birth of new gods is anything other than a freak occurrence, mostly an oddity that comes from two or more gods having a dalliance or the occasional act of nature. I prefer the idea that most gods have been around since the beginning, or at least the beginning of their domains (which still amounts to most of them being unaccountably old). Maybe with a kind of generational thing; first the Incarnae, followed an indeterminate time after by various other key gods, then some time after that by the vast multiplicity that inhabits Heaven (the Blessed Isle, back then) and Earth, perhaps with a follow up around the Primordial War or at the start of the First Age (even then, I would assume that a lot of new domains for ascendant humanity are simply assigned to existing gods). Just the kind of thing that leaves the god you're likely to meet, even in Yu-Shan, uncertain about the origins of the world, or at least their kind.

    But how to reconcile this with something new?

    I would be inclined to two ideas:

    Gods who are killed without special Charms are eventually reborn. While this does generally take the form of the same character coming back, I'm drawn to the idea that some things could be lost in a manner that entails starting over somewhat; the same personality, but some of the memories become fuzzy. With or without that, it's probably mostly a case for how the interim period sends them back to square one, so one can have it that the course of spirit rivalries creates a reasonably high turnover that frequently generates gods who may as well be new.

    The other side is the picture of a god who was provincial and repetitive without issue until some circumstance or inexplicable motion within themselves shakes them out of their reverie, and they come out to society, so to speak. You have a dog of unbroken earth that never cared for anything but patrolling its particular patch of wilderness on the edge of civilisation, until some encounter or observation or revelation shakes their routine a bit, and they enter spirit society.

    I can imagine that part of what made the spirit courts in the Second Age so distinct was this happening to a lot of gods as a result of the Usurpation; they started to see the wider world, and wanted, and methods to sate want became a commodity in short supply.

    This all largely being a concern for Terrestrial gods; I would say that the Celestial Court is a good deal more rigid, at the same time as even the lowlier gods are more urbane. Still, I could imagine them having their own standards for new entry to society; the menial gods finding themselves promoted into the ever-expanding staff or court of a Celestial functionary, or some bureaucratic shuffling getting one assigned a newly designated domain or office, if not the standby of "there are innumerable menial offices, some of which might occasionally gain a measure of significance", like what the Compass book did with that god of mergers.

    This is probably largely tangential to the topic of the thread, but it's a dilemma I've considered while reflecting on the idea of gods as disadvantaged newcomers as a motivation for illicit pursuit of Exalted when they're immortal and eternal, so I wanted to play it out. Besides, I would say that developing the Exigence can entail some consideration for the social context and motivations of gods, so it's not all wasted.

    Why, the scenario that makes a god proverbially enter society could even be a thing that makes them want an Exalt, in the sense of "something must be done" rather than "I'll never close the XP gap, there are no potions for new subscribers".

    Leave a comment:


  • Dulahan
    replied
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
    A thought I had on what might drive a black market Exigence.

    ​Many weak gods are probably satisfied, or at least resigned, to being too far behind the curve to ever make so much as a decent entry in the game of divine politics. Your own Exalt would help, but the Unconquered Sun would never answer such a petition.

    Such a god is probably also too weak to make much of a bid in the necessary black markets, but a consortium of many might be able to pool assets and contacts sufficiently.

    They tell themselves that they'll find a way to share custody of it, and may even believe such, but one way or another they'll eventually start eliminating each other until only one remains.

    The resulting Exalt is probably only the Chosen of that god, but the violent and treacherous build up might give a certain edge to their powers.
    Very cool idea!

    Though excitement about Exigents is making me more and more bummed we don't even have Dragonblooded yet, as it's seeming likely it'll be this time next year before we do get Exigents.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheCountAlucard
    replied
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
    -snip-
    An excellent idea! Consider it stolen at knifepoint!

    Leave a comment:


  • Bastet
    replied
    Originally posted by Tenkage View Post
    The Arbiter, Exigent of a Celestial Censor.
    Canonically, it would require a Censor who was a god rather than a Lesser Elemental Dragon.

    Leave a comment:


  • Isator Levi
    replied
    A thought I had on what might drive a black market Exigence.

    ​Many weak gods are probably satisfied, or at least resigned, to being too far behind the curve to ever make so much as a decent entry in the game of divine politics. Your own Exalt would help, but the Unconquered Sun would never answer such a petition.

    Such a god is probably also too weak to make much of a bid in the necessary black markets, but a consortium of many might be able to pool assets and contacts sufficiently.

    They tell themselves that they'll find a way to share custody of it, and may even believe such, but one way or another they'll eventually start eliminating each other until only one remains.

    The resulting Exalt is probably only the Chosen of that god, but the violent and treacherous build up might give a certain edge to their powers.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tenkage
    replied
    I was responding to his quote but the idea of the Exigent is, of course, open to all for input.

    Looking at Lytek first is a good indicator of what to expect:

    Lytek as the God of Exaltation, specifically of Celestial Exalts, has questionable powers related to Exaltation. Especially given the new edition but hey, homebrew the blank spaces right?
    We do know he is a skilled bureaucrat, he has a untold knowledge of individual Exalts, their capabilities, as well as an awareness of the Great Curse.
    He can arguably teach any Charm to an Exalt type though he can not use any of those Exalted Charms he knows. He can also speed up Essence Training times in some versions.
    Looking at his domain also opens certain stories. Exaltation is about potentiality, heroism, and the power of the gods. Aspects of his domain he should be able to influence or affect: detecting Exalted, possibly even type, reading previous incarnations, pruning/keeping memories of previous Exalts, connecting an Exalt to his Past Life, etc...


    But I also agree that your idea is the a great vision of the Exigent of Lytek. As Exigents go, I would think about him being able to LEARN any Charm, but can only act as a tutor to valid users and he himself cannot use them. Same with spells.

    Thematically, I would focus on the following areas: Teaching/Tutoring/Mentoring/Coaching, Craftmanship, Inspiring/Uplifting/Empower, and Bureaucracy.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ghosthead
    replied
    Although I think you're asking Eric, for Lytek, I think an Exigent would be.... very externally focused. He would craft, and he repairs and he understands. Both spiritually on souls and essences - human and animal and other - and also literally towards objects and physical things. He is attracted to and deals best with the traits (mental, emotional, physically) that make people strong and are spark to something greater. He can shame you, and inspire you, and influence you by showing the part of yourself that is worthy of Exaltation and how you are failing to achieve that.

    His internal power is probably almost totally focused on maintaining his ability to act externally, rather than to build up his inner strength, and being very resilient in the face of that which would turn him aside from his purpose, if that makes any sense. I don't see that Exigent as having a lot of power in a fight, because I don't see Lytek as offering a lot of power that's focused on stripping down and defeats or that would lend strength to his Exigent's sword arm (buffing armour and weapons to be more than they are works though, I think).

    I might be reaching, but I think his themes could lend themselves to an Exalt who was like a version of John the Baptist that fits Exalted's 'verse's cosmology and rules? As a sort of messianic figure who purifies and teaches others, and is a herald and prophet to power, and is so to such a degree that he's a significant person in himself. Maybe a calm and serene and mild mannered figure, or a firebrand driven by the inner purpose of the idea of Exaltation itself.

    (You could have his magic either literal dealing with other Exalted (the way the architect of Wu Jian in the core is very specifically a person inspired by a sitting dealing concretely with cities), or you could go the route where Exaltation is more of a motif and symbol (the way fields are to Janest? not just things she deals with, but with the harvest as a motif through all her abilities). Exigents seem to be able to take either.)

    Leave a comment:


  • Tenkage
    replied
    Originally posted by Bastet View Post
    I was saving this until my players found out about it.

    Ryzala.

    Why Ryzala? Well canonically, she is supposed to the most powerful god after the Incarnae but as the goddess of bureaucracy I imagine that a lot of this power is rooted in a corrupt and inefficient infrastructure - she cannot really depend on the Celestial Lions, the Censors, the Aerial Legion and certainly not the Sidereals.

    I also envision her as one of those kinds of tyrants who believes she is completely indispensable, the status quo is imperfect but drastic change (such as her being demoted) would only bring the whole system crashing down. It is easy to place her in a situation where rules and regulations have failed, she needs muscle but none of the individuals who answer to her on paper can be trusted.

    This just gave me an idea. Forgive me if it has already been mentioned.

    The Arbiter, Exigent of a Celestial Censor.


    Originally posted by Eric Minton View Post
    When creating an Exigent, always start with the specific god that created the Exigent. That's where your framework and flavor come from.

    Assuming that there is an actual god of soulsteel, you'll get a different Exigent if that god is the cadaverous Smith of the Frozen Forge than if that god is the thousand-fanged Prince of the Thirsty Blade.
    This is a very good point. What do you think an Exigent of Lytek would be like? Mild mannered Exigent, politico social butterfly with Influence among the Exalted Host?

    Leave a comment:


  • Gigaton-Falcon-Emu
    replied
    Originally posted by ZealousChristian24 View Post
    Alright, for your first question, I'd say first focus on the core principles of the MM, and then expand upon them. Let us take Soulsteel as an example. In 2e, at least, it steals motes from the opponent and is shaped from oft-unwilling ghosts. We can see that Soulsteel is ultimately vampiric;it's all about taking something vital from another and using it to strengthen yourself. You can also think of ways in which the MM's themes differ from the presentation of the Caste or Exalt. Adamant, for example, is associated with Crystal*, the mind of Autochthon, and thus might focus on charms that give you a enhanced intellect rather than the stealthy assassination and infiltration favored by the operatives.

    As for your second, while each spirit is a unique individual with their own quirks and foibles, one thing to focus on is the propagation of their domain, which improves their own power and status. Thus, they want people to think about or need their particular MM. This means the protection and creation of Artifacts of the appropriate type as well as patronage of heroes who use this type of Artifact. They are likely to favor the Exalt type who naturally attunes to their MM, meaning that Jade might want to work to maintain the Realm(so Jade remains the One True Material in the eyes of the average Creationborn), while Orichalcum will fight tooth and nail to protect the newly returned Solars.*

    Hope that helps!

    *Come to think of it, looking towards the Autochthonian element the MM is associated with seems to be a good way to gain additional thematic potential in general.*
    That is very helpful, I am pretty curious as to where you would put the Starmetal god on this scale seeing as Starmetal is made by essentially damaging an important part of Astrology, something the Sidereals need and would probably be unhappy with any attempt to increase the production of.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gigaton-Falcon-Emu
    replied
    Originally posted by Eric Minton View Post
    When creating an Exigent, always start with the specific god that created the Exigent. That's where your framework and flavor come from.

    Assuming that there is an actual god of soulsteel, you'll get a different Exigent if that god is the cadaverous Smith of the Frozen Forge than if that god is the thousand-fanged Prince of the Thirsty Blade.
    That is an interesting angle although I kind of want to avoid dealing with soulsteel until a better picture of Yu Shan is presented since I have no idea where the loyalties of a Soulsteel god would be.

    Leave a comment:


  • Eric Minton
    replied
    When creating an Exigent, always start with the specific god that created the Exigent. That's where your framework and flavor come from.

    Assuming that there is an actual god of soulsteel, you'll get a different Exigent if that god is the cadaverous Smith of the Frozen Forge than if that god is the thousand-fanged Prince of the Thirsty Blade.

    Leave a comment:


  • ZealousChristian24
    replied
    Originally posted by Gigaton-Falcon-Emu View Post
    Out of curiosity how would you go about separating a MM exigent (like say Moonsilver) from a PAC using Sidereal or an Alchemical? Also what would be a good motivation for an MM god?
    Note:Not sure about the etiquette on bringing up older threads but I hope it is not an issue.
    Alright, for your first question, I'd say first focus on the core principles of the MM, and then expand upon them. Let us take Soulsteel as an example. In 2e, at least, it steals motes from the opponent and is shaped from oft-unwilling ghosts. We can see that Soulsteel is ultimately vampiric;it's all about taking something vital from another and using it to strengthen yourself. You can also think of ways in which the MM's themes differ from the presentation of the Caste or Exalt. Adamant, for example, is associated with Crystal*, the mind of Autochthon, and thus might focus on charms that give you a enhanced intellect rather than the stealthy assassination and infiltration favored by the operatives.

    As for your second, while each spirit is a unique individual with their own quirks and foibles, one thing to focus on is the propagation of their domain, which improves their own power and status. Thus, they want people to think about or need their particular MM. This means the protection and creation of Artifacts of the appropriate type as well as patronage of heroes who use this type of Artifact. They are likely to favor the Exalt type who naturally attunes to their MM, meaning that Jade might want to work to maintain the Realm(so Jade remains the One True Material in the eyes of the average Creationborn), while Orichalcum will fight tooth and nail to protect the newly returned Solars.*

    Hope that helps!

    *Come to think of it, looking towards the Autochthonian element the MM is associated with seems to be a good way to gain additional thematic potential in general.*

    Leave a comment:


  • Gigaton-Falcon-Emu
    replied
    Out of curiosity how would you go about separating a MM exigent (like say Moonsilver) from a PAC using Sidereal or an Alchemical? Also what would be a good motivation for an MM god?
    Note:Not sure about the etiquette on bringing up older threads but I hope it is not an issue.

    Leave a comment:

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