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Why so many dice tricks?

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  • #16
    The idea of 3E was that charms aren't real things that do stuff. They're an expression of the Solar's skill.

    A Solar's skill is expressed mechanically by rolling dice. Thus charms enhance dice rolls instead of giving Solars new abilities (unlike 2E and its mind control charms).

    Excellencies add dice straight, so all other charms need neat tricks instead.
    Last edited by JohnDoe244; 11-11-2015, 05:23 PM.


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

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    • #17
      Partly because of dice caps. Solars are the Exalts of Skill. And as such they are likely to have the most ways around that cap, in the form of re-rolls, 9s again, 8s again, etc. If the design philosophy is that being the Solars thing, then that is what they will be best at by far. Other splats won't have those advantages, but will have other things. This will likely show the most drastic difference in Craft and the other dice trick heavy lines, and will be how they show just how the Solars were able to make the First Age what it was and why the other Exalts couldn't reliably maintain it.

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      • #18
        Solars don't screw up. They do things supremely well. Dice adders indicate simply having more skill, more talent, more leeway to overcome your mistakes and things that go wrong with more overt mastery. Solars have that, certainly, and it shows up primarily in their Excellency, but also in a few other things that add "non-Charm dice."

        However, the "tricks" are ways that reflect that they also just don't mess up in the first place. Those non-successes? They re-roll them, because they didn't make that mistake. Reality contrived NOT to let them have flawed materials. That gust of wind did not blow their tool out of alignment at the wrong moment. They weren't distracted by that knock on their workshop door at a crucial and delicate step. More dice means that that distraction wasn't enough to thwart them; they recovered from it before it was a problem. Rerolls mean that the distraction wasn't even a factor.

        Solars are luck AND good, and they are nearly always at their best. They don't have to rely on their superlative skill to overcome the foibles of mortal efforts; they are always having a great day when it comes to important things.


        And things that add dice based on successes? (e.g. +1 non-charm die for every 3 successes rolled?) That's their confidence being bolstered and them getting on a roll and CAPITALIZING on it. It's not overcoming failures or being unbothered by obstacles, but them being in the groove and just doing well because they're doing well. Their boundless confidence is justified by their supreme excellence, and drives them to even greater heights, to surpass themselves. When they succeed, they succeed BIGGER, but they have to succeed, first. But they're likely to, because again, those re-rolls mean they just don't have bad days.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Omicron View Post
          Most people you'll meet online are nerdier/math-ier than average and so don't see it that way and insist on boiling it down to statistics, but the aesthetic of numbers is powerful (just look at gambling and casinos), and a lot of people are susceptible to that kind of "feel-based" mechanics.
          That might be why it falls flat with me. I'm a statistician, and I'm not really capable of seeing these things in aesthetic terms. I don't really get the appeal of casinos either.


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          • #20
            Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
            The idea of 3E was that charms aren't real things that do stuff. They're an expression of the Solar's skill.

            A Solar's skill is expressed mechanically by rolling dice. Thus charms enhance dice rolls instead of giving Solars new abilities (unlike 2E and its mind control charms).
            I do like how Solar Charms are, as a general rule, no longer "you can take this action ONLY IF you have this Charm" and are instead, "everyone can perform this action, but this Charm makes Solars much better at it."


            "Chicanery-No: If a player uses this Charm in an abusive or exploitative manner, the ST may punch him right in the goddamn face." --TheDementedOne

            "Happiness is very brittle and short-lived in the Exalted community, because ressentiment is our cultural touchstone." --Gayo

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            • #21
              Because stacking five Charms to roll sixty fucking dice is both a hassle to round up that many d10s, and commits the mortal sin of being boring.


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              • #22
                I think another part of it is in emphasizing how the greatest strengths of Solars are made through combos of powers. It looks like a thing that alternates between distributing various ways to increase efficiency throughout that allow a Solar to take numerous approaches to challenges with varying costs and risks in a way that still has them be stronger, and being able to pull a whole bunch of things together in order to pull off incredible feats in a single action. It's an alternative to putting so much burden on single Charms, in a way that lets them be both more situationally nuanced and give a greater sense of heroic exertion when a major act is called for. It's all the kind of thing that makes Judge's Ear Technique stand out even more acutely as a very Second Edition feeling Charm; for everything else to spread it out so much but we're right back with "the first anti-lying Charm you get removes lying from the list of meaningful challenges"... I'm quite happy with pretty much everything else, but that one thing was a tremendous disappointment.


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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                  It's all the kind of thing that makes Judge's Ear Technique stand out even more acutely as a very Second Edition feeling Charm; for everything else to spread it out so much but we're right back with "the first anti-lying Charm you get removes lying from the list of meaningful challenges"... I'm quite happy with pretty much everything else, but that one thing was a tremendous disappointment.
                  Considering how much 2e JET was called out by the authors as being disappointing by removing lying as a challenge, it's shocking how...it's basically the same in 3e.


                  "Chicanery-No: If a player uses this Charm in an abusive or exploitative manner, the ST may punch him right in the goddamn face." --TheDementedOne

                  "Happiness is very brittle and short-lived in the Exalted community, because ressentiment is our cultural touchstone." --Gayo

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                    The idea of 3E was that charms aren't real things that do stuff. They're an expression of the Solar's skill.

                    A Solar's skill is expressed mechanically by rolling dice. Thus charms enhance dice rolls instead of giving Solars new abilities (unlike 2E and its mind control charms).

                    Excellencies add dice straight, so all other charms need neat tricks instead.
                    This is a big part, I think.

                    In Exalted, Charms are one of the big ways of progressing you character. You're explicitly allowed, even encouraged, to take Attribute 5, Ability 5 and an applicable Speciality at char gen. Likewise, you can start with magical gear up the ass right out the gate. There's no thing like BAB or Competency Bonus that goes up with level in Exalted; Fire and Stones Strike is your BAB.

                    In 2e, there were very simple ways of making sure your character always had competency: cheap and early perfect effects, not only defenses but things like Lock-Opening Touch or or Judge's Ear Technique. Also, the dreaded Infinite (Ability) Mastery. Between those, your ability to succeed on actions was essentially taken care of, so Charms became focused on allowing new kinds of actions or effects to occur instead. Those types of Charms are showy and very defining, and I think their prevalence was a reason for the feeling that it was "Charms, not characters" doing stuff in 2e. After all, if you didn't have the Charm, then you couldn't do the thing. So the Charm became the focus point.

                    Both of those have been deemed undesirable effects. In 3e, the "dice trick" Charms (which I feel is a needlessly derogatory term) are 1) more plentiful and spread out, making it relevant to pick some up continuously instead of taking I(A)M and be set for the game. This provides progression not only in terms of what you can do, but how well you can do it, which has been stated as a desired goal (no cheap perfects). Also, 2) the more mechanical the Charms become, the less they interact with the game on a narrative level [1]. If they don't themselves enable actions to the same extent, they'll be less focused on and thought of as the "real" actors.

                    [1] Edit: I came to realise that this isn't actually true. Still, the more a Charm supports innate ability rather than crete new ability, the more subtle do I believe it will be.
                    Last edited by Weimann; 11-12-2015, 08:52 AM.


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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Zelbinnean View Post
                      Considering how much 2e JET was called out by the authors as being disappointing by removing lying as a challenge, it's shocking how...it's basically the same in 3e.
                      Being instant rather than scene-long is a pretty big difference. You can't get perfect immunity from ever being lied to, only specific confirmations of statements that you found suspicious.


                      My homebrew: Abyssals, Infernals, Dragon Kings, martial arts.

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                      • #26
                        One of my players has said that he's excited to roll dice now in a way that he never was before, and he's playing a craft-based character.
                        Sure, you could add a few auto successes to mathematically equal the average benefit of exploding 10s, but the thrill he's gotten from rolling a 10, and then rolling another 10 is something he hasn't gotten out of Exalted before.

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                        • #27
                          Personally, I don't find the various dice tricks all that exciting, but my players seem to be at worst indifferent to them, and one of them really likes the idea.


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                          • #28
                            It is making creating a diceroller/combat engine for Exalted slightly harder.

                            The charms I've read have all had their mechanics flow well from the idea they're attempting to represent. Some of these are purely narrative (you can now balance on really narrow things with ease), some of them work with the combat mechanics (when you dodge, you reflexively move to short range), and some of them are dice based (roll double 9s.)

                            Exalted 3rd Edition feels a bit like playing a game of Magic: The Gathering to me. Which is an activity I like.

                            Originally posted by Arian Dynas View Post
                            Feel. It's in part designed so that Sidereal Dice Tricks for instance will feel differently from Solar or Lunar ones.
                            Originally posted by Lioness View Post
                            The re-rolls can be extremely gratifying in a "snatching victory from the jaws of defeat" kind of way.
                            As I understand it, Sidereal charms will be more 'shoving defeat in the jaws of (someone else's) victory.'

                            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                            It's all the kind of thing that makes Judge's Ear Technique stand out even more acutely as a very Second Edition feeling Charm; for everything else to spread it out so much but we're right back with "the first anti-lying Charm you get removes lying from the list of meaningful challenges"... I'm quite happy with pretty much everything else, but that one thing was a tremendous disappointment.
                            Huh?

                            You have to use the charm for every statement you attempt to verify. Even if a Solar is suspicious of an individual, the new social system and charms means burning motes for every statement someone makes is going to be expensive.

                            What it does give you is a Batman moment where if you're interrogating someone, you can ask them a few specific questions and be sure they're telling the truth. But that's far more limited than the old charm.
                            Last edited by hippokrene; 11-11-2015, 10:32 PM.


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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Sanctaphrax View Post

                              That might be why it falls flat with me. I'm a statistician, and I'm not really capable of seeing these things in aesthetic terms. I don't really get the appeal of casinos either.
                              I have a similar feeling. As a developer, I want things to be as straightforward as possible. Already we handle an exception based system... why add even more complications into it?

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                              • #30
                                Because dice tricks are fun. That's why.


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