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How I wish charms were written

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  • BlueWinds
    started a topic How I wish charms were written

    How I wish charms were written

    For the past few weeks, I've been working on a rewrite of the Charms chapter of the backer PDF. The core charms have a multitude of faults in my eyes - they are an excellent first draft, but only a first draft. There is a gem of a game carefully hidden inside the very rough backer PDF. Simply put, I *cannot* show this to players not already in love with Exalted - I've tried, I get laughed at. 650 pages is too much.

    This project is ongoing! Feel free to hop into the thread - no need to read the whole thing, just pick ability I've posted that's interesting to you and join in. Did I cut your favorite charm? Is the wording unclear? Have an awesome new idea for a charm?

    Download the PDF
    Git repository


    This thread contains early versions of the abilities, but you should look at the PDF if you want to see the current state of things. Feedback is welcome. This is, however, an opinionated rewrite - I will not spend much time arguing over my opinions about what is Solar and what I want from the charms chapter.

    With this rewrite I hope to:
    • Clarify rules and standardize terminology. You should always be able to tell, at a glance, the mechanical effect of a charm. These are, above all, rules widgets, and they're presented that way.
    • Remove non-charm dice and speed bumps. There are so many ways to add non-charm dice in the basic rules that they hardly feel special anymore. There are also charms that do basically nothing other than provide a discount on the excellency in a certain situation.
    • Remove stunting from charm texts. Some people will disagree with this approach, but I've aimed for dry, clear, simple language which tells you what happens, rather than what it looks like. Different characters will use the same charms in different ways.
    • Remove unthematic charms. Solars do not mess with fate, they do not inhabit clone bodies, they do not cause natural disasters by research.
    • Shorten the chapter. The charm descriptions are generally 1/2 to 1/5th the original length.
    • Being a queer woman myself, I have experience with some of the issues around gendered language, but in this case I've preferred brevity and clarity over gender-neutrality. The Solar is still always referred to as she/her, everyone around her as he/him/they. (if you want to refer to me, she/her is good, thanks )



    Credits
    • Sanctaphrax, for large amounts of feedback and editing, many of the Craft charms, and God-General's Command in War.
    • Irked, for the excellent Irked Reads thread here, and an inspirational post over on RPG.net.
    • Chejop Kejak, for much feedback.
    • Gatts, for Effortless Armament Mastery general charm.
    • SaintedPhysician, for Glorious General's Charge and Golden Army of the Sun-King in War.
    • oohprincediamond for Hell-Conquering Legion Spirit in War
    Last edited by BlueWinds; 08-16-2016, 07:26 PM.

  • Roadie
    replied
    Possibly relevant to this thread is my own take on this kind of idea, for compare-and-contrast purposes. Here's my take on Archery, for instance. I went for a slightly more compressed and mechanistic feel, particularly with trying to codify variable costs and requirements to use Charms.

    Leave a comment:


  • horngeek
    replied
    Ah, right. I'm actually mostly wondering about Unimpeachable Discourse Technique, which doesn't allow you to *ignore* the levers, but simply makes it impossible for you to catastrophically fail.

    It's a fair answer, however- and tbh Exalted 3e mostly removed those Charms from 2e *anyways* as far as I can tell. So it's not a huge loss. Thanks for the quick answer!
    Last edited by horngeek; 02-26-2019, 10:50 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • BlueWinds
    replied
    Basically I don't like the way they affect the setting. IMO, the Exalted should rule and affect societies the same way people do in the real world - using the levers of institutional power. Being Exalted makes it easier to seize and maintain control of these levers, and more effective at using them, but societies in Exalted are too familiar to those in the real world for the sorts of nation-bending powers that charms in the book grant.

    Basically, don't replace the methods of influence and rule with rules widgets. The setting, and I as a ST, care about them too much for them to be charms you spend XP on.


    Leave a comment:


  • horngeek
    replied
    BlueWinds sorry for the ping after so long, but I'm curious why you removed the society-altering Charms in Socialize? Applying both to the more extreme rewrite and the version that retains dice tricks that I'm trying out rn.

    Leave a comment:


  • SaintedPhysician
    replied
    In the PDF, you have Durability of Oak as
    Durability of Oak Meditation
    Cost: 3m; Reflexive (One round)
    Prereqs: Resistance 2
    This charm may be activated at any time. The Solar
    gains +2 soak and a hardness of 4 until next tick.

    Does it last one round or one tick? In general, should we take the text or the summary?

    Leave a comment:


  • BlueWinds
    replied
    Originally posted by notanautomaton View Post
    BlueWinds sorry if this is a dumb question, but have you done the charms from miracles?
    I have not. Most of them seem rather more specific than I'd want to spend time on, unless a player of mine had a character to use them already in mind - which makes sense, given why the PDF exists in the first place.

    Leave a comment:


  • notanautomaton
    replied
    BlueWinds sorry if this is a dumb question, but have you done the charms from miracles?

    Leave a comment:


  • Eris
    replied
    Sorry for the long, long delay responding to this - I posted my initial comment, then got super busy and haven't been back to the forums for a few months.

    I'm back here because I had a couple of questions about your Socialize charmset. Knowing The Soul's Price had (Essence) bonus successes on the roll in the original version, which are removed in your rewrite; was that intentional, and if so why? Also, Wise-Eyed Courtier Method in canon has a once/scene restriction and reveals surface attitudes, emotions and Ties; your version reveals motives and emotions, and doesn't appear to have a once/scene restriction. Again, are those differences intentional, and if so, why?

    Regarding my previous post, a very belated reply:

    Power Awarding Prana was in design space that I don't think should be explored. It's too meta, too "charms as real things" rather than "charms as representing how cool you are."
    Fair enough. I'm not particularly bothered by the idea of (at least) some Charms as discrete powers, so this wasn't a problem for me.

    If you wanted to access charms above your current level of knowledge yourself... just buy one of those, instead of spending the XP on power-awarding prana.
    The original version of Power-Awarding Prana gives you a huge amount of versatility, though; if you enter a town and there's just been a terrible accident and people are badly injured, and nobody in the group has Medicine Charms, you can use PAP to gain an entry-level Medicine Charm and play life-saving medic. Or you can use it to learn Seasoned Criminal Method if you want to quickly get in touch with the local criminal underground. Or learn Graceful Crane Stance for just long enough to cross the rickety bridge over the chasm. You have to have pretty good ratings in all these Abilities, and this kind of cherry-picking of entry-level Charms will never let you compete with specialists in those fields, but it enables your party's loremaster to also be its jack-of-all-trades; buying any one of those Charms doesn't give you nearly the same range of options.

    Which ones specifically? I removed a lot of Lore charms, and guessing wildly which ones you liked doesn't seem that helpful. I don't want to remove things that actually inspired people, just all the extra chaff. (except for forging artifacts/armies from the wyld - that I do want to remove, even if it did inspire people. Be happy to discuss if that's the part you meant).
    Let's see - Prophet of Seventeen Cycles, which you tagged as Sidereal-like (as I mentioned, I do like playing Chosen of Secrets, and that may be the issue here ;-) )

    Sacred Relic Understanding was one I liked - yes, if your GM just says "go ahead and roll Int+Lore to figure out how the artifact works" without this Charm, then you don't need the Charm, but I've certainly had the experience of:
    Players: "we want to know how this thing works"
    GM: "ok, then try putting it on / pressing the big red button and see what happens",
    with no opportunity to figure it out except by (sometimes explosive) trial and error. It's also nice to have codified difficulties for this.

    Similarly, I liked Truth-Rendering Gaze - the only part you kept was the geography part, which was not what interested me. I like Lore Charms that give you an edge in understanding how things work; I think you're perhaps mentally assigning those to Craft in the case where "things" = "artifacts", but I'd rather keep them in Lore, Craft already has plenty to do.

    I think I like the "introducing facts" mechanic more than you do; I probably would have kept Bottomless Wellspring Approach.

    That said, again, awesome rewrite!

    Leave a comment:


  • AtG
    replied
    On page 333 Glorious General's Charge overflows the page margins and some of the text overlaps the page number marker.

    Leave a comment:


  • BlueWinds
    replied
    Ok, finally got around to adding Snake and Tiger styles to the PDF. Download link in the first post is still correct, but here's another one for your end-of-thread convenience.

    Leave a comment:


  • BlueWinds
    replied
    Just tweaked some of the Snake and Tiger charm based on feedback from a non-forum source (or rather, a once-forum source who's now banned).

    Originally posted by Eris View Post
    I was just introduced to this by the DM for a PbP game I may be joining, and I just wanted to say thanks so much - this addresses so many of my issues with Ex3. In particular, I think with your Socialize and Bureaucracy trees I could now actually translate my 2e Eclipse diplomat into 3e if I needed to do so.

    One question that didn't seem to come up during the in-thread discussion of Lore, that I was a little curious about: what were your reasons behind the change to Power-Awarding Prana? It went from "let circlemates (and you) go temporarily deeper into their own Charm trees / use entry-level Charms as you need them" to "let circlemates borrow your Charms".
    Glad you like it, thanks!

    Power Awarding Prana was in design space that I don't think should be explored. It's too meta, too "charms as real things" rather than "charms as representing how cool you are." If you wanted to access charms above your current level of knowledge yourself... just buy one of those, instead of spending the XP on power-awarding prana.

    I'd be interested to see the "more Lore-like Lore tree" that was discussed earlier in the thread, too. Lore was an unusual case where the 3e charmset actually gave me more interesting ideas than the 2e one; while I understand why you cut the Charms you did, you kinda managed to mostly remove or change the Charms that had been motivating me, so I'd be interested to see replacements. (Of course this may just mean that my loremaster characters are all naturally Chosen of Secrets ;-) )
    Which ones specifically? I removed a lot of Lore charms, and guessing wildly which ones you liked doesn't seem that helpful. I don't want to remove things that actually inspired people, just all the extra chaff. (except for forging artifacts/armies from the wyld - that I do want to remove, even if it did inspire people. Be happy to discuss if that's the part you meant).

    Leave a comment:


  • Eris
    replied
    I was just introduced to this by the DM for a PbP game I may be joining, and I just wanted to say thanks so much - this addresses so many of my issues with Ex3. In particular, I think with your Socialize and Bureaucracy trees I could now actually translate my 2e Eclipse diplomat into 3e if I needed to do so.

    One question that didn't seem to come up during the in-thread discussion of Lore, that I was a little curious about: what were your reasons behind the change to Power-Awarding Prana? It went from "let circlemates (and you) go temporarily deeper into their own Charm trees / use entry-level Charms as you need them" to "let circlemates borrow your Charms".

    I'd be interested to see the "more Lore-like Lore tree" that was discussed earlier in the thread, too. Lore was an unusual case where the 3e charmset actually gave me more interesting ideas than the 2e one; while I understand why you cut the Charms you did, you kinda managed to mostly remove or change the Charms that had been motivating me, so I'd be interested to see replacements. (Of course this may just mean that my loremaster characters are all naturally Chosen of Secrets ;-) )
    Last edited by Eris; 08-21-2016, 02:14 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Maudova
    replied
    Thanks to both of you Irked BlueWinds. I'll use both resources. I'm a technical writer by profession so this will be a good way to cross over my hobby with my job.

    My boss will ask: what did you do on your vacation?
    Me: Well I uhhh learned a layout language
    My boss: Nerd
    Me: Yeah. It was fun.
    Boss: Seriously?

    Leave a comment:


  • BlueWinds
    replied
    Originally posted by Irked View Post
    Honestly, I pick up most of it by writing until I get stuck and then Google searching specific questions. This looks like a pretty decent starting place, though.
    I did the same thing, learn the very basics from here and then just search for specific answers as I needed them. My link is a lot shorter - and not nearly as in-depth - as the one Irked suggested.

    Leave a comment:

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