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  • What Breaks If......

    I've had a couple of weird and pretty game-rearranging ideas lately, which I don't think really rate their own thread, so I'm putting them here instead. Please, bring your own as well.
    1. What breaks if Infernals bring in their 2e themes of becoming Primordials, but instead of being Essence-based, they're Attribute-based? Lunars were the other splat defined by being (as opposed to Solars doing), and they were Attribute-based, on the basis that Attributes are what you are but Abilities are what you can do. Besides, the existing Charm trees break down fairly easily if you take each Yozi to cover four Attributes, so Infernals favor two Caste Attributes and two of their own. Most of the Green Sun Flare Nimbus stuff goes in Malfean Strength while the By Pain Reforged stuff goes in Malfean Stamina, as opposed to the Transcendent Desert Creature stuff in Cecilian Stamina. There's definitely a little reshuffling involved, though. Also, Shintai/DBT similarities? I'm just saying.
    2. What breaks if Sidereal Resplendent Destinies are more like Vancian magic (the less cool Vancian magic as opposed to Exalted sorcery, that is). I mean, one of the criticisms of DND magic is that it feels like Batman's utility belt, but a James Bond utility belt is exactly the feel Sidereals are going for with their closed Charmset already. Let them requisition/pray for uses of Charms or Resplendencies, even if they don't have them, and the Maidens in the form of the GM approve or even suggest them. I think it would be very in theme for a Sidereal circle in the middle of planning a battle to get approved for Efficient Secretary Technique and take it as a hint that they're missing something. This idea has been brought to you by the comic in MOEP Sidereals where they say they've been "all been granted Terminal Sanction", which doesn't really make sense otherwise but is in all other respects highly enjoyable.


    But sexually.

  • #2
    I don't think either of these inherently break the game, at least not mechanically. Giving the Sidereals a way to bureaucratically request a magical effect or remove a charm limiter could be pretty cool.

    As for the Infernals, the whole "using Yozi charms" thing needs to die in a radioactive green fire. But basing them on Attributes doesn't seem too bad. It would further emphasize just how different they are from Solars, but maybe that's what you want?

    Possibly the 2e thing could be modified so that the charms resembled the various demons of a given Yozi, which might give them more story oomph.


    Placeholder

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    • #3
      I don't see much point to making Infernals Attribute-based. Seems like change for the sake of change. What exactly are you hoping to accomplish there?

      Vancian destinies could be cool, though.

      Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
      As for the Infernals, the whole "using Yozi charms" thing needs to die in a radioactive green fire.
      No it doesn't. It was one of the only good things about Infernals. Most of their book was straight-up terrible, remember. The Yozi Charms were the one good thing about them, and they were deservedly loved.

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      • #4
        Using Charms that change the Yozis is dangerous. Using Charms from the Yozis is cool. In my opinion, at least.
        Attribute-based Infernals mostly just make more sense in categorizing Caste Traits, though the 5-of-8 spread in 3e does help with that. At present, and if they keep exact correspondence between Solar and Infernal Caste Abilities, Fiends don't have Stealth. Slayers, whose patron invented dance, don't have Performance, or even Presence. Cecelyne can't write her laws with Linguistics or enact them with Bureaucracy. Also, I think the Solar/Abyssal contrast is a really good one, and that by comparison the Solar/Infernal theme isn't that strong. The whole "decadent corrupted superpower" works just fine for Deathlords, especially if one of the existing ones has more of an interest on worldly (Underworldly?) pleasures and material (immaterial?) wealth. Looking at you, Bishop. Put those seven wangs to use. Then Bishop's deathknights can enjoy the rockstar thing with ghostly cults and baroque soulsteel violins instead of demon cults and Malfean brass electric guitars.


        But sexually.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ellis View Post
          Using Charms that change the Yozis is dangerous. Using Charms from the Yozis is cool. In my opinion, at least.
          That's pretty much the rub. The problem wasn't the charms themselves. The 2E Infernal Charms were awesome.

          Presenting them as "These are the powers of the Yozi, who are their Charms, and you can change the nature of the Yozi by altering their Charmset" was a misstep. Honestly, keeping them as-is and simply saying "These are the powers of the Yozi, filtered down through the power of Exaltation and expressed through the power of the Infernals"

          So Windborne Stride is an Infernal channeling some of Adorjan's speed into themselves.


          Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

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          • #6
            Wasn't "change the Yozis by making charms" Fanon though? I mean, I';m pretty sure some devs outright said that you couldn't actually do that.

            I mean-the charms still have to fit the themes of the Yozi, so you can't make a charm or charms that radically changes a given Yozi's personality because any such charms would by definition be against the themes of the Yozi in question-you can't calm down Malfeas because his rage is part of who he is, and likewise you can't make ED less of an antagonistic assholic douche-bag because being that much of a bastard is literally the only definition he has.


            I'm an aspergic individual. This means that I can't imagine how others will react to situations. This has led to me accidentally offending someone, and has also led to me being less clear in statements than I thought I was. I'd like to apologize, and ask that others don't get mad, but just ask me to reword or clarify. Thank you

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Rater202 View Post
              Wasn't "change the Yozis by making charms" Fanon though? I mean, I';m pretty sure some devs outright said that you couldn't actually do that.

              I mean-the charms still have to fit the themes of the Yozi, so you can't make a charm or charms that radically changes a given Yozi's personality because any such charms would by definition be against the themes of the Yozi in question-you can't calm down Malfeas because his rage is part of who he is, and likewise you can't make ED less of an antagonistic assholic douche-bag because being that much of a bastard is literally the only definition he has.
              It was kind of a consequence of the whole "The Yozi are their charms" thing. Since you could make new charms and those would instantly be incorporated into the Yozi who were portrayed basically as their charms meaning adding a new charm to Yozi was creating a minor change in the Yozi. The idea that you could cause any significant change to a Yozi through the method was pure fanon, but unfortunately it was also very popular due to the portrayal of the Yozi.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by nalak42 View Post
                It was kind of a consequence of the whole "The Yozi are their charms" thing. Since you could make new charms and those would instantly be incorporated into the Yozi who were portrayed basically as their charms meaning adding a new charm to Yozi was creating a minor change in the Yozi. The idea that you could cause any significant change to a Yozi through the method was pure fanon, but unfortunately it was also very popular due to the portrayal of the Yozi.
                The only change I can see being made is "Yozi slowly evolves into better version of said Yozi."


                I'm an aspergic individual. This means that I can't imagine how others will react to situations. This has led to me accidentally offending someone, and has also led to me being less clear in statements than I thought I was. I'd like to apologize, and ask that others don't get mad, but just ask me to reword or clarify. Thank you

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Yozi are their charms. The Yozi are also their demon souls. The Yozi are also alien individuals.

                  The problem is that fans ignored the last two and interpreted the first as: "The Yozi are computer programs, the charms are lines of code, and by making unique charms I can hack into the Ebon Dragon matrix and change his personality."

                  It's something of a strange read on things.



                  Come and rock me Amadeus.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Being able to change a Yozi by embodying their themes in a different direction is the kind of thing Exalted *should* be about.

                    It's protagonising; the player has the power to reshape a major NPC.

                    It's actually a good social interaction mechanic; you have to take who the Yozi IS and then sideways edge that into them being who you want them to be, step by painful step. (This is much better than "now you like oranges" "now you like me" "I can give you oranges, so now you REALLY like me" "now you like my pet monkey" "my pet monkey can fetch oranges for you, so now you REALLY like my pet monkey" "if I go away, my monkey comes with me, so now you would DIE for me!")

                    It's mythically resonant; 'As below, so above'. The tale of your Slayer-King who overcomes their anger and grief and becomes great again ripples through the world, changing the way things are.

                    It's all about the dangers of no take-back-sies; they made their Champions, and now they have to live with the consequences....



                    And, frankly, the combination of being both detailed and narrow made any victories wrung from this more *real*. It's a clear path to change, as opposed to "let the GM tell you when you've won".

                    Could it have been done better? Of course. It was coarse and unrefined and the first iteration of something new, of course it needed work. Creating new Yozi Charms should not have been something you could do in downtime by punching water or something, it should have inherently been an IC philosophical debate as well as an OOC philosophical debate, and possibly one that requires you to win over and/or punch out specific bits of their personality that embody different concepts.

                    Yozi's as Charms should probably have been structured differently, too, no doubt. I'd've suggested tying each Charm to a Demon (and noted that the death of demon changes the Charms associated with them) thus providing a clear structure (the soul hierarchy!). (This is to avoid cutting out their souls from the picture)

                    Or not, there's a lot of ways to adjust things... but so much potential.

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                    • #11
                      No, it's something the Exalted *can* be about.

                      The idea that Exalted *should* be about changing the Yozi (or defeating the Deathlords; or breaking the Great Curse; or any other huge, Creation altering goals) is a second edition mindset I'm glad to see jettisoned. If those are the things Exalted *should* be about, it excludes about 80% of the stories Exalted can tell as well as puts non-Soloriods in the category of 'not really Exalted.'

                      It's protagonising; the player has the power to reshape a major NPC.

                      It's actually a good social interaction mechanic; you have to take who the Yozi IS and then sideways edge that into them being who you want them to be, step by painful step. (This is much better than "now you like oranges" "now you like me" "I can give you oranges, so now you REALLY like me" "now you like my pet monkey" "my pet monkey can fetch oranges for you, so now you REALLY like my pet monkey" "if I go away, my monkey comes with me, so now you would DIE for me!")
                      Yeah, I'm not going to support anything that reduces NPCs to trainable pet monkeys.

                      I don't care how 'protagonizing' it is to hack the Yozi, if you want to change them, you have to deal with them as individuals, a collection of demonic souls (each with their own thoughts and personality), and a cluster of thematic powers.

                      Erembour, Alveua, and Mara don’t conveniently disappear from the setting while you churn out charms to make the Ebon Dragon like oranges.


                      Come and rock me Amadeus.

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                      • #12
                        You can talk about Infernals resonating back to the source of their Essence and changing it, in a freeform way, without the idea of "Yozis automatically learn the Infernals Charms, and taking on these Charms changes them" and all the literal and mechanistic parts of that. (And incidentally in any case, the idea of Yozi Excellencies which completely provided an immutable, unchangeable base to a Yozi did more to negate the idea of the Yozis being changeable than anything else).

                        Of course, if you do that, you have to decide whether the Yozis *should* be beings who can grow to the point of being able to be constructive and interesting influences on the world of the setting. I know some people on here have very strong opinions on this ("The Yozis are losers!", "The Yozis are *not* protagonists, they are failure NPCs, and it's bad for the line if they ever intrude into that place, or if players ever care about giving them any protagonism", etc.) I'm happy with that being up to individual groups, as much as they want.

                        Re the more general idea of Infernals taking on Yozi Charms, walking into a game about a character becoming a world creating many souled god is very different in focus and scale to one where it's about a myth hero. There's no way that theme could remain self contained in Infernals either. Its not so much the Infernals, themselves, who are a minor splat, but about how the expectations of Solar power rescale in the context of them, and must rescale, for Solars to play the role they play in Exalted's mythos (as the mightiest of the Exalted, with the greatest potential).

                        That rescaling assumption is, I think, what gave rise to a lot of conversation about Solars as infinite powered superheroes and world creating gods who trivially blow past all in their path without much reference to the action anime and heroic fantasy genres from which the Solars sprung (and which genre emulation, plus a bit of cleverness and deconstruction, is largely the point of Exalted). Even when the mechanics didn't back them up as infinite powered superheroes (without fairly literal and liberal readings of stuff that was OP for their set, exploitation of paranoia combat, etc.).

                        A lot of it comes back to the idea that an upper layer of power for the Exalted as a whole is undefined, purposefully so, in a normal Exalted game, except that the Exalted are at least capable of Essence 5. Having the Infernals able to become the Yozis sort of defines the upper layer in ways you can't get away from, in that you have to say "Well, they can go all the way" or you say "They stop short of the Yozis at this carefully defined level", and wherever that is defined that that feeds back into the Solars who are supposed to be the Infernals peers, and then back to the Celestials who are supposed to be almost at the level of the Solars (enough that they're basically competitive with them in any broad area of conflict, if the underdog), and so on.

                        But that's all old ground, anyway.

                        ...

                        To get back to some new ground, re: the main OP point of a version of Sidereals who request all their Charms, and are granted the use of all their Charms, I don't think anything breaks exactly, but I like my Sidereals to feel like the Charms they have are *their* Charms and are expressions of *their* Abilities and *their* Essence and the fruit of *their* understanding of destiny, as Sidereals. Not things they have on loan from the Bureau or have permission to use, like an Alchemical Charm that's just been slotted into them (and maybe they need the experience to understand and use it, but it's not *them*, and it's the property of an Autochthonian state and the work of thaumaturgical genius that stands outside them).

                        Also, I guess from a play perspective, if you take Sidereals as all about applying the weird tools you have in a sandbox way (not something I'm totally fixated on as the point of Sidereals, but hey) then drip feeding them a Charm as something they *hint*hint* just happen to need at that time doesn't totally mesh with that. Also what happens with Ronin here?

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                        • #13
                          I don't think it's terribly important whether or not the Charms you invent can change the Yozis. Seems unlikely to affect play much one way or the other.

                          Whether or not the Charms you use are actually the Charms of the Yozis isn't often directly relevant in play either, but I suspect that changing it might lead you to change some of the best things about the Infernal Charmset.

                          Originally posted by Ellis View Post
                          Attribute-based Infernals mostly just make more sense in categorizing Caste Traits, though the 5-of-8 spread in 3e does help with that. At present, and if they keep exact correspondence between Solar and Infernal Caste Abilities, Fiends don't have Stealth. Slayers, whose patron invented dance, don't have Performance, or even Presence. Cecelyne can't write her laws with Linguistics or enact them with Bureaucracy.
                          Infernal Castes are bad. A good solution would be to make Infernal Castes better. Changing the whole Charmset paradigm to fix the Caste Ability spread seems like swatting a fly with a hand grenade.

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                          • #14
                            They are, in fact, completly throwing out Infernal Castes and redoing them, and also there's not gonna be a "Caste" Yozi.


                            I'm an aspergic individual. This means that I can't imagine how others will react to situations. This has led to me accidentally offending someone, and has also led to me being less clear in statements than I thought I was. I'd like to apologize, and ask that others don't get mad, but just ask me to reword or clarify. Thank you

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by hippokrene View Post
                              No, it's something the Exalted *can* be about.

                              The idea that Exalted *should* be about changing the Yozi (or defeating the Deathlords; or breaking the Great Curse; or any other huge, Creation altering goals) is a second edition mindset I'm glad to see jettisoned. If those are the things Exalted *should* be about, it excludes about 80% of the stories Exalted can tell as well as puts non-Soloriods in the category of 'not really Exalted.'
                              If you want to run a small-scale game of adventurers wandering about killing monsters for loot, your cup overfloweth for options, you didn't need one more option.

                              If you think the game should be a bit larger and more epic in scale than that, then you're closer to me on this than you think, because I don't see "hacking Malfeas into being a better person" as a bigger goal than "finessing my nation into becoming a stable local powerhouse with a shot at expanding further". Both reshape the setting.

                              Malfeas is a demon corporation. Compared to nation containing gods, elementals, other Exalted and not actually least of all - other human beings - he's just another organisation/nation/thing, albeit one with a badass background.

                              Yeah, I'm not going to support anything that reduces NPCs to trainable pet monkeys.

                              I don't care how 'protagonizing' it is to hack the Yozi, if you want to change them, you have to deal with them as individuals, a collection of demonic souls (each with their own thoughts and personality), and a cluster of thematic powers.

                              Erembour, Alveua, and Mara don’t conveniently disappear from the setting while you churn out charms to make the Ebon Dragon like oranges.
                              The "like oranges" rant is about the 3e social influences system. Seriously, it works on EVERYONE - make them like you, your pet monkey, and oranges, and you're most of the way to making them willing to die for you. Compared to that, "the player must OOC justify how this works within a specific set of things and CANNOT just add to it will-nilly" is greatly constrained. If you don't like NPCs being reduced to trainable pet monkeys, welp, *I* didn't write 3e.


                              And yes, Erembour, Aleveua and Mara *shouldn't* disappear from the setting; they should have been part of the process of rewriting the Ebon Dragon. That doesn't mean it was a terrible idea that needed to be burned out at the root, it means it needed some work; like many 2e things, it had poor mechanics and concepts mixed in among the good.

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