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  • If they can understand it, why can't they speak it? If they can speak it, why other languages? Tower of Babel problem. Not an insolvable question - perhaps it is taboo avoidance, other languages are preferred for ethnic marking etc. but a question nonetheless. Compounded if we go for take a sort of Saphir-Whorf esque stance that Old Realm is a particularly special vehicle of communication that would be preferred (which I can't remember if the text ever did!).

    On another game and setting tack, what happens to all the ancient texts with lost knowledge which only savants knowledgable in the Old Realm can read? Are those replaced with codes / ciphers / constructed languages to keep the setting function of making texts opaque?

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    • ... You partially ignore charm prerequisites? Allowing, say, "any X charms in the same ability" to replace a specific charm prereq, with X equal to twice the charm's Essence requirement? That should hopefully simplify charm selection and let you skip past ones you don't care for without letting you jump straight to high-tier charms...

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      • Well, the first thing you need to do is find a way to actually get the starting charms in a tree. No charm has a pre-req if zero so you need to at least have the first two be available in some way. It also affects different exalted in wildly different ways. For a Solar with Supernal in their abilities it’s going to be crazy good. You can just go down one branch of their massive combat trees and then pick up the capstone charms from each of the other branches in one swoop. You also might run into problems where some charms are just upgrades of their previous charm, so you need to specify if those can be taken and just automatically grant what they’re upgrading, or if they still have charm prerequisites. I don’t know if it’s broken exactly, but it will let Solars get a lot more with a lot less investment.

        For Dragonblooded it’s going to be awful, and I mean absolutely wretched. There’s some elemental sections of charm trees that you really just kinda want to take that element, and to get the big badass Essence 5 capstone for that element you’d hate having to take a bunch of charms that you’re barely ever going to use just to get it.

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        • (For clarity, it would be an optional substitution-- you could do the normal prereq, OR the "any X charms" thing. So you could always take no-requirement charms normally. And if there's a high-essence charm you really want, you can always zip straight down the tree to it. A charm that upgrades the prerequisite would do nothing if you don't have said charm to upgrade)
          Last edited by Grod_the_giant; 10-28-2019, 11:25 AM.

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          • A generalized system is bound to run into potential abuses and strange edge cases like DrLoveMonkey has pointed out. If the players can be trusted to play fair it shouldn't cause too much trouble.

            Personally if a player wanted 1 or 2 Charms in the middle of a tree but did not want either the Charms before or the Charms after, I'd simply come up with alternate pre-requisites for those Charms specifically for that character. A change in the Charm trees that is balanced for 1 character might be broken for another.

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            • Moreover, it can create a strange dissonance as regards Charm progression. There’s a reason they’re in the order that they’re in, and getting the battle-rage tree of Resistance as your prerequisites for Adamant Skin Technique but no soak enhancers is a tad strange.

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              • If I apply the Double 10s rule on Decisive damage and Gambit rolls, move all Double #s charms down a #, and give everyone a free Ox-Body that doesn't count against their (Stamina) max?

                I ask this because my players steadfastly refuse to remember that Double 10s is on everything except Decisive damage and Gambits, so I'd like to just rip that exception straight out.

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                • I guess it's not an awesome fix from a design perspective because it interacts strangely with pre existing Charms and it isn't well balanced statistically, but if your players have difficulty remembering I guess augmenting baseline HP isn't too problematic

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                  • The overall difference is minor, the real thing the no double 10s rule does is remove extreme variance from attacks that can kill.

                    So by allowing double 10s, what happens is you create the possibility for a lucky enemy with 6 initiative to one-shot one of your players, creating a feeling that you can randomly die at any moment similar to critical hits in D&D/Pathfinder.

                    If that's something you and your players can live with then all is good.

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                    • It also normalizes bad rolls just a touch, like now rolling 15 dice and getting three 10s and a 7 is better. The difference won’t come up that often though and I don’t think it breaks anything.

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                      • Potentially a solution in search of a problem, but here goes, a Q for the mechanically savvy out there…

                        How badly would the game break if at bonfire, rather than being locked out of non-balanced and non-native-aspect charms, DBs count as having the aura of both their native aspect AND the aura relevant to their most recent charm use simultaneously?

                        E.g. a water-aspected melee-ist uses Stoking Bonfire Style and Crimson Fang Bite, hitting bonfire. He enters water aura ‘naturally’ and elects to simultaneously enter fire aura (cue cool mixed anima of a raging waterfall dotted with oil slick-type fires or the like).

                        Essentially, never liked the locking you out of your charms mechanic and how hard certain DB/non-native-aspect combat abilities seem to be to play – air-aspected swordsman, AKA Tepet Arada, I’m looking at you – as a result (although appreciate that balanced charms mitigate that, certain aspects just don’t lend themselves to certain abilities easily and that DBs need a cap on charm combos to keep in-setting relative power levels working etc).

                        Reasoning behind the suggestion is (a) it still emphasises the native aspect of the DB a la the lock-out mechanisim (i.e. your native charms are still the things you find easiest when you go all out), (b) makes you less leery of choosing a combat ability that’s out of aspect as all of the non-basic toys aren’t locked away, while still not handing you carte blanche to use every charm going, (c) this.

                        Too much added (not always popular) aura bookkeeping? Makes a DB fight too predictable? Everyone would race to get into bonfire. Would also mean that, for example, an earth aspect at bonfire would always be able to use Impervious Skin of Stone after an attack while merrily swinging away with fire melee charms, which might unbalance things between the aspects…

                        [Edited for bad initial charm example...]
                        Last edited by Moss Reynholm; 11-05-2019, 08:40 AM.

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                        • Having 2 auras at once should be a noticeable power up, although I'm not mechanics savvy enough to go into just how much.

                          One way you could avoid most balance issues is, instead of being in the 2 auras at once, when you hit bonfire you pick which one you want to be locked into (either your current Aura or your aspect Aura). While this won't solve getting locked out at bonfire, it should solve the problem that some aspects are worse at an ability than others, while still making your aspect aura easier to access than the others, and still allowing a hybrid aura imagery.

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                          • Originally posted by Epitome View Post
                            One way you could avoid most balance issues is, instead of being in the 2 auras at once, when you hit bonfire you pick which one you want to be locked into (either your current Aura or your aspect Aura). While this won't solve getting locked out at bonfire, it should solve the problem that some aspects are worse at an ability than others, while still making your aspect aura easier to access than the others, and still allowing a hybrid aura imagery.
                            Nice! More elegant and streamlined than my suggestion...

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                            • Originally posted by Epitome View Post
                              Having 2 auras at once should be a noticeable power up, although I'm not mechanics savvy enough to go into just how much.

                              One way you could avoid most balance issues is, instead of being in the 2 auras at once, when you hit bonfire you pick which one you want to be locked into (either your current Aura or your aspect Aura). While this won't solve getting locked out at bonfire, it should solve the problem that some aspects are worse at an ability than others, while still making your aspect aura easier to access than the others, and still allowing a hybrid aura imagery.
                              Yeah I think Epitome's idea is quite fine I'd allow it if I found DB elemental auras were too restrictive on this point

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                              • How much does it break balance if I change Terrestrial MA's in the following way :

                                -At Essence 2, a Terrestrial Martial Artist may repurchase Essence 1 Martial Arts Charms they know to remove the Terrestrial Keyword
                                -At Essence 4 they may do the same with Essence 2 Martial Arts Charms
                                -Essence 3+ Martial Arts Charms cannot be upgraded in this way and can only ever lose their Terrestrial Keyword with the effect of Immaculate Martial Arts.

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