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A Not-Quite-Newb's Read-through of Ex3

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  • A Not-Quite-Newb's Read-through of Ex3

    I was reading through the "I am displeased with Ex3" thread, and came across this quote:

    Originally posted by Weimann View Post
    It would be interesting to see how someone who's not been on this four year long rollercoaster looks at the 3e core book. That might tell us relevant things.
    ...and thought I'd be a relatively imperfect option for this, as I have heard next to nothing about the Kickstarter up until about a month ago. I bought the PDF yesterday and ordered a hardback book, because I have every intention of running Ex3, and need to get my head around it.

    As I go through I'll be asking all the stupid questions that people who don't know a lot about the setting or have not developed an encyclopaedic knowledge of the old charm trees may ask. Please chime in with answers to these, and we can potentially make a start on a set of Ex3 Newcomer FAQs.

    First, full disclosure:
    • I have played and ST'd VtM and DA:V for years, so not new to White Wolf IP altogether.
    • I have not been onboard since the Kickstarter, although I have known about Exalted since Ex2, and loved the game's premise and feel. I read part of the core (mostly the setting info), but never played or ST'd it.
    • I have read through part of the Irked Reads thread, so am already primed for some of the potential pitfalls. I may gloss over something a complete newcomer might
    • I do not have the best memory in the world. I will forget things from the previous chapters I've read as I read through.
    • I will ramble, and my sentences go long. For this I make no apology; you have been warned.
    Having gone through the suggested resources, I am familiar with the following:
    • A Song of Ice and Fire
    • Several of Howard's Conan short stories, as well as the Schwarzenegger film and the Saturday morning cartoon Conan the Adventurer. Not the anthology mentioned in the resources, though.
    • A comic book version of The Illiad
    • The Book of Judges
    • Howl's Moving Castle
    • Final Fantasy VII, although I don't remember it all that well. Also the Advent Children film.
    This thread has turned into quite a beast, so links are here:

    Intro
    Chapter 1: The Exalted
    Chapter 2: The Age of Sorrows
    Chapter 3: Character Creation

    Chapter 4: Traits
    Castes & Abilities
    Merits & Flaws
    Willpower, Intimacies, Health, Essence & Anima Banner
    Character Advancement

    Chapter 5: Systems & Conflict
    Glossary, General System Structure, & Stunting
    Combat
    Battle Groups
    Social Influence
    Crime & Investigation
    Leadership & Projects
    Environmental Rules, Illness & Lore, with some Feats of Strength & Destroying Stuff in the Mix, Just for Kicks
    Crafting
    Sailing

    Chapter 6: Charms
    General Charms Systems
    Archery
    Athletics
    Awareness
    Brawl
    Bureaucracy
    Craft - Efficiency
    Craft - Momentum
    Craft - Repairing & Reforging
    Craft - Power
    Dodge
    Integrity
    Investigation
    Larceny
    Linguistics
    Lore
    Medicine
    Melee
    Occult & Sorcery
    Performance - Omni-applicable
    Performance - Utility
    Performance - Oratory
    Performance - Music & Singing
    Performance - Dance
    Performance - Acting
    Performance - Voice
    Performance - Sex
    Presence
    Resistance
    Ride
    Sail
    Socialise
    Stealth
    Survival
    Thrown
    War

    Chapter 7: Martial Arts & Sorcery
    General Martial Arts Systems
    Snake Style
    Tiger Style
    Single Point Shining Into the Void Style
    White Reaper Style
    Crane Style
    Silver-Voiced Nightingale Style
    Righteous Devil Style
    Black Claw Style
    Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Style
    Steel Devil Style
    General Sorcery Systems
    Shaping Rituals
    Terrestrial Circle Spells
    Celestial Circle Spells
    Solar Circle Spells
    Sorcerous Workings
    Thaumaturgy

    Chapter 8: Antagonists
    General QC Systems
    Mortals, Strange Folk & Monsters, and The Dead
    Spirits & gods
    Demons
    Creatures of the Wyld
    The Exalted
    Animals

    Chapter 9: The Grand Panoply
    The Resources System
    Mortal Weapons
    Mortal Armour
    Artefact Weapons & Attunement
    Artefact Melee Weapons
    Artefact Thrown & Archery Weapons
    Artefact Armour
    Additional Artefacts
    Hearthstones General Rules
    Elemental Hearthstones
    Celestial Hearthstones
    Evocations & Magical Materials
    Example Artefacts and Evocations & Outro

    Summary Review

    I've also created a couple of characters in going through the rules here, which are below. Neither of them have names, but the concepts are solid(ish):

    Criminal Family Matriarch - Cunning head of a criminal family who looks out for family above all else, and the rest of the world is just a stage on which to show their greatness. Initial inspiration was Don Corleone.

    Caste: Eclipse
    Supernal: Presence
    Concept: Crime Family Matriarch

    Attributes
    Physical (tertiary): Strength 2, Dexterity 3, Stamina 2+1
    Social (primary): Charisma 4, Manipulation 5, Appearance 2
    Mental (secondary): Perception 3, Intelligence 2, Wits 4

    Abilities
    Caste: Bureaucracy 3, Larceny 3, Linguistics 1, Presence 2+3, Socialise 3
    Favoured: Brawl 2+1, Dodge 1, Integrity 1, Investigation 1, Resistance 2
    Others: Athletics 2, Awareness 2, Stealth 2

    Specialities
    Bureaucracy (corruption)
    Socialise (cutting deals)
    Larceny (smuggling)
    Presence (threats)

    Merits
    Contacts (underworld information sources & family syndicate) 3
    Followers (family syndicate thugs, fences and business owners) 3
    Influence (Threshold traders) +3
    +Language (Guild Cant)
    +Language (Low Realm)
    Retainer (sister who is consiglire) 2
    Resources 2+1

    Charms
    Awareness: Sensory Acuity Prana
    Brawl: Fists of Iron Technique, Iron Battle Focus
    Bureaucracy: Deft Official's Way, Measuring Glance, Enlightened Discourse Method
    Larceny: Seasoned Criminal Method, Spurious Presence
    Presence (supernal): Listener-swaying argument, Excellent Friend Approach, Harmonious Presence Meditation
    Socialise: Mastery of Small Manners, Motive-Discerning Technique
    Resistance: Durability of Oak Meditation, Ox-body Technique

    Intimacies
    Family looks after family (defining)
    The Ends Justify the Means (defining)
    Consiglire Sister (love) (minor)
    Consiglire Sister (admiration) (minor)
    Consiglire Sister (distrust) (major)
    Daughters (love) (major)
    Sons (love) (minor)
    All immediate and extended family (motherly concern) (major)
    Respect Must Be Earned (major)
    Reputation is Everything (major)
    The Realm are the worst thieves (minor)
    Realm factor of X (disdain) (minor)
    Province of X (patriotic attachment) (major)
    The Immaculate Philosophy is good for other people (minor)

    Limit Trigger: Someone successfully acting against my interests

    Willpower: 5+1

    15 freebies
    14 (Brawl 3)
    11 (Presence 5)
    8 (Stamina 3)
    7 (Resources 3)
    4 (Influence 3)
    2 (2 languages)
    0 (Willpower 6)


    Wyld-Shaping Moses - an unmoving bastion of strength, who shapes the Wyld through elaborate katas to build his people a home. Inspired by the image of Wyld-Shaping Technique combined with tai chi, which then grew to include ideas of "make people a home", "former student of the House of Thirty Seals" and "immovable solid thing that creates other solid things". I have an image of Panther's appearance in my head when I think of this character.

    Caste: Zenith
    Supernal: Lore
    Concept: Wyld-Shaping Moses

    Attributes
    Physical (primary): Strength 4, Dexterity 3, Stamina 4
    Social (tertiary): Charisma 3, Manipulation 2, Appearance 2
    Mental (secondary): Perception 2, Intelligence 4, Wits 3

    Abilities
    Caste: Lore 5, Resistance 3, Survival 2, Integrity 2, Presence +3
    Favoured: Awareness 1, Brawl 2 (Martial Arts 3+2), Occult 2, Ride 1, Survival 2
    Others: Linguistics 2, Craft 3

    Specialities
    Lore (the Wyld)
    Occult (demonology)
    Martial Arts (full defence)
    Resistance (the Wyld)

    Merits
    Martial Artist (4)
    Boundless Endurance (2)
    Direction Sense (1)
    Followers (Exiles from <<PLACE>>) (3)
    Demesne (4)

    Charms
    Brawl: Fists of Iron Technique
    Craft: Craftsman Needs No Tools
    Integrity: Integrity-Protecting Prana
    Lore: Wyld-Dispelling Prana, Chaos-Repelling Pattern, Order-Affirming Blow, Harmonious Academic Methodology, Bottomless Wellspring Approach, Lore Inducing Concentration, Truth-Rending Gaze, Wyld-Shaping Technique
    Martial Arts (Crane Style): Empowering Justice Redirection, Fluttering Cry of Warning
    Resistance: Ox-Body Technique, Durability of Oak Meditation, Spirit Strengthens the Skin

    Intimacies
    My people/followers (paternalistic love) (Defining)
    We will not submit to [Ruling Authority of some sort] (Major)
    Violence Solves Nothing (Major)
    Rulers of [Place we escaped from] (hatred) (Major)
    My Wyld-Shaped Domain is a place of sanctuary (Minor)
    I must provide for my people (Major)
    The Fair Folk (Hatred) (Minor)
    The Wyld (wary respect) (Minor)

    Limit Trigger: When allies suffer because of my actions, or inaction.

    Willpower: 5+2

    15 freebies
    11 (4-point Demesne)
    9 (Martial Arts 5)
    6 (Presence 3)
    2 (Fists of Iron Technique)
    0 (Willpower 7)


    Now to the cover, prelude fiction and TOC.

    Cover
    • The art looks interesting, if sketchy. The [guy/girl/I can't really tell, is that sideboob or sloppily-done pecs?]'s face looks like a watercolour had an argument with a coffee stain and could really have been better defined, but otherwise it's a nice piece.
    • "Ex3" as a title? Really? Do you expect that to pull people in who don't know what the setting's about? I appreciate this isn't going to be sitting in a bookshop, but that feels way too casual a title for a book that's not aimed purely at existing buyers.
    Intro Fiction
    • I really like the style and language of this piece. It also subtly introduces elements of the setting and how they relate - Heaven is a bureaucracy, the Solars are chosen and Anathema, the Dragon-Blooded run things. But it feels quite disjointed, and the flashbacks don't meld with the present-day narrative well. This might mostly be the way things are laid out, the worst swings are between pages, but I'd hope the layout matches the page spread. It may make more sense as a folio piece.
    • I also kind of want to run something in Wu-Jian, thanks to the shanty-spires artwork.
    • The sentence structure is awful. I'm not sure if it's part of what contributes to the "charm" of the writing (yes, that was the first sentiment that popped into my head reading it), but the flow the and words and the flow of the punctuation really don't match up. Ah well, that' just the grammar obsessive in me jumping up and down, I guess.
    • Hang on, are there hints of Solar-worshipping cults that survived the purge in this? Cool!
    • ...and then a 144-word sentence. Gah!
    Overall, nicely written. Feels quite anime (particularly the obsession with meat buns), which is weird for prose, but appropriate for Exalted I guess. Felt a bit long, but it's of similar length to intro fiction in VtM. I just tended to skip those.

    Table of Contents
    • ...wow, lots of words! Is this a TOC or an index!? Very useful for a linked PDF, though.
    • Character creation comes even before we discuss traits? Leaving charms etc until later I can understand, but most of the RPGs I know at least talk you through some basic action resolution before talking about character creation.
    Not much else to say for now. But the amount of subheadings is terrifying. Are these detailed ones becoming common now that playing with PDFs on tablets is a thing? I'm used to just chapter headings.

    Overall, the intro whets the appetite, once the cover is over with. The TOC is worrisome, and the structure looks weird to me. But that might just be personal preference. We'll find out later!

    Next up, Chapter 1!

    Incidentally, if focusing on different things could help, or I just need to shut up, let me know.
    Last edited by Xerxes; 10-03-2016, 01:50 PM. Reason: Updating TOC


    A Not-Quite-Newb's Read-Through of Ex3 - my thoughts, notes and trials and tribulations with the Exalted 3rd edition rules.
    Ex3 Reference Materials - currently includes an ST screen, common actions sheet, weapons reference sheet, character creation summary and mortal QCs reference sheet.

  • #2
    Subscirbed.

    Comment


    • #3
      This'll be interesting.

      Also, you hit a lot of the complaints that I had for the Intro Fiction. Like, I could SEE what was attempted, but someone REALLY needed to take a red pen to the work and draw a little frowny face next to every run-on sentence.

      Edit: And apparently the Solar on the cover is supposed to be Prince Diamond, the Iconic Eclipse. As for the he/she... Prince Diamond goes by 'He'. He's a Dereth, a member of the Delzhan tribes who lives as the opposite gender from their biological sex. The Devs have stated that Prince Diamond would map to what we would recognize as a trans-male (A person who identifies as male, but was born in a woman's body).

      So, yes, that's a guy. Yes, that's some side-boob.


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

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
        As for the he/she... Prince Diamond goes by 'He'. He's a Dereth, a member of the Delzhan tribes who lives as the opposite gender from their biological sex. The Devs have stated that Prince Diamond would map to what we would recognize as a trans-male (A person who identifies as male, but was born in a woman's body).

        So, yes, that's a guy. Yes, that's some side-boob.
        So there's prominent genderqueer stuff in this? HELLS TO THE YES!


        A Not-Quite-Newb's Read-Through of Ex3 - my thoughts, notes and trials and tribulations with the Exalted 3rd edition rules.
        Ex3 Reference Materials - currently includes an ST screen, common actions sheet, weapons reference sheet, character creation summary and mortal QCs reference sheet.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
          So there's prominent genderqueer stuff in this? HELLS TO THE YES!
          I don't think it's elaborated in the book, but yes, there's a tribe in the South that recognizes that sex and gender are different. I think the Dereth have been in the game since 1e, but the example Eclipse is a trans-man, yes. Right there, up front, not tokenly mentioned once and then pushed to the side.

          Admittedly, some Dereth become Dereth for political reasons. While the Delzhan say you can be whichever gender you identify as, they have a very RIGID view of what each gender does. Men fight, raid, hunt, and protect the honor of their family. Women run the house, manage money, create art, and entertain guests. The Delzhan only recognize marriage as being between a man and a woman, because if there's no man then who's going to defend the wife's honor?

          But if, say, a Dereth Man (biologically female) marries a woman, well, that settles everything nicely, doesn't it?


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

          Comment


          • #6
            Keep in mind, when the book is printed? It's this thick.



            At the beginning of the process we were just playing around with the idea of "A real table of contents" as opposed to "A traditionally White Wolf-style just-the-chapter-headings table of contents." At some point, the former became the obviously superior option.

            (The index is 25 pages long. It's a big book but it won't be difficult to reference.)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
              Keep in mind, when the book is printed? It's this thick.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post


                (The index is 25 pages long. It's a big book but it won't be difficult to reference.)
                O-O
                *wipes drool off mouth while no-one is looking*

                Ok there's no way my Deluxe Edition is coming anywhere near my friends' cheeto-dust encrusted fingers.


                Former bearer of the legacy of Trauma Bear
                Need a dice-roller? Check out Dicemat.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sweet JEEBUS, I make jokes about things like this, but no, I think you could literally kill someone with that book! Kind of glad I just got the PDF.


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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Apparently RichT stubbed his toe quite badly after dropping one of the proof copies, as per his twitter.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If my players ever complain that I'm throwing the book at them...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I know there are design reasons for having them in one book, but the Solar character stuff should have been separated from the general setting information. The Dresden Files RPG did that with their core books (one for setting and one for characters)


                        Are you ready to rage? Discover if you are Brave Enough to fight for the soul of the world.

                        The Werewolf: the Apocalypse Quest updates on Mondays. All are welcome to vote.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
                          I know there are design reasons for having them in one book, but the Solar character stuff should have been separated from the general setting information. The Dresden Files RPG did that with their core books (one for setting and one for characters)
                          Thank you. I've been thinking that, at times very loudly, since the second leak. Having everything slanted to build heat for Solars, when it's your first look at things, does no one any favors.

                          Of course, the point is moot, now, but I do wonder if a 'System/Setting' and 'Solar Splatbook' simultaneous two-book release was ever considered, and, if it was, why it wasn't done.


                          Iä! Iä! Moe fthagn!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
                            I know there are design reasons for having them in one book, but the Solar character stuff should have been separated from the general setting information. The Dresden Files RPG did that with their core books (one for setting and one for characters)
                            I said that three years ago and got derided for having stupid ideas that didn't make any sense.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I admit I wonder at the viability of that. There'd be some concerns.

                              Like would Merits be in Core, or in Solar?

                              I imagine Martial Arts would be in Core, even though if the Core only has rules for building Heroic Mortals it's essentially saying "And if you want to USE these sick-ass charms, get an Exalt with one of these spin-offs"

                              Edit: Then again, maybe this derail should be reined in or moved to a separate thread if discussion continues.


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

                              Comment

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