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

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  • Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
    I think that 'Special Snowflake' while not a good term, can be really overly-applied.
    True. My main beef is when things turn out fine because the narrative says they will, and for no other reason. Things get boring & predictable for me that way (I'm terrible to watch Hollywood films with, btw).

    Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
    Like when people called Rey from The Force Awakens a Mary Sue (If you would like to debate with me about how Rey is or is not a Mary Sue we can take this to the PMs).
    Will drop you a line this evening. That'll be an interesting discussion to have.

    Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
    You're a Protagonist. The mover of a story.
    Which, to me, should not in itself be a reason for anything in any narrative. Sure, protagonists can strive & get through many, many things, but they should have an in-universe reason for it happening. Not just "because protagonist".

    Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
    Do YOU want to have your character go through 200+ in-game years of life to rise to Essence 4?
    As someone who finds "through the ages" VtM games the best kind of VtM games, I would love that. Leaves a lot of narrative room for slow-burn plots.

    Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
    if everyone advanced as fast as PCs, would YOU want to deal with the fact that by adventuring for all their centuries, every Exalt you face (Even the DBs) are E6 due to adventure crunching?
    Don't know yet. But not all will be, because even with the same scale, as said, there will be differences, because of differing activity levels. That I'm fine with, I just object to protagonists getting special treatment because they're protagonists. Protagonists get to not bleed out after one gunshot wound, but so does everyone else like them.

    OK, semi-rant over. Will post up the first system section tonight. With my example character to work through some of it.


    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


    • Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
      True. My main beef is when things turn out fine because the narrative says they will, and for no other reason. Things get boring & predictable for me that way (I'm terrible to watch Hollywood films with, btw).
      Oh, by all means, I'm not saying a ST should pull their punches. Consequences to dumb ideas make for GREAT stories. PLOT ARMOR is bullshit, and victory and happy endings only feel good if the people involved WORKED for them.

      Don't know yet. But not all will be, because even with the same scale, as said, there will be differences, because of differing activity levels. That I'm fine with, I just object to protagonists getting special treatment because they're protagonists. Protagonists get to not bleed out after one gunshot wound, but so does everyone else like them.
      Y'know, if I had been one of the writers, I probably wouldn't have even mentioned that PC Solars progress remarkably fast compared to NPC Solars. Like... Not even brought it up, and I doubt many people would have questioned it. If someone asked "Wait why can we hit Essence 5 so quickly?" then just say "Well you're out doing things on a faster scale than a lot of these NPCs"


      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


      • Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
        And if everyone advanced as fast as PCs, would YOU want to deal with the fact that by adventuring for all their centuries, every Exalt you face (Even the DBs) are E6 due to adventure crunching?
        ... yes?

        Or, well: I've traditionally assumed that most NPCs follow the old XP-per-year table from 2e, which means that roughly half the Dragon-Blooded are Essence 5+, and roughly half are not. Out in the threshold, players are more likely to encounter the latter, who are out adventuring in their 30s or hiding a pregnancy. Go pick a fight with a legion, and you might have some problems - that guy a hundred years older than you probably has more Charms, yes.


        Homebrew: Lunar Charms for 3e

        Solar Charm Rewrite (Complete) (Now with Charm cards!)

        Comment


        • After a brief sojourn away from the computer and relying on an old-fashioned notebook, we have... Chapter 5: Systems & Conflict.

          Introduction
          • The three Rules are good - they do a lot to discourage rules lawyering and promoting the story as the prime point of the game. I don't think that point is hammered home anywhere else as clearly, which is kind of a shame.
          • *makes mental note to not be a rules lawyer, because that would break Rules*
          • Orichalcum Rule = Awesome in word form.
          • "call shenanigans"? That feels too casual a term... I'd expect to see it in a forum post, not a rulebook.
          • "Before we begin" sounds like fantastic advice. It's great that the book takes time to explain how to play the rules as well as providing rules to play the game.
          Glossary
          • Another neat idea. Gets (hopefully all) the system terms in one place. Not seen anything quite like it in other games.
          • If it doesn't contain all the rules terms used everywhere, it should. I guess I'll find out.
          • Not sure if "flurries" should be italicised in the Combat Actions section or not - it's not a term in itself, but it is referencing a term.
          • Minimum damage is "normally equal to the Overwhelming value of the weapon used to make the attack"? Shouldn't this be "is equal to the Overwhelming value of the weapon used to make the attack unless otherwise specified"? Means something very similar, but there is way less ambiguity.
          • We know how long an Onslaught Penalty lasts, should we not also know when it starts to apply?
          General System Structure
          • A round is "a unit of time used to measure combat scenes, considered long enough to take one action." This is unclear, and I did several takes trying to work out why. Given that it references turns as individual characters' actions, it should probably be "a unit of time used to measure combat scenes, considered long enough for all engaged combatants to take one action." It feels vague otherwise.
          • The Dice section should be earlier in the book, possibly in How to Play This Game.
          • The sidebar on p.185 feels like a repetition of the "static value" definition on p.184. I'm not sure the repetition at this time adds any value, particularly as it's so close to the actual definition.
          • The difficulties seem reasonable at a first pass, but in the example given on the next page make Difficulty 2 feel too low for the kind of task described. I get the feeling that assigning difficulty numbers is much more of an art than a science, and not really in a good way.
          Stunting
          • I love this mechanic. Although one of my players has raised an objection to it because he claims it's too open to interpretation. Has anyone found this to be the case?
          • Do stunts presume their outcome? The examples say yes, but needs mental retconning if the stunted action fails.
          • The naming of the stunts is confusing. A "one-point" stunt gives 2 dice... that is going to take a while for me to remember. I get that the bonuses aren't all bonus dice, but it confused me for a while. Maybe "level X" stunts would be better?
          • The last sentence of p.187 is all kinds of hilarious.
          Complications
          • Is there a full list of reflexive actions anywhere? Examples are given, but I'm sure they're not comprehensive.
          The systems stuff is clear for the most part, with an emphasis on the ST as adjudicator of all problems. This is fine and resolves any and all problems with the rules, but I could see it occasionally getting political.

          Next up, the much-feted Combat rules.


          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


          • Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
            I love this mechanic. Although one of my players has raised an objection to it because he claims it's too open to interpretation. Has anyone found this to be the case?
            The Level Two (to use your term) stunts are a bit tougher to place for me. Like, Level Ones are easy to place. If they're trying to be anything other than "I hit them with my sword", that's a Level One.

            And a Level Three, to me, can be defined this way: If you have any doubt it's a Level Three stunt, then it's not.

            Honestly, my personal metric is basically if the stunt makes me sit up and say "Oh, nice", then consider it being a Level Two.

            But Level Ones I believe are meant to be handed out like candy on Halloween.

            Do stunts presume their outcome? The examples say yes, but needs mental retconning if the stunted action fails.
            Eh, at my table we don't. Describe the leadup and effects, and the intention, and if the stunt succeeds then I usually add on the obvious effects.


            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


            • Level two stunts are a bit hard to place, but level one stunts are pretty damn easy. "I take a huge overhead swing with my sword." Or "I draw my bow back and loose an arrow straight for his neck." Or "I pick him up and try to slam him into the table."

              If my player describes the stunt with presumed success, and it fails, I either describe how the presumed outcome didn't happen, or if I can swing it, didn't matter. Oh you body slammed him into the table alright, but he sprung back to his feet more pissed than hurt.

              Comment


              • If you think something might be level three, but you're not sure, it's level 2.

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                • Yeah, I only hand out level threes when there's some plot significant thing going on. Rando mooks don't merit level three stunts no matter how badass you are when you take them out...unless it's used as a social attack to threaten a big antagonist.

                  Comment


                  • What Elfive says has a lot of truth to it. That's why I say that if you're not sure it's a Level 3, then it's not. There shouldn't be any real doubt.

                    I'll just quote a Level 3 (in 2E, but the principle is the same) that a friend of mine got. He was playing a Solar, and a Sidereal was telling him not to trust an Infernal Exalt. The Sidereal was of the opinion that Infernals were all touched by the Yozi, literal champions of demonic causes, are prone to violence and insanity, and you shouldn't trust them as far as you can throw them.

                    After all that, my friend just had his Solar say one sentence. "So, pretty much what the Immaculate Church says about me?"

                    Yeah, if I had been the ST, I would have given him the benefits of a Level Three stunt. No doubt.


                    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


                    • The last level 3 stunt I got. I wrote a six minute battle speech that coincided perfectly with Sorio Days from Gurren Lagaan, where I referenced every part of the campaign, PCs NPCs, great deeds we had done, culminating in a final attack where I used battle hydra to shoot arrows, fling a sky cutter, punch with smash fists, kick with God kicking boots, and then finish off with a buzz saw of dual wielding Glorious Solar Saber and THE Aidenweiss.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post

                        As a long-time tabletop roleplayer, a connoisseur of shitty fanfiction, and an aspiring writer?

                        I think that 'Special Snowflake' while not a good term, can be really overly-applied. Like when people called Rey from The Force Awakens a Mary Sue (If you would like to debate with me about how Rey is or is not a Mary Sue we can take this to the PMs).
                        True enough. It is easy to apply that term to some characters (Hell, even some players!). Easier in some games than others though - Exalted muddies the water a bit with the upfront assumption of playing a Solar and that they're already the most potent (Or have the most potential at the very least) individuals existent in Creation. Something like Vampire it's easier to point them out ... there the ones playing the Kiasyd neonate who tries to justify a slew of out of Clan disciplines "just because". And a pet Garou.


                        Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
                        You're a Protagonist. The mover of a story. The mention that most other Exalts don't advance as quickly as the PCs is pretty much just a handwave for why there aren't one hundred E10 Lunars that have like ALL THE CHARMS. Because most of them progress at their own rate, and for the PCs, the rate happens to be "Rather fast"
                        Though this is one of those areas where progression of a PC makes mechanical challenging adversaries difficult - PC's accelerate so hard and so fast that the setting and NPCs have a hard time keeping up. I've played in a game where the Solars, already established, had Sol as their bitch and denied Incarnae turns at the Games. It was just daft. I didn't play in that game for long! Character creation was "Start at Essence 5 ..."


                        Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
                        Because let's be honest... Do YOU want to have your character go through 200+ in-game years of life to rise to Essence 4?
                        I'd find that immensely fun actually!


                        Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
                        And if everyone advanced as fast as PCs, would YOU want to deal with the fact that by adventuring for all their centuries, every Exalt you face (Even the DBs) are E6 due to adventure crunching?
                        Again - YES! That'd be amazingly awesome. I don't want to play a game and sit waiting till I hit some XP barrier to know that "Aha! Now I can gank ALL THE THINGS!". It's why in my games the NPCs do get experience. If you don't defeat your foes quickly they'll come back stronger. They'll have gone off and gained new Charms or spells, raised armies of their own, have better stats and skills. It's organic and really makes a player focus. If they have a big-bad against them they'll just go off on other adventures (As players are want to do ...) until they have enough XP to go gank the big-bad assuming they're not gained anything. In my games they do.


                        Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
                        It might be a bit tough to chew, but I firmly believe that it's more than acceptable to sacrifice 'realistic' for the sake of a fun game experience. See: Any game that remembers that if you get shot once or hit with a sword once you're probably going to die. Realistic? Yes. Really unfun when you charge over and then get stabbed and bleed out? Hell yes.
                        Just to amend it slightly; It's more than acceptable to sacrifice 'realistic' for the sake of a fun game experience if that's what's good for your players.

                        I have some game/group combinations that would hate realistic (As much as a game with the walking dead, elementals etc is "realistic") but the same group in different games would hate anything but realistic. I generally love games where I get stabbed and I bleed out. Don't ask me why, maybe I'm a masochist and love my PCs dropping dead due to their own stupidity or just fate seizing the dice and coming up with an awful roll.

                        Exalted though depends on the premise for that specific campaign. I can do gonzo "Raise your Essence as and when you feel like, just make it cool and dramatic, 'kay?" or I can run games where the NPCs are horrifically unassailable monsters who have had centuries and millenia to perfect their mastery of themselves and the occult where the displeasure of a god will end you, your family and everyone you've ever known or spoken too. Both have varying degrees of fun and realism for players and GMs. I twiddle the dials a bit and see what combos I can come up with.

                        I don't disagree with you at all though - just that even in Exalted there are a large number of players and GMs who don't bother with the gonzo stuff (Plenty of wuxia, just no gonzo!) and make things a touch more "real".



                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Jay View Post
                          I don't disagree with you at all though - just that even in Exalted there are a large number of players and GMs who don't bother with the gonzo stuff (Plenty of wuxia, just no gonzo!) and make things a touch more "real".
                          Yeah, guess it ultimately comes down to preference. And to quote my earlier comment, if I were one of the writers I would have just put down the training time and XP costs and not even bothered mentioning "BTW your PCs are developing abnormally fast".

                          Also, as for the 200+ scope game... Well, actually, I came across a pretty interesting game for developing long-scope history and events.

                          It's called Microscope, give it a peek. With the right group it can be pretty engaging.


                          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


                          • Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post

                            Yeah, guess it ultimately comes down to preference. And to quote my earlier comment, if I were one of the writers I would have just put down the training time and XP costs and not even bothered mentioning "BTW your PCs are developing abnormally fast".

                            Also, as for the 200+ scope game... Well, actually, I came across a pretty interesting game for developing long-scope history and events.

                            It's called Microscope, give it a peek. With the right group it can be pretty engaging.

                            Microscope is great - used it many a time for new settings and the like - even works playing solo almost like a project management -type tool. Keeps things organised, keeps you within your initial boundaries and high-level concepts.

                            At least for RPGs anyway. Doubt it'd be much use as a project management tool for my day job. Unless I want evil flying voodoo dragons to be some kind of cultural change to implement ...

                            Hadn't though about it's use within Exalted though. Downtime tool for working out stuff. Ooof. You're on to something there. Principles of Microscope, add in the Exalted setting as your initial bookend, give a limited number of moves/changes and work out potential Charm/Merit use/impacts ....

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Jay View Post
                              Hadn't though about it's use within Exalted though. Downtime tool for working out stuff. Ooof. You're on to something there. Principles of Microscope, add in the Exalted setting as your initial bookend, give a limited number of moves/changes and work out potential Charm/Merit use/impacts ....
                              I was introduced to it when our usual ST couldn't make it to a Saturday game, so one of the other players busted out Microscope so we could build the history of the area we were in. And I started thinking about other ways to spin 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


                              • Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post

                                I was introduced to it when our usual ST couldn't make it to a Saturday game, so one of the other players busted out Microscope so we could build the history of the area we were in. And I started thinking about other ways to spin it.
                                Great as a game in and of itself but also as a frame-work tool for creative but structured spans of time for other games. Kind like how Might Empires from GW could be used for army/nation stuff but when armies went to battle you could move over to WHFB and build an army and fight it out.

                                Probably something for a separate thread though - looking forward to Xerxes next write-up/impressions. Quite illuminating so far.

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