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

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  • I am one of those people that likes faster PC advancement. I could talk about why I like it, but that seems a bit off-point, and this community has essentially agreed people get to like whatever they want, so instead I will enumerate how I justify it. I don't really see this as something worth arguing over. It's just the way I see things after gaming for twenty years.

    Most of the genres that Exalted draws upon give more narrative weight and power to the protagonists, even if it comes with suffering and struggle. The only story I can think of where the protagonist just gets shit on the whole time is Job, and in that story getting shit on and surviving was half the point. If you read a Conan novel, you will note that Conan defeats weaker men with strength, stronger men with brains, and more powerful men with guile.

    Branching off from the above, simply put, we humans don't tell the story of Bob the Farmer who never did anything. He may start a farmer, but inevitably, Bob will do something special, or become someone special. Even if Bob dies in a meaningless battle, or ends up in a dungeon, if Bob is the focus of the story, he was special. He was brave, or smart, or strong, or whatever.

    Generally, players want to be special, probably because they have been brought up on the kinds of stories we humans tell. I generally believe in giving players what they want. I've gamed with many people who claim to want a "gritty experience," only to have them react and act as if they were the classic semi-invincible protagonist. Why? Because their mental schema for stories, even gritty ones, assumes some fairy dust sprinkled on them. It's the amount of fairy dust that varies.

    As pointed out previously, very few people are self-improvement machines, and many of the people that appear to be are grappling with emotional and mental health issues. Most people don't seek out the hard roads that grow them as people more than necessary. They find a good gig and stick with it. PCs, almost by definition, do. A NPC Realm general might go decades between major campaigns, savoring life on the Blessed Isle, wiling away the evenings with various pleasures and companions. A PC Outcaste bandit leader who wants to be a king is fighting engagements almost weekly for years and years.
    Last edited by Totentanz; 04-29-2016, 12:56 PM. Reason: Typo

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    • Originally posted by Totentanz View Post
      Branching off from the above, simply put, we humans don't tell the story of Bob the Farmer who never did anything. He may start a farmer, but inevitably, Bob will do something special, or become someone special. Even if Bob dies in a meaningless battle, or ends up in a dungeon, if Bob is the focus of the story, he was special. He was brave, or smart, or strong, or whatever.

      Generally, players want to be special, probably because they have been brought up on the kinds of stories we humans tell. I generally believe in giving players what they want. I've gamed with many people who claim to want a "gritty experience," only to have them react and act as if they were the classic semi-invincible protagonist. Why? Because their mental schema for stories, even gritty ones, assumes some fairy dust sprinkled on them. It's the amount of fairy dust that varies.

      As pointed out previously, very few people are self-improvement machines, and many of the people that appear to be are grappling with emotional and mental health issues. Most people don't seek out the hard roads that grow them as people more than necessary. They find a good gig and stick with it. PCs, almost by definition, do. A NPC Realm general might go decades between major campaigns, savoring life on the Blessed Isle, wiling away the evenings with various pleasures and companions. A PC Outcaste bandit leader who wants to be a king is fighting engagements almost weekly for years and years.
      The type of character your describing for "protagonist" describes every solar in existence.
      Last edited by milo v3; 04-30-2016, 01:26 AM.


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      Oracle the Endbringers: Time-Manipulator Fan-Splat

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      • Originally posted by milo v3 View Post
        The type of character your describing for "protagonist" describes every solar in existence.
        Under some play models, sure.

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        • Originally posted by hippokrene View Post
          Apes. Monkeys have tails.
          "Monkey" is a polyphyletic group that pretty is non-ape and non-prosimian primates. There's really not much a definiton to it besides that that's relevant and won't catch apes.

          And stuff.


          And stuff.
          My DeviantArt Page // My tumblr // Exalted 3e Houserules

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          • So, Combat! I'm just going over single combatant stuff as I won't finish battle groups as well to a write-up standard before going away for part of this weekend. I will be responding to forum posts intermittently from a phone, though.

            How Combat Works
            • Weapons and armour having no impact on Decisive damage? Really? So being in solid steel plate can help put you in a dominant position but does jack all to stop a blade that hits you? And a rubber spoon in "just the right spot" can do as much damage to someone's body as a sledgehammer? Really counterintuitive... and will take a long time to get my head around. You have to tell a different story depending on what armour they're wearing and what weapon they're using, I guess. But it still feels.... icky. I don't really have a proper word for it, it just makes me pull a face.
            • Again with stunts - how a withering attack turns out depends very much on what the other person does. Because withering attacks are intended to kill, such stunts almost have to include a reaction. But assuming success is bad, as discussed earlier.
            • Like the emphasis on always doing things, rather than rolling dice.
            I like the flow of this, it feels quite neat. But the abstractions and their assumptions rub me up the wrong way. As this is likely personal preference, I will stop complaining about the foundation of the combat system now.

            Resolving Attacks
            • Is the automatic point of initiative subtracted from the opponent's initiative, or just the successes rolled? I would assume not, but it's unclear.
            • Why no accuracy bonuses from decisive attacks? I'm having issues with the separation of attacks. If you're shooting someone with an arrow, then if the bow helps make the attack hit, it'll always do so.
            • The order of explaining how combat works is really clear. I like it a lot.
            • Going back to initiative 3 after a successful attack is called "resetting to base value" here, but "resetting to base initiative" in the initiative section (p.194). Can we stick to one term, please?
            Elements of Combat
            • Different examples of self-crash are given in this section. This is good; helps build familiarity with the system.
            • Is unintentional friendly fire possible? As in, miss enemy and hit friend, dropping their initiative but not gaining any yourself?
            • The different types of health damage have already been talked about in health. Do we need to go over them again here?
            • Decisive attacks from a dedicated unarmed martial artist who's trained for years can't kill? That's the implication if decisive attacks with bare hands only deal bashing damage. Or do certain charms upgrade unarmed brawl and martial arts damage to lethal? Which is a little better, but mortals still can't do it. Some notes or exceptions to this at this would be good, as it feels plain weird otherwise.
            Combat Actions
            • Do attacks with improvised weapons count as unarmed attacks?
            • Why are characters assumed to have a drawn weapon unless they're ambushed? That feels way too broad a generalisation. I guess it's a nod to JRPG computer games, but eh.
            • Small thing, but it could have been good to point out that most "useful combat calculations" are on the character sheet.
            • Do archers or characters using throwing weapons have to use an action to ready another piece of ammo? They're not mentioned in the Draw/Ready Weapon action, which implies something a bit more major as restringing takes longer than drawing and nocking an arrow.
            • Is there a mechanism for setting an "if this, then that" type combat action? Like waiting for another character to act and then doing something simultaneously, rather than before?
            Combat Movement
            • Positioning feels like it's hard to keep track of, with the absence of solid ranges and everything being relative between characters. Can you move one range band away from one character but stay within the same band relative to another, for example? This is particularly the case as even "close range" is explicitly not always "within arm's reach".
            • Rushes are... odd. Are they explicitly to nerf ranged characters who always go backwards? I feel like there should be some limit on how long a rush can be sustained for. Something like as for as many rounds as the rushing character has stamina or athletics?
            • The rest of it's fairly simple, I think. Although difficult terrain could be interpreted in interesting directions.
            The range bands fee like they need STs to adjudicate/make stuff up on the fly, depending on the situation. It's a little too vague in places.

            Complications


            There are lots of these... I'll split them out for the ones I have some comment about.

            Gambits
            • Gambits are a neat mechanic. It would be nice if there were more guidelines on suggesting methods for players and STs to produce their own than "feel free to make stuff up", which is implicit in most of the rules in the book anyway.
            • Not resetting to base initiative after a gambit is likely to make them common. Not sure if that's a good thing or not.
            • Ah, my movement query is kind of addressed in the sidebar. By saying the problem doesn't exist. It seems like bands are far too abstract to deal with the level of detail I was after.
            • Grapples seem slightly ridiculous. A difficulty 2 action that doesn't reset initiative, that allows for any kind of attack for multiple turns afterwards, that cannot fail, purely on the basis of a single opposed roll? Stupidly powerful. I would, at the very least, allow a grappled person an attempt to break free each turn, with a TN based on the number of turns remaining for the grapple. Because RAW just seems far too good.
            Crippling
            • The crippling rules are cool. Kind of like a limited form of Fate Points in Fantasy Flight 40K games. Your limbs are your lives! Although I imagine playing a quadriplegic Exalt would be kinda difficult.
            Clash Attacks
            • Clash attacks are nice, but the system for them feels... possibly too much, I can't really tell. Has anyone found clash attacks to be overpowered?
            Mounted Fighting
            • What's a simhata? Or an austrech (an ostrich with additional Exaltedness)? Or a yeddim?
            • "in many circumstances, however, the unhorse gambit (p.199) is a more effective option." - "A dead horse is cover. A live horse is a nice big pile of panic". Oh wait, wrong genre...
            • Why is impaling only possible for a fixed lance? Surely it's possible for any lance so long as rider has stirrups?
            Stealth
            • Seems simple enough, but this feels like an area that charms will blow out of all proportion.
            Hold at Bay
            • Why is this only for an ambush? This feels like something that is a perfect follow-up for a disarm action.
            Combat fits together well, but I can feel the complications being a nightmare to manage and reference on top of initiative. A quick reference sheet on what all the different actions do would be great. Please tell me an Ex3 ST screen is in the works? A few complications also feel overpowered.

            The only thing I would change is something a bit granular for how range bands work. The boundaries of range bands are extremely fuzzy.

            And now all the fun of battle groups, probably otherwise known as Dynasty Warriors: The RPG.


            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.

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            • Decisive attacks from a dedicated unarmed martial artist who's trained for years can't kill? That's the implication if decisive attacks with bare hands only deal bashing damage. Or do certain charms upgrade unarmed brawl and martial arts damage to lethal? Which is a little better, but mortals still can't do it. Some notes or exceptions to this at this would be good, as it feels plain weird otherwise.


              Well, at my table, a mortal Martial Artist would be allowed to deal Lethal with an appropriate Stunt. Since yeah, it's fucking awesome to have the Tiger Stylist use an unarmed strike that actually inflicts lethal damage, like through a busted arm.


              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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              • Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                [What's] a Yeddim?
                A yeddim is the standard unit of measurement for most quantities in second edition. And also a big docile beast of burden.

                And you may not have got to that bit yet, but bashing damage wraps around to lethal if it exceeds your health points, so it is possible to kill someone with your bare hands. You just need to hit them really really hard.
                Last edited by Elfive; 04-30-2016, 05:23 AM.

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                • Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                  And you may not have got to that bit yet, but bashing damage wraps around to lethal if it exceeds your health points, so it is possible to kill someone with your bare hands. You just need to hit them really really hard.
                  And the answer to the follow-up question is yes. Yes you can hit that hard.

                  Jesus Christ, Brawl Charms are brutal.


                  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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                  • Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                    And you may not have got to that bit yet, but bashing damage wraps around to lethal if it exceeds your health points, so it is possible to kill someone with your bare hands. You just need to hit them really really hard.
                    I had gone through it, it's in chapter 4. I'd just forgotten. Don't think that wrinkle is in the damage recap in the combat chapter.


                    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.

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                    • Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                      • What's a simhata? Or an austrech (an ostrich with additional Exaltedness)? Or a yeddim?
                      They are three classic animals of exalted. Yeddim are in the antagonists section (chapter 8). [edit: possibly woolly Paraceratherium ] The other two somehow did not make the cut. Because....why? (I know why. But why!)

                      Austrech are basically Phorusrhacos; two-to-three metre tall carnivorous flightless birds.

                      Simhata, also known as lion-horses, are carnivorous mounts bred as war-steeds for exalted. (Possibly Mesonychids,)
                      Last edited by Greyman; 04-30-2016, 09:39 PM.

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                      • Sounds good. A sentence to poiny out where to find more details on these would have been good.


                        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.

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                        • Originally posted by Greyman View Post
                          They are three classic animals of exalted. Yeddim are in the antagonists section (chapter 8). The other two somehow did not make the cut. Because....why?

                          Austrech are basically phorusrhacos; two-to-three metre tall carnivorous flightless birds.

                          Simhata, also known as lion-horses, are carnivorous mounts bred as war-steeds for exalted. (Possibly mesonychids,)

                          The Count of Words is an asshole is why.

                          (I had to keep critters that backers asked for, so anything similar to one of those was high on the cut-list. Someone asked for a terror bird, which is why there's no austrech for now. They'll show up later.)

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                          • Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post

                            Under some play models, sure.
                            If a character isn't special and doesn't do anything special, I'm not really sure how they could have exalted into a solar as presented in the game.


                            The Count of Words is an asshole is why.

                            (I had to keep critters that backers asked for, so anything similar to one of those was high on the cut-list. Someone asked for a terror bird, which is why there's no austrech for now. They'll show up later.)
                            I really hope you guys end up making a bestiary of sorts for exalted one day, though I'd imagine something like that would be a long long long ways off. Have a chance to flesh out some creatures and how they interact with some cultures in interesting ways, show different sorts of gods, elementals, and such without having to worry about word count.
                            Last edited by milo v3; 04-30-2016, 09:37 AM.


                            Genius templates: Super Science Mini-Template for Demon: the Descent

                            Oracle the Endbringers: Time-Manipulator Fan-Splat

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                            • Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
                              [/FONT][/COLOR]

                              Well, at my table, a mortal Martial Artist would be allowed to deal Lethal with an appropriate Stunt. Since yeah, it's fucking awesome to have the Tiger Stylist use an unarmed strike that actually inflicts lethal damage, like through a busted arm.
                              Also many martial arts styles in the book say "attacks from [style] can always be stunted to deal lethal damage." To me that both implies that other attacks can be stunted to deal lethal if it's appropriate, and obviously martial artists are very seldom denied that.

                              As for grappling, yes it is quite powerful, but it has a couple drawbacks. If the grappler is attacked they forfeit a turn of control regardless, even if the attack missed, the grappler is at -2 defence, and if they get crashed the grapple immediately ends. So if you find yourself grappled just stab the grappler, you're not helpless, just at -1 to attacks. That's not to say that grappling is bad, it's really really good, but it's not a death sentence.

                              Clashes are another thing that's good, but somewhat situational. True you get to use your offence as a defence, but you have to go on the same tick as your opponent, which can be a lot more of a pain than it sounds. especially since if you do things like wanting to attack enemy A who's at 5 init, but B is at 8. If you delay to clash with A you're giving B the chance to smack you down to the point that maybe you won't get to clash with A. Also I'd have to check but delaying your action might cost an initiative. Basically it's supposed to be a good tactic sometimes, but I've never seen battles devolve into clash fests.
                              Last edited by DrLoveMonkey; 04-30-2016, 01:19 PM.

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                              • It does indeed cost initiative.


                                I run... Lunars: The Apocalypse! Exalted 3rd edition. Fimbulwinter is upon the world as an Ice Age begins, and only six young Lunar heroes have a chance of saving humanity.

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