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

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  • "And the perpetrator was... the victim."

    "You mean this was a suicide?"

    "No, he literally walked in and murdered himself with a crossbow."
    Last edited by Elfive; 05-04-2016, 06:53 AM.

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    • Originally posted by HerrTenko View Post

      This is Exalted. A Solar Investigator will solve petty crimes in record time. There are ways to challenge your Investigation players, but if you expect "find out who broke into the office to steal the precious paperwork and how they did it" or "suss out who the murderer was in a simple street assassination between local gangs" to be where the challenge is found, you're gonna have problems.

      As for the means I mention, well you'll learn more about them as you get familiar with the game's miriad charms, and the other Exalted and assorted supernatural critters. It's all well and good to learn who the murderer was in a heart beat, but it's no use if that murderer was actually, say, a Sidereal who's now probably very far away and a completely different person.

      Also you're not "giving away clues" as in telling them the solution to the mystery. You just have to build mysteries that require more than one scene of inspecting one crime scene or interrogating one perp to solve is all.
      Also, the rules say that clue-searching yields one clue that can be used to propel things to a new scene on a success. It is a tool for narrative flow and staging for investigations that helps keep the flow moving and allows these competent investigators to investigate competently.


      Pronounced "Monkey Pie"

      Find my actual play content here!

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      • Originally posted by Elfive View Post
        "And the perpetrator was... the victim."

        "You mean this was a suicide?"

        "No, he literally walked in and murdered himself with a crossbow."
        This reminds me of something . . .



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        Upon the Rock of Tradition: The Memorial Exalted
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        • Originally posted by Kyeudo View Post

          http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2004-05-22"]This reminds me of something . . .[/URL]
          "Remember when I called it 'attempted suicide?'l

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          • Originally posted by Monkipi View Post
            Also, the rules say that clue-searching yields one clue that can be used to propel things to a new scene on a success. It is a tool for narrative flow and staging for investigations that helps keep the flow moving and allows these competent investigators to investigate competently.
            We~ll, that's true, but...once per scene, a Supernal Investigation Solar can glance around and immediately harvest 10-15 clues relating to a single thing, for three motes. I don't even know how I'd handle that as a GM!

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            • Originally posted by Gayo View Post

              We~ll, that's true, but...once per scene, a Supernal Investigation Solar can glance around and immediately harvest 10-15 clues relating to a single thing, for three motes. I don't even know how I'd handle that as a GM!
              I've got a player who always likes to take investigation, and it's really hard sometimes.

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              • Originally posted by Gayo View Post

                We~ll, that's true, but...once per scene, a Supernal Investigation Solar can glance around and immediately harvest 10-15 clues relating to a single thing, for three motes. I don't even know how I'd handle that as a GM!
                What's the charm combo here? I want to be sure before I speak to it. It may be that they Holmes that bad boy thoroughly.


                Pronounced "Monkey Pie"

                Find my actual play content here!

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                • Originally posted by Monkipi View Post
                  What's the charm combo here? I want to be sure before I speak to it. It may be that they Holmes that bad boy thoroughly.
                  Ten Magistrate Eyes, boosted by Divine Induction and Miraculous Stunning Insight. The former is 3m and supplements a case scene action, making it take only seconds and yielding extra clues for threshold successes. Divine Induction gives you a free full Investigation excellency once per scene (at Essence 1!!), and Miraculous Stunning Insight gives an Investigation roll double 8s once per scene.

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                  • Originally posted by Gayo View Post

                    Ten Magistrate Eyes, boosted by Divine Induction and Miraculous Stunning Insight. The former is 3m and supplements a case scene action, making it take only seconds and yielding extra clues for threshold successes. Divine Induction gives you a free full Investigation excellency once per scene (at Essence 1!!), and Miraculous Stunning Insight gives an Investigation roll double 8s once per scene.
                    I think that there is definitely a limit to the amount that you are going to be able to just keep supplying clues, but it could be that they tracked mud in, which only accumulates in certain places (example in the core), you see light scuffing on the floor, indicating a limp and a general approximation of the size and weight of the perp. Maybe even a stray hair that fell, indicating their hair color. A slight shaking in the entrywound of the knife, showing a tremor. Stuff like that. You're gonna get diminishing returns, for sure but it can be used to give bits and pieces that can be leveraged in later scenes socially or otherwise.


                    Pronounced "Monkey Pie"

                    Find my actual play content here!

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                    • Leadership & Projects

                      Introduction

                      What do leaders do? Delegate and dabble. At least, according to this section.
                      • Projects are nicely defined here, in system-y language. I'm happy for now.
                      • Hang on... "A project, for the purpose of these rules, is any action a leader causes the group she leads to undertake with the aim of achieving a particular goal." "We will fight our way through the Long Lost Tomb of Baron Example reclaim the Sword of Exampleship! Ready the Project Rules!" This could have been a far, far, tighter definition. According to this, every single group action done by all Exalted PCs is a project. Is that the intention?
                      • ...and then the rules go on to talk about the completion of projects as granting merits. That's a much better definition. "A project is an action undertaken by PCs with the intended result of gaining or improving a particular Story Merit."
                      Step One
                      • "Is a project possible? Lets ask the ST!" I don't like that these rules mandate that the ST inform the players of everything they need to get to bring the project to fruition, even if the character may be unaware of their knowledge gaps. Plus these rules cover everything out of character. The player may know what they need, how does that transfer to the character's knowledge? There are no answers to that question here.
                      • Default success for a project? If these words are part of this section, this section NEEDS to be ST-only. If all projects succeed unless plot gets in the way and players know that, there is no sense of achievement if they just get done. There is no risk, no uncertainty. Just whatever the ST wants to throw at players. While this is true of roleplaying as a whole, these rules take that to the extreme.
                      • I guess part of it is narrative conceit because Exalts are Exalts, but even so... I guess part of my issue is not so much the auto-success-unless-ST-says-no, just player knowledge in relation to that auto-success. If players know everything they need to succeed, without any uncertainty as to what that "everything" is, any failure conditions are automatically, glaringly, because the ST wanted to screw with the players.
                      The fuzziness of this section, with an absence of strict reference points (what timescales are involved for manses? For fleets? For raising troops? For any project action at all?) is only reinforcing my notion that this section is intended to guide the ST, not the players. And it never mentions this fact. Is this because Exalted is used to all its possible players knowing the system backwards, and so maintaining an ST/player knowledge gap is pretty much pointless?

                      Step Two
                      • "a failure condition only happens when its appearance would make the story more interesting". And STs are magically supposed to automatically know beforehand all "interesting" failures? Whatever happened to unexpected emergent narratives!?
                      • Common Social Penalties sidebar? In totally the wrong place.
                      • Failure conditions = plot hooks. Standard player-led story fodder, nicely done.
                      Step Three
                      • Do we really need a system for the response to failure? Isn't that what the rules as a whole are for?
                      • Oh, it's more advice. Fair enough. Then call it advice, please! So much for "natural language". "Obfuscatory, double-meaning language" more like.
                      • Although the heads-up on a crisis being a play for influence and therefore the social engagement rules as a whole is appreciated.
                      • The use of merits is a good point. Although using merits to gain more merits seems weird from an abstract level.
                      Step Four
                      • Success or Failure: obvious enough.
                      • Consequences and Complications: useful for a beginning ST, I imagine.
                      • Loss of Assets - "This often occurs when a leader implements an ineffective solution due to lack of information" - in RAW, this shouldn't actually happen I don't think, as the player should be told everything by the ST at the start. But the nod to it is appreciated.
                      • This slowly gets more crunchy as the section winds on - helpful to visualise concrete consequences.
                      This is section badly needed to be flagged as ST-only. It's vague, suggestive of plots, and contains instructions to let the players have anything unless the ST says no. That's not information I would want players having, and it's not that useful to them. Given the power levels of the Exalted, it also feels like the way most chronicles will be structured, so I guess it's as close as we're going to get to a "how to run an Exalted chronicle" section. Setting it up as such, as a standalone chapter or a cordoned off "ST only" bit, rather than randomly dumping it in a systems chapter, would have been so much better. The "rules" as they are rub me up very much the wrong way, as it makes it too easy to ignore errors in character judgement, in the face of mandated perfect player knowledge. It also puts a load on the ST to know requirements for materials, timescales and many other possible minutae of projects, without providing any examples, benchmarks, or even suggesting where such things could be found.

                      *sigh* And it could have been so much more with a slight re-positioning, both in book location and focus.

                      Environmental rules next? Environmental rules next.

                      Last edited by Xerxes; 05-05-2016, 02:51 AM.


                      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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                      • As an aside, I showed the rulebook to some potential players at my club yesterday. They pretty much all said they would never read all the way through it, and one thought including the other Exalt types in the intro but not giving playable rules for them (particularly in a book so thick) was stupid, but the art looked awesome. Another, who I presume knew something of 2E, compared the rules set rather graphically to explosive diarrhoea, and probably won't go near it with a barge pole.


                        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
                          Another, who I presume knew something of 2E, compared the rules set rather graphically to explosive diarrhoea, and probably won't go near it with a barge pole.
                          There's an obvious joke there but I'll just say this to that guy. Mechanically, Ex3 is pretty much superior to 2E in almost every conceivable way. Speaking as a guy who's played both.

                          Edit: As for them saying they'll never read all the way through it... Yeah, understandable. It really is better to tell new players "Okay, focus on a concept, and only look in the Charms section that fit your concept."


                          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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                          • Galloping on, we now have a huge grab-bag of stuff. Which can (probably) be thinned down to Environmental Rules, Illness and Lore, with some Feats of Strength and Destroying Stuff in the Mix, Just for Kicks.

                            Environmental Rules

                            Nice short but evocative introduction. I miss intro fiction...

                            As an aside, the way these sections are structured are REALLY confusing. Are poisons and diseases part of the environmental rules? It makes sense. Is Medicine? Less sensible. Lore... we're really reaching there. Or does the "environmental" qualifier mystically disappear at some unclear point?

                            Feats of Strength & Demolition
                            • Feats of strength get a TABLE! A TABLE!? A WHOLE PAGE-LONG TABLE WHILE PROJECTS GET NOTHING!? I know WW/OP love their Feats of Strength charts, and they are helpful, but other sections need this sort of thing too!
                            • Good advice on stunts ignoring destruction rules.
                            • The suggestions on modifying the rules are helpful, but more examples could be more helpful here. The system as written to "just" provide a baseline for more interesting stuff will generally mean more interesting stuff gets rendered down to the more simple components.
                            Survival
                            • Good system in general, and sensible advice on not killing characters. Although this means that STs may have to fudge the rolls for damage from severe cold etc.
                            • The terrain may inflict penalties. Good to know. What kind of penalties? We're given no indication whatsoever.
                            Environmental Hazards
                            • The hazard rules themselves are nice and simple.
                            • Does the Perception + Awareness roll have a TN? It doesn't say so. So one success is enough?
                            • Do characters who don't notice traps get a resistance roll as well (Dex + Dodge, Sta + Resistance etc)?
                            • Falling rules are fine, but did they really need a "go easy on players" rider?
                            Poison
                            • "debilitating status effect" - good words, shame "status effect" has no meaning outside this section and diseases (props to Irked for making me check!).
                            • Good clear damage/interval rules.
                            • I like the resistance rules.
                            • Why don't multiple doses incur multiple resistance rolls, resulting in multiple potential rounds of damage per interval? Twice the poison means twice the severity, surely? This may vary by poison I guess, so that may be more complexity than these rules are designed to account for.
                            • What does trout tickling from a distance with your pet dinosaur in tow have to do with this? It's a neat pic, but needs some context. Better fitted to survival, but it's 3 pages late.
                            Disease
                            • "mankind".... *muttermuttermutterhumanityisfarbetterandlessdiscr iminatingmuttermuttermutter* [/sexism in language observation]
                            • Again, "debilitating status effect" sounds like it means tons, but isn't defined anywhere, nor referenced.
                            • The disease stages thing is cool, but needs the ST to know symptoms to describe them effectively. I guess as there's system stuff applied to diseases there'll be a disease list later on.
                            • Incubation sidebar has some good pointers for building up drama.
                            • Could we have had more than one example supernatural disease, please?
                            These sections seem mostly common sense, although digging out the actual systems is a little tricky. I found myself several times needing to go back and forth to remind myself what the individual effects were referencing, and having real difficulty finding them because they were wrapped up in a wall of text.

                            Medicine
                            • The rules talk about treating characters who are bleeding out, but any references to "bleeding out" or "bleed out" either reference the rules for treating them, or charms where they're relevant. There don't appear to be any basic rules for actually bleeding out. Or if they are, they're not easy to find, and not talked about in that way.
                            • The disease treatment rules are neat.
                            Is there any list of actions and rolls somewhere? Like "Diagnosis - Per/Int+Med", "Treating Wounds - Int+Med" etc, for all abilities? Some quick reference stuff would be crazy useful, as I'm getting tired of continually sifting text to find mechanics.

                            Lore
                            • Introducing a fact is a cool mechanic, but I detest the non-contradiction condition. An easy fix would be to specify both a fact and a source for that fact (a particular tome or conversation with a particular expert etc), which introduces the possibility of contradiction through the source being wrong. Introducing solid truth into the setting is both narratively limiting and incongruous with the discussion on the next page. The Sidereal example describes how facts can be made less definite, but adding a possible fallible provenance into the mix makes things much more flexible. That way, you CAN get contradictiory opinions, it's just that one of them's not 100% right. I get that this is trying to make Lore narratively useful beyond making the ST give away the answers, but fashioning infallible facts out of thin air feels like the wrong way to go about it. I just have a beef with omniscient narration in any form, I guess.
                            • Challenging a fact is a cool rule.
                            • '"What can a character know?” has been a tetchy question since Gary Gygax had the floor.' Who's he, and why's he relevant to my game of Exalted??? OK, I exaggerate, but using Gygax as an example assumes that readers all know who he was, and the role he played (ha!) in roleplaying games' development. This, more than any other single statement I've read so far, stamps a big red "NOT FOR NEWBS" label on the book.
                            • ...followed by an expanded version of The Rule of Cool, and a toothless nod to the actually all-important relevance of sources to the relevance of knowledge. Meh.
                            This group of section (and a few others) have made me realise that my expectations and tastes are probably more Simulationist than Exalted expects. While this may say more about me as a roleplayer and ST than about the rules, some form of caveat about what the rules in general represent right at the start of the book (ie "these rules are a tool to tell cool stories, not a detailed attempt to replicate the reality of another world") would be an great help in order to manage readers' expectations. This is discussed really well in the combat rules, but feels like an unstated assumption everywhere else.
                            Last edited by Xerxes; 05-05-2016, 01:07 PM. Reason: Formatting tweaks


                            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


                            • Personally, I'm pretty happy with the Projects section.

                              First, my players are generally on board with buying into ST-introduced complications that would not be there otherwise, and I never bothered telling anyone not to read "GM-only" sections of books that have them.

                              Second, just about every system I have tried that did this sort of Project via more detailed rules and dice-rolling ended up being a "roll this to skip plot arc" system.


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                              • Originally posted by danelsan View Post
                                Personally, I'm pretty happy with the Projects section.

                                First, my players are generally on board with buying into ST-introduced complications that would not be there otherwise, and I never bothered telling anyone not to read "GM-only" sections of books that have them.

                                Second, just about every system I have tried that did this sort of Project via more detailed rules and dice-rolling ended up being a "roll this to skip plot arc" system.
                                I'm also a fan because I I think that it does an excellent job of scaffolding narrative expectations for undertaking these projects. I actually think that narrative scaffolding is the primary strong point of the majority of the EX3 game mechanics.


                                Pronounced "Monkey Pie"

                                Find my actual play content here!

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