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

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  • Originally posted by Irked View Post
    Or if not - if that's not plausible at all, for some reason - then cut Bureaucracy. Don't hand me an Ability, tell me I can make it my character's central focus, and then tell me that the actual effects of bureaucracies are pure handwavery.
    Craft has the same issue, though it is not quite as obvious. How many basic projects can you complete in a day? Whatever the storyteller decides. How many magical materials and esoteric ingredients do you need? Whatever the storyteller decides. How hard is it to get them? Whatever the storyteller decides. What effects do higher dot artifacts grant? Whatever the storyteller decides.

    It's Organized Fiat.

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    • Yeah the whole pick an att for your craft makes an already expensive art with having to buy seperate crafts rediuclously more expensive than it needs to be in my eyes. A large part of me would have loved, use this att...while its grand for your standard around the table game, most of my gaming the last decade has been on chats where if something isnt written down it becomes a giant pita.

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      • Ah, I'm blind. It does call out p.185. I just managed to miss a whole paragraph that says exactly what you've all been saying.


        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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        • Crafting

          Spoilers: I kinda like it, apart from it being vague in some vital places. Tables and/or diagrams would help more than I can express though, even if given 683 pages.

          Introduction
          • The Basic/Major/Superior/Legendary split is pretty decent. One question I did have was whether mortals can do geomancy. They are explicitly called out as not being able to make artefacts, but whether you can get a mortal geomancer to help build your manse, or whether you hunt down a hoary old Exalt who somehow knows secrets from the First Age without a tutor is still an open question for me.
          Crafting Experience
          • I would grouse about how you need to make chairs in order to make swords, but I guess the system is all about encouraging plot-relevant crafting, rather than spamming out cheap tat for the tourists in order to gain XP.
          • Although, what's to stop a crafter having a an intimacy directly related to just making stuff and getting intimacy based pings from producing tourist tat anyway? I guess it's the ST's decision to stamp out any intimacy abuse like this. So how would you phrase a non-abusive craft-based intimacy? My wife was thinking about a smith character, and wanted her to be driven by the need to be the best at what she did. "I must excel at metallurgy"? "None may surpass my skill with metal"? I'm at a bit of a loss.
          • On an initial read-through, I was really angry that craft XP had to be tied to intimacies. I managed to miss the "clear in-game gain for your character" condition, possibly because it's not quite what I think is needed. My concern is that party-level objectives either wouldn't align with a character's intimacies, or produce a clear in-game gain; if you're doing a Circle-mate a favour by building a village to house her cult, you personally won't get any Merits out of that, and apart from possibly a positive tie of gratitude from her the crafter may not get anything. Or is that an example of something that will only net you end-of-story XP?
          • The project slots wording is unclear. While it's implied, I was scratching my head slightly as I read "but they can spend crafting experience to temporarily push their boundaries and obtain additional slots" as being additional major slots only.
          • Could we not have had an outline of the costs of the different slots here?
          Basic Projects
          • My confusion over the attribute use has been addressed above. But some examples of the kinds of rolls for each type of craft would have helped ease that a lot. Particularly after reading about many systems that do give explicit rolls. Once again, position in the book makes things awkward.
          • Same for the difficulties, some benchmarks would have been super helpful. Even after a read-through of the difficulty rules makes me think that any sort of crafting task done in a clean, well-stocked workshop and with no disturbances should be difficulty 1, even if it was restoring every First Age wonder in Creation ever. This is because all the things that increase difficulty on p.185 relate to the conditions of the task being made more challenging, not the task itself becoming more complex. Unless we assume that artefact Superior projects and Legendary projects have to be Difficulty 5, as they are impossible for mortals to do? It's super vague on this point.
          • Pointing out the need for "the proper... Craft ability" for each project should probably have been in the introduction. However, it's good to see it at all, as it soothes some of my earlier anxieties about craft (artefact) being the only type an Exalt without architectural aspirations ever needed.
          Major Projects
          • How long is "weeks"? Weeks of one hour a day? Weeks spent crafting in compliance with the European Working Time Directive? Weeks spent crafting 20 hours a day? A system of minimum hours work required would be so much clearer.
          Superior Projects
          • "Temporarily fuse" major slots? I got really confused working the phrasing in this section out. Why not just "Creating a superior slot takes up a number of major slots equal to the artefact rating of the artefact she wishes to create, and spend a number of gold points equal to the artefact rating. Major slots used in this way cannot be re-used until the superior project is complete". All this talk of fusing was confusing.
          • Yay! Finally, Exalts are allowed to meaningfully, totally fail at something! My reading of many the other rules makes it feel like Exalts are being cosseted and shielded from the full impact of the nasty rules, with explicit ST instructions to play nice and let them keep their toys, while this actually lets them fail. Happy.
          • Some more examples of the weirder ingredients needed here would have been good. I assume there may be some of these in the Panoply section? Or maybe I'm just a dullard who lacks imagination.
          Legendary Projects
          • ...and Legendary projects use a different system for slot generation to Superior projects. So much for consistency!
          • If we need tons of mystical ingredients for these things, we definititely need example ingredients!
          • I didn't realise Willem Defoe was an Exalt...
          Repair
          • Good that repairs to structures and ships are broken down, and the ship stuff at least is quantified.
          Labour Time Sidebar
          • Some solid time guidelines? No, just a reminder to the ST that crafters should still be allowed time to go and play with the other Exalts as well as doing their homework, with pretty much zero indication of how long that is. Marvelous.
          Craft & First Age Wonders
          • Really nice images in the intro here.
          • Woo, sorcery too. Any guidelines for applying these two together in artefact construction? Not in this chapter, at least.
          Large Scale Projects & Manses Sidebar
          • Shouldn't this be nestled in with superior projects, rather than First Age stuff?
          • How big are manses supposed to be? I have vague images of equivalents to chapels and cathedrals, and they generally took decades or centuries to construct, not years. Or is this a hand-wave to modern sensibilities around construction time.
          • Still no indication on whether mortal geomancers are possible.
          On a read-through, artefacts and crafting don't seem too bad, although I could see it getting frustrating in a high-powered game, having to at build basic stuff to maintain the XP "engine", as no particular level of crafting XP can maintain itself without having super-relevant intimacies pinging for major projects all the time. While I don't personally have a problem with this, as it forces Exalts to stay grounded, I can see it getting boring for some people.


          OK, Sailing up next as the final system before the Charms chapter behemoth.

          Last edited by Xerxes; 05-06-2016, 07:48 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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          • Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
            I could see it getting frustrating in a high-powered game, having to at build basic stuff to maintain the XP "engine", as no particular level of crafting XP can maintain itself without having super-relevant intimacies pinging for major projects all the time.
            Rest assured, in a high-powered game that isn't an issue. CRAFT CHARMS. But you'll get to them later.

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            • Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
              I would grouse about how you need to make chairs in order to make swords, but I guess the system is all about encouraging plot-relevant crafting, rather than spamming out cheap tat for the tourists in order to gain XP.
              Yeah, the Craft rules don't work as well for a Dawn with only a bit of Crafting making their own sword, but for someone whose entire set is built around building stuff, it works out.

              (My own Twilight is the kind of guy who'd offer to earn room and board for a night by fixing a village's water wheel, so I never really had any complaints)

              Although, what's to stop a crafter having a an intimacy directly related to just making stuff and getting intimacy based pings from producing tourist tat anyway? I guess it's the ST's decision to stamp out any intimacy abuse like this. So how would you phrase a non-abusive craft-based intimacy? My wife was thinking about a smith character, and wanted her to be driven by the need to be the best at what she did. "I must excel at metallurgy"? "None may surpass my skill with metal"? I'm at a bit of a loss.
              Well... Nothing's stopping you from having a Smith with a Principle like "My Soul Lives In My Work" or "My Weapons Are Without Peer". I think that's a feature rather than a bug, so that your Exalt will always get some Crafting Points out of one of their projects, rather than making a roll without any points resulting.

              Though admittedly, there ARE ways to exploit that. Like, if a Smith has a Defining Principle of "My Weapons Are Without Peer", a savvy person could appeal to their pride as a crafter to goad them into helping forge a Daiklave of some kind... Only to steal the Daiklave and use its power to bring about misery.

              Or to use another example... Y'know Lord of the Rings? How Sauron tricked the other races of Middle Earth into forging their own Rings of Power and then forged his own in secret to rule the other nineteen? Chances are Celebrimbor in Ex3 terms had an Intimacy tied to pride in his work. It didn't turn out well for him.


              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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              • So, a painter who has an Intimacy of "I love to draw" is.......abusing the system.


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                • Originally posted by Jen View Post
                  So, a painter who has an Intimacy of "I love to draw" is.......abusing the system.

                  Maybe make it more specific? "I love to draw bara"? So, it isn't everything you can draw, but specific situations.

                  Sort of like "I like to fight." is bad, but "I fight to defend those I love." is better.


                  I write things.

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                  • Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
                    Maybe make it more specific? "I love to draw bara"? So, it isn't everything you can draw, but specific situations.
                    I mean, you certainly could do that, but are you supposed to? Is it wrong to just love to draw?

                    Sort of like "I like to fight." is bad,
                    Is it? I can think of Exalted-appropriate characters for whom that's an accurate characterization.

                    For all my beefs with Craft, I respect the intent of the three goals: they're to make the crafter actually engage with the world. The trouble - well, a trouble - is that it's trivial to satisfy at least two of the three: have an Intimacy for makin' stuff, and sell the (superhumanly-skillfully-made) thing that you've built. And if it's going to be that trivial to pick up 2/3 of the maximum reward, then what purpose are we serving by having the system here?

                    The band-aid on this seems to be to say that general "I like making things" Intimacies are abusive - but, like, forget the Craft rules for a moment; would anyone say that, in general, that's an abusive or out of theme thing to do, or do we just feel that it's improper because of how it makes Craft trivial?

                    (Possibly you-the-reader do feel it's abusive in general, which is fine and consistent, but that's not something I pulled out of my reading of the book. And - look, one of the last things I want to do is peer over at a player's self-description of The Things My Character Cares About and say, "Nah, you can't have those opinions, they're overpowered.")
                    Last edited by Irked; 05-06-2016, 10:18 AM.


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

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                    • If I was running an Ex3 game, I'd want more specific Intimacies. Sorry Fighty McFighterson, you need to flesh our your character to be more than "I Iike to fight." What do you fight for? Do you have a favorite weapon? Do you have people/ideals/places you care about?



                      I write things.

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                      • There's nothing wrong with a broad intimacy. It's not badwrongfun. It's merely equal parts weakness and strength. The more specific you make it, the harder it is for your opponents to use it against you.

                        Got a Defining Intimacy to "I like to fight"? Villain says you COULD save this group of people you have a Major Intimacy towards, OR you could fight his ultra-monster that he cooked up ESPECIALLY for you, and it LOVES to fight. Your defense to ignore the ultra-monster and rescue the people is weaker than your drive to fight, because it's so broad. Doesn't matter what the fight is, you just love it.

                        That's a hella specific example, but it's a situation that could come up.


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                        I have made many tools and other things for 3rd Edition. I now host all of my creations on my Google site: The Vault of the Unsung Hero

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                        • While I respect the right for a Crafter to have a "Crafting Intimacy," i think it's somewhat dishonest to suggest that doing such bypasses the crafting system. Yeah, you can use that intimacy a lot but it 's not like you can just craft a 1000 arrows and individually tick off each other them because, "I love to make things!"

                          Sure, you do, but the arrows stopped 'serving your intimacy' quite some time ago.

                          You're just making more of them now because you HAVE to.

                          You need to challenge yourself, to push yourself, in order for your intimacy to ping that basic objective again.

                          Similarly with the "sell my awesome thing," basic objective.

                          At a certain point, "I make another tiny little crystal bird and put it up for sale," just isn't going to cut it. Either the money you earn won't really be meaningful, or just as likely, you've saturated the market and nobody actually wants to buy the things anymore.

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                          • Originally posted by The Unsung Hero View Post
                            There's nothing wrong with a broad intimacy. It's not badwrongfun. It's merely equal parts weakness and strength. The more specific you make it, the harder it is for your opponents to use it against you.

                            Got a Defining Intimacy to "I like to fight"? Villain says you COULD save this group of people you have a Major Intimacy towards, OR you could fight his ultra-monster that he cooked up ESPECIALLY for you, and it LOVES to fight. Your defense to ignore the ultra-monster and rescue the people is weaker than your drive to fight, because it's so broad. Doesn't matter what the fight is, you just love it.

                            That's a hella specific example, but it's a situation that could come up.
                            That's basically my reaction, too. You want to characterize yourself that broadly? Man, go for it; that's basically an invitation to get you to fight in places where it'd be disadvantageous.

                            (Plus, to wonderawe's point, you can have broad Intimacies and also flesh yourself out with more detail elsewhere.)


                            Homebrew: Lunar Charms for 3e

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

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                            • Originally posted by CrownedSun View Post
                              While I respect the right for a Crafter to have a "Crafting Intimacy," i think it's somewhat dishonest to suggest that doing such bypasses the crafting system. Yeah, you can use that intimacy a lot but it 's not like you can just craft a 1000 arrows and individually tick off each other them because, "I love to make things!"

                              Sure, you do, but the arrows stopped 'serving your intimacy' quite some time ago.

                              You're just making more of them now because you HAVE to.

                              You need to challenge yourself, to push yourself, in order for your intimacy to ping that basic objective again.

                              Similarly with the "sell my awesome thing," basic objective.

                              At a certain point, "I make another tiny little crystal bird and put it up for sale," just isn't going to cut it. Either the money you earn won't really be meaningful, or just as likely, you've saturated the market and nobody actually wants to buy the things anymore.

                              I craft (knit) in real life. The first time you work on a project it's exciting! You learn so many new techniques and can't wait to see how it turns out! But when you do the same project again, it's painful and boring. And I'm just a normal person. I can't imagine how a Demi-God Crafter feels. "Great Suns, Dawn, you go though way too many arrows!"
                              Last edited by wonderandawe; 05-06-2016, 10:49 AM.


                              I write things.

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                              • I'm totally down with intimacies like "I must make the world a more beautiful place" or "The feel of clay is relaxing" which have very broad application and would activate almost all the time for a character (i.e. that specializes in ceramic in this case).

                                But a Crafter taking "I like to Craft" is like a Solar Brawler (with Fists of Iron) taking "I like to Fight". There's technically nothing wrong with it, but I'd be giving stern looks to both.
                                "Combat is the ultimate thrill" is much better.
                                "Self-expression is release" is too.


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