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

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  • Charms (General systems)

    Intro Fiction
    • A nice piece, although Volfer seems like a bit of an ass.
    Intro

    • A good taster of what charms can do, to whet the appetite.
    • "Charms" is an out-of-universe abstraction. Good to know.
    Depicting Charms

    • ...but did we really need to have 5 additional paragraphs telling us that over, and over, and over? "Charms are an out-of universe way of representing a Solar's power. They are not discrete things in-universe, being an integral part of each Solar's abilities, but are presented this way to allow the player to effectively portray the might of the Exalted". Was it REALLY that hard to be brief? Or were you primarily focusing on deprogramming existing players, rather than not boring everyone else to tears?
    • Why is all the talk about Solars? Isn't this framework intended to reflect the charms of all Essence-users?
    • "in order to fuel her supernal actions". So charms are only connected to Supernal abilities now? I doubt that very much; this just feels like a case of sloppy wording.
    • And again, 2 paragraphs to make the same point: That other Exalts have different kinds of charm to Solars, that work differently. There's verbosity, and then there's this section...
    Using Charms and Charm Limitation

    • Charms have an upper limit based on the abilities they key off. That's quite neat. I feel that the term "charm dice cap" or just "charm cap" (to account for static value boosting) would have been a fantastic addition here. As it is, things feel a little clunkily expressed.
    • The order of operations seems sensible, if a bit difficult to remember. I'm reminded very much of the stack from MtG for this...
    Presentation Format

    • "only in a few cases do they represent what the Exalted think their Charms are called." So they CAN represent in-universe names, even though you've just spent the best part of a page telling us they don't? MAKE UP YOUR VEHKING MIND, GAME! *flips table*
    • The charm cost notes are clear, and the sidebar is in the right place!
    • The "mins" section didn't mention supernal abilities as an exception.
    • Can supplemental charms supplement simple charms?
    • So Integrity has something to do with bridge charms...
    • What can stackable charms stack with? Multiple copies of itself? "Can stack" is not a decent description of anything.
    • There's written-only but not spoken-only? Weird.
    • The wording for prerequsite charms makes my eyes hurt.
    Designing Charms Sidebar

    • No intro to this? The simple assumption that players and STs will want to design their own charms? Not unwarranted maybe, but the total lack of introduction is another piece in the "not newb friendly" puzzle.
    • Lots of good general points about the thematics of Solar Exalted, which really should be part of a bigger explanation somewhere else.
    • The heads-up for other Exalts' kind of charms is pretty neat, and clarifies what happens in the intro fiction. Useful for homebrew STs building other types of Essence users as well.
    Excellencies


    I'm including this here as it's a short section that doesn't really fit anywhere else.

    • The conditions for gaining excellencies should be spelt out in character creation - it could have a huge impact on what Favoured Attributes people take, and without reading the charms chapter first you won't have a clue that this is the case.
    Once the chapter stopped bashing me over the head with the notion that charms are out-of-universe constructs, this wasn't too bad. I get the feeling that going back to this section is pretty much necessary to understand charms properly.


    Which, to be clear, I've already tried, when designing a character to test the character creation rules. I got so unfathomably lost on an initial run-through that I gave up trying to use the actual book to understand charms and used MadLetter's charm cascades. If I wasn't doing an in-depth review, I doubt I would bother with them, because the player-produced supports are far superior to the actual material. The writing for charms is some of the worst, if not the worst, I have ever seen in a roleplaying game. If I didn't already love the setting before trying to read them, I would throw the book out of the window, call an ambulance for whoever it landed on and find something else to play. The attempt at "natural language" is a terrible idea, particularly when I've seen things like VtM's disciplines, which have a very clear description/system divide. I'm not looking forward to this, but "for SCIENCE" and all...


    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
      A nice piece, although Volfer seems like a bit of an ass.
      Yeah, but I find him to be a FUNNY ass.

      "Charms" is an out-of-universe abstraction. Good to know.
      [...]

      but did we really need to have 5 additional paragraphs telling us that over, and over, and over? "Charms are an out-of universe way of representing a Solar's power. They are not discrete things in-universe, being an integral part of each Solar's abilities, but are presented this way to allow the player to effectively portray the might of the Exalted". Was it REALLY that hard to be brief? Or were you primarily focusing on deprogramming existing players, rather than not boring everyone else to tears?
      A-freaking-men. Yes, we got it, you didn't need to keep telling us.

      Why is all the talk about Solars? Isn't this framework intended to reflect the charms of all Essence-users?
      There's been some hints that for some other Exalts, the "Charms are purely in-universe abstractions" may be less true. Some fans theorize that say, the Sidereals may have a view of Charms being discrete things.

      "only in a few cases do they represent what the Exalted think their Charms are called." So they CAN represent in-universe names, even though you've just spent the best part of a page telling us they don't? MAKE UP YOUR VEHKING MIND, GAME! *flips table*
      For when you want to make sure that people don't think that their characters are just the sums of their charms, but also acknowledge that it's fun as hell to have your character yell "HEAVEN THUNDER HAMMER" before punching someone hard enough to send them blasting off like Team Rocket.

      The conditions for gaining excellencies should be spelt out in character creation - it could have a huge impact on what Favoured Attributes people take, and without reading the charms chapter first you won't have a clue that this is the case.
      I admit I hadn't even thought about that, but yeah, that WOULD be something worth noting in the Character Creation section.

      The attempt at "natural language" is a terrible idea, particularly when I've seen things like VtM's disciplines, which have a very clear description/system divide.
      Sadly, I agree with you. While I seem to be VERY odd in that I can often puzzle out what was intended by the writing of the charms, the way they're written up is just... BAD. Like, I appreciate that you tried to go for a natural language, and hey, it was an interesting idea. But please, never do it again.


      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


      • See, I'm completely the other way. I can understand the charms just fine, and if they were written in a dry, mechanical way they'd be so boring that I wouldn't be able to slog through them. Since they make up a good quarter of the book that would be a bad thing.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Elfive View Post
          See, I'm completely the other way. I can understand the charms just fine, and if they were written in a dry, mechanical way they'd be so boring that I wouldn't be able to slog through them. Since they make up a good quarter of the book that would be a bad thing.
          Ideally, what I would do if I wrote the charms? Have one, maybe two, sentences saying "The Solar Uses Their Essence For Awesomeness", then a spacing break, then raw crunch. Like for Precision of the Striking Raptor, it'd look like:

          The Solar imbues their weapon with their Essence, so that its strike becomes an extension of her will.
          A Thrown attack supplemented by this Charm calculates its accuracy as though it were thrown from Close range. If it is used in Close range, the target's defense is lowered by one. This charm does not allow for attacks beyond the weapon's normal maximum range
          I'd honestly rather be able to look at a Charm and know what the frik it does at a glance rather than having to spend a moment trying to figure it out. It's a rulebook, it should be clear as possible.

          I mean, if it were just a few people saying "I have no idea what these charms do", I might not agree with them. But the fact that it seems to come up so often with so many people tells me that no, in this case, I'm the odd one for understanding it so well.


          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
            Ideally, what I would do if I wrote the charms? Have one, maybe two, sentences saying "The Solar Uses Their Essence For Awesomeness", then a spacing break, then raw crunch.
            I've seen this done and it works OK, but the problem I see it run into is that "fluffy" details that have a meaningful in-setting effect but don't interact directly with the mechanics then have to be repeated in the rules section, or people will argue that they aren't really a part of the power. Sometimes this is desirable, but often it's not.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
              And again, 2 paragraphs to make the same point: That other Exalts have different kinds of charm to Solars, that work differently. There's verbosity, and then there's this section...


              (Particularly around the 0:13 mark.)
              Last edited by Irked; 05-07-2016, 10:27 PM.


              Homebrew: Lunar Charms for 3e

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

              Comment


              • If you actually make it through the charm section doing an analysis like you've been doing you deserve a medal sir. I've seen many people try across many forums and all have failed to date. When you get there I will be impressed as FUCK.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                  See, I'm completely the other way. I can understand the charms just fine, and if they were written in a dry, mechanical way they'd be so boring that I wouldn't be able to slog through them. Since they make up a good quarter of the book that would be a bad thing.
                  But would they take up a quarter of the book if they were written that way?

                  Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post

                  Ideally, what I would do if I wrote the charms? Have one, maybe two, sentences saying "The Solar Uses Their Essence For Awesomeness", then a spacing break, then raw crunch.
                  On a second read through quite a few charms are actually like this, but with no break in structure. But there is rapidly bleed between the two (by about 3 or 4 archery charms in).

                  Originally posted by Gayo View Post
                  I've seen this done and it works OK, but the problem I see it run into is that "fluffy" details that have a meaningful in-setting effect but don't interact directly with the mechanics then have to be repeated in the rules section, or people will argue that they aren't really a part of the power. Sometimes this is desirable, but often it's not.
                  Depends on how the crunch is worded. If, for example, the fluff mentions a burst of light, the crunch can mention it's intensity & any blinding effect it may have. That way no repetition, but clear integration of the fluff.

                  Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                  If you actually make it through the charm section doing an analysis like you've been doing you deserve a medal sir. I've seen many people try across many forums and all have failed to date. When you get there I will be impressed as FUCK.
                  It can be done, I know Irked managed it. So unless he's an RPGs supernal Twilight, I have a fair shot. I already have "time spent reading Ex3" rather than "spare time", so not much change there...
                  Last edited by Xerxes; 05-08-2016, 04:08 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.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                    See, I'm completely the other way. I can understand the charms just fine, and if they were written in a dry, mechanical way they'd be so boring that I wouldn't be able to slog through them. Since they make up a good quarter of the book that would be a bad thing.
                    Well, in my case, the current writing is what I can't slog through. I'm the guy who takes RPG sourcebooks to bed as night reading, but I can't get three charms in without wanting to go do something else. Which annoys me because it means I'm probably never going to be able to play Ex3, because if I don't GM nobody I know will, and I can't GM if I can't even read the manual.

                    Comment


                    • Oh crap, Irked did it? Well damn, I'll have to find that.

                      Comment


                      • Google "Irked Reads Ex3". I can't do proper hyperlinks on my phone.

                        Link: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...rked-reads-ex3
                        Last edited by Xerxes; 05-08-2016, 07:32 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.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                          Depends on how the crunch is worded. If, for example, the fluff mentions a burst of light, the crunch can mention it's intensity & any blinding effect it may have. That way no repetition, but clear integration of the fluff.
                          The trick here is that 'fluff' can be important without having a mechanical effect. To use your example, let's say a Charm says it creates a "burst of bright light" along with its other effects. That do stuff, like potentially reveal your position if hiding or give you away as a Solar. Does every Charm that creates light have to say that those ancillary things could potentially happen every time? Does it need a keyword? Or, knowing that bright light is made, can we just discern the consequences ourselves on a case-by-case basis? That is, does everything need to be mechanized explicitly, or can we evaluate a narrative event and figure out its mechanics as needed? I mean, we do this anyway as we play the game, choosing dice pools and difficulties for stuff like keeping balance on a collapsing bridge, recognizing which spirit is walking down the street, or noticing the strange scratch marks on the jungle trees.

                          A legitimate question, because I can see the advantages of either way of doing it, depending on preferences and playstyle.

                          (The problem is that ex3 seems to straddle the two styles, which is confusing.)


                          Book of the Emerald Circle
                          Custom Sidereal Charms
                          Expanded Sidereal Linguistics

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Limited Reagent View Post
                            (The problem is that ex3 seems to straddle the two styles, which is confusing.)
                            Exactly. Does a Charm that says it creates a flash of blinding light (but with no mechanical tie-in) always do so, or is that just one possible piece of flavor the player could choose?

                            The former? Okay, cool.

                            Now, what about the Archery Charms that talk specifically about arrows - do those work on firewands? What about sailing Charms that talk about working because of the water, specifically - do they not work on airships, or is that just meaningless fluff?

                            ... I suddenly miss the old "Obvious" keyword.


                            Homebrew: Lunar Charms for 3e

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

                            Comment


                            • It was a good keyword, if oddly applied.


                              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.

                              Comment


                              • Archery Charms

                                OK, in the spirit of charms, the best way I can think of to deal with this without getting bogged down in immense amounts of analysis is to use "natural language". I will list each charm, with a 1-sentence description of its fluff effect, then a 1-sentence summary of its crunch. Anything after that is my opinions on the charm, if I have any. If there is a more useful way for me to do this, to help people understand my perspective and potentially catch anything that experienced players would gloss over, let me know and I'll tweak my posting style.

                                Also, note that I have very little mind to think about costs and efficiencies. I will look at costs and prerequisites, but unless something leaps out at me and hits me in the face with a half-brick in a sock, I won't have much to say.

                                Wise Arrow
                                • Essence-powered homing arrows.
                                • Reduces cover penalties, and allows targets in full cover to be hit.
                                • There is a nice divide between fluff and crunch here, in the sentence structure at least.
                                Sight Without Eyes
                                • Essence-powered heat vision.
                                • Reduces visual environmental penalties to the shot.
                                • Division is still there (ish)
                                Blood Without Balance
                                • Almost-precognitive vision of the target.
                                • When the target is distracted, allows decisive attacks from long range, without aiming. Also adds bonus damage if initiative is low.
                                • Feels like a lot of "ifs" for a relatively simple charm.
                                Force Without Fire
                                • Solar sucks wind power into her arrow.
                                • Archery withering attacks cause knockback and screw up Rushes.
                                • It feels like everything after the first sentence is crunch... maybe. I'm guessing that's the guiding principle now.
                                Trance of Unhesitating Speed
                                • One attack becomes many, as per the illustration (which I think is the 2e Night Caste signature character?)
                                • Splits initiative into multiple decisive attacks, that can be used to hit multiple targets, limited by Dex. 10s add to base damage.
                                • "This attack can be made without an aim action". At any range? Does that mean that every other charm before this one require an aim action? What does this sentence mean here?
                                • Also, is there any logic to the order of charms? I was assuming it was going through each "arm" of a charm tree at a time, but I'm not sure now... this needs diagrams. Although I'm not sure I would realise this unless I'd seen the ones in 2e and MaddLetter's ones. Have they been updated with any corrections from the backer version yet, does anyone know?
                                Phantom Arrow Technique
                                • Fire arrows of essence.
                                • Fire arrows without ammo. Give arrows extra power by channeling your Intimacies. Make an arrow that cannot be removed without the Solar's say-so.
                                Fiery Arrow Attack
                                • Set your arrow on fire in mid-air.
                                • Does natural fire damage to things that it hits, the exact damage of which is determined not by it being fire, but by the Solar's essence. Because that makes sense for "natural" fire. Really.
                                • This only makes sense because I can't find actual rules for natural fire damage, just "bonfire" in the environmental hazards section. So this charm is plugging a really big gap in the actual core rules. Nice.
                                • I will be hacksawing these rules out, filing off the serial numbers and using them for actual fire damage that's not a bonfire. Actual damage level tbc.
                                There Is No Wind
                                • The arrow blinks out of reality between the archer and the target, meaning it doesn't go off course.
                                • No penalties for non-visual environmental penalties.
                                Accuracy Without Distance
                                • Connects the world through her anima, not to establish universal peace and love, but so it can be shot at easily.
                                • Never use an action to aim again.
                                • "once per crash period". What's a crash period again? Have we had that term anywhere else? I get what it means, but I still did a double take.
                                • Some of these "X Without Y" names really make no sense...
                                Arrow Storm Technique
                                • ...pull thunder from the sky to use as arrows, I think? What the hell is "palming a storm of Essence"?
                                • Hit multiple targets that are close to the original target. Apparently for free, no mention of it using extra arrows, which Trance of Unhesitating Speed does.
                                • For the record, I've totally lost track of prerequisites and tree structure now.
                                • What happens when battle groups are targeted? Can it hit multiple battle groups? That seems either really epic or totally beyond what the charm is capable of.
                                Flashing Vengeance Draw
                                • Making Solars angry is bad. How is this related to the actual attack again?
                                • Get an essence-based boost to Join Battle rolls.
                                • The split by weapon type makes sense.
                                Hunter's Swift Answer
                                • Solars can re-attack really quickly.
                                • Attack after a disengage action.
                                Immaculate Golden Bow
                                • Create a bow out of pure essence.
                                • Is an artefact bow, that can be upgraded with repurchases. Can also act as a shield for more essence.
                                • Is Sky-Eater's Crest a reflexive thing, or a simple thing (like the charm itself)? It feels like it would be most useful as reflexive, but there's nothing to indicate either way.
                                Dazzling Flare Attack
                                • Fire essence-powered sun arrows
                                • Adds additional damage based on 10s rolled, and shines a blinding light everywhere.
                                • If you're not good at rolling 10s, this sucks.
                                Seven Omens Shot
                                • Make miraculous long-rang hits.
                                • Aim for three turns, get bonus successes, and a willpower point if it kills.
                                • Doesn't say anything about range, despite the description. So if it follows the usual archery range, they're going to be on you by the time you've finished aiming. There's some fudgery with Accuracy Without Distance to shorten this time, but doing so nerfs the power.
                                • This feels REALLY situational, almost to the point of uselessness. If your melee buddies aren't pinning something in short or close range down by turn 3, something is wrong.
                                • You can use AWD with this power? How does that work? AWD is reflexive, not supplemental, and neither charm is stackable. So certain combinations are allowed if the game says so? OK, if you think consistency is a bad idea, then carry on, game.
                                Revolving Bow Discipline
                                • Make many focused shots, quickly.
                                • Keep on firing in a single action in until you miss, crash someone or deplete a battle group's magnitude.
                                • This feels at its most useful against battle groups, but you don't get WP refuels that way. You win some, you lose some.
                                Finishing Snipe
                                • Weird momentum-changing perception.
                                • Attack a crashed opponent within range for free, without having to aim.
                                • "if she wishes to use Finishing Snipe, the Lawgiver must not be engaged in a Simple action that would prevent her from attacking." Does this in include another attack action on another target?
                                Rain of Feathered Death
                                • Arrow splits into many arrows mid-flight.
                                • Splits arrows up to Dex rating, with each one doing less damage based on the previous arrow's damage roll, to a minimum of the Solar's essence rating.
                                • Neat, but it sucks for Archery supernals.
                                Shadow-Seeking Arrow
                                • No flavour text!
                                • If you discover an opponent with an awareness check, you may make an attack on them regardless of initiative and without losing your attack for the turn. Can be done against multiple opponents uncovered with the same check, but each instance must be paid for separately.
                                • I really like this, but it's again really situational. And encourages combos with reflexive Awareness charms, I imagine.
                                Searing Sunfire Interdiction
                                • Fire an arrow that becomes a supernova bomb.
                                • Fire a shot to knock an opponent down and forcing them to act later, if at all that round. Later repurchases make this more likely and add knockback, and allow reuse of the charm.
                                • This feels waaay underpowered for its level. I'd at least expect some blast damage. You have to repurchase it twice to get so much as a knockback.
                                Solar Spike
                                • Fire bolts of lightning.
                                • Deal damage at a range determined by the power, not the weapon, at a rate determined by the character's willpower or their intimacies.
                                • Of course it's not compatible with its pre-requisites, it's not stackable, or even supplemental! I get the feeling either I or the devs misunderstand what "stackable" means.
                                Heart-Eating Incineration
                                • Burn people to death because you Judge them. I assume a weapon of some sort is also involved.
                                • Fire your anima at someone, doing Solar Spike damage plus Initiative. If it kills, restore motes based on intimacy ratings. It pays to kill people you hate with this.
                                When do I need to Aim? Sidebar
                                • Shouldn't this have been in the rules for aiming?
                                • Apparently spells don't need to be aimed. Fireballs have homing powers!
                                Dust and Ash Sleight
                                • Again, no flavour text.
                                • That's because all it does is speed up Seven Omens Shot
                                • This feels really pointless. You already have means to speed Seven Omens up with its prereq, why do you need another?
                                • Someone must really love Seven Omens Shot, to give it all this attention. I wonder why they bother, personally.
                                Heavens Crash Down
                                • MOAR BURNING JUDGEMENT!
                                • Clash against an opponent while wounded, with automatic successes.
                                • Feels like it would be at its most useful only when repurchased to remove Perilous, because something weird's going on if you're at -4 health levels and not crashed.
                                Streaming Arrow Stance
                                • "Feeling the channels of your bow" is not something I understand, and possibly don't want to.
                                • Fire at a crashed target at medium/long range without aiming.
                                Whispered Prayer of Judgement
                                • Add Essence damage to shots after aiming.
                                • This feels like a really basic power, but it's supercheap and probably really powerful at the point when you're supposed to be using it.
                                Most of these seemed fairly simple, although i don't understand how certain charms can be used with others unless they are stackable, or at least one of them is reflexive (and I have my doubts with the reflexive stuff). I pity archery supernals. There are lots of effects here that use Essence as a multiplier or value, making Supernal somewhat less great. Otherwise, some neat tricks and good visuals. But someone really does love Seven Omens Shot way too hard.

                                Athletics up next.




                                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

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