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

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  • #31
    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post

    The Lunar bond may not work at all like that know, as it has no rules, and that mechanic was very unpopular.

    Nevertheless, politically at least, the Lunars were very much in a secondary capacity.
    I'm anticipating a change that doesn't satisfy the Bond haters or the Bond lovers on that score. Both the current devs are on record as the Bond being important to the setting. It's not going away, but I'm sure it's changing, and I think the Solar/Lunar ratio will allow PC Lunars to opt out.

    @OP, Thanks for doing this. I'm looking forward to a fellow grammar fascist going at the text.

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    • #32
      And now the more meaty stuff begins. Ish.

      Chapter 1 - The Exalted

      Intro fiction
      • I really like. It's a nice piece of inspiration for what constitutes an Exaltation. There are a few errors (like "Few marked the event at the time, but it was one of great moments," should be "of great moment,". Also, was a "bootless errand" intended? If so, the first thing Perfect Soul needs to pray for is shoes.
      • A 1-page fiction feels right, as someone who never usually reads them. Any longer and I lose patience.

      Intro

      Really nicely worded. Flows well.

      On Being Exalted
      • The paragraph that's spread across the page, taling about essence manipulation, doesn't mention sorcery at all.
      • OK, it was the next paragraph. But not sure it should be. Eh, grammar nut, shut up.
      • More Capital Letters without explanation, but not too many this time.
      • No mention of something I remember distinctly from 2E - that the Exaltation never goes to those unwilling to wield it. While the Essence Fever section does an excellent job of telling what being an Exalted feels like, it still leaves the possibility of an unwilling Exalt, something which was categorically shoved out of the window in 2E, and still feels like it should be a part of this.
      • No mention of how common or not artefacts, demesnes and manses are. Are these things that every Exalt should have some of, are they things that only the most dedicated and successful circles should have? Somewhere in-between?
      The Roll of the Chosen


      Solars
      • SOLARS ARE THE BEST AT EVERYTHING! Message received, loud and clear.
      A good introduction. Sets expectations of achievement high.

      Abyssals
      • "clad in armor forged from forfeit souls". Should this be forfeited?
      • "Moonshadow Caste"? Is that really the opposite to an Eclipse? Part of me wonders if, for an additional interesting twist, both Solar and Abyssal emissary-castes should be called Eclipses. It's when night and day merge in a very unique way, and the role of both as emissaries and go-betweens would be reinforced by such a similarity. May have to think about that one for headcanon...
      • "I am Abyssal, therefore I am Sad. In a deep and meaningful way which NO ONE ELSE UNDERSTANDS! WWWWHHHHHHYYYY!!!!??? OH WOE IS ME!" I probably would be less dismissive of that attitude if the art in this section was better (I've seen too much 40k to think that spikes on armour are impressive).
      My interesting-lead-senses are tingling slightly with the Abyssals, but the Romance of the Grave section lays it on waaaay to thick, to no real end.

      Dragon-Blooded
      • The squiggly writing finally got to me. If it was a quote from an in-universe text or something I could understand, but this stuff is summarising part of the role in an out-of-character voice. Why is it squiggly rather than readable text?
      • "The ancient Solars cultivated their soldiers for mastery of miraculous arms and armour" - "cultivated" makes it sound like the Solars altered the Dragon-Blooded's development as a whole? this seems a bit beyond their purview. Making them snazzy toys I can get behind, but not mucking around with the nature of their Exaltations.
      • Finally some art in this chapter I can almost like!
      Antagonists, and lootfests. Got it. We need much more about their relationship to the Realm and their place in it before they can be much else.

      Lunars
      • Seems like I was wrong about changing the nature of Exaltations. This sounds like the Lunars managed to change their own caste system. Although is this more a social thing than a metaphysical? With the returning Solars manifesting castes with zero socialisation towards it, I doubt that the Lunar castes are entirely new and free of prior influences.
      • Although - 3 Lunar castes to the Solar 5. Maybe there was some serious tweaking going on after all.
      • Nice and open around the return of the Soloars means = no railroading players into concepts. Good.
      Noble savages, that feel dispossessed. And you were doing so WELL, Ex3! Do they go on vision quests and carve totems as well? Gah... If the Silver Pact was described as more than just "tribes" it would really help. Fortified city-states would fit these themes well too, and not leave a bad taste in my mouth.

      Sidereals
      • Jupiter's Chosen keep quiet? OK, Jupiter in Exalted is very different to Classical Jupiter. And everything else mapped so nicely... Although sticking Saturn in with the rest feels a bit weird.
      Sidereals at this stage feel cool, but will probably just be a Swiss army knife plot device until their splatbook.

      Liminals
      • These don't... fit. It's difficult to give them a place. Oh aren't I thick, it's in their NAME, for crying out loud! Well played OP, well played.
      • That said, if they're patched together from stolen Exaltations from somewhere, aren't they filling a similar conceptual hole as the Abyssals, being death-Exalted and all? Their schtick seems more about enforcement of the status quo than the Deathknights, though...
      • Aww, they have creators. I'm curious to see what they do with it, but having them be more of a mystery sounds better to me. Not to mention that it implies that Exaltations can be manufactured.
      The Liminals are... interesting. I don't know quite what to make of them. They have a place somewhere, but I'm not sure where.


      Exigents
      • I love the feel of these. A DIY Exaltation, to fulfill whatever niche you like.
      • There are tons of really interesting themes to explore here, like the sacrifice of a god (why would they do it? What does that mean for the areas they previously looked over?), the nature of black market exaltations etc.
      • The examples are also wonderful. Lots of ideas for characters and antagonists. I'm quite gutted they're not in the core book fully, although I entirely understand why they're not.
      More! Much more! Now! Yesterday would have been preferable!


      And that's it for now. Wait, do I see Joshua from Chrono Crusade on p.54???

      Overall, these examples are good, and leave lots of ideas to think about for each Exalt type. I was slightly curious that there wasn't any crunch here, which makes me wonder how much blurb-type stuff on each Exalt type will be repeated in later chapters and presented alongside actual rules. This chapter was great, I'm just not sure it's too necessary at this point.


      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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      • #33
        Re: Lunars, yes there's some Exaltation-Tweaking going on. They had 5 castes (as you'll see later in the Moonsilver Sword Moonlit Huntress, which talks about 5 different "phases" named after the faces of the Moon, alluding to the old Lunar castes).

        The "new" castes used to be modifications of the old ones in 2e, I don't know how much of that will still hold water in 3e. I'd personally like it if "too incompetent to keep their shit together" wasn't a Thing and that instead it was a deliberate effort that restructured the Splat, rather than "oops, lolWyld".


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        • #34
          Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
          Noble savages, that feel dispossessed. And you were doing so WELL, Ex3! Do they go on vision quests and carve totems as well?
          I feel the need to pull this point out. In previous editions the answer was "yes," partly because they were heavily inspired by Werewolf: The Apocalypse, where the answer was also "yes." Fortunately, there has been a general sense from the devs that the Lunars will be getting A Lot More To Do in this edition.


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          • #35
            Originally posted by Fata-Ku View Post
            Re: Lunars, yes there's some Exaltation-Tweaking going on. They had 5 castes (as you'll see later in the Moonsilver Sword Moonlit Huntress, which talks about 5 different "phases" named after the faces of the Moon, alluding to the old Lunar castes).
            Slight nitpick. Moonlit Huntress is a bow.


            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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            • #36
              Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post

              Slight nitpick. Moonlit Huntress is a bow.
              wait what? oops.
              Away from books, mentally associated it to that silver katana.


              Bearer of the legacy of Trauma Bear
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              • #37
                Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                [[*]"The ancient Solars cultivated their soldiers for mastery of miraculous arms and armour" - "cultivated" makes it sound like the Solars altered the Dragon-Blooded's development as a whole? this seems a bit beyond their purview. Making them snazzy toys I can get behind, but not mucking around with the nature of their Exaltations.
                Could also mean something like a eugenics program. You know encourage DBs with particularly potent skills to hook up with the hope that it passes down.

                Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                Sidereals[/FONT][/COLOR][LIST][*]Jupiter's Chosen keep quiet? OK, Jupiter in Exalted is very different to Classical Jupiter. And everything else mapped so nicely... Although sticking Saturn in with the rest feels a bit weird.
                Question, when you say "classical Jupiter" are you referring to how Jupiter was represented in 2E (you said you'd read some of it, so I figure a possibility) or are you talking Roman mythology Jupiter/Zeus? Just trying to be sure on this.

                Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                [*]That said, if they're patched together from stolen Exaltations from somewhere, aren't they filling a similar conceptual hole as the Abyssals, being death-Exalted and all? Their schtick seems more about enforcement of the status quo than the Deathknights, though...
                Wait where did you get the bit on stolen Exaltations? The only thing I saw in that section about stealing and patchworking was body parts not the Exaltations.

                Good read so far.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                  No mention of how common or not artefacts, demesnes and manses are. Are these things that every Exalt should have some of, are they things that only the most dedicated and successful circles should have? Somewhere in-between
                  I occasionally see discussions on how rare things should be and how every players seems to have ultra-rare artifacts, etc. The thing these discussion seem to forget is there are only 300 Solars in creation. That is 300 out of millions (billion?) of people. Hard to get more rare than that. Thus if a Solar is decked out in ultra-rare artifacts with a couple of manses. That is more probably than being a Solar in the first place.

                  So giving an idea that only 1 in a million people ever find an artifact probably means each Solar has a few extra lying around. Rarity is hard to define in a meaningful manner.



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                  • #39
                    Quick notes:

                    Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                    I really like. It's a nice piece of inspiration for what constitutes an Exaltation. There are a few errors (like "Few marked the event at the time, but it was one of great moments," should be "of great moment,". Also, was a "bootless errand" intended? If so, the first thing Perfect Soul needs to pray for is shoes.
                    "But it was one of great moments" appears to be my fuckup; it should be "but it was one of the great moments." Mea culpa.

                    Bootless errand: "An unprofitable or futile message. The Saxon bot means 'reparation'—'overplus to profit'; as 'I will give you that to boot'; 'what boots it me?' (what does it profit me?)."

                    Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                    No mention of how common or not artefacts, demesnes and manses are. Are these things that every Exalt should have some of, are they things that only the most dedicated and successful circles should have? Somewhere in-between?
                    I think we kinda want to leave that so that play groups can find their own comfort zones?


                    Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                    "clad in armor forged from forfeit souls". Should this be forfeited?
                    Naw, "forfeit souls" is fine if flowery use of language. Forfeited souls would read clunky.

                    Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                    Noble savages, that feel dispossessed. And you were doing so WELL, Ex3! Do they go on vision quests and carve totems as well? Gah... If the Silver Pact was described as more than just "tribes" it would really help. Fortified city-states would fit these themes well too, and not leave a bad taste in my mouth.
                    Fortified city-states tend to fall to the Realm's legions; it's really fucking rare for Lunars to claim developed territory. What territory they do claim -- usually centering around valuable First Age ruins, you'll see more of that later -- they tend to leave as inaccessible trackless wastes specifically in the hope of denying those resources to the Realm in the present and banking them for a future where they've pulled the Realm down. Think less "noble savages" and more "guerilla insurgency" (occasionally carried out by guerillas who can transform into literal gorillas).

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post

                      Fortified city-states tend to fall to the Realm's legions; it's really fucking rare for Lunars to claim developed territory. What territory they do claim -- usually centering around valuable First Age ruins, you'll see more of that later -- they tend to leave as inaccessible trackless wastes specifically in the hope of denying those resources to the Realm in the present and banking them for a future where they've pulled the Realm down.
                      This seems to describe Jyudo Far-Flung exactly; he lives in a First Age ruin, and is a cultivated, scholarly man who collects and hordes knowledge against the day he can actually use it... but he doesn't have the Suramoi building infrastructure in the Tangle, because if he built a city around his manse and roads leading to that city the Realm could just march there and claim it, as opposed to right now, where every time they stick their nose into his jungle he laughs and then breaks it.

                      That said, Creation is way way bigger this time. It seems like the southeast and utter east and the far southwest are far enough away from the Realm a Lunar could claim developed territory there without worrying too much about the Legions. Of course, the flip side of that is that they're in no position to leverage that developed territory against the Realm either, precisely because they're so far away. So you'd just be a Lunar who likes to be a King but has somewhat opted out of the whole "destroy the Realm" project.


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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Murcushio View Post
                        That said, Creation is way way bigger this time. It seems like the southeast and utter east and the far southwest are far enough away from the Realm a Lunar could claim developed territory there without worrying too much about the Legions. Of course, the flip side of that is that they're in no position to leverage that developed territory against the Realm either, precisely because they're so far away. So you'd just be a Lunar who likes to be a King but has somewhat opted out of the whole "destroy the Realm" project.
                        I am sure one or two of those will show up eventually. None of them made it into the core, though.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post

                          I am sure one or two of those will show up eventually. None of them made it into the core, though.
                          The Three Devil Princes of the Southwest, in Masters of Jade, were heavily implied to be Lunars of this sort.


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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by nalak42 View Post
                            Could also mean something like a eugenics program. You know encourage DBs with particularly potent skills to hook up with the hope that it passes down.
                            Possibly. Interesting idea.

                            Originally posted by nalak42 View Post
                            Question, when you say "classical Jupiter" are you referring to how Jupiter was represented in 2E (you said you'd read some of it, so I figure a possibility) or are you talking Roman mythology Jupiter/Zeus?
                            Roman mythology. As I remember it, he was loud, brash and quite the womaniser.

                            Originally posted by nalak42 View Post
                            Wait where did you get the bit on stolen Exaltations? The only thing I saw in that section about stealing and patchworking was body parts not the Exaltations.
                            The Liminals are created, not born. They also have an explicit link to their Maker, which I think will possibly form part of their Great Curse or equivalent. The makers are "living souls", implying mortals. But you can't make something if the key ingredient has a several-millions-to-one chance that it might arrive. Therefore, whoever creates Liminals must get their Exaltations from somewhere, and as they are likely mortal, definitely aren't going through the proper channels to do so.

                            Originally posted by Amdramnar View Post
                            So giving an idea that only 1 in a million people ever find an artifact probably means each Solar has a few extra lying around. Rarity is hard to define in a meaningful manner.
                            True enough. Each to their own, then.

                            Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
                            Bootless errand: "An unprofitable or futile message. The Saxon bot means 'reparation'—'overplus to profit'; as 'I will give you that to boot'; 'what boots it me?' (what does it profit me?)."
                            And hence also booty as in treasure, yes? Cool piece of knowledge for the day. Cheers!

                            Also, is it possible, given the mutable nature of PDFs, to fix minor typos of a character or so and re-publish the PDF as they're found? They shouldn't alter the page count,and thereby not screw up references.

                            Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
                            Fortified city-states tend to fall to the Realm's legions; it's really fucking rare for Lunars to claim developed territory. What territory they do claim -- usually centering around valuable First Age ruins, you'll see more of that later -- they tend to leave as inaccessible trackless wastes specifically in the hope of denying those resources to the Realm in the present and banking them for a future where they've pulled the Realm down. Think less "noble savages" and more "guerilla insurgency" (occasionally carried out by guerillas who can transform into literal gorillas).
                            I had totally missed the Germanic Barbarian vibe as an option for the Lunars... awesome.

                            And also, the puns are punishing.


                            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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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                              Roman mythology. As I remember it, he was loud, brash and quite the womaniser.
                              Ah. The Maidens are very much NOT like the Roman Mythological counterparts that happen to share a name. (For starters, all five of them are Goddesses, and seem to function as five facets of one overarching theme)

                              The Liminals are created, not born. They also have an explicit link to their Maker, which I think will possibly form part of their Great Curse or equivalent. The makers are "living souls", implying mortals. But you can't make something if the key ingredient has a several-millions-to-one chance that it might arrive. Therefore, whoever creates Liminals must get their Exaltations from somewhere, and as they are likely mortal, definitely aren't going through the proper channels to do so.
                              Not all the details are known, but essentially when someone tries to bring the dead back to life... Well, they get someTHING back, a person who is not the person meant to be replaced.

                              There were mentions in the Backer teaser for Liminals mentioning something about Dark Mother, but other than the name we don't know.

                              But yeah, when you try to reverse Death, something sends the power of the Liminals in through the open invitation. That is where the Exaltation comes from, rather than a creator of some kind getting their hands on an Exigence or something.


                              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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                              • #45
                                Honestly, I don't think we should try to help answer questions for Xerxes. Not out of malice, but because if we aid in explanations then we'll never know if a "fresh look" at the book will ever answer it on its own. And that was the goal, correct? A lot of these early questions are explained later on and if that is not caught on a detailed read-thru, that's good to know for everyone!


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