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

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  • For GM's, the rules exist to provide a framework that enables them to construct scenarios, as well as give a rough understanding of what the outcome of the scenario might be.

    For Players, the rules exist as a way to model their characters as they envision them, as well as give them a medium to interact with the scenario that the GM puts forward.

    The clearer and more consistently the rules are presented, the faster, more easily and more reliable a player or a GM will be able to act in a given circumstance that the rules don't cover, because they'll already have a firm foundation from which to draw extrapolations or other conclusions that are consistent with the rest of the rules.

    It is unfortunate that 3E decided to toss out 30+ years of refinement with how rules should be presented to a gaming group in favor of... narrative-ism or whatever, because now we have situations that pop up where a lack of clarity can damage or at least hurt a particular playstyle or a game as a whole.

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    • Originally posted by Leetsepeak View Post

      I guess that's fair. I was thinking that, since it's all meant to simulate a dramatic situation anyway that you might rule it one way or another due to context. Like how you rule that a character is a trivial opponent or not, or who wins when the character and their opponent tie in an opposed check (Better stunt, IIRC) it's all the sort of contextual stuff you rule on the fly, and if you're in the situation where the player isn't gonna have fun just getting trounced in that first round by the ambush, you might say "Y'know what? In these instance, you can activate it."

      I think you ideally anchor it in some kind of narrative context justification, but it's probably clear that it's for the sake of fun. Another example might be because a character starts a scene by holding a knife to an NPC's throat and they then try to kill them, you could make them go through the rigamarole of rolling to do a Hold at Bay action, or you might just waive it because the chance of failure there wouldn't have been interesting.

      Not saying anybody has to do this, but it's another way to look at it. If my players were more comfortable having a hard ruling on it, I'd probably just do that too.
      I think there's a difference between, on the one hand, saying "this person is a trivial opponent" or not, or "we'll use the proper combat rules" vs "just make a dex+melee roll, difficulty 1, to defeat this minor guard with your awesome swording powers of swordiness"; and on the other, saying "if a battle group does 5 damage to someone with 2i, they go to -3i" or "if a battle group does 5 damage to someone with 2i, they go to 0i and take 3 health damage", which was one of the first rules debates we had in the game I run (we went with the first in the end).
      One is actually part of the rules: it's a genre thing, not a rules thing, and the rules actually talk about it. The second is understanding how the rules are supposed to work. And if I announce "if a battle group does 5 damage to someone with 2i, they go to 0i and take 3 health damage" then that's not a matter of ruling in favour of the players, it's a matter of a rule we're then going to use forever, whether players or not.

      Also, if the rules bend to help the players, a)some players will try to find excuses to get into odd rules situations, and b)the players will feel they haven't really accomplised anything. And if the rules bend against the players, then that's unfair. So the rules should be consistent.


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

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      • Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post

        I think there's a difference between, on the one hand, saying "this person is a trivial opponent" or not, or "we'll use the proper combat rules" vs "just make a dex+melee roll, difficulty 1, to defeat this minor guard with your awesome swording powers of swordiness"; and on the other, saying "if a battle group does 5 damage to someone with 2i, they go to -3i" or "if a battle group does 5 damage to someone with 2i, they go to 0i and take 3 health damage", which was one of the first rules debates we had in the game I run (we went with the first in the end).
        One is actually part of the rules: it's a genre thing, not a rules thing, and the rules actually talk about it. The second is understanding how the rules are supposed to work. And if I announce "if a battle group does 5 damage to someone with 2i, they go to 0i and take 3 health damage" then that's not a matter of ruling in favour of the players, it's a matter of a rule we're then going to use forever, whether players or not.
        Good point, I hadn't really thought about it that way.

        Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
        Also, if the rules bend to help the players, a)some players will try to find excuses to get into odd rules situations, and b)the players will feel they haven't really accomplised anything. And if the rules bend against the players, then that's unfair. So the rules should be consistent.
        I appreciate the sentiment, but I do think at least in the case of A) that situation is a player problem, not a rule problem, regardless of how good or bad the framework you're working in is. It seems like a bad faith sort of situation.


        I am no longer participating in the community. Please do not contact me about my previous work.

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        • Originally posted by Leetsepeak View Post

          Good point, I hadn't really thought about it that way.



          I appreciate the sentiment, but I do think at least in the case of A) that situation is a player problem, not a rule problem, regardless of how good or bad the framework you're working in is. It seems like a bad faith sort of situation.
          I don't know about you guys but personally as a player I like losing some of the time, and don't really like when the rules bend depending on what's in my favour. I totally understand that he GM shouldn't just try to kill his characters or whatever, and sacrificing things for the sake of a good story, but at some point missing that sword swing, or being driven back, or even dieing can be great. It makes actually succeeding so much better, and also can lead to really interesting twists.

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          • Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
            I think sometimes it's more well-founded than others. In the case of "A strict legalistic reading of this Charm suggests you can never use it again unless you meet its reset condition," I think the fear is sort of un-founded; at that point, the person insisting on the strict legalistic read is a jerk and we enter "The book can't solve the problem of jerks at the table" territory. In other places, yeah, I'll admit it could have been clearer.
            Yeah, I think it's pretty clear how Celestial Tiger Hide should be read. The dispute is really about other, more subtle, issues.

            Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
            ...decisive attacks bypass all the battlegroup bonuses anyway...
            You sure about that?

            I thought battlegroups got the standard defense bonuses against them.

            Comment


            • Apologies for the delay in posting, I've been wrapped in following Brexit chaos (it's like a car crash, I can't turn away...) and writing out a custom ST screen. Will post it when I get a chance. Future posting may slow, as I now have a game to plan, and 2 nights, 2 twilights and a dawn to plan for.

              Single Point Shining into the Void Style

              Ahhh, Single Point. I have heard that you are muchly overpowered and various other forum baggage. But I will try to keep that opinion down.
              • OK, so it's draw-focused (a la iajutsu). Lots of superfast Zen-type moves.
              • No advice on complementary stuffs? That was one of my favourite bits.
              • What on earth are "slashing swords"? Without going into the vagaries of sword manufacture and blade design, I don't have a clue.
              Gathering Light Concentration
              • Seeing how an enemy uses a sword betrays their weaknesses.
              • Onslaught penalties that the enemy would inflict rebound on themselves for a turn. Mastery lets you pay initiative to cancel existing onslaught penalties and inflict them on an opponent.
              Shining Starfall Execution
              • Martial artist hits people with the sword quickly.
              • Add half Dex to raw decisive damage. At 15+ initiative, add full dex. If the attack misses, martial artist adds half Dex to the initiative she loses. With mastery, damage has double 10s at 15+ initiative.
              Single Point Shining Into the Void Form
              • Martial artist sheathes her sword and focuses on Essence. Then when the sword is drawn, it absolutely pwns. It's so powerful that the sword has to be sheathed between each strike to both aid the form and because there's so much Essence in this thing that it might explode everywhere if left uncontained. ZOMG YOU GUYS, SO MUCH ESSENCE!!!!!!!!!!
              • Sword gets a separate initiative track from its owner, starting with a Wits+MA roll, to represent the quickness of the strike. The martial artist and sword cannot combine initiative or swap it at any point. Sword's base raw damage cannot exceed the martial artist's own initiative. When the martial artist takes initiative damage, attacker can choose to have it damage the sword's initiative or the martial artist's, cannot split damage. Sword loses initiative every turn it's not used to attack. Putting the sword to zero initiative forces the martial artist out of form and cannot reactivate it for 3 rounds. When reactivated, the sword just gets base initiative. If left voluntarily, the sword re-enters the battle at the same initiative it left. Reflexively activate this if the martial artist wins JB. Dragon-blooded must spend willpower to attack twice in a round, choosing which entity's initiative to use in each single-attack round. With mastery, the sword's decisive damage is not capped, does not lose initiative on rounds it doesn't attack, and is not kicked out of the form on zero initiative but just has to stop using it for 3 turns and then can start again on the sword's old initiative. If the sword crashes the opponent who reduced the words initiative to zero, someone (entirely unclear if it's sword or wielder) gets initiative shift.
              • Apologies, but I really did find that description far too much.
              • The mastery effects are broken.
              • I am shocked that a style that is supposedly about the art of drawing and single strikes (which require correct and stable stances) doesn't have restrictions on movement. Apparently, doing this while sprinting is fine. Personally, I'd rule the form doesn't give its benefits during a turn in which the character moves. And possibly something else about needing to draw a weapon too. Hang on, maybe only apply them when character executes a draw + attack action in the same round? I don't know... but I do know that this charm needs bringing down to earth.
              Fatal Stroke Flash
              • Martial artist lunges forward with her blade, striking in an all-or-nothing attack.
              • Add the difference in initiative to raw decisive damage when striking an enemy on lower initiative. Bonus damage can't exceed the martial artist's own initiative. If the attack misses, the MA's initiative drops to that of her opponent's, before the usual decisive initiative loss kicks in. Dragon-blooded can only use this after parrying an attack that caused their opponent's initiative to drop lower than their own. With mastery, MA may reroll Essence-based 9s on the attack.
              Liquid Steel Flow
              • Martial artist's sword goes so quickly it looks like a flowing river.
              • Add Dex to raw withering damage. May pay WP to extend the charm's duration to a scene. Making a decisive attack ends the charm, with Dex/2 of raw damage becoming automatic successes. If Fatal Stroke flash is also used, its WP cost is waived. If form charm is active and both martial artist and sword make decisive attacks in the same turn, they both get the benefit of this charm. Dragon-blooded can't pay WP to extend the charm. With mastery, MA adds an auto-success to all attack rolls vs enemies with lower initiative.
              Void-Slicing Wind
              • Martial artist attacks within a heartbeat.
              • May attack an enemy up to medium range. Adds 1 success to attack and damage roll for each range band crossed. If attack misses, the martial artist ends up at short range to her target beyond them. Sword and martial artist get special new attack which combine two turns into one action, which may reflexively strike other enemies within close range with a withering attack. Initiative from a withering attack adds to either martial artist's or sword's pool, one of which must be chosen for the final decisive strike. A decisive stirke on other enemies can ignore up to Dex hardness. If a non-trivial preimilary opponent is incapacitated before the final strike, all the initiative comes back.
              Horizon-Swallowed Star Flash
              • Martial artist repels blows effortlessly before putting her sword away.
              • Martial artist can make a reflexive clash attack, gaining initiative equal to successes but capped by Wits, before raw damage is calculated. If using form, can choose whether her initiative or her sword's is used. If other initiative track is used in the same turn it benefits from the clash bonus. Dragon-blooded lose their next action after using this charm. Those with mastery force their opponents to lose the amount of initiative they gain through this charm.
              Six-Demon Scabbard Binding
              • Martial artist forces hostile magic into a form, and kills it.
              • Can defend against a twisting, warping or shaping effect by forcing a clash with it. Success vs this attack hits the effect and its controller, regardless of the distance between them. MA pays motes to cut a path through hostile environments. Dragon-Blooded can only use it to defend vs hostile magic, and cannot make a clash attack with it unless they also use HSSF with it.
              Blinding Nova Flare
              • Martial artist has a dual-strike finishing move.
              • Used when the MA has entered the form and strikes on the same tick as their sword. Make a gambit roll on the lower of the two initiatives, no attack roll necessary. Success strips away defence vs an unblockable and undodgeable decisive attack made using the higher initiative pool. If the opening gambit fails, defence is possible, with a -2 penalty. Use once per fight, reset if both MA and sword reach 11+ initiative. If opening gambit fails, this does not apply. Dragon-blooded impose defence penalties rather than making defence impossible. Those with mastery transfer threshold successes from the gambit onto the damage roll, and then both reset to base initiative.
              • Hang on, if only the Mastery section mentions resetting to base initiative, does that mean that other users don't, for some reason?
              The writing for this is bloated and horrible. Lots of attention to the "and then the sword..." bits, which are clunky and, to my mind, overcomplicate things a lot. Why not just allow 2 unflurried attack actions if you don't take a move action? And, if you hadn't noticed from the tone of the above writing, I really dislike most of the abilities. They are full of twinkishness and feel like they'd be a nightmare to come up with a combat challenge for. I desperately, truly, madly, deeply, never want to see Single Point in my games.
              Last edited by Xerxes; 06-29-2016, 08:28 AM. Reason: Usual spacing trouble...


              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


              • Slashing Swords are in the panoply. Mostly any curved blade, like the American Civil War Union Cavalry Saber or a Katana.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
                  Most rules arguments on the Internet seem to stem from the fear that they'll someday be trapped in a group where they think one of the two interpretations is more jackassish, and everyone else thinks that interpretation is more fun.
                  The greatest portion of my Exalted play comes from time spent on the Exalted MUSH. With 40+ players, every rules interpretation was represented. This colors my views.

                  But, yes, the Celestial Tiger Hide line which set this off was pretty clearly a joke. People responding to a joke with a fairly aggressive "emotions trump rules" stance frustrated me, so I answered with the more general case answer.


                  "For me, there's no fundamental conflict between really loving something and also seeing it as very profoundly flawed." -- Jay Eddidin

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                    The writing for this is bloated and horrible. Lots of attention to the "and then the sword..." bits, which are clunky and, to my mind, overcomplicate things a lot. Why not just allow 2 unflurried attack actions if you don't take a move action? And, if you hadn't noticed from the tone of the above writing, I really dislike most of the abilities. They are full of twinkishness and feel like they'd be a nightmare to come up with a combat challenge for. I desperately, truly, madly, deeply, never want to see Single Point in my games.
                    Yeah, after reading the various threads on this the Single point character in my game decided to respec to melee to be less broken. Pretty sure I'm never going to allow this style as written in any of the games I run and really hope nobody else plays one in a game I'm playing in. This makes me super sad, as I absolutely love the concept and fluff for the style.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
                      I think sometimes it's more well-founded than others. In the case of "A strict legalistic reading of this Charm suggests you can never use it again unless you meet its reset condition," I think the fear is sort of un-founded; at that point, the person insisting on the strict legalistic read is a jerk and we enter "The book can't solve the problem of jerks at the table" territory. In other places, yeah, I'll admit it could have been clearer.
                      The book CAN diminish the headaches of people at the table by being written cleanly and clearly, yes. This example is minor (and the answer is obvious), but a given text only gets so many freebies for sloppy writing before the audience decides its writer needs to either lern2english, or lay off huffing paint.
                      Last edited by Totentanz; 06-29-2016, 11:36 AM. Reason: typo

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by satoshi View Post

                        Yeah, after reading the various threads on this the Single point character in my game decided to respec to melee to be less broken. Pretty sure I'm never going to allow this style as written in any of the games I run and really hope nobody else plays one in a game I'm playing in. This makes me super sad, as I absolutely love the concept and fluff for the style.
                        Single Point is definitely less strong than Solar Melee in most ways that matter.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by nihnoz View Post
                          Single Point is definitely less strong than Solar Melee in most ways that matter.
                          I think the thing is that Single Point charms get you a lot of bang for your buck, in terms of what you get per charm.

                          Frankly, Melee gives you more variety, with its defensive and counterattack options, along with adding in some distance attacks and special effects, and multi-attacks.

                          Single Point does one thing. It does it ABSURDLY WELL, but just one thing. It's got all of what, two defense boosters? Tops? Not a lot of Withering boosters, if memory serves.

                          Also if you get a Single Point stylist caught in a grapple by a specialist that Golden Kenshin is going to collapse like a house of cards in a wind tunnel.

                          What I'm trying to say is that yes, Single Point is good at applying sword to face. It is VERY good at that. But it is NOT "OMG HAX" broken. There's ways around it, just like there's ways around everything in the game. Snipers, ganging up on them (their Onslaught Negation is more expensive than Dipping Swallow Defense, IIRC), or even just having them get jumped after they blow their metaphorical load on a big Decisive "I Combo Everything" Attack.

                          As for it feeling fiddly and finicky... I'd have to disagree. Things that LOOK fiddly and awkward just reading can feel a lot smoother when you're actually USING it. One of my players made a Single Point Specialist, and normally he likes things straightforward to the point where he thinks Ex3's combat movement is a bit awkward.

                          He managed just fine with Single Point.


                          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
                            Also if you get a Single Point stylist caught in a grapple by a specialist that Golden Kenshin is going to collapse like a house of cards in a wind tunnel.
                            To be fair, this is true of basically everybody, Melee included. There are not a lot of good countermeasures to "Every attack auto-hits."


                            Homebrew: Lunar Charms for 3e

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

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                            • The discussion of Single point should probably move to one of the other threads about that rather than hijacking this one (and I do apologize to the OP for this, as I contributed to this).

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by satoshi View Post
                                The discussion of Single point should probably move to one of the other threads about that rather than hijacking this one (and I do apologize to the OP for this, as I contributed to this).
                                It's survived hijacking before... I post enough sections & it stops. Feel free to start a new topic & link it in this thread, though.


                                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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