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

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  • Shaping Rituals
    • Good intro to what shaping rituals are. Although the use of "alternate ways" to describe them giving out motes makes me think that this is somehow distinct from ordinary shaping. I get that this is fine if they're distinct things, which systemically they are, but I did a mental "hang on, what's the main way...?" moment, thinking that shaping action = shaping ritual. Explaining how they're different rather than just strongly implying that they are would have helped.
    • "These archetypes are not meant to be comprehensive or confining" So we're allowed to make our own? SAYING THAT WOULD HELP. It feels like I'm kind of demanding spoonfeeding at this point, but the rules seem to function under the presumption that players will be happy to leap in and homebrew anything they want on top of it, which new players may not presume.
    Multiple Shaping Rituals Sidebar
    • Solar Sorcerers can get more shaping rituals, one with each Sorcery charm. Does this mean that other kinds of Exalts only have on regardless of their mastery of multiple circles?
    • Nice to know that progressive enlightenment need not happen along the same path. Although we still don't know what that enlightenment actually looks like.
    Bargain with Mara
    • Meet Mara and enjoy being a Romeo or a Juliet, while making a pact with her.
    Shaping Rituals
    • Get additional motes from those who hold unrequited love for the caster being nearby once per day. Can only harness one intimacy at a time unless it's for her control spell. Can't get more than 10 motes per scene with this.
    • Hang on, if you can only tap one ritual per day, and Defining Intimacies are 4 points, why the 10 point limit? Is it simply there to kneecap people using their control spell? That feels a bit of a niche cap, and kind of harsh, so I think I'm misreading. Is the "once per day" thing for the duration of the shaping action?
    • Steal the souls of those you sleep with, and feed them to Mara for motes. Can also spend them in place of willpower points. Limit of Essence + Occult souls that can be bound at once.
    • This is awesome, but it gives no indication whatsoever of any system for this. Are you now just an auto-sex-death machine? That feels way too powerful.
    • Whenever she's in shadows that would allow her to stealth, gain sorcerous motes that last until the end of the scene. Get bonus motes for shaping while concealed, which automatically applies when under the night sky, during a new moon, or during Calibration.
    • The powers are cool, but the layout is a mess. The first time I scan-read this (while building a character, which is apparently the way to do it), I had to read it a few times before I realised that not all of the shaping archetypes applied at once. Some kind of division between them beyond just paragraphs, a short title for each or even bullet points, would make this so much clearer.
    Other Benefits
    • Demons respect and fear you a bit.
    • Mara feeds you souls in your dreams that give you bonuses on sorcery-type actions once per story.
    • Get tattoos that function like minor artefacts with evocations that link up with darkness.
    Pact with an Ifrit Lord
    • You impressed a spirit of fire, and so you can now bend fire to your will.
    Shaping Rituals
    • Get additional sorcerous motes from sources of fire up to medium range away. This diminishes those sources, which can include spirits of fire. Using them for a control spell does not diminish them.
    • Make burnt offerings to your patron, which give you motes that last until used, or the end of the story. Limit of one prayer per day, which entirely refreshes the motes pool.
    • Can claim sorcerous motes rather than willpower when upholding an intimacy that stems from a passionate belief. These last until the next sunrise. Can shed an intimacy's intensity to gain sorcerous motes equal to that intensity. Can't be done for a given intimacy more than once a day.
    Other Benefits
    • Resist fire-based environmental hazards.
    • Speak your patron's name and breathe it as fire. Which doesn't actually behave like fire, if memory serves.
    • Reduce the mote cost of spells which manipulate fire. Reduce willpower as well if they're control spells.
    Scarred by Nightmares
    • You saw a sharer plate of calamari Cthulhu something terrible and indescribable and are now scarred for life, which gives you kewl powerz, rather than requiring you to get help. Congratulations, you are now a Mary Sue!
    • This really should have been the one where "your understanding is changed forever" gets beaten home, and I still don't get that vibe at all. Maybe I'm just setting my standards too high.
    Shaping Rituals
    • Get sorcerous motes from sleep, rather than willpower. These must be used before she next sleeps. If they are all used casting a control spell, they count double. Once per story, stunt the description of the dream and how it foreshadows actual events to get a number of motes equal to Essence and the stunt's level for a scene.
    • Wow, it's the anti-D&D shaping ritual! You lose your magic when you sleep!
    • Must obsessively keep a particular ritual taboo. If it's worked into a stunted description, gain motes equal to the stunt's rating. This is doubled for the control spell. Motes last until she next sleeps. If it causes problems and qualifies for Solar XP, gain 10 sorcerous motes for the duration of the story. Subsequent times this effect is triggered lowers it by caster's Essence each time.
    • Feeds on emotional energies. Gain motes once per scene when another character gains or modifies an intimacy that can be described as an emotion. Gets more from gaining Limit and Limit Break.
    Other Benefits
    • Immune to the Wyld, but vulnerable to iron.
    • Get bonuses to doing shape sorcery rolls in the Wyld. No need to pay xp for sorcerous workings done in the Wyld, but they fade away from it.
    • How common are chronicles set in the Wyld itself? I get the feeling that they would be very rare, but an awful lot of abilities are useless outside of it.
    Soul-Perfecting Elixir
    • You made a magical drink that allows you to manipulate Essence. This creates a form of sorcery that is more connected to the physical world than others. The sorcerer builds themselves into a pure vessel for Essence through ascetic living.
    • Now THAT actually talks about the consequences of a changed understanding!
    Shaping Rituals
    • Make a potion that gives the sorcerer motes that last for a scene. These potions last a week, and only effect the person who made them.
    • Get Stamina-based sorcerous motes after sleep when abstaining from sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, and get bonus motes for deprivation damage. Can meditate to get bumper motes once per story. Compromising this lifestyle loses all motes gained, and can't regain motes for the rest of the story.
    Other Benefits
    • While maintaining ascetic lifestyle, refill motes from an hour of meditation, and add Stamina to normal mote recovery.
    • While maintaining an ascetic lifestyle, waive willpower cost to add a bonus success once per day.
    • Add Occult rating to resist poison and disease.
    • Lower the willpower cost to resist an intimacythat overcomes her temperance.
    • Deprivation-based penalties and wound penalties do not apply to mental actions.
    Crafting Sorcerous Relics Sidebar
    • Oh, it's about the next set of shaping rituals. Paused for now.
    The Talisman of Ten Thousand Eyes
    • You have a shiny many-faceted trinket that gives you power and is a lens through which you can do sorcerous stuff.
    • Is this a "you make the talisman" or "you find the talisman"? Not sure.
    Shaping Rituals
    • Pay willpower to see an unseen foe while wearing the talisman, and gain sorcerous motes for successes that last for a scene. Add Occult rating to JB vs sorcerous foes.
    • What happens if there is no unseen foe? Do they get to roll awareness and get motes anyway? Or is this purely an edge-case shaping ritual?
    • Stunt the description of casting to include the talisman and gain bonus motes towards casting the spell once per scene. Control spells can always benefit from this.
    • Essence-wielders spend a scene meditating to commit motes to the talisman. May cash these as sorcerous motes, converting at a rate that feels like a trickle. These are doubled when used to cast the control spell. Must sleep between times spent charging the talisman.
    Other Benefits
    • Waive willpower costs of sense-based magic once per day while wearing the talisman.
    • Talisman acts like a warning signal of some epic bad happening somewhere nearby, giving a bonus to rolls intended to track it down.
    • The Talisman may gain Evocations.
    Crafting Sorcerous Relics Sidebar Take 2
    • Talisman is a four-dot artefact, with instructions on how to make it as a sorcerous working.
    • This allows unlocking of various shaping rituals with the talisman for the maker. If it fails, the maker needs to find new inspiration.
    • So anyone who actually gets sorcery from one of this is piggy-backing on someone else's hard work. Fair enough.
    ...And Many More
    • Explicit instructions to make our own sorcerous initiations. Good stuff.
    • Some one-paragraph examples of others. Simpler than the other archetypes, but that's no bad thing. Makes the whole process feel less daunting.
    • Incidentally, I also really like the "bargain with something Other and get sorcery" trend in most of these. It really mirrors the "make a deal with something" element that's historically present in lots of sorcery. I can't stand the Harry Potteresque "you're a wizzard because you just are, maybe genetics, idk" thing that many magic-based settings seem to have. With this, if you work hard enough, and speak to the right people/things, you can get it no matter your background or parentage.
    Example: Two Sorcerers Sidebar
    • Wait, you can mix & match shaping rituals and benefits? This needed to be said earlier, in flashing neon lights. This is so much better than I had thought up until now. I know examples come after general stuff for the most part, but holy cow was this world-changing principle of sorcery unclear from the general rules.
    Sorcery is shaping up (heh) to be something really quite cool. The rituals add a lot of flavour and explain themselves well, with some very consistent power levels to allow for easy benchmarking. And the pick & mix examples make the whole thing shine. Expectations are now suitably high for the Spells section, even if I'm still not wholly convinced on the "see the world in a completely different light" schtick.

    Last edited by Xerxes; 07-16-2016, 01:00 PM.


    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


    • I think the way you see the world changing may be more of a thing that you do as a player rather than something that's mechanically enforced. What IS mechanically enforced is that you're just different by being a sorcerer. You'll see this in the next section as well, as some spells when taken as your control spell alter you in subtle, or sometimes not so subtle ways. So while the game rules might not say "your perception of X changes." As a character being immune to the mutating effects of the Wyld and getting horrible feelings in the pit of your stomach whenever malicious magic is used in a 10km radius may lead your character to perceive the world differently as they go through life.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
        I think the way you see the world changing may be more of a thing that you do as a player rather than something that's mechanically enforced.
        I'm not necessarily after mechanics, I'd settle for some description. But there's not much of that, either. It's just "you have uncommon knowledge and can do stuff", not "you see things like this now. The Elixir stuff comes close to what I'd expect, but it doesn't feel quite there.


        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 DrLoveMonkey View Post
          I think the way you see the world changing may be more of a thing that you do as a player rather than something that's mechanically enforced. What IS mechanically enforced is that you're just different by being a sorcerer. You'll see this in the next section as well, as some spells when taken as your control spell alter you in subtle, or sometimes not so subtle ways.
          I love this mechanic, but I'm not entirely satisfied with their implementation and you (Xerxes) might not be either - my complaint is that they didn't give every spell some sort of control effect that changes you.

          Comment


          • As far as mixing shaping rituals and sorcerous initiations not being mentioned earlier I believe it was. Be kind of pointless that you can learn different shaping rituals when you ascend to gain the power of a higher level of sorcerery if you can't benefit from the ones you already learned on it.

            Comment


            • It's hard to make generalized statements about how sorcerers' worldviews are changed by their initiation into the practice because ideally each one is changed differently, hence the variety of initiations. The point is mostly that sorcerers be weird, yo. They can be weird in all sorts of different ways! But they're weird.

              Comment


              • That's a fair point I guess. I've realised I was expecting something like the "Essence-Fever" note earlier in the book, talking about how seeing the world's Essence changes perceptions and so on, or a few sentences in each shaping ritual how that changes what they experience, as well as what they can do. But meh.


                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


                • I kind of wonder if sorcerers from the heptagram will have that same feeling of strangeness to them. Theirs feels like a more regimented, controlled and normalized version. Learning sorcery through hard study and practice.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                    How common are chronicles set in the Wyld itself? I get the feeling that they would be very rare, but an awful lot of abilities are useless outside of it.
                    I'm running one, more or less.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
                      I kind of wonder if sorcerers from the heptagram will have that same feeling of strangeness to them. Theirs feels like a more regimented, controlled and normalized version. Learning sorcery through hard study and practice.
                      They probably do, it just registers less as individual eccentricity and more as group eccentricity


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

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Leetsepeak View Post

                        They probably do, it just registers less as individual eccentricity and more as group eccentricity
                        "You wouldn't understand unless you're a graduate."

                        Then the two Heptagram graduates exchange some complex secret handshake.


                        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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                        • I remember seeing the headcanon somewhere that the Heptagram is not really a university but rather an Amber-style Pattern. Since then that's always been my interpretation.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by AtG View Post
                            I remember seeing the headcanon somewhere that the Heptagram is not really a university but rather an Amber-style Pattern. Since then that's always been my interpretation.
                            Amber style?

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

                              Amber style?
                              Nine Princes in Amber


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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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                              • That does bring up the question of whether all students of the Heptagram use the same starting sorcerous initiation, or if it's merely the practices they learn afterwards that are somewhat standardized.

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