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

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  • Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
    OK, maybe I was being a bit too reductionist there. But I struggle to see the point of many crafting systems, and in my experience unless they plug into other system (like artefacts do) they tend to be rather pointless. I'd love to be proved wrong here.
    Think of it as an auxiliary thing to assist with other skills. Like a Solar Sailor (god that sounds like a cheesy name for an energy efficient boat) might have craft shipbuilding to enable repairing of the ship when it gets damaged, build better ships when resources become available (or when it comes time to build the armada), or if you want to go a bit more abstract use it as a negotiating piece when buying or selling ships based off the fact that you know how a ship is built and all the other guy knows is that replacing a broken keel means building a new ship anyway, or you can argue target shots with your knowledge of how an enemy ship is built to hit structural weak points.

    Also on your Lore point. It is mentioned that your character needs an area of expertise. It just isn't under a "special rules" header like it is in craft. Probably missed it in the skimming since the section is kind of wordy. Well good luck in merits.

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    • Merits & Flaws

      Merits

      This is quite the list (I know, but charms are much worse). Which fully explains why it wasn't in the character creation system, unlike OWoD backgrounds.
      • The Innate/Purchased/Story division is helpful.
      • Standard Merits!? The division didn't mention standard/non-standard. Does this mean that the helpful, clear categories explained above will go by the wayside? We'll see.
      • 2-dot ambidexterity needs a drawback - having prehensile feet in normal society sounds (to me) like most people would find it quite freaky, but this doesn't get earmarked as a Wyld mutation, or have any negative social impacts at all. I know most people wear shoes, but other things that can be hidden in clothes and gloves later are still called out for it.
      • I take it that groups with Might 1 or higher can't be bought and must be earned?
      • Specifying a type of contact is good, gives some nice detail to the Merit, but does it really reflect how useful it'll be? I guess it's a more realistic system than OWoD contacts, optimisation be damned.
      • Would Confucius have a Cult or Influence? I assume that Cult only reflects prayers spoken directly to the Exalt, and so founding "philosophies" would need to be done with another background (Followers?)
      • Wouldn't it be easier to take an Awareness (Danger) specialisation rather than Danger Sense?
      • How big are demesnes? Designating relatively large areas seems possible, but no limits are set.
      • "Omen dogs"? The interwubs tells me that this is a reference to the film The Omen, which means Omen Dogs = rottweilers, but this is far from clear.
      • When do Followers need to become multiple backgrounds? It's not clear. The background mentions a ton in the same breath ("Examples might include bureaucrats, bodyguards, assassins, merchants, spies, entertainers, smiths, or astrologers"), so can one lot of dots represent all of those? If a crimelord owns a chain of tea houses and a drugs ring, are the dealers and the teahouse proprietors represented by the same single background?
      • Manses seem VERY economical compared to hearthstones and demesnes... I know this is intended as "quick-starter" kit for a character, but I was just rather surprised at the difference in cost. It could have been worth a sidebar or something pointing out that finding a hearthstone's demesne or developing a demesne into a manse could be a development point for a character.
      • You have to "draw" martial arts? I know you need to be able to get in stance etc, but it's an odd term to use for it.
      Flaws
      • The gamist in me wants these to cost points, but I know the focus is on story-creation, not balance.
      • The derangements feel too basic. I know this is a setting where modern mental health terminology doesn't exist, but having a wider range of derangements would have been good. My love for Malkavians could be clouding my judgement here, though.
      I liked this section. Read in order, it's "limbering up" the system language in the way it talks, before we get to the definitions.
      Last edited by Xerxes; 04-27-2016, 07:43 AM.


      A Not-Quite-Newb's Read-Through of Ex3 - my thoughts, notes and trials and tribulations with the Exalted 3rd edition rules.
      Ex3 Reference Materials - currently includes an ST screen, common actions sheet, weapons reference sheet, character creation summary and mortal QCs reference sheet.

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      • Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
        Standard Merits!? The division didn't mention standard/non-standard. Does this mean that the helpful, clear categories explained above will go by the wayside? We'll see.
        Hm, maybe they could have come up with a name that still helped differentiate them from Supernatural Merits.

        Mortal Merits?

        Mundane Merits? No, that's not possible because Artifacts fall under Standard Merits. Hmmmm...


        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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        • Danger sense is for people who already have Awareness (Danger).

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          • Originally posted by Elfive View Post
            Danger sense is for people who already have Awareness (Danger).
            But awareness 3 is the only prerequisite, not any speciality.


            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
              But awareness 3 is the only prerequisite, not any speciality.
              He meant that Danger Sense is something for people who want to be REALLY good at sensing danger, since it stacks with having a Specialty.

              Like how Giant gives you an extra Health Level, which explicitly stacks with Charms that do the same thing later in the book, or how Mighty Thew stacks with Athletics Charms. Just for an EXTRA bit of umph.


              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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              • Yeah, you don't actually need a danger speciality, but that's always going to be the cheaper option. So Danger sense is for people who want their character to be even more paranoid but have run out of room.

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                • Time for some miscellaneous sections from Chapter 3. Mostly reading really well at this point, with a few minor ambiguities.

                  Willpower
                  • Reflling at sleep is good. However, the once a day wording is slightly unclear - is the once-a-day thing just for meditation? i would assume not, but the rules lawyer in me says that's a possible interpretation.
                  • Lots of ways to both spend and regain willpower. This is good - previous WoD games I've played have made regaining it a pain, but had less things to spend it on.
                  • What happens when you run out of willpower points? Nothing special it would seem, but I'm sceptical about that.
                  Intimacies
                  • Again, the signposting to future sections and call-outs here are really good.
                  • What do the different intensities of intimacy look like? It's a little difficult to visualise in the language here, some examples would help.
                  • Social actions affect intimacies a lot. Good to know.
                  • Typos in the final paragraph, "Inti macies" and "Storytell -er's"
                  • Oh, there's a sidebar. And there I was thinking it was finished.
                  • ...which directly addresses some of my earlier concerns. Awesome!
                  • ...which is really weirdly worded. Talking about a "valid but overplayed intimacy" immediately after mentioning intimacies as a weakness is confusing. It gets better in the next sentence or so, but is still unclear.
                  This feels like a lot of book-keeping, but also feels like a good way to keep track of characters' concerns. I feel like we could have had some more pointers on how much the different grades need to be "acted out" to be maintained, particularly Defining Ties, which I'm having trouble visualising (for a defining tie of Love (family), do you write home lots? Make notes to bring back souvenirs? Never actually go anywhere because you can't bear to be away from them? What is it?), but overall, pretty good.

                  Health
                  • Good clarification on how widely applicable wound penalties are.
                  • Does "magic healing" include the Exalted Healing Merit?
                  • There is no mention of how long aggravated damage takes to heal. Are we to assume it "counts as" lethal in that case? If so, it's not specified anywhere. In which case the Exalted Healing Merit does help with aggravated damage, where nothing else does.
                  • What is "primarily resting"? Bed-bound or can a character mooch around the house a bit?
                  Essence & Anima Banner
                  • Essence is a leveling system that's not a leveling system. Gotcha.
                  • Good use of bolding.
                  • Hmmm... boost in essence refills when stressed (combat) and when absolutely not stressed (reading/meditating). That makes sense from a system perspective, but absolutely zero in-world. If the latter was just meditation and explicitly focusing on essence regaining I could get it, but it's not.
                  • Could have done with a few more examples of what anima banners are like. The two we have are cool, but some more inspiration wouldn't go amiss here.
                  • Do you check for anima effects only when motes are spent, or is it a running total? I'm not clear on that. For example, a character spends 7 peripheral essence on All-Purpose Hypothetical Example Meditation charm, putting her from dim to glowing. Does the next level happen after 3 motes are spent (10 total), or does she have to spend another 5 in one go? It seems like the latter, and I may be being too thick to notice an obvious instruction here.
                  • What is "being subject to his anima"? Does this mean that the target of a charm (which may include a person!) while the anima is in that state becomes warm to the touch, or anything in the vicinity of the Solar and in line-of-sight to the anima effect?
                  • Ah good, there are more examples of anima banners.
                  • The universal anima effects are cute. I like them.
                  • Two of the Dawn's anima effects (first and third) don't have costs listed. Are they free, or do they cost one mote, as per the universal abilities?
                  • The Zenith's "transfer feelings" ability is two effects. Wouldn't it be easier to have a single one that allowed them to pass on feelings based on the ties the deceased had? The pain one in particular bears no relation to the deceased's actual strength of feeling, instead relying on the Zenith's stats, It's otherwise a very cool "funeral priest" power.
                  • From the second power's description, I was expecting an activation condition based on an intimacy held by the Zenith or someone she has a tie to, rather than just being against a "creature of darkness" (is this a tag we'll get in the bestiary?), because what happens if the creature of darkness hasn't done anything to the Zenith? It's not retribution then...
                  • A "hardening" anima effect feels weird for a caste which isn't primarily combat-focused.
                  • Why would the Twilight's first anima ability not be usable during Initiative Crash? Even without knowing what that is, there's nothing else connecting the ability to initiative apart from this line that would trigger this train of thought.
                  • Vanishing twilight! Cool! Does the PC know where they will end up, though?
                  • The familiar ability should have a rider in it that states that the connecting roll for free during character creation. Otherwise there will be a lot of "what do you do? I bind my [demon mentor/ally/insert-other-applicable-merit-here] using my anima ability" first actions.
                  • The ability calls the bound creature a familiar, but doesn't grant any of the abilities of the Familiar merit (like sharing senses etc). The Familiar merit doesn't mention Survival charms, whereas this does. It feels like they're using the same word to talk about different things.
                  • "the Night can ignore up to (higher of 3 or Essence) penalties to a Stealth attempt for one instant." - is this penalties that add up to a -3 modifier of some sort, or 3 sources of such modifiers, which may have a larger effect?
                  • "perfect effect" - sounds like a system term. Noted for future reference.
                  • These anima effects should really have names! Talking about them feels really vague...
                  • "legitimate business of some kind" - is creating a travelling salesman Eclipse who presents his wares while the circle gets into position to kill things "legitimate business"?
                  • What does "may not attack" look like, in this instance? Can they try and auto-fail? Are their arms physically bound to their sides if they're raised in anger? Can they not even think about taking an aggressive action? What's doing the limiting here?
                  • The learning other charms with the Eclipse keyword doesn't specify how they learn it, or even that they need to observe the charm in use in order to pick it up. What do they need to do in-universe to learn these charms?
                  Overall a really nicely written few sections. Clear and obvious in application. Next up, advancement and whatever else I fling into this mixed bag approach to sections!
                  Last edited by Xerxes; 04-27-2016, 07:51 AM.


                  A Not-Quite-Newb's Read-Through of Ex3 - my thoughts, notes and trials and tribulations with the Exalted 3rd edition rules.
                  Ex3 Reference Materials - currently includes an ST screen, common actions sheet, weapons reference sheet, character creation summary and mortal QCs reference sheet.

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                  • I'm pretty sure the dawn anima effects are supposed to be free, and the twilight hardening is to protect them while they cast spells. It's been a thing since 2e at least (where it was kind of broken due to being scene-long and hardness working differently) It doesn't work in crash because one of the effects of crash is to cancel any hardness benefits.

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                    • Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                      [*]Hmmm... boost in essence refills when stressed (combat) and when absolutely not stressed (reading/meditating). That makes sense from a system perspective, but absolutely zero in-world. If the latter was just meditation and explicitly focusing on essence regaining I could get it, but it's not.
                      Two things: the game is much more focused on the construction of and emulation of genre than with the world of the game. This, I think, is very important to keep in mind. People are split on this very heavily. I like it, personally. Second, I am not so sure that it doesn't make sense in-world. In combat, it's like a spike of adrenaline keeping you going forward at all times, and out of combat it is a much more relaxed, steady way of getting in touch with yourself and your essence. I can absolutely see why calm, quiet time, even if it's not meditation, would boost respiration of essence. Taking time to relax calmly tends to leave people feeling pretty good and restored, on an Exalted scale I can absolutely see that being reflected in Essence.


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                      • Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                        [COLOR=#222222][*]"legitimate business of some kind" - is creating a travelling salesman Eclipse who presents his wares while the circle gets into position to kill things "legitimate business"?
                        If this is wrong, I don't want to be right.


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                        • Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                          ... Would Confucius have a Cult or Influence? I assume that Cult only reflects prayers spoken directly to the Exalt, and so founding "philosophies" would need to be done with another background (Followers?)...
                          When I made a Mozi-expy character, I took Followers and Influence together. Followers represented the people and Influence the attention she ws getting (It does some reputation stuff in this edition). I also took Retainer to get a "chief student" and such.

                          Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                          ... When do Followers need to become multiple backgrounds? It's not clear. The background mentions a ton in the same breath ("Examples might include bureaucrats, bodyguards, assassins, merchants, spies, entertainers, smiths, or astrologers"), so can one lot of dots represent all of those? If a crimelord owns a chain of tea houses and a drugs ring, are the dealers and the teahouse proprietors represented by the same single background? ...
                          That's how I see it. Followers are bought as a group of more or less unified dude-mans is how I see it. Your crimelord could have Followers for their thugs and leg-breakers. Depending on your rleationship wtih the labor union in a city, you might have that as another one. And so on.

                          Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                          ... You have to "draw" martial arts? I know you need to be able to get in stance etc, but it's an odd term to use for it. ...
                          Kung fu weapons, yo.

                          Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                          ... Reflling at sleep is good. However, the once a day wording is slightly unclear - is the once-a-day thing just for meditation? i would assume not, but the rules lawyer in me says that's a possible interpretation. ...
                          Up to ST on this. I would note that if it looks like it's being abused to make wp regeneraton trivial, limit it. Otherwise, I don't see PCs really abusing things like meditation to be honest.

                          Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                          ... What happens when you run out of willpower points? Nothing special it would seem, but I'm sceptical about that. ...
                          Nothing special. You are more easily swayed by social influence since you really can't get out of things when people put the pressure on you and you have magic that is harder to fuel, moslty. But there's no real mechanical effect of a 0 Willpower or mote state.

                          Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                          ... What do the different intensities of intimacy look like? It's a little difficult to visualise in the language here, some examples would help. ...
                          It's kind of hard to just explain here simply that odesn't rehash the system. But a way to think is Minor is that. It's something that you find important, but doens't define you. Major is something which you think is important to raise up to your thoughts regularly and which probably has some fairly character-defining stuff. Defining are kind of core beliefs of the character. They're almost like a list of Motivations from the previous edition. They're the stuff that ultimately decides a person's beliefs and views.

                          Good example if you've heard or were lucky enough to see the musical Hamilton, Alexander at one point with the Renold's Document is put between a love for his wife and family (probably a Major Tie: My Family(Love)) and his Defining Principle of "Ensure my legacy at every cost." So when put under pressure of being accused of embezzlement (which threatens his legacy) or adultry (which threatens his family life), he decides to burn the bridges to the latter to ensure the former. Because to him that is what's most important.

                          A minor one would, as a note, for a lot of people be a passive liking or interest. I like RPGs in general, but Exalted in particular. So I would probably have a minor tie the former and a major to the latter or osme other thing. And I could be conviced pretty easily for a lot of not-Exalted games to go do something else. They're fleeting and come and go. You'll see more in the Systems chapter.

                          Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                          ... Does "magic healing" include the Exalted Healing Merit? ...
                          Short answer is I think "Depends". Since the Merit represents a lot of different potential sources. It would be maybe for a sorcerer who did some amgic to himself, not so sure for a Wyld mutant or a Ten-Fathered.

                          Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                          ... What is "primarily resting"? Bed-bound or can a character mooch around the house a bit?...
                          I take this to usually mean "Not doing much productive". You probably can't say, write a lot or do blacksmithing.

                          Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                          ... Hmmm... boost in essence refills when stressed (combat) and when absolutely not stressed (reading/meditating). That makes sense from a system perspective, but absolutely zero in-world. If the latter was just meditation and explicitly focusing on essence regaining I could get it, but it's not....
                          Just remember that the systems are there to help you get at the world, not hte other way around. So there are some overt "This is purely systematic to make things work" things about. They are not necessarily going to be reflectedw ell in the world.
                          Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                          ... Do you check for anima effects only when motes are spent, or is it a running total? I'm not clear on that. For example, a character spends 7 peripheral essence on All-Purpose Hypothetical Example Meditation charm, putting her from dim to glowing. Does the next level happen after 3 motes are spent (10 total), or does she have to spend another 5 in one go? It seems like the latter, and I may be being too thick to notice an obvious instruction here. ...
                          It's pre-expendature. So in your example, you'd remain at Dim since you spent 5+ the first time and didn't do so the second.

                          Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                          ... Two of the Dawn's anima effects (first and third) don't have costs listed. Are they free, or do they cost one mote, as per the universal abilities? ...
                          No cost listed means no cost. They're tied to the Dawn anima, just don't do much with motes besides flavortext.

                          Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                          ... Vanishing twilight! Cool! Does the PC know where they will end up, though? ...
                          Contextual I think. If you scouted the area, you might have an idea. Otherwise, I have had it where a Twilight uses it and finds a plot hook.

                          Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                          ... "legitimate business of some kind" - is creating a travelling salesman Eclipse who presents his wares while the circle gets into position to kill things "legitimate business"?...
                          I think if you're being purposefully or obvioulsy a belligerent bets are off.

                          Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                          ... What does "may not attack" look like, in this instance? Can they try and auto-fail? Are their arms physically bound to their sides if they're raised in anger? Can they not even think about taking an aggressive action? What's doing the limiting here?...
                          Mostly act, though again, if you're being purposefully belligerent and not really acting in good faith, I think it would probably be up to ST on this. The enxt chapter notes that there is in effect a Chicanary: No clause.


                          Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                          ... The learning other charms with the Eclipse keyword doesn't specify how they learn it, or even that they need to observe the charm in use in order to pick it up. What do they need to do in-universe to learn these charms?...
                          Depends, actually. Sometimes you get a spirit to teach you. Othertimes you steal its trick by observing it. It really depends on the Charm and being.

                          And stuff.


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                          • Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                            "perfect effect" - sounds like a system term. Noted for future reference.
                            Ctrl-F indicates this is literally the only instance of this phrase.


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                            • Oh well... I tried...


                              A Not-Quite-Newb's Read-Through of Ex3 - my thoughts, notes and trials and tribulations with the Exalted 3rd edition rules.
                              Ex3 Reference Materials - currently includes an ST screen, common actions sheet, weapons reference sheet, character creation summary and mortal QCs reference sheet.

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                              • Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                                Oh well... I tried...
                                No, no, I think it's a very reasonable assumption! It does sound like a system term.

                                I apologize, that wasn't meant as a criticism of you at all.


                                Homebrew: Lunar Charms for 3e

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

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