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

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  • Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
    A little disappointed not to see any Third Circle examples, but that's a minor quibble. Given the power level and likely weirdness of them, I get the impression that they're not particularly concerned with Creation, but it does rather make the Summon Third Circle Demon an ST fiat spell.
    Hopefully we see stats for them in the future.

    For now it's enough to simply consider Summon Third Circle Demon as, "Summon Plot Device."

    A Third Circle Demon can completely annihilate a fortress, twist or kill all the people in a city, allow you to magically bypass any kind of static defense, destroy any barrier, create any sort of monster you can imagine, provide you knowledge that no one else knows, create a perfect doppleganger of anyone, anything or any place in existence, build a manse in just a few hours, etc. Basically, if you want to do something, there's a Third Circle Demon who can do it really, really, well.

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    • Creatures of the Wyld

      Fair Folk and weird gribbly things with tongues for hair and skin like potash coming up! I feel that an affection for titans and demons from Dwarf Fortress may help here...

      Fair Folk Cataphract
      • Militant Fair Folk that feed on the emotions associated with battle.
      • Lots of varied temperaments, forms, and things to do in creation.
      • The Fae Nature and Cold Iron Bane merits work. Nice and obvious where the inspiration initially comes from, although the Rakshasa connection could make for some interesting reinterpretations.
      • Lots of weird charms, including one that is crowd control and one that creates battle groups. Helpful.
      Fair Folk Lorelei
      • Tempters who suck out your soul while you enjoy yourself with them.
      • And variety based on direction. Is it just me, or is the idea of everchanging beings defined by their location a little contradictory? I know it's to provide examples of what things can be, but it still feels off.
      Hobgoblin
      • Gnarly things with directional flavour that are generic killy.
      • Some neat willpower-regaining tricks. Encourages a particular style of play with them as ST.
      Silverwight
      • Wolf-like killers of some sort. That are attracted by pregnant women.
      • There's mention of things like "raksha warriors" and "raksha nobles" here and there, but no stats for them that I can see. This disappoints me.
      • That you can bring chilren into the Dreamweft isn't mentioned in the Dreamweft rules. It's a side-note in another paragraph.
      Buck-Ogre
      • Two-headed northern killy things in the wilderness.
      • No cold iron note? Are these not Fair Folk, or is this missing?
      Manticore
      • Good origin story for these things. I've never heard that before...
      Some good stuff here. I would have appreciated some more on the actual Fair Folk themselves here, if only to get a grip on what kind of magic to homebrew for the nobles etc. As it is here, I don't really know where to start.


      On to a nice chunky Exalted section!


      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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      • Buck Ogres are a sort of Wyld mutant. Not actually Fair Folk.

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        • "Raksha Nobles"

          There WAS an entry for a Raksha Noble in the leaked book, but it was cut for space.

          There was also a Behemoth made of volcanic glass and aurora flame.


          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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          • The Fair Folk give up a portion of being ever changing in form in order to survive in Creation.


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            • Shaped Raksha "Fair Folk" have their shapes influenced by the closest elemental pole and the concepts/creatures/cultures of the the area in which they enter into creation. That's why they had so many forms and why it's directionally influenced.


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              • Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                [/LIST]Fair Folk Lorelei[LIST][*]Tempters who suck out your soul while you enjoy yourself with them.[*]And variety based on direction. Is it just me, or is the idea of everchanging beings defined by their location a little contradictory? I know it's to provide examples of what things can be, but it still feels off.
                The way it worked in previous editions (and probably still does) is that Fair Folk don't naturally have a physical form. They're more like immaterial spirits. When they enter Creation proper however, they need a body. If they don't have one they will perish very quickly. So they construct a body out of different concepts (the nearby elements, emotions, the bodies of animals, etc).

                When one of them decides to make an elemental body (which is very common), they literally form it from the nearby elements. It's entirely possible to have one in the West whose body is formed from fire or wood, but in general it's simply easier to work with the material on hand, which means that seducer spirits in the West are more likely to be based around Water themes than not and ones in the West might be made with appealing flowers more often than snow and ice.

                Raksha are also heavily shaped by the narratives they live in, which also leads to Raksha following certain types of patterns. So in the South there are lots of stories about how Raksha do X, Y and Z, and Raksha find it much more fun and amusing to also do X, Y and Z and match with the stories that are being told.

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                • Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                  Creatures of the Wyld
                  *snip*
                  • There's mention of things like "raksha warriors" and "raksha nobles" here and there, but no stats for them that I can see. This disappoints me.
                  Ditto. This has been confusing the hell out of me. The way I thought it was written was Cataphract and Lorelei were nobles. But then they have reference of them serving nobels so what the hell is a noble? Maybe just a higher essence version of the base ones?

                  Until Kyman201 just cleared this up I still wasn't sure what was going on.

                  The word count trim has left some unfortunate gaps for comprehension. The backer PDF really could have used a pair of eye that didn't know the setting well looking for gaps like this.

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                  • Originally posted by Major View Post
                    Until Kyman201 just cleared this up I still wasn't sure what was going on.
                    Happy to help!


                    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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                    • Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post


                      When one of them decides to make an elemental body (which is very common), they literally form it from the nearby elements. It's entirely possible to have one in the West whose body is formed from fire or wood, but in general it's simply easier to work with the material on hand, which means that seducer spirits in the West are more likely to be based around Water themes than not and ones in the West might be made with appealing flowers more often than snow and ice.
                      ​Hmm, I think that the mechanics of Assumptions were more focused on the idea of where the body could function rather than what it was made of.

                      If you're in the West, you favour a Water-aspected body or one made to emulate marine life because you're entering an environment in which it's useful to be good at swimming.

                      I would have to look back on what Assumption powers were like before the errata, but I think there was still a quality of being able to wield the substances that were present as well.

                      Hmm, I cannot check my book at the moment, but I'm wondering how much Third Edition defines the Fair Folk as being amorphous from the outset.



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                      • Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                        Hmm, I cannot check my book at the moment, but I'm wondering how much Third Edition defines the Fair Folk as being amorphous from the outset.
                        I'd have to reread it, but I don't think they much go into the nature of the Fair Folk beyond "They're scary things from the Wyld!"
                        Last edited by Kyman201; 08-15-2016, 07:56 PM.


                        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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                        • Looking back over the earlier section, I get the impression that while the forms of the raksha may be a bit more abstract before they enter Creation, the idea of them being completely mutable isn't so much of a thing; their inconsistencies seem to be more focused in the mental and spiritual.

                          ​But there's also the point of how they clothe themselves in the substance of the world, especially the nearest Elemental Pole, when they enter it, and this can let them have a variety of looks. The presence of trends and commonalities might be the kind of thing that can be attributed to them referring to established images in order to get the point across quickly, or being beguiled by the fashions established by commanding personas, or simply how their sense of aesthetic is informed by the Wyld's tendency for the iconic and recurring. Even then, it is stated that such things are not universal.


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                          • I know that a lot of folks would recommend against using 2e's books for a setting point of reference, I think the introduction in Celestial Compass: the Wyld does a nice job of describing how the protean weirdness of Pure Chaos and the stable forms of Creation intersect in the Wyld. What Isator said about the Wyld's tendency for the iconic and recurring is also addressed there in a way that made it click for me.


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                            • The Exalted
                              Lots of different types of Exalted. Most likely to be recurring characters, but not always enemies.
                              And a reminder that the stats presented here aren't the full shebang. Which is slightly infuriating to read, although I appreciate the realities behind that.
                              Lots of Essence cheat sheets. Handy, although the 2-page pagination is slightly bothersome.

                              The Dragon-blooded
                              • Individually weaker than Celestials, with lots of worldly power and NUMBERS that are a benefit.
                              • I get the impression that more than 5 DBs will be a relatively uncommon thing, and so vs a full circle Dragon-blooded will not be a common thing.
                              • The dice limits make sense.
                              • Anima flux feels... meh.
                              Young Dynast
                              • A dragon-blooded graduate!
                              • There's a charm that costs anima levels for a character that has 2 other charms and an excellency? That feels a bit harsh for the character. How likely are they to use the thing?
                              Shikari of the Wyld Hunt
                              • Martial dragon-blooded, of the Wyld Hunt.
                              • Immaculate of Air is about withering that does other stuff too.
                              • Immaculate of Earth is preachy! And all about soak manipulation.
                              • Immaculate of Fire seems the best DB combat option so far...
                              • ...and there's no Immaculate of Water or Wood. Why not?
                              • The Ancient Dragon-blooded feels nicely powered, particularly the battlegroup charm. But I feel unable to balance anything.
                              Terrestrial Animas Sidebar
                              • "these are visually distinct from those of the Solar Exalted". No pretending to be a Dragon-blooded for YOU!
                              • They sound pretty, but vague. No pictures in them or anything? Just splodges of moving colour? Unless they actually are just more blurry monochrome things expressing each DB's legend...?
                              The Lunar Exalted
                              • Warlords and either wary allies of bitter foes. A nice and simply-expressed setup.
                              • Attribute-based Excellencies sound like an interesting ideal. Although if the Solars max at Attribute + Ability, Lunars use Attributes and Dragon-blooded use Abilities, where does that leave the other types of Exalted?
                              • Also, I've just realised that as QCs don't have specific Abilities, and Charms aren't tied to them, does that mean that QC excellencies can just be used whenever the ST sees fit? Makes sense that way, I guess.
                              • Hmmm... shapeshifting after drinking the target's "heart's blood"? I know that from diablerie, but I assume it's not the same thing here. Probably. What is it? Is it fatal?
                              • The caps on abilities make sense.
                              Barbarian Warlord
                              • Big strong thing with no real social stuff. Not even read intentions, which seems a little odd.
                              • ...the book expects someone with Guile 1 and no actions denoting disguise or imitation to be able to pose as generals they've killed? Stats say no.
                              • Several impressive-sounding offensive charms. But I note a lack of things to deal with multiple opponents, both here and in the previous QCs.
                              The Mark of Luna Sidebar
                              • I'm actually skipping through past the sidebars and going back to them when I realised I should have had them. Possibly because the characters are engaging enough to want to carry on reading. This is a good sign.
                              • Lunars have a permanent "mark of Luna" as well as moonsilver tattoos, which are somehow tied to their caste.
                              • What happens if they don't get those tattoos? Are they just a casteless thing?
                              Shapeshifting Trickster
                              • Sneaky shapeshifter that has forms for sneaking, surveillance and impersonation.
                              • Lots of tricks to boost Resolve and Guile. The combination of these and the Barbarian Warlord stats might be able to pull off the Barbarian Warlord fluff.
                              The Sidereal Exalted
                              • Mysterious fate-related things, and ninjas.
                              • Essence-based Excellencies, and they can pay to reduce the target number of dice. Nice variation.
                              • And they must always fade. That... would be awkward to play out with people. If a Sidereal is a major player in a story, they still have Arcane Fate, but making players roleplay out forgetting them seems a little forced.
                              Bronze Faction Assassin
                              • Sneaky ranged Sidereal.
                              • No particular offensive martial arts charms? Although I guess you can just hand them the MA charms as written and just apply Mastery effects at will.
                              • The name "opportune shot" implies an archery charm, but doesn't specify that it's Archery or Thrown. It is definitely ranged, as it talks about Aim actions for "another" attack, but isn't more specific than that. This annoys me slightly, but I guess this allows it to be applied to both as needed.
                              Sidereal Animas Sidebar
                              • Sidereal animas are quiet, with no iconic displays, and don't shine through fabric. But they also have starry eyes.
                              No more sidereal QCs than that? I feel short-changed! What about the "power behind the throne" advisor?


                              The Abyssal Exalted
                              • Abyssals have Essence in the same amounts as Solars do.
                              • That the Abyssals are mirrors of Solars is really hammered home in this book...
                              The Trappings of Death Sidebar
                              • ...and it's explicitly stated in the first sentence of this sidebar. Welp, there's that mystery well dried up.
                              • And they take penalties if they're not sufficiently gawthed up. That feels really limiting, but it does keep them within a definite archetype.
                              Wandering Deathknight
                              • These are for those random Abyssals that are On a Quest. Or just out for a midnight stroll, y'know...
                              • Combat feels ouch with these. Although I imagine lances can't be used unmounted...
                              • Damage-stacking charms.
                              The Liminal Exalted
                              • These people need a place. And to kill the undead for some reason.
                              • Similar Essence to a Solar...
                              • Excellencies that vary by anima levels. Quite cool.
                              • I... think that picture is on the wrong page? And really quite overwrought.
                              • They are really hard to kill. Good for recurring NPCs!
                              Liminal Ghost Hunter
                              • They have Dark Mothers? Hmmm... is Lilith anything to do with this?
                              • Lots of fun body weirdness with this. I can see their charms being a lot of fun.
                              Exigents
                              • No "the Exigent Exalted"? Why the difference?
                              • Every Exigent is unique - no shared rules. Nicely meant, and I love the reason for it, but part of me is nervous at the prospect.
                              Ravena Quin, Architect of Wu-Jian
                              • Chosen to mind a city and keep the peace. Poor Ravena...
                              • Excellencies based on urban stunts. Cool!
                              • Some really interesting charms. All very situational, which only adds to their appeal, as far as I'm concerned. The covert ones are especially nice.
                              • Only one Exigent? When there are so many possibilities!?
                              Alienation of the Created Sidebar
                              • The return of the misplaced sidebar!
                              • Liminals creep mortals out when their anima flares, which has an effect on their interactions.
                              • The example anima weirdness is nice, but I'm not sure whether they still get a fully customised banner or not? I may be misremembering things, of course.
                              This section was nice, it added quite a bit of implied context to a lot of the Exalted, without spending too many words on it. The stats, I don't know too much about as I don't have much of a feel for figures, but I would guess that only the Abyssal would be able to be a direct opponent to a Solar with any success.


                              And next, Animals. Cue lots of strange furry blighters that have been mentioned elsewhere that I won't be able to remember.


                              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
                                [*]Hmmm... shapeshifting after drinking the target's "heart's blood"? I know that from diablerie, but I assume it's not the same thing here. Probably. What is it? Is it fatal?
                                It's a poetic term for drinking the blood after killing something.


                                Originally posted by Xerxes
                                ...the book expects someone with Guile 1 and no actions denoting disguise or imitation to be able to pose as generals they've killed? Stats say no.
                                Shapeshifted Lunars who aren't good at maintaining disguises are probably going to be in trouble if they encounter people who regularly ask each other if they're shapeshifting prehistoric monsters, but will do reasonably well against anybody who takes others at literal face value, especially if they're an aloof authority figure who you have no business being so familiar with in the first place.


                                Originally posted by Xerxes
                                What happens if they don't get those tattoos? Are they just a casteless thing?
                                In prior Editions, a Lunar with no tattoos had their Caste correspond to the phase of the moon (and I think only gets one Caste Attribute or something).

                                In Second Edition, it also meant that using your shapeshifting carried a risk of giving you permanent points of Limit, which would eventually turn you into a shapeless, mindless monster. I don't think that one is coming back in that form, but an element of instability for Casteless Lunars might still be on the table.


                                Originally posted by Xerxes
                                And they must always fade. That... would be awkward to play out with people. If a Sidereal is a major player in a story, they still have Arcane Fate, but making players roleplay out forgetting them seems a little forced.
                                Sidereals were given a Background and a couple of Charms that could overcome it before.



                                Originally posted by Xerxes
                                No "the Exigent Exalted"? Why the difference?
                                I can't remember the precise explanation... I think it was something like wanting people to focus more on the idea of them being a wide variety of Exalted with a common basis for existing but otherwise nothing alike, rather than giving a sense that they're all Chosen of the Exigence.


                                Originally posted by Xerxes
                                The return of the misplaced sidebar!
                                I would need to check back, but I have a feeling that if these pages were assembled as though they were in a book, then many or all of these sidebars would be on the right page to a subject discussed on the left page.


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