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

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  • I used the Dragonblooded QC and they always were defeated before their anima flared. I'd probably houserule Dragonblooded QCs can trigger anima at will until we get the Dragonblooded book.


    With remembering Sidereals: Sidereals have Resplendent Destinies which are identities that allow others to remember that particular identity. I just have the Sidereal run around in a RD and have the players remember that. When the RD ends, the "a new Sidereal" comes into the game.

    Or, I include the Sidereal in the character's backstory and make the player roll to remember how that character interacted in their character's backstory.

    Last edited by wonderandawe; 08-19-2016, 09:28 AM.


    I write things.

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    • The Immaculate of Water and Wood were cut for space

      Actually many antagonists (including 1.5 other Sidereals) were cut. It's kind of annoying.
      Last edited by AtG; 08-19-2016, 09:49 AM.

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      • Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
        I used the Dragonblooded QC and they always were defeated before their anima flared. I'd probably houserule Dragonblooded QCs can trigger anima at will until we get the Dragonblooded book.


        With remembering Sidereals: Sidereals have Resplendent Destinies which are identities that allow others to remember that particular identity. I just have the Sidereal run around in a RD and have the players remember that. When the RD ends, the "a new Sidereal" comes into the game.

        Or, I include the Sidereal in the character's backstory and make the player roll to remember how that character interacted in their character's backstory.

        To elaborate on Resplendent Destinies, when a Sidereal "dons" a Resplendent Destiny, they metaphysically become someone else - they have a separate thread in the Loom of Fate and everything. They don't actually look any different, but for all intents and purposes, they count as someone else - for example, if you had, say, an artifact that you put someone's hair in and it glows when you point it at that person, if you put a Sidereal's hair in it, and they donned a Resplendent Destiny, it wouldn't glow when you pointed it at them, because, again, they're a different person for all intents and purposes.

        This has a few other implications:

        First, Arcane Fate doesn't apply to Resplendent Destinies. People won't forget a Sidereal's Resplendent Destiny the way they will the Sidereal themselves.

        Second, if a Sidereal hasn't donned a particular Resplendent Destiny in some time (long enough that that person's disappearance will be suspicious), it's supernaturally difficult to realize there's something off about this. If I recall correctly, you had to make a (Wits + Integrity) check to not come up with excuses for why the person seems to have mysteriously disappeared (As a particularly extreme example, a Sidereal might be married to a mortal under a Resplendent Destiny, and not come and see them for years, but that mortal will just come up with excuses for why they haven't seen their spouse in years and not find anything off about it).

        Third, acting "out of character" for a given Resplendent Destiny accrues Paradox for the Sidereal (Like the mechanic in Mage, except here it represents annoying the Pattern Spiders (which are responsible for maintaining Fate) by creating extra work for them).

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        • Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
          I used the Dragonblooded QC and they always were defeated before their anima flared. I'd probably houserule Dragonblooded QCs can trigger anima at will until we get the Dragonblooded book.
          They were defeated before they could even spend 5/10m? Not even on boosting their parry against the attack that killed them? You know you can spend motes from your peripheral pool even if you still have personal motes, right?


          Some of me humble homebrew for ex3:
          Artifacts for Crumple's DB homebrew
          Some Lintha QCs
          A Wyld Behemoth

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          • Originally posted by TDS View Post

            They were defeated before they could even spend 5/10m? Not even on boosting their parry against the attack that killed them? You know you can spend motes from your peripheral pool even if you still have personal motes, right?

            The DB in question didn't realize they were fighting a Solar, must less a Dawn. The Dawn took the DB out in two turns (one turn to boost withering and second turn for the decisive.) The DB got one turn to act and wasn't able to take advantage of the QC anima dependent abilities. I had the Air Aspect activate their style. In hindsight, I should have had the NPC active their style before combat started. I wasn't expecting the Dawn to kill the Air Aspect the next turn.

            At the time, I was running Ex3 without ever actually played Ex3. It was my first time running Exalted ever. As an Exalted player, I never realized just OP my characters were. I've run World of Darkness and Pathfinder before, but the power level of Exalted blew me away. I was shocked that the Dawn with no XP took down the Dragonblooded within two turns. My four session mystery arc could have been solve with a single charm use if I hadn't done some quick BS handwaving of evidence.

            It was defiantly a learning experience.


            I write things.

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            • Originally posted by AtG View Post
              The Immaculate of Water and Wood were cut for space
              My irrational levels of irritation at this cannot be expressed in human words.

              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.
              Actually, about that... If you look back up at the QC stats, you'll see that one of the listed attacks is, in fact, a Powerbow. So I had assumed that their attack charms are meant to be Archery charms.


              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 wonderandawe View Post
                It was defiantly a learning experience.
                Yeah, I think Exalted 3rd edition would definitely benefit from a Storyteller's Companion or Primer with lots of advice on how to run an Exalted game, how the combat system is balanced, how certain Charms can completely change the way a session might unfold and ways in which Storytellers can prepare for them.

                In many other RPG systems (like Pathfinder) those sorts of powers won't start appearing till later on after the Game Master has had plenty of time to get used to how the players play, how the setting and mechanics work, etc. In Exalted you can get blindsided with all of these powers on the first session and I'm sure a number of Storytellers get kind of overwhelmed and shocked by how things go.

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                • Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                  • Combat feels ouch with these. Although I imagine lances can't be used unmounted...
                  This will be mentioned later, but a direlance is just the artifact version of a (long) spear, and can totally be used on foot.


                  Some of me humble homebrew for ex3:
                  Artifacts for Crumple's DB homebrew
                  Some Lintha QCs
                  A Wyld Behemoth

                  Comment


                  • Animals
                    • Animals can be big, small, weird, wonderful, intelligent, dumb, whatever. Got it.
                    Latent and Magical Abilities
                    • Some abilities can only be done by an animal after they have been trained to do so. There is a system for this, involving 2 specialities.
                    • "Training a familiars requires..." on p.554.
                    • Training requires intimacies towards the animal. Can this be towards the animal in general or towards each specific animal?
                    • I also feel like it should probably be pointed out that these intimacies don't have to be things like affection. People who train working animals likely have a degree of respect for the animals, but would never treat them like pets.
                    Sample Latent Abilities
                    • Generalised latent abilities are a thing. Good. Although I hope these things point out where they can be applied.
                    • OK, so these are all special abilities that animals can do without spending Essence. Why don't sentient beings get this kind of thing? Martial arts, I'm looking at you.
                    • Lots of gripping and threatening stuff, mostly modifying animals' attacks or opening up general options for them. This makes it feel like there should be an exclusion list of things that animals cannot be expected to do unless trained somewhere. Can a mundane beast without Crushing Embrace actually make savaging attacks, for example? That said, it does have other bonuses too, so maybe. I don't know. Which is kind of a problem.
                    Speed Bonuses Sidebar
                    • Note that speed bonuses apply to various combat actions taken by a character while mounted on that animals.
                    Sample Magical Abilities
                    • There are common abilities among the Exalted's familiars too.
                    • Although what about familiars for sorcerers' familiars etc? Are they included to, even though the sorcerer might not be Exalted?
                    • The motes are paid by their master... so it might be that sorcerous motes aren't an option here.
                    • No experience costs or anything for these abilities, just training time? Isn't that a little cheap for these abilities, which are in essence mini-Charms.
                    Angler Lizard
                    • Fishing lizards. That sound kind of weirdly cute.
                    Armoured Terror
                    • Big predatory fish. Lots of size-based damage modifiers, which could do for big opponents too.
                    Bear
                    • Tidy description, and a mention of their attack style. Didn't realise this was missing from the others until I saw it here.
                    • Ah, a "will flee at this point of injury" tag. Good stuff.
                    • An interesting attack combo. A good model that I want to follow with homebrew special attacks.
                    Benthic Knifetooth
                    • Creation's darkness-loving Great Whites.
                    Boar-Tusk Crocodile
                    • This is a really weird image. But I guess it kind of works if you're after mini-dinosaurs.
                    Bunyip
                    • Marsupial herbivores. I had the image of upsized marsupial tapirs from the description though, I must admit.
                    • The pouch is a neat ability. But given what marsupials' pouches are like in real life, I would hate to get in one.
                    Cat
                    • This covers domestics and wildcats. Right.,..
                    • Oh, so the different sizes are dealt with through relative size modifiers. That's a neat way of doing it, although I can see it being difficult to manage when faced with different-sized targets.
                    Claw Strider
                    • Reptilian pack wolves. Creation really starting to feel like the Land of the Dinosaurs at this point.
                    Death Moa
                    • Apex predator bird. For some reason I think of a carnivorous ostrich or emu.
                    • A LOT of health levels.
                    Dog/Wolf
                    • What it says on the tin.
                    • Lots of neat latent moves to represent training. Not sure how effective they'd actually be, but it feels good regardless.
                    • Including canine counterattacks, without specifying rules. But that horse has been flogged down to the bone in this thread and others.
                    • I know why Heroic Guardian-Beast Resilience is magical, but it feels like there should be a non-magical equivalent which would run the risk of killing the animal. Also, it has no motes cost. Is this something that is simply available for free?
                    Eagle
                    • Fabled beasts, and relatively common for all that.
                    • Sensible restrictions on grapples, except when magically enhanced.
                    Emperor Sloth
                    • Elephant-sized sloths. That are omnivores.
                    • Another scaled-up animal. I feel quite unprepared for all this. Maybe I missed something in the setting chapter, although that did focus very heavily on settlements and dynasties and such.

                    Gorilla
                    • Seems fairly standard for gorillas.
                    Great Cat
                    • Customisation suggestions appreciated.
                    • More latent abilities than I expected. Ah well.
                    Hellboar
                    • What on earth is an "extreme omnivore"? The phrase conjours visions of things that eat metal and stone, not an upsized animal.
                    • Some nice nods to the ecosystem and how hunters interact here. Again, didn't really notice that it was missing elsewhere until this one points it out, but how on earth does the ecosystem cope with all these upsized creatures lumbering around?
                    Horse
                    • Six-foot tall warhorses? Really? I suppose Dyansts' squires got used to bringing stepladders with them as part of the tack? All I can see that sort of horse being useful for is a beast of burden during a siege. And yes, the destrier is an unknown breed, but given the other types of charger, this seems... unlikely. Unless this is a conceit to try and account for the amount of jade a dragon-blooded rider could end up wearing. But let my objection to this be noted.
                    • Surprisingly few abilities, but then again most movement tricks require Essence, so I shouldn't be surprised.
                    Ox-Dragon
                    • Another mostly-herbivore? It feels weird to have so many things that are inclined to eat meat if the chance strikes. I'm not a zoologist, but I don't remember hearing of that many quadrupeds with that sort of diet. Yes, this is a fantasy, but for some reason these kinds of beasts rankle me.
                    • This sounds like some form of ceratopsid, which is a little overdue in this bestiary.
                    • What is the picture supposed to be of? Not one of these, from the description.
                    Pestletail
                    • Nice, an actual herbivore.
                    • And an overgrown tortoise, from the "withdraw into shell" attack.
                    Quoll-Lion
                    • A game-specific ambush predator cat. Doesn't feel overly necessary given the "build whatever you want" qualification in the Great Cat section, but I suppose it's nice to see a "worked example", so to speak.
                    • My earlier "ick, you don't want to be in a marsupial pouch" arises again.
                    Raiton
                    • Creation's ravens. Nifty things.
                    River Dragon
                    • Crocodile-dragons. Nice.
                    • Just thought that, with all the various grapple-focused beasties, it might almost be worth pointing out somewhere what they grapple with. This isn't the kind of animal to get someone in a full nelson before they get dragged underwater; I assume this is all done with jaws.
                    Siege Lizard
                    • More dinosaurs!
                    • A picture of this would be really handy. Stuff is starting to feel a bit samey.
                    Tyrant Lizard
                    • Exalted has T Rexes. Of course a setting that has dinosaurs will have T Rexes.
                    • Lots of grappling with jaws again. And things that make it very hard to kill or incapacitate. A nice way of tying up a whole party.
                    Venomous Snake
                    • Another "apply this template to everything" type beast. With a sidenote that Europe is climatically the "near north".
                    • Nice variation in apply the venomous bite to things of different sizes.
                    Yeddim
                    • Is this an oversized yak? A wooly mammoth without tusks? An oversided Cousin It? What? The description is vague enough that I can't understand what it is, and there's no pictures to help.
                    • Big and hardy is the message of the merits.
                    • There were a LOT of entries for this. Enough to make me kind of glaze, even when I didn't know what they were. I found myself thinking "good grief, I'm only on D!?" and similar thoughts. This may just be an effect of reading a lot of abilities over and over at once in what is meant to be a 'refer to as you need' type section, but there's enough obscure and unique beasts here to merit a full read-through at least once for the newcomer.
                    • While a lot of the entries were upsized versions of beasts that exist, or had comparisons explicitly drawn with things that exist, a few could really do with fuller descriptions or illustrations to either differentiate them or illustrations to show what they are.
                    • It also feels a bit like the South and the East are over-represented in terms of the beasts here. I can't see many of the more unique beasts being at home in the North or West. For such a long list of animals, that feels mildly disappointing.
                    And we're now into the last one, the Great Panoply. It's only taken me... over four months, really? I'm a really slow reviewer... thanks for everyone's patience for bearing with me with this.



                    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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                    • Hey, ex3 is a massive book, taking months to review it in depth is actually pretty damn good.

                      A few things I would suggest though, if you're going to be running games with the baseline antagonists. Some of them have pretty woefully inadequate attack pools, so don't be afraid to give yourself stunt bonuses, spend their willpower, or stack some environmental penalties in the scene.

                      Comment


                      • The angler lizard is a Tanystropheus.

                        The armored terror is a Dunkelosteus.

                        The benthic knifetooth is an up-sized and up-fierced frilled shark.

                        The boar-tusk crocodile is a a Kaprosuchus.

                        The bunyip is a Diprotodon.

                        The claw strider is a Deinonychus.

                        The death moa is literally just a moa, I think. EDIT: It's a Bullockornis. Thank you, Vance.

                        The emperor sloth is a Megatherium.

                        The hellboar... I don't remember, but it's literally just a big prehistoric boar of some kind, I know it's one particular species but whatever, Google isn't turning anything up and I don't have these memorized. EDIT: It's an Entelodont.

                        The ox-dragon is a Triceratops or some other ceratopsid, yeah. That bit about opportunistic omnivorism is based on real current theory. I don't know what's going on with that illo.

                        The pestletail is a Glyptodont, and therefore a mammal and not a turtle. The stats would work for an ankylosaurus, though.

                        The quoll-lion is a marsupial lion.

                        The raiton is an Archeopteryx.

                        The river-dragon is from Exalted 1e and may or may not correspond to any particular bit of prehistoric megafauna.

                        The siege lizard is a Stegosaurus.

                        The tyrant lizard is, indeed, T. rex.

                        The yeddim is an original Exalted animal but seems to most closely resemble Paraceratherium. Or maybe some descendent of Paraceratherium after thousands of years of domestication by god-heroes.

                        Most of these were chosen by backers who purchased the "Choose an example of prehistoric megafauna for us to put in the book" reward tier. I was really, really hoping someone would choose Quetzalcoatlus northropi, but nobody did, alas.
                        Last edited by Stephen Lea Sheppard; 08-25-2016, 01:33 PM.

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                        • There's a lot of nit picking that could be responded to here, but for the moment I'll stick to one that is simple:

                          Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                          It feels weird to have so many things that are inclined to eat meat if the chance strikes. I'm not a zoologist, but I don't remember hearing of that many quadrupeds with that sort of diet. Yes, this is a fantasy,
                          ​Have you ever seen video footage of deer eating baby birds?



                          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                          Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                          https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                          • Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                            [*]No experience costs or anything for these abilities, just training time? Isn't that a little cheap for these abilities, which are in essence mini-Charms.
                            No XP costs for latent abilities. But you can't by default just "train" the magical abilities - "the Charms of the Exalted can unlock magical powers in some animals". In this case, Beast-Mastering Behavior, which at Survival 5 / Essence 3 lets you pay 2xp per magical ability.

                            I know why Heroic Guardian-Beast Resilience is magical, but it feels like there should be a non-magical equivalent which would run the risk of killing the animal. Also, it has no motes cost. Is this something that is simply available for free?
                            The non-magical equivalent is just "Defend Other".

                            Also, though, I'd potentially let someone use the death of a familiar as a "crippling injury" for the rule letting you ablate some decisive damage.
                            Last edited by AtG; 08-25-2016, 06:24 AM.

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                            • Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
                              The angler lizard is a Tanystropheus.
                              The death moa is literally just a moa, I think.
                              Death moas are bullockornis


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                              • Originally posted by Robert Vance View Post
                                Death moas are bullockornis
                                Ah. Right. The Demon Duck of Doom.

                                Not sure why I could forget that.

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