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Was the Bronze Faction right?

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  • Aya Tari
    started a topic Was the Bronze Faction right?

    Was the Bronze Faction right?

    I was just curious if anyone thought that the Bronze Faction was right in their prophecy? While the Usurpation probably ended the lives of five billion human beings, with the ancient Solar Exalted basically saying an f*** you to Creation and taking out entire nations with them when they were killed, the ancient Solar Exalted were evil monsters that made tyrants like the Scarlet Empress seems like an amateur by comparison. What is even worse, the Solar Exalted were capable of using social Charms that made the vast majority of Creation beg to be used in their insane games and corrupted excesses. After all, they committed genocide on a scale beyond comprehension after the Primordial War, enslaved the Mountain Folk, and marginalized the Dragon Kings just because they were slightly paranoid about their capabilities..

    Yes, Solar PCs are not evil monsters, though their Limit Breaks hold the potential for great evil, and they will become evil monsters if they are allowed to live for a few centuries. A Solar PC that suffers Berserk Anger will slaughter everything in sight that they do not have a positive tie to, which means that they will kill women, children, kittens, and puppies if their Limit Break is properly portrayed. In one session, a Solar PC could go from being a heroic character to a maniac who is known for slaughtering entire villages (after all, how many bystanders can a Solar PC kill in a scene?).

  • Elkovash
    replied
    Originally posted by Guancyto View Post
    Honestly, this is my feeling when it comes to the Sidereals. Spock vs. Bones is probably my favorite metaphor for it. The Vision of Gold is raw, emotionally satisfying, easy to picture. The Solars are their best friends! It's easy to get attached to the idea that they'll just work really hard at making the Solars better and everything will be okay. The Vision of Bronze is cold, efficient in its goals, actually likely to succeed. The Solars need to cease to be a threat; the Solars trust them enough that assassination is viable; it's the only way to be sure at least something will be saved.

    And like so many Spock vs. Bones decisions? The Bones choice is naive bordering on suicidal. The Spock choice is monstrous. Bones would have gotten the Enterprise destroyed a hundred times over. Spock would have cost the crew their souls.

    When it's brought up that the Sidereals failed to be heroes by following the Vision of Bronze, it's always in the context that they 'should have' chosen the Vision of Gold. But I don't think that's right. Choosing the Vision of Gold wouldn't have made them heroes. Diplomats, perhaps. Counselors. Doomed, almost certainly. But not heroes, except for those idiot heroes in JRPGs who give away the world-ending macguffin in exchange for their girlfriend.

    But a hero? When a hero is given the choice between the mad or the monstrous, a hero doesn't accept the choices presented to him. Since when do the masters of Fate decide to bow to its dictates?

    I don't know what the third way would be. (That's probably why I haven't been crowned King of the Sidereals, or declared Captain of the Enterprise). It might have shattered the nature of reality forever. It might have meant all becoming Nocturnals or something. But the Vision of Darkness was the future if they did nothing, not if they failed to choose Bronze or Gold. Their failure was in believing that they were (to shift from Star Trek to Mass Effect) shackled to a dialogue wheel, that there was only a Paragon and Renegade option available.
    Wow, you sure out my feelings a heck of a lot more eloquently than I would have been able to. Thanks for this.

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  • Anasurimbor
    replied
    Originally posted by Amakawa Yuuto View Post
    A thought I had when I posted the quotes about the first age and the ursupation earlier (but then forgot because I kept looking for more quotes):
    The tidbit of reasoning for the ursupation in Ex3 included "Solars were about to start a civil war", as in, with each other.

    And a very important bit: While it's mentioned that most Solars died during the Calibration Feast, it's also mentioned that many escaped (or simply weren't there, I guess) and hat to be hunted down, and that this took time. Not a simple "One night massacre", but pretty much a devastating global war that ruined most of the world due to the powers involed.
    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
    That's a very interesting change.
    These truths were long ago recorded in the original book of the Exalted. If they seem new, it is only because they had been forgotten amidst the mists of time.

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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    That doesn't seem inappropriate for prophets: they're unable to see any options besides the prophecies.

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  • Guancyto
    replied
    Originally posted by Swazzle View Post
    I always got the impression that irrespective of what Vision the Sidereals chose to heed, they'd have been screwed over. The Great Curse tainted their Visions and insured that irrespective of what prophesy they picked, there would have been unforseen consequences and alot of dead Exalts.

    All and all, they might have had better luck winging it and cooking up with some alternative solution.
    Honestly, this is my feeling when it comes to the Sidereals. Spock vs. Bones is probably my favorite metaphor for it. The Vision of Gold is raw, emotionally satisfying, easy to picture. The Solars are their best friends! It's easy to get attached to the idea that they'll just work really hard at making the Solars better and everything will be okay. The Vision of Bronze is cold, efficient in its goals, actually likely to succeed. The Solars need to cease to be a threat; the Solars trust them enough that assassination is viable; it's the only way to be sure at least something will be saved.

    And like so many Spock vs. Bones decisions? The Bones choice is naive bordering on suicidal. The Spock choice is monstrous. Bones would have gotten the Enterprise destroyed a hundred times over. Spock would have cost the crew their souls.

    When it's brought up that the Sidereals failed to be heroes by following the Vision of Bronze, it's always in the context that they 'should have' chosen the Vision of Gold. But I don't think that's right. Choosing the Vision of Gold wouldn't have made them heroes. Diplomats, perhaps. Counselors. Doomed, almost certainly. But not heroes, except for those idiot heroes in JRPGs who give away the world-ending macguffin in exchange for their girlfriend.

    But a hero? When a hero is given the choice between the mad or the monstrous, a hero doesn't accept the choices presented to him. Since when do the masters of Fate decide to bow to its dictates?

    I don't know what the third way would be. (That's probably why I haven't been crowned King of the Sidereals, or declared Captain of the Enterprise). It might have shattered the nature of reality forever. It might have meant all becoming Nocturnals or something. But the Vision of Darkness was the future if they did nothing, not if they failed to choose Bronze or Gold. Their failure was in believing that they were (to shift from Star Trek to Mass Effect) shackled to a dialogue wheel, that there was only a Paragon and Renegade option available.
    Last edited by Guancyto; 05-05-2016, 08:44 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Swazzle
    replied
    I always got the impression that irrespective of what Vision the Sidereals chose to heed, they'd have been screwed over. The Great Curse tainted their Visions and insured that irrespective of what prophesy they picked, there would have been unforseen consequences and alot of dead Exalts.

    All and all, they might have had better luck winging it and cooking up with some alternative solution.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lundgren
    replied
    There will never be a "one true version" that will appeal to everyone, so personally I have always been in favor of the toolbox-approach (but I'm also quite a lot of a "Rules as Suggestion" type of guy when it comes to roleplaying games).

    When it comes to if Sidereals would murder other Sids; political backstabbings and actual backstabbings gives two different kinds of paranoia, and thus two very different feel to the setting. Also, claiming they would never kill another Sid don't really have to stop them from actually doing so

    A: "But what about..."

    B: "Natural causes."

    A: "It was poison."

    B: "So? It was a natural poison."

    Leave a comment:


  • Isator Levi
    replied
    The point about one book making a comprehensive declaration of Sidereals not murdering one another against a character background including a Sidereal murdering at least one other makes me wonder what is the best attitude to approach for books like these.

    ​A sense that they should never make comprehensive declarations that will inevitably be contradicted?

    A sense that there should be really strident development oversight and writer vetting to ensure that new products know the precedents well enough to minimize contradictions as much as possible?

    Or just having a chill attitude to contradictions, knowing that some degree will always be present, and just typically going on the side of the thing that is more comprehensive over the ones that are footnotes?

    Leave a comment:


  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    Honestly, that's not unreasonable.

    I mean, I can definitely see some Sidereals who've been sitting around complaing about Kejak and co, or who've been annoyed that the Sidereals have been supporting the Realm rather than spending more time doing their job, but it is a little silly that there's been an organised political faction for 1500 years dedicated to supporting people who were a) gone, and b)almost certainly never coming back.
    Opposition factions based around entirely different things would be much more likely. Hey, the Silver Faction would be more likely.

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    The way Sidereals are written in the core makes me think the Gold Faction has only really been a thing since Solars returned, now.

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  • Furoan
    replied
    The REAL reason everybody was being killed off in the first age was because one of the more industrious and charismatic Solar's invested in some prime real estate in the Underworld and needed a labour force to work it. Everybody saw him executing all these people and weren't going to be out done, driving the labour costs down in the Underworld. The twin Monarch's weren't happy about that.

    NOTE: the above is completely made up and is not meant to be taken seriously.

    Leave a comment:


  • Solar
    replied
    I'm happy to call the idea that in the first age everyone was killing each other to just be silly rather than the curse or whatever.

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  • The Hug Ninja
    replied
    Originally posted by Lioness View Post
    I find it more accurate to call the issues with the Realm's presentation "the Imperium problem" where the problems with an Empire can be attributed to its current broken state or the obviously incompetent or evil people wielding too much power but the underlying imperialist narrative isn't questioned because everyone should be banding together against what's coming next.
    Also with all the major players being Dragon-Blooded it’s easy to write off abuses of power as being some combination of a Terrestrial Exalts epic passions and the Great Curse.

    Kind of like how it’s possible to attribute the evil committed by the Empire in Star Wars to the fact that the Emperor was a Sith Lord and… I won’t explore that thought any further because we’re getting very close to Goodwin’s Law.

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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    Originally posted by Lioness View Post
    If we go by DotFA the First Age did have a worrying tendency to settle seemingly minor disputes with death.
    Kejak was apparently sending occasional assassins after Tammiz Ushun to "keep up appearances" but it seems to go deeper than that, there's a mention of an art society wiping out another one over the correct way to paint an ocean so I wonder if the culture was irrevocably tainted by Dragon King influences.
    Might also be a Great Curse thing. Killing people over minor things.

    Originally posted by Gayo
    I always imagined that the Gold and Bronze Factions were sort of like rival rowing clubs after the bulk of the original Prophecy Sidereals died off, and then when the Solars came back it was super awkward for everyone.
    Well, the books say that they don't have big "Bronze faction" or "Gold faction" meetings, they have Blue Mountain Tea Society meetings or Master Wu's Bi-Monthly Gateway tournament.

    Which isn't what you're saying, but it could work that way.

    To be honest, I always imagine the Factions to be less like political parties, and more like, well, factions in a Junta or Communist government. They fight each other for power through promotions and demotions, with the occasional purges through fraudulent accusations of crimes. And everyone insists they're just doing their jobs.

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  • Murcushio
    replied
    Originally posted by Lioness View Post
    Canonically there's evidence that some Gold Faction Sidereals survived the Usurpation to keep the movement alive, so I prefer them to be people who survived because they basically followed the party line of “kill all the Solars” rather than some badass Bronze Faction Death Squad escaping rogue agents who went onto do jack squat until Ayesha Ura switched sides.
    It's also worth noting that Sidereals aren't incompetent at fighting and evading, and that unless the Gold Faction truly was trivial in numbers (say like under ten people) the Bronze Faction deciding to go all Night of Long Knives on people who were not explicitly going to narc on the Five-Score Fellowship would probably have been extremely bloody and runs the risk of driving other people into their camp; "I was on board with plan Kill All The Solars, but I'm not going to murder some guy in his office who has declared his loyalty and is continuing to do his job just because he didn't vote the way you wanted him to vote and refuses to personally lead a Dragon-Blooded death squad. What the fuck, you assholes?"

    You can justify going after guys who are going to run to the Solars, because you can take the line of "they're traitors to the Fellowship and to the Bureau and they're calling in an outside power to purge us and then set up Solar hegemony in Heaven as well as in Creation." But a complete purge of everyone who didn't vote the way you wanted? There'd have been a nontrivial number of Sidereal bodies on the floor at a time when they're needed the most.

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