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Thought about Arms of the Chosen

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  • I like it for the artifacts with evocations so I don't have to create a whole bunch for my players or NPCs. If anything, there are too few of them imo. As for artifact creation rules, the book i useless and says not much more than what we already had in Core. All in all a good book for the artifacts with evocations. I would even say it greatly needed book (because artifacts and evocations) for any Exalted GM, but I don't know if I would say that it is a very good book. It should have been a hundred pages more I would say...

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    • I think it was an excellent book that has helped me make a ton of artifacts, and I think that for the first book Vance and Eric published, it was exceptional. Even with Holden and Hatewheel essentially taking all their work and burning it, and at times talking about how awesome their drafts that no one will ever get to see were, I think for Vance and Eric having to take over in the middle of the books publishing and do the whole thing super fast, it was fantastic.

      It might be unfair to say it, but I think if Eric and Vance didn't take over, we'd still be waiting on Arms, or barely past it, and I really doubt it would look that different.

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      • The Ask the Devs thread has been one in which people have had a means of consistently asking a developer for how they develop a Charm, and Vance has generally given the advice that it has to be designed by feel. That particularly goes for elements such as the kind of play experience it will create.

        I do expect the advice in Exigents to be more in depth, but still ultimately come down to that. I don't think there'll be some kind of formula to precisely determine all of the factors behind a Charm.

        I find that some kind of formula is what people unrealistically wanted out of Arms, and suspect that Exigents will also frustrate that expectation.


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        • Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
          The Ask the Devs thread has been one in which people have had a means of consistently asking a developer for how they develop a Charm, and Vance has generally given the advice that it has to be designed by feel. That particularly goes for elements such as the kind of play experience it will create.

          I do expect the advice in Exigents to be more in depth, but still ultimately come down to that. I don't think there'll be some kind of formula to precisely determine all of the factors behind a Charm.

          I find that some kind of formula is what people unrealistically wanted out of Arms, and suspect that Exigents will also frustrate that expectation.

          Yes, i guess it will always be a matter of rough benchmarks and ST & player group interpretation what fits or not a certain power style or power scale when developing new charms or whole charm trees dynamics.

          Me, i struck early on upon the idea of using 3rd ed's Artifacts & Evocations system as a basis to adapt god-bloods and the balancing mess that was Heritage and overall it has been a quite productive exercise in almost-charm creation.

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          • When game systems like Mutants and Masterminds, Wild Talents and the like exist for the sole purpose of letting people create bespoke powers, I don't think it's unrealistic to expect a little more advice than "eyeball it". Presumably the writers have guidance on how to develop charms, just give us that. Heck, 2nd ed had guidance on mote costs for custom powers in the Core, and Wonders and RoGD had guidance. Even general advice around dicetricks would be welcome (what is reroll-6s worth, what should be the Essence minimum? What about double-9s?).

            If it's not in Exigents then I'm happy to number crunch the Solar charms and work back from there. But (as critical of 3rd ed as I am sometimes) I genuinely don't believe that the devs have no guidance for the writers beyond "eyeball it".

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            • There's more options on the table than just "exacting formulae for every possible factor" and "just eyeball it," though. Just because Isator doesn't believe it will be the former doesn't mean it has to be the latter..
              Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 06-04-2019, 02:19 PM.

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              • Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                When game systems like Mutants and Masterminds, Wild Talents and the like exist for the sole purpose of letting people create bespoke powers, I don't think it's unrealistic to expect a little more advice than "eyeball it". ...
                Exalted is designed around striaght-up different design philosophy than thsoe games though. There isn't meant to be a generic energy bolt that you reskin to fit Solars, Dragon-Blooded, sorcery, or an artifact. Part of the game's sytem design is to allow more than superficial differences between such effects, and we see that a bit in the artifacts presented so far this edition, with farily diverse effectst hat often would be all custom in some systems like that.

                Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                ... Presumably the writers have guidance on how to develop charms, just give us that. ...
                The Evocation guidelines in Arms is based on what Robert Vance did give to writers for developing them. In effect, they did give us those. Besides thsoe, all Charms in WFHW and FatG have been written by hima s well, so if anything there aren't notes to be have given. A lot of the details/notes/thoughts etc. are what exactly Exigents is going to be for.

                Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                ... Heck, 2nd ed had guidance on mote costs for custom powers in the Core,...
                Mostly in the sense of "not X Charm but cheaper" is all it gave.

                Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                ... and Wonders and RoGD had guidance. Even general advice around dicetricks would be welcome (what is reroll-6s worth, what should be the Essence minimum? What about double-9s?).
                Wonders doesn't have anything to my memory at all on customization, just was a box of stuff. RoGD had a lot of spirit Charms with formulas, but notably a lot of them that folks noticed were the sort of things you break the game over its back if you followed to the strict reading. I also am of an opinion spirit write-ups before RoGD tended to actually be straight-up better than those after, as the generic Charm name list wasn'ta s useful as you know, the Great Forks gods havinga ctual cool widgets.

                Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                ... If it's not in Exigents then I'm happy to number crunch the Solar charms and work back from there. But (as critical of 3rd ed as I am sometimes) I genuinely don't believe that the devs have no guidance for the writers beyond "eyeball it".
                Exigents to my understanding is going to actually have full essays on this sort of stuff, including the traits you build Charms on, keeping things coherent, and all that. Again, a bit of a thing to note is that besides the aformentioend stuff we actually have gotten, there isn't much notes to give to writers as only one guy has been doing most of the writing in this regard.

                I add that I actually thought the advice in Arms was actually pretty good, and it did a good job for me on figuring out custom Artifacts. We have a lot of examples to work with, ideas of how these might grow, and what you can expect for each dot level and materials. That's most of what we need until we get some in-depth widget box, which again, is what Exigents is in part meant to be.


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                • Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                  There's more options on the table than just "exacting formulae for every possible factor" and "just eyeball it," though. Just because Isator doesn't believe it will be the former doesn't mean it has to be the latter..
                  There's a bit of an excluded middle in that, yeah. I think advice on what effects are, when to use them, and also just how sometimes you want an effect that don't fit a simple dice trick, is likely going to be quite a bit of space there.


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                  • I was actually thinking of the "10m is Excalibur" guidance and the artifact/manse creation rules from Oadenol's Codex might have been a better example than the magitech rules in Wonders.

                    I'm not sure you really get the scope of the powers that can be created in the games I cited. I wouldn't have a problem creating any Evocation under either system.

                    And yes, we're all expecting guidance in Exigents. We were also expecting guidance in Arms.

                    [Edit]

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                    Last edited by JohnDoe244; 06-04-2019, 03:44 PM.


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                    • Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                      And yes, we're all expecting guidance in Exigents. We were also expecting guidance in Arms.
                      The difference is that Evocation design is identical to Charm design, so any Charm design guidance is directly applicable to Evocation design. Exigents is explicitly "the guide to designing exalts and the lore of the Custom Exalt Splat".

                      There was a dev change between when Arms are promised to have guidance to when it was actually written. In that downtime and from that dev switch, the concept of Evocations was expanded greatly, making the book much more full and leaving less room for guidance. It was disappointing for sure. Trust me, I'm the guy people asked to review custom Artifacts on these forums, so I was excited for something more official than my opinion. I won't argue that against wishing it had been in the book that it was promised for.

                      But if Exigents doesn't have charm guidance, it'll be a very, very small book as that's much of the content right there. Unless there's another dev change between now and then, I propose giving them the benefit of the doubt that they'll deliver what they said they would. (Leaving aside the very real possibility that it'll deliver the letter of the promise if not the spirit extent to which individuals might prefer)


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                      • Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                        I was actually thinking of the "10m is Excalibur" guidance and the artifact/manse creation rules from Oadenol's Codex might have been a better example than the magitech rules in Wonders.

                        I'm not sure you really get the scope of the powers that can be created in the games I cited. I wouldn't have a problem creating any Evocation under either system.

                        And yes, we're all expecting guidance in Exigents. We were also expecting guidance in Arms.

                        [Edit]

                        https://knowyourmeme.com/photos/5720...to-draw-an-owl
                        Exalted is not designed to be a generic powers game. If it wanted to be, we would have something pretty different mechancially. There is as much a gamefeel goal with its design as there is its expression,a nd I think that the games you note, while good for their goals in those games, ultimately express different design philosophy of "one size fits all" powers versus more specific mechanica and exception-based design of Exalted 3e. Which is why citing them is pointless to me, as they are not even trying to be the same thing and the design goals of Evocations ended up not being this. Note, there was a point where Evocations did have a more menu-based system. That hasn't been the case since well before the corebook leaked, however.

                        Arms as a note was, I think, not promised to have guiddance so much as examples. Anything to it having more mechanical details was based on earlier designs when Evocations worked on a much, much simpler system based on a menu of powers based on the Artifacts material. (This is why Arms origianllyw as less than 100 pages in its origianl solicitation.) What we ended up getting from the devs was actualyl not originally promised to my understanding in its current form, and we did get them nonetheless.

                        We got the guidelines in effect that have been written for writers already. More in-depth general power design is better suited to be in one place all about homebrew power design, which is what Exigents is meant to do. Arms never was meant to be that and never to my understandings old as that beyond guidelines, which we do have.


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                        • The original outline for Arms of the Chosen (which we did not write) did not include any guidance on artifact creation or Evocation design. Their inclusion is something we did at the eleventh hour because we thought it would be valuable to communicate the frameworks we'd used in designing the current system of artifacts.

                          Adding more expansive and rigorous guidance would've required further delaying an already-delayed book at a point in time when Third Edition had gone years without a release, so that wasn't a realistic option.

                          The Charm design section of Exigents, for a variety of reasons, is not subject to any of the problems mentioned above, and has a benefit that Arms of the Chosen didn't, in that it gets to build on top of the Charm design document I drew up for Lunar Charm writers for Fangs at the Gate.


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                          • Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                            I was actually thinking of the "10m is Excalibur" guidance and the artifact/manse creation rules from Oadenol's Codex might have been a better example than the magitech rules in Wonders.
                            That first guideline was not very useful, because Excalibur is not a measurement of anything, and even within Solar Charms the value of any given quantity of motes varied wildly.

                            Going by Third Edition Solar Charm design? You're looking at something in which the benefits of a given dice trick differ dramatically between Abilities. The basis for that is something that can be explained, but it's not a simple explanation producing a formula into which you can slot different examples into.

                            For manse creation, if you're talking about the point-build system then that is definitely not going to be how Exigents are created. An Exalt is going to be far more complicated than a manse, or even an Artifact.

                            Originally posted by JohnDoe244
                            And yes, we're all expecting guidance in Exigents. We were also expecting guidance in Arms.
                            Expecting it in Arms was silly, and it was a silly thing to cater to; the pitch of the book we were provided with was about expanding on Artifacts.

                            It's a more reasonable thing to expect in Exigents because that's always been the essential purpose of the book, but I think expectations need to be managed. I do not think that it's ever going to be easy to make an Exalt, and homebrewing an Exigent seems likely to always be a challenge.

                            Still, part of why they exist is for the homebrew crowd, the people who kept coming out with their custom Essence 6 Infernals. The premise of lots of varied and unique Exalted for small gods is interesting, but I don't think there's a simple way to implement it that is in keeping with the general depiction of the Exalted.


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                            • I don't think it does a bad job at helping you customise.

                              For example, compare the evocation Phantom Cavalry Cavalcade to the old spirit charm Host of Spirits, they both serve the same function of magically conjuring minions during a fight. The difference is that with the former you're given the power in the context of an existing weapon and need to reskin it into Demon Soldier Procession or Ghost Pirate Mob while the latter didn't come with an aesthetic and you had to decide what it looked like for a particular spirit and if they had any specific limitations when using it.


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                              • I am some what perplexed that many here thinks that Arms of the Chosen did a fair job of helping me as a Game Master to create artifacts and evocations.

                                I am usually not viewed as an idiot despite not being good at rpg-mechanics intuitively, and while I respect what Vance said above about the 11th hour and understand all of that as very good and very valid reasons for being so lacking in that aspect, the book absolutely does not help me much at all personally with creating artifact powers and evocations, as well as balancing the lv of them. It gives a collection of nice artifacts with nice well written lore and some cool evocations on them, but not enough for me, as I am a much better story teller and writer than mechanics-engineer, to create my own evocations with any sort of ease. I love every book Vance and Minton have written, but Arms of the Chosen is the one I love the least by far. In fact, without having read Unsung Hero's guide, I would probably never have created one of my own, and even that artifact, I am hardly sure if is balanced or not (will post it on this forum for review by you experts when me and my player have it hundred percent done, since I apparently suck so hard at this ). Never the less, Unsung Hero is my personal hero when it comes to artifact creation as he has been of far greater help to me at least, so imo he/she is worthy of a few songs.

                                Honestly though, I much prefer having artifacts and evocations created for me as Game Master, so I can concentrate on knowing the rules and weaving my stories, so I personally would obviously like a Volume 2 of Arms with more artifacts and evocations as I found them too few (my player wanted an artifact Serpent-Sting-Staff specifically and there is no such thing in any Exalted book yet written, so we had to create one, which for sure has been fun, but also incredibly time consuming, and well, it is not done yet). But the way Exalted 3 is written, I don't have a choice I guess, which again, is fine since the game is so wonderfully awesome when it comes to the setting that it makes up for the annoying fact that I am expected to create my own artifacts and evocations with only cursory explanation as to how I should do that.
                                But who knows, maybe this artifact creation process thing will grow on me as I become more accustomed to it. It might, as only time will tell. But for now I find it all very difficult. Therefore, it is very, very likely that people will see me posting a custom made artifact, desperately asking kindly for balance advice on evocations, in the near future.
                                Last edited by Magnus K; 06-05-2019, 12:09 AM.

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