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Is the Great Curse the original Reclamation?

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  • Is the Great Curse the original Reclamation?

    In 2E the Reclamation was said to have over shadowed everything, and stopping it demanded the attention of the story because it would eventually render everything else moot. Didn't the Great Curse also play a similar role? No matter what, there is no happy ending as long as it is hanging over your head. All is doomed and you will be worse for Creation than even the Yozis if the Great Curse festers long enough.

    One of the things I liked about the GSPs is that they could beat the Curse, or at least mitigate it. So if we are doing away with cumbersome fossils from previous additions, shouldn't this go away as well?

  • #2
    I don't think the Curse is that inevitable. Sure, it's pushing you to be a worse person. But you don't have to let it succeed.

    That being said, I think it should be beatable. Get the Yozis to forgive you, let the Neverborn find peace, and bam! No more curse. All it takes is two apparently-impossible feats of kindness, neither of which anyone seems inclined to try.


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    • #3
      See the problem was that the Great Curse is a mechanic meant to sort of emphasize a character's madness. Or to put it another way yeah so long as the Great Curse is a factor eventually you're character will probably go bugfucking insane at some point and cause serious problems. However different characters suffer the curse in different ways and to different extents, so it still is about them. The problem with the Reclamation was that basically any one of the Yozi getting loose overpowered all of Creation let alone all of them. The Yozi are not anyone's characters.

      That was a major distinction. Maybe your character manages to stick to his principles and just ends up being seen as a bit of an excentric who loses themself in projects, or a generally nice person with a really dangerous berserk button. Or maybe your character was once a good person but their dedication to protecting certain people has left those people with shattered legs chained up in a basement somewhere. Maybe this took a thousand years for your character to go nuts, maybe they went nuts 5. The Reclamation was the Infernals release the Yozi and then the Infernals stop mattering unless they learned the charm that turns them into a copy of a Yozi or a new Primordial.

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      • #4
        I've felt this way about the Great Curse for a long while, and I don't know what a good solution is. The corebook intro has always strongly implied that Creation is screwed in the long-term and the end result is our world, with no magic, or maybe a World of Darkness. It's long given me the feeling that nothing is going to matter much unless the Exalted break the Curse, but so far there's not one who even knows it exists, and none of the three gods who know have told anyone.

        But if the setting didn't have the Curse, then why did the Solars go insane? Not just became bad rulers, but went to bugfuck crazytown. And the Lunars and Sidereals have arrived there as well. (The Dragon-Blooded don't show it so much, from what I can see.) The question is, if there isn't a curse, why are the Exalted going bugnuts insane? Or do you rewrite the setting so they aren't nuts, the Solars merely became horrible shitty tyrants? (If the answer somehow becomes "Because humans are inherently corrupted by power, this is inevitable!" then that's even more pessimistic, so I wouldn't want that to replace the Great Curse. Or at least, I wouldn't want to play in that Shard. The real world is depressing enough.)

        An alternative is that the Curse isn't permanent... that either it's possible to cure it (at whatever difficulty the ST and players want, if they want to tell that story), or (if they don't want to have to tell that story) it comes to a conclusion... maybe the Curse is "fulfilled" for a particular Exalted host or Incarna after either
        1. they have fucked up so badly that everybody else betrays them (happened to the Solars, and arguably the Lunars)
        or 2. their tragic flaws/mistakes/sins/hamartia destroy or almost destroy what they love most (arguably happened to the Dragon-Blooded who squandered the Shogunate with infighting, and/or the Sidereals (and DBs, Lunars, and Incarnae) who couldn't/didn't stop the Contagion, and/or Sol who was betrayed by his own Chosen and didn't even lift a finger during the Balorian Crusade.).
        Maybe now that Creation is on the verge of total destruction, the Chosen and Incarnae will finally begin to get their heads out of their asses, look around, and ask what went wrong. Or maybe something really dreadful still awaits everybody except the 'solaroids' and the Unconquered Sun...
        Last edited by Erinys; 05-12-2016, 03:33 AM.


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        • #5
          I didn't see it being much of a problem (except mechanically) until after MoEP: Abyssals which featured the Neverborn being very confident in it and stupid enough to remove it from their own Exalts.

          It speaks to the tautology of 2e Abyssals to answer the question of "why would I want to play an Abyssal with the intent of becoming a Solar?" with "If you just play a Solar the Great Curse will eventually turn you into a monster and ruin everything you love" rather than making it about the journey.
          Last edited by Lioness; 05-12-2016, 07:54 AM.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Sanctaphrax View Post
            That being said, I think it should be beatable. Get the Yozis to forgive you, let the Neverborn find peace, and bam! No more curse. All it takes is two apparently-impossible feats of kindness, neither of which anyone seems inclined to try.
            Reminds me of something I saw someone post on the forum... I think it was in the Headcanon thread. I loved it so much that I've adopted it every since.

            The one way to make a Neverborn pass into the Lethe.

            A Perfect Circle (At least one of Solars, bonus points if Lunars and some Sidereals are involved too) must venture down into the Labyrinths, and find one of the Mausoleum-bodies of the Neverborn. They must venture within... And then must all offer a sincere and heartfelt apology for causing the Neverborn so much pain, for having slain it in the Time Before. If they can do this, and sincerely convince the Neverborn of this, then the Neverborn will start to crumble and pass on into the Lethe.


            Not really much to say about the Great Curse other than I think that narratively, it does its job alright. Give an explanation for why some Solars are prone to madness. Some may be able to resist, some may fall to it...

            Some may claim to and appear to resist it, but really it's creeping into their minds. THOSE are the ones you gotta watch out for.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
              The one way to make a Neverborn pass into the Lethe.

              A Perfect Circle (At least one of Solars, bonus points if Lunars and some Sidereals are involved too) must venture down into the Labyrinths, and find one of the Mausoleum-bodies of the Neverborn. They must venture within... And then must all offer a sincere and heartfelt apology for causing the Neverborn so much pain, for having slain it in the Time Before. If they can do this, and sincerely convince the Neverborn of this, then the Neverborn will start to crumble and pass on into the Lethe.
              That is kinda awesome. I would totally let that work for at least one of the Neverborn.

              Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
              Not really much to say about the Great Curse other than I think that narratively, it does its job alright. Give an explanation for why some Solars are prone to madness. Some may be able to resist, some may fall to it...

              Some may claim to and appear to resist it, but really it's creeping into their minds. THOSE are the ones you gotta watch out for.
              I never had an issue with it narratively, just mechanically. Luckily, for the most part I have just ignored the rules since players themselves are reckless and crazy enough at times to account for the curse.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mercurial
                No matter what, there is no happy ending as long as it is hanging over your head. All is doomed and you will be worse for Creation than even the Yozis if the Great Curse festers long enough.
                Nah is a ten letter word.
                Originally posted by Mercurial
                So if we are doing away with cumbersome fossils from previous additions, shouldn't this go away as well?
                Loaded question. Needs confirmation that I dispute the premise of Great Curse being a cumbersome fossil, or a steaming pile, or any of the other ridiculous terms so that defending it doesn't characterise me as an idiot.


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                • #9
                  Said it elsewhere, but I'll say it here as well.

                  Creation is doomed not by the Great Curse, but by the fact that someone made it in the first place. Every Exalt who lives long enough shall stray from the path and become a stranger to herself, not because of any curse, but because time changes people. Everyone who draws breath shall eventually pass, not because of the gasped curse of murdered gods, but because nothing lasts forever.

                  The Great Curse isn't this inevitable doom that people paint it as - time is. So I'm all for keeping the Great Curse.


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                  • #10
                    No, for several reasons:

                    1) Despite being as overarching and present as it is, the Great Curse is a very personal thing, most often represented in stories as motivations being twisted rather than a foreboding threat. An Exalt being driven to excess by the Curse is far more applicable to all sorts of stories than the Reclamation's "if the Yozis get out, game over."

                    2) For the Great Curse to matter as much as it did during the First Age, it would first require a recreation of a unified, unchallenged Exalted Host that runs the whole of Creation, and even if you accept that it's ever actually possible for that confluence of events to happen again - and I personally don't - it would take a time scale to set up and then sour that is outside the scope of regular play -anyways-.

                    3) Even if you accept the Great Curse as this overwhelming monolithic threat (it isn't), that it somehow renders other threats obsolete (it doesn't) and it's going to happen univerally on a time scale that threatens all of Creation (it won't), it would still work better than the Reclamation because at least the thematic focus is on the Exalted Host tearing Creation into a quagmire of warring kingdoms and obsession-driven egos, rather than the remnants of a lost threat turning Creation into a hellish wasteland. The former is essentially the Exalted narrative on speed, while the latter is an arguably different game altogether about trying to reclaim a demon-infested post-apocalyptic scorched earth before humanity is enslaved or wiped out altogether, which -sounds- cool as a campaign for the table or maybe it's own setting, but it doesn't really play into the type of drama that Exalted tries to do.

                    In short, thinking that everything is inherently doomed because the Great Curse exists is less like comparing it to the Reclamation and more like comparing it to regular ol' entropy and systemic corruption.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mercurial View Post
                      So if we are doing away with cumbersome fossils from previous additions, shouldn't this go away as well?
                      Seems an odd thing to debate going away when we already know it's part of this edition. While the Great Curse adds some interesting drama to characters, I don't see any reason to refer to it as "the inevitable doom of everything". The Curse doesn't force you to be an ass-hat outside of the inevitable Limit Breaks. It's up to each character if they want to roll with the crazy, or resist it as much as they can.

                      Also, breaking/removing the Curse is always a great high-Essence adventure to play through!

                      EDIT: The Devs have also said that the Exalted who defeated the Primordials were around Essence 4 to 5. None of them had lived long enough to have advanced beyond that point. This means it's entirely possible that their are a handful of Exalted (elder Lunars and Sidereals) present in the current setting that could oppose a single lose Yozi.
                      Last edited by TalosX; 05-12-2016, 04:42 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TalosX View Post
                        EDIT: The Devs have also said that the Exalted who defeated the Primordials were around Essence 4 to 5. None of them had lived long enough to have advanced beyond that point. This means it's entirely possible that their are a handful of Exalted (elder Lunars and Sidereals) present in the current setting that could oppose a single lose Yozi.
                        Elders aren't going to scale up in power ridiculously like they used to. If an elder Exalt is capable of taking on a Primordial and coming out on top then an E4-5 Exalt can too, albeit with a lower chance of success.


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mercurial View Post
                          In 2E the Reclamation was said to have over shadowed everything, and stopping it demanded the attention of the story because it would eventually render everything else moot. Didn't the Great Curse also play a similar role? No matter what, there is no happy ending as long as it is hanging over your head. All is doomed and you will be worse for Creation than even the Yozis if the Great Curse festers long enough.

                          One of the things I liked about the GSPs is that they could beat the Curse, or at least mitigate it. So if we are doing away with cumbersome fossils from previous additions, shouldn't this go away as well?
                          You're assuming a lot about how it works, the inevitability, that things are worse than the mad titans without fail, and that it is a cumbersome fossil rather than a thing that you, you know, just personally don't like.

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                          • #14
                            The original post also misunderstands what the issue with the Reclamation was; it wasn't that it was a distant, abstract, existential threat, it was about being a thing that, in creating action in the setting as you play it, creates a disproportionate sense of priority and danger. The idea that you might eventually, in a few thousand years, be corrupted by the Great Curse does not take priority over how the Haltans and Linowans are on the verge of exploding all over each other; the idea that Malfeas is sending around agents to set both of them and everything else in a two thousand mile radius on fire because that will somehow help, does.


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                            • #15
                              I actually like the Great Curse BECAUSE I think that it can be defeated. I will be frank and say that I have no love for the whole 'we are ultimately doomed' plot and generally think that it is entirely too common in media with no clear good faction. But I guess that ultimately comes down to how you view the nature of the exalts, by that I mean how selective you are in the fact that they do the impossible. Ultimately YMMV on the curse.

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