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[Ex3] Is 'Heroic Mortal' a taboo phrase now?

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  • AnubisXy
    replied
    Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
    That's correct, but something like a trivial opponent is going to vary depending on the PCs -- an NPC who's a trivial opponent in a game of 1000 XP Solars might not be in a game of newbies with no XP. Compare to the normal/heroic mortal division in 2e, which was very much implied to be an actual in-setting thing by e.g. the existence of Charms such as You Can Be More.
    Yes, obviously as an "in-setting" thing it no longer exists (I never said it did). What I have been saying is that different mortals have different narrative weight in Exalted Third Edition and that they have different mechanics depending on how important they are to the over all story.

    In 2nd Edition, a character with important narrative weight was a Heroic Mortal and one who wasn't was an Extra. These two terms git a bit fuzzy as the gameline went on, since they started representing something. in-setting, even though the idea wasn't initially meant to be used that way.

    Still, the "out-of-setting" concept of an Extra lines up fairly closely with the idea of a Trivial Opponent (including the idea that what might be a Trivial Opponent or Extra at one time could be a real threat at a different table).

    People are going to bring in some of the old 2nd edition terminology and mold it onto similar concepts in 3rd edition (like lining up Trivial Opponents and Extras which fill basically the same mechanical, out-of-game niche). I think there is the understanding that powerful supernatural beings in 3rd edition, like demons or Exalts won't be trivial opponents, in the same way they weren't supposed to be Extras in 2nd edition, but I could be wrong on that.

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  • Colapso
    replied
    Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post

    But there are different rules for mortals depending on how much narrative weight they have. It was my impression that that was the entire point of the Trivial Opponent mechanic - to represent NPCs who were essentially just "living scenery" and who don't represent a threat or challenge to the PCs, which was very similar to the purpose that Extras had in 2nd edition.

    New name, different rules, but basically the same concept.
    No. There are different rules for CHARACTERS depending on how much narrative weight they have.

    It is not at all connected to whether or not they are a Mortal. A Blood Ape in a crowd during a Malfeas bar brawl or the adoring oompa-loompas of your Raksha lord would qualify.

    Not only is it a relative category, but it is not one that's chained to mortality.

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  • Stephen Lea Sheppard
    replied
    Part of the reasoning behind being much more careful about reifying those sorts of abstractions within the setting, as I understand it, is they tended to lead to observed play behavior where players would have their characters value heroic mortal NPCs more as people than they value non-heroic mortals, both resource-wise and morally.

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  • Stephen Lea Sheppard
    replied
    That's correct, but something like a trivial opponent is going to vary depending on the PCs -- an NPC who's a trivial opponent in a game of 1000 XP Solars might not be in a game of newbies with no XP. Compare to the normal/heroic mortal division in 2e, which was very much implied to be an actual in-setting thing by e.g. the existence of Charms such as You Can Be More.

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  • AnubisXy
    replied
    Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
    There is no longer assumed to be an in-setting category of mortals capable of stepping up and performing heroic acts and/or living their lives according to action genre conceits, as distinct from a larger category of mortals who cannot do those things.
    But there are different rules for mortals depending on how much narrative weight they have. It was my impression that that was the entire point of the Trivial Opponent mechanic - to represent NPCs who were essentially just "living scenery" and who don't represent a threat or challenge to the PCs, which was very similar to the purpose that Extras had in 2nd edition.

    New name, different rules, but basically the same concept.

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  • Stephen Lea Sheppard
    replied
    Isator, again, has the right of it, yes.

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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    I agree with Isator. Quick Characters are there because you don't need to know a warrior's bureaucracy and sail score to run him in combat, not because he's less heroic.

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  • Stephen Lea Sheppard
    replied
    There is no longer assumed to be an in-setting category of mortals capable of stepping up and performing heroic acts and/or living their lives according to action genre conceits, as distinct from a larger category of mortals who cannot do those things.

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post

    But that's basically my entire point. We have mechanical distinctions.

    Most mortals are produced using the rules for Quick Characters or are treated as Trivial characters. They're not designed with the same rules in mind that those mortals who are important to the chronicle and would get full write-ups do. Some mortals are basically Living Scenery and they use the rules for Quick Characters or Trivial Characters. Some mortals are not Living Scenery, because they're important to the story, and use different rules.
    ​Why were so many quick characters written up with interesting, audacious personalities?

    Why was it that, if they had had their druthers, every single archetypal mortal template suggested would have been attached to a little description of a heroic instance of that archetype?

    Why were Ahlat, Fakharu and Octavian written up via the quick character model?

    Quick characters are not equivalent to the Second Edition concept of extras, nor do they constitute a value judgement of the character. They're a simplification for the convenience of Storytellers.

    I mean jeez, if aforementioned hypothetical person who stands out from the crowd to speak to you comes up, they need maybe two dice pools, a Resolve, and some Willpower, with maybe a couple of straightforward Intimacies.

    Does that mean the character wasn't heroic, perhaps even significant?

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  • Limited Reagent
    replied
    My point was there is no power difference between fully stated and quick characters. Just how much detail there is in their character sheet. So when someone says "heroic mortal," what does it mean? A particularly talented and skilled mortal with lots of points in stats and stuff? A fully-statted out mortal? Because I'd think the former, because in the context of Exalted that's what I think "heroic" means. But a heroic mortal could be a QC or fully-statted out character in my mind.

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  • Kyman201
    replied
    Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
    Second Edition has the terms Heroic Mortals and Extras for describing this. I think it's only natural for people to import 2nd edition terms which basically describe the nearly the same concept.
    Gonna echo this. I know I personally understand that different classifications of character contributions between Fully Statted, Quick, and Trivial only apply as abstractions. I like to think that most people understand that things like "Heroic Mortal" is a metagame abstraction, much like the difference between Withering and Decisive Attacks (Abstraction, in-game the two fighters are always aiming for a kill) and charms themselves (Abstractions as a way to say 'My Solar does a thing betterer')

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  • AnubisXy
    replied
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
    In a case like this, it's not really about specific words at all; in the absence of mechanical distinctions, I question the need to apply a specific piece of terminology that can only ever be significant as a description of what the character does in the scene; unless you do things like assign dice pools based on that terminology, and the Storyteller (or possibly players) are the ones who decide what the character does in the scene, so what does a separate branch f terminology really describe?
    But that's basically my entire point. We have mechanical distinctions.

    Most mortals are produced using the rules for Quick Characters or are treated as Trivial characters. They're not designed with the same rules in mind that those mortals who are important to the chronicle and would get full write-ups do. Some mortals are basically Living Scenery and they use the rules for Quick Characters or Trivial Characters. Some mortals are not Living Scenery, because they're important to the story, and use different rules.

    I think having different terms for describing the different mortals, some of whom are important to a story and use one set of rules, and some who aren't important to a story and use a different set of rules, is useful.

    Second Edition has the terms Heroic Mortals and Extras for describing this. I think it's only natural for people to import 2nd edition terms which basically describe the nearly the same concept.

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  • Limited Reagent
    replied
    Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
    Edit: I guess I mentally classify it this way.

    A. Mortal PCs/Rather Important Characters - Built fully using the Character Construction rules. VERY vital to the story, and PCs. These are what I call 'Heroic'
    B. Semi-Important - Important, sure, but benefits best from QC Writeups. The bodyguards protecting the king, for example.
    C. Trivial Characters - "That Guy Over There", the extras in the background, and the individual members of a battlegroup.
    I think of it more like:

    a: Full Write-ups: Going to come up enough to warrant the extra work.
    b: No Write-ups: Don't show up enough to have anything written up. If they get dice rolls or stats, they're decided on the fly.
    c: Everything else: QC.

    Nothing about it denotes power or capability, and all categories could range from normal people to exalts and gods and behemoths. That's why Heroic Mortal isn't really a useful phrase anymore, since a mortal who is heroic could easily be represented as any of my three categories. The only system term (as in there are Charms that work differently against them) are trivial opponents. In my scheme all trivial opponents would be in category b, but not all characters in category b are trivial opponents.

    ---

    As for the OP's question, God-Blooded does come up a fair amount, but iirc the rest don't. Not using Primordial is a little silly (especially since I believe the term was used in the 1e core), and especially since the phrase "enemies of the gods" is used a lot interchangeably.

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  • Isator Levi
    replied
    The main significance of me describing Creation as a setting in which humans are humans is that it establishes my expectation that characters act in unexpected ways at various junctures. That upon conquering a city, somebody might step forth, terrified, from the crowds of common people to speak out on behalf of their fellows in the face of all of your strength and Psyche Charms, and that could be the first and last thing that person ever does in their life that is brave, without that being a contradiction of some established tenet of the setting that everybody who is not axiomatically heroic is scenery to be fought over, exploited, or discarded at will. I don't need everybody's life story, just an overall texture that makes me play a character who acts as though they have lives.

    ​I mean, as a description, the term "extra" is fine if it's just describing people who happen to be going around their daily business when the purpose of the scene occurs, but is less fine when applied to the general people who the characters are presumed to be acting towards by a large part of the game's premise.

    Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
    While some guy being a hero and saving a kid from a burning building is cool, if it doesn't happen during the game, or it doesn't involve anyone important to the PCs, then the PCs probably don't particularly care and that event and the people involved are unimportant.
    I don't think it would ever really be a thing that happens or is so much as mentioned in the course of a game, unless there's a scene of the players trying to save people from a burning building (in which case it takes the Storyteller one sentence to inform them that some of the extras are trying and succeeding to do the same, just to set the emotional tenor of the scene), but I think the assumption of it as a thing that can happen and expectations that arise thereof can make for a richer experience of the setting.

    Originally posted by AnubisXy
    His actions might be heroic and impressive but he's not important to my game so he's not a Heroic mortal.
    Well, until he takes actions within a scene, from a mechanical perspective he's not really anything, and I would think the mechanics that are assigned when needed are more a matter of practicality than what category of person the character is.

    If the guy Exalted during the process and he showed up during a game, then suddenly that incident is very important as were his actions.

    Originally posted by AnubisXy
    If the word "Heroic" is what grinds your gears, then like I said in my earlier post, maybe we can come up with a new one. I admit, I'm not terribly attached to the term Heroic, I just haven't found anything that works better (I don't like "Important mortals" even though I've used it a few times).
    (Darn it, I hate when a post gets edited just after I quote it, so something I would respond to is not in the text box)

    In a case like this, it's not really about specific words at all; in the absence of mechanical distinctions, I question the need to apply a specific piece of terminology that can only ever be significant as a description of what the character does in the scene; unless you do things like assign dice pools based on that terminology, and the Storyteller (or possibly players) are the ones who decide what the character does in the scene, so what does a separate branch f terminology really describe?

    ​EDIT: Bah; too much high-minded, self-satisfied rambling. I've made my point to my own satisfaction of it as something relevant to the topic of this thread, and will read any responses or counters from Anubis, but I don't want to trouble the thread with my own statements any longer.

    Last edited by Isator Levi; 06-15-2016, 08:08 PM.

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  • Irked
    replied
    Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
    Yozi/Primordials (instead awkwardly replaced every time with 'Enemies of the Gods')
    I'm just hoping 3e stays true to its 1e roots and brings back "Malfeans." As a name for the Neverborn. And not the inhabitants of Malfeas.

    (This is not actually a thing I hope.)

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