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  • N/A artifacts... How-to?

    I have always been fascinated by the concept of N/A artifacts in exalted. Always loved the concept of items of incredible power and their wielders/makers in fiction of all kinds.

    But, creating them for 3ed is a bit tougher than just loving the concept.

    Hoping to get feedback from others on ways to create some guidelines for making N/A artifacts.

    (Disclaimer: My goal here is to have N/A artifacts that are "balanced". In other words stuff that dont give PCs/NPCs "I-Win" or "You-Lose" fiat power by having said artifacts. Making PCs/NPCs incredible powerfully in certain niches/segments is fine if there is way to overcome their effects either in a direct or indirect way. That is more interesting.

    I guess my design goal is to have the game playable, fun, challenging and entertaining for players and STs several sessions post introduction of the N/A artifact)



    I seperate N/A artifacts into three groups.

    You have personal arms, manses, and other stuff.

    Ill skip manses here as we are completely missing the sub-system for them.

    Other stuff I feel is easier to handle than personal arms as they will most of the time just have narrative effects with some bonuses to their owners/people in the vicinity and so on.

    Personal arms on the other hand is a much trickier thing as I dont want to make just a stat-wise better kill-stick or dont-die-plate than a dot 5 artifact weapon/armor.

    So I have been thinking for N/A personal arms that their wielders would treat their evocations as if they were covered by their supernal ability for essence requirements. Also allowing N/A artifacts to develop essence 6 evocations without any special requirements.

    Or one could have something like this for unlocking evocations with essence higher than 5:

    By winning in cataclysmic battles or performing legendary quests where the artifact contributes materially, can one unlock even more powerful evocations (a higher dot essence).


    As mentioned I need feedback and would love others viewpoints, thoughts, opinions on this tricky matter

    UPDATE:

    So I thank all of you who have contributed to the thread. This really helped me clarify my design guidelines for making N/A artifacts.

    So my guidelines on designing N/A artifacts:

    1. Create a narrative power you think could lead to cool stories and memorable events at the gaming table.

    2. Dont make the narrative power broad "I-Win" / "You-Lose" fiat power as that is generally boring in my opinion. Niche "I-Win" / "You-Lose" powers are more doable.

    3. Create cool evocations for it that adhere to the regular evocations design rules. If the narrative powers are represented as evocations, either tag them onto the other established evocations or just create pinnacle evocations with no essence mention (as it doesn't really matter where it should be be in +5 essence scale)
    Last edited by Volivat; 08-11-2016, 05:28 AM.

  • #2
    Personally I would avoid personal scale combat stuff like daiklaves as much as possible. I know N/A level ten thousand year daiklaves are mentioned, but I think the system already groans under the weight of weapons like Volcano Cutter without going a step beyond.

    I'd have Superior Projects produce mainly large scale wonders, like skyships and warstriders. If I were to make an N/A artifact personal scale, it would be something that has significant applications beyond combat. Something like the Subtle Knife, which can cut through the boundaries of planes of existence.
    Last edited by Crumplepunch; 07-31-2016, 06:44 PM.


    Currently writing for Exigents.

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    • #3
      Given the sorts of things we're seeing from Five Dot Daiklaves in the Core, I kinda feel like N/A artifacts shouldn't be personal scale weapons or armor. I mean, Volcano Cutter can devastate a battlefield. Pretty much the only place to go from there is either wider scale or front loading the powers so you get them immediately, and I'm not sure how balanced that would be.

      I feel like the N/A artifacts should be the realm of First Age Wondrous Vehicles, Fantasic Manses, and Devistating Weapons. Things like flying machines, Warstriders, battleships, war manses, and bombs that turn everything to crystal in ten miles.


      ....

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      • #4
        Might reconsider the notion of "balancing" two N/A artifacts against each other. Two given regular artifacts are not equal, even when they're both three dots.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
          Given the sorts of things we're seeing from Five Dot Daiklaves in the Core, I kinda feel like N/A artifacts shouldn't be personal scale weapons or armor. I mean, Volcano Cutter can devastate a battlefield. Pretty much the only place to go from there is either wider scale or front loading the powers so you get them immediately, and I'm not sure how balanced that would be.
          ​Either that or make something that doesn't require you to rebuild a manse or kill a hundred people every time you want to devastate a battlefield again.

          I take issue with the idea that N/A is only a matter of big things, because I think it blurs the line between Artifacts and First Age Wonders, and because it seems massively out of sorts with other depicted Artifacts.

          You go from things like belts and necklaces and swords straight to giant machines? How are these in the same category?


          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
          Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
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          • #6
            Soul breaker orbs?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post



              You go from things like belts and necklaces and swords straight to giant machines? How are these in the same category?
              I think that's the point: they're not. Way I see it, there is a certain progression from artifact 1 to 2, 3 and so on. NA, however, misses the scale completely. It isn't "the equivalent of artifact 7", it is literally out from the scale. Taking that into consideration, I think it's reasonable to assume it's something big and with huge ramifications should it be used, like a directional titan, thousand-forged dragon, warstrider, the realm defense grid, the huge dam of nexus, and so on.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Akodo View Post

                I think that's the point: they're not. Way I see it, there is a certain progression from artifact 1 to 2, 3 and so on. NA, however, misses the scale completely. It isn't "the equivalent of artifact 7", it is literally out from the scale. Taking that into consideration, I think it's reasonable to assume it's something big and with huge ramifications should it be used, like a directional titan, thousand-forged dragon, warstrider, the realm defense grid, the huge dam of nexus, and so on.
                Paragon´s staff, while awsome, isnt in the same scale as the defense grid or a warstrider, and its still a N/A artifact.

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                • #9
                  I'm sort of surprised people think Volcano Cutter strains the system. As far as I can tell through 1) looking at it and 2) trying to use it on NPCs, the thing is utterly useless. Anyone had a different experience?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pyrosorc View Post
                    I'm sort of surprised people think Volcano Cutter strains the system. As far as I can tell through 1) looking at it and 2) trying to use it on NPCs, the thing is utterly useless. Anyone had a different experience?
                    The latter evocations seem to get too big to use, particularly the last, so I can see where you're coming from there.

                    However, let's break down the attunement bonus and first evocation.

                    First, you gain a bonus point of initiative on every withering attack that rolls no 1s. That's middling until you realize that you roll no 1s ever when you use Excellent Strike, the very first Solar Melee Charm. For a Solar Melee fighter this is a reliable bonus initiative drip. Given the number of ways they have to make multiple attacks per turn, it's a significant power.

                    Alright, Evocation one, Grand Eruption. First, let's discuss its cost. It's 10m, but that's misleading, because it can only be used with special motes that are generated by making attacks. A Solar melee fighter can throw out around 20 dice reliably on a withering attack. This builds up motes for Grand Eruption at a rate of 4-5ish per attack, so you can use Grand Eruption after 2-3 Excelleny fuelled attacks. This can seem onerous, but keep in mind 1) You get the initiative drip and the motes for Grand Eruption whether you hit or not and 2) You are getting the motes for this awesome attack for free by doing what you should be doing as a melee fighter anyway.

                    Now, the Evocation. Let's set aside the fissure for a moment and focus on the attack. It's an unblockable withering or decisive attack up to medium range that automatically knocks the target prone. That's distinctly superior to Iron Whirlwind Attack already, for example. An unblockable decisive attack is instant murder to a lot of characters.

                    Then there's the eruption itself. Assuming there is anyone left after you use your attack, the entire range band is turned into a wasteland. Without further evocations, this is effectively a trap. Its damage will build rapidly as you continue to fight, and anyone who touches it will take an instant fistful of decisive damage dice. If you have a smashing weapon to push an opponent into it or a Solar Brawler to throw an opponent over there, they're done.

                    Volcano Cutter isn't an elegant weapon but it is an overwhelmingly powerful one, I don't think it's a good idea to go further in this direction.
                    Last edited by Crumplepunch; 08-01-2016, 04:24 AM.


                    Currently writing for Exigents.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Shaddar View Post
                      Paragon´s staff, while awsome, isnt in the same scale as the defense grid or a warstrider, and its still a N/A artifact.
                      Personally I don't think the staff should be N/A rated. It was assigned that rating back in Scavenger Sons but how the Perfect uses it is roughly on a par with an Eclipse Caste forcing all their citizens to swear an Oath.

                      So then DotFA tried to make it worthy of the N/A rating by establishing that it could do much more in Celestial Exalt hands and adds the equally powerful Orb into the equation... very doomy and to the detriment of modern day Paragon because it leads to a lot of assumptions about Exalts coming into the city to mug him because ZOMG a N/A artifact in mortal hands! Who cares what he's using it for or what's going on with the people of this city! Give! me! SHINY!


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lioness View Post
                        Personally I don't think the staff should be N/A rated. It was assigned that rating back in Scavenger Sons but how the Perfect uses it is roughly on a par with an Eclipse Caste forcing all their citizens to swear an Oath.
                        It also lets the Perfect spy through the senses of anyone with the brand, inflict crippling pain on any branded person on a whim or possess branded mortals without contest for 3m. It also gives blanket immunity to mind manipulation and Terrestrial and Celestial sorcery, limited regeneration and extreme longevity.

                        I would be extremely hesitant about downgrading it to Artifact 5.


                        Currently writing for Exigents.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Crumplepunch View Post

                          I don't think it's a good idea to go further in this direction.
                          ​I think they should be expanded sideways, rather than upwards, so to speak.

                          That rather than an N/A red jade daiklave with a volcano theme making even bigger explosions, it should make similar explosions (maybe slightly larger) with more forgiving conditions.

                          Hmm, I should try and consolidate my ideas on an adaptation of the Aidenweiss, and put them up for people's perusal.



                          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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                          • #14
                            Great feedback guys and gals!

                            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                            ​I think they should be expanded sideways, rather than upwards, so to speak.

                            That rather than an N/A red jade daiklave with a volcano theme making even bigger explosions, it should make similar explosions (maybe slightly larger) with more forgiving conditions.

                            Hmm, I should try and consolidate my ideas on an adaptation of the Aidenweiss, and put them up for people's perusal.

                            I would love it if you posted that writeup in this thread so we can have a focused discussion on the topic and examples of N/A artifacts here.

                            I did post an idea I have for a N/A artifact in the artifact workshop. Ill go over it again and post the gist of it here. (divine destruction in form of a super cell thunderstorm which at its crescendo produces a firenado)

                            There should some strong narrative effects separating a N/A artifact from a dot 5 artifact, rather than its just an improved version stat-wise.

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                            • #15
                              I created a character with an N/A Artifact. Specifically, a ten thousand year daiklave; her family had laboured on it for millennia, and she herself had carved the last stroke of the last glyph that awakened and sealed its power. Mechanically, it was just a grand daiklave with improved stats and the ability to amplify Solar Essence slightly: all Solar Melee Charms used with Golden Destiny cost one more less, minimum 1 (other Charms could get the bonus if you could stunt the use of Golden Destiny in the relevant action). No evocations. The justification was simple: the blade was too new. She Exalted when their lord tried to kill her and her family at the presentation ceremony, and the literal first thing she'd done with her new power was to attune herself to Golden Destiny. She and her family survived the ambush, but their lord double-crossed them. Now she's on the run, and her family are prisoners in the manse where she grew up.

                              Obviously the blade is far below N/A level at this point, but once she can develop its evocations, it ought to qualify. Though I wouldn't object to evocation suggestions.
                              Last edited by LadyLens; 08-01-2016, 10:00 AM.

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