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  • #16
    Originally posted by FromBeyond View Post
    No it isn't.
    Yes it totally is. The problem with Infernals was that they tried to take a giant dump on things the rest of the game insisted were important.

    Exalted is a game where history is important. It's a game that has always started each edition (and nearly every sourcebook) with a big chapter explaining the history and where the part of it covered by that sourcebook fits into all that. This history is meant to be intimately entwined with the present day, defining the motivations of major characters (including, possibly, many PCs); it's meant to provide the rich and vibrant backstory that makes Exalted what it is. Then Infernals came along with the implicit premise that the majority of that history didn't matter and everything past the first line about the enemies of the gods was unimportant, because woo Malfeas was coming back to stomp everything (or each GSP was inevitably going to eventually become another Primordial to stomp everything; the end result is the same.)

    Sure, it appealed to some people (I'm guessing it appealed to you, if you found Exalted's history to be uninteresting), but it's something that seriously damaged the rest of the game line as it became more popular, since it was directly at war with parts of the the history-rich backstory Exalted had established for itself. Nothing's stopping you from playing a Solar or Infernal in 3e who doesn't care about the history; what you can't have is a splat whose foundational premise implies that the history doesn't matter.
    Last edited by Aquillion; 03-23-2014, 08:20 AM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Morangias View Post
      Primordial War started the spiral of uprising and betrayal at the center of Creation's mythic cycle, but the First Age and Usurpation were the culmination of this cycle, in that they set in motion the events that shape the setting and set up problems heroes still have to deal with. This is the core thesis of the game - you can't have Solars as God-Kings reborn and heroes of yore returned if there wasn't an age of heroic god-kings that ultimately tore itself apart from the inside.

      2e dropped the ball on this not by bringing attention to the First Age, but by getting all technical matter-of-fact on what was supposed to be the age of myths and legends - and making said outlook seem cool by backing it up with a bazillion awesome toys people loved to get their hands on. Incidentally, it's exactly the way 2e Infernals blew the Yozis out of proportion. In either case, it's not the focus that's wrong, it's the execution that's flawed.

      Your primary assertion that the game should focus on the present is fundamentally correct, but your proposed method of achieving it is reactionary and needlessly restricting. If presented right, both Primordial War and the First Age can serve to strengthen and enrich the contemporary setting and it's importance. It'd be shameful to ditch that opportunity just because the previous attempt was less than stellar.
      And I agree. It's just that I wonder how are they supposed to present Infernals with any depth if they can't make definitive statements about what's supposed to be the core of their theme.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Quimeradc View Post
        I think Infernals could work as characters in a twisted path of redemption. They know the yozis are the rightful masters of creation and they took it from them. Now they work to redeem themselves, returning creation to its rightful owner.

        This would tie them to the orignal backstory without basing them on it. And could still keep they easy and decadent concept, because they work is infernal morals and part of their job is to prepare creation for the return of their true masters; who cares about sideeffects if the world is so fucked up right now.
        I do not want another Reclamation in my Infernal ever again !


        The no.1 fan of Demetheus. I also draw Exalted things and is looking for commission works ~

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        • #19
          Originally posted by FromBeyond View Post
          And I agree. It's just that I wonder how are they supposed to present Infernals with any depth if they can't make definitive statements about what's supposed to be the core of their theme.
          All of the other Exalted did fine for an entire edition without a word about their patrons. (Honestly, we still know next to nothing about the Elemental Dragons.)

          By default, a splat's patrons aren't hugely important to them, at least not in the sense where you need to know or say more than a brief one-paragraph summary. 3e Infernals will probably have the Yozis remain a bit more important to them than most other Exalted's patrons are, but it's definitely going to be dialed waaay back.. and Infernals will likely receive other core thematics to round them out a bit more in turn.

          The focus on their connection to decadent mad first age God-Kings is likely part of that (although probably not the only part.)

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          • #20
            Originally posted by FromBeyond View Post
            And I agree. It's just that I wonder how are they supposed to present Infernals with any depth if they can't make definitive statements about what's supposed to be the core of their theme.
            They've got five years or so, at the least, to start making definitive statements like this. Given everything currently on the team's plate, and everything they've got lined up in front of them, I really don't think we're in any position to say what the portrayal of Infernals (or Sidereals for that matter) will be like quality-wise.

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            • #21
              To me it seems that Infernals are First Age Solars wrapped in power and glory not because of their inherent power, as such, but because of how the environment shapes them. You can be any kind of Solar you like and, preferably, you'll be able to be any kind of Infernal you like as well. But when you Exalt as a Solar, you're on your own. There's you and there's the world, and a very large portion of the world would like to see you dead, specifically everyone who runs it. You might be a powerful ruler with an army at their back, you might be a brave farm boy who fought a monster. Point is, nobody is going to give you anything because you're a Solar. You'll have to fight for it.

              An Infernal is not like that. An Infernal Exalts and becomes a rock star Prince of hell with a demon harem and armies and giant ex-gods to teach them devastating super powers etc etc etc. Your average Infernal is more dripping in alien glory and all that than your average Solar, because your average Solar is not nearly so well off as an Infernal. In terms of narrative, it's the difference between your character being the long lost prince who sets out to reclaim the throne, and your character being the long list prince who is brought into the throne room, crowned, and asked what he wants to do now. Decadence and indulgence seems like it will be more a hallmark of the Infernals because they are aristocrats of hell, not because they have special decadence and indulgence powers by default (though I expect they will have those too).

              Basically, the difference between a Solar and an Infernal is privilege.

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              • #22
                For Solars, while this is true there are lots of old gods and Lunar mates and ancient heirlooms and Gold Factional Sidereals and the sort around. Lots of privilege left over from charmed previous existance as the most favored of the most high, and reactionary gods and supernaturals wanting those good times back.

                And for Infernals, they are sort of the Chosen of the first lords of the world everyone hates and fears. In a sense you could say they're aristocrats, but its a sort of aristocratic exile, in a place that's brutal and hard and poor, like the Lintha. Perhaps the Romanovs in Siberia...?

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                • #23
                  While those things do exist, they are things you tend to have to find and fight for. Your old Lunar Mate could just as easily be an antagonist as a friend, your ancient artifacts have been taken by others and you'll need to reclaim them, by force if necessary. You do have some help, potentially, but you start dealing with local threats armed with whatever you have to hand. An Infernal is a Prince of Hell. And Hell is not poor. Hell is rich. Hell is filled to the brim with stuff. It can be hard and brutal but it's not a dirt poor shithole. It's a filthy rich, dripping with glory and indulgence and so on fantastical realm that is beyond mortal comprehension. And you are a Prince of that realm. You have power and authority there, you are held in awe by many inhabitants as a chosen of the Yozis. That aristocracy, that privilege, that sense of domination of other beings, that's what feeds into the Infernal themes of indulgence and decadence. It's a social thing, not a "All Infernals are chosen by these metrics/all Infernals develop these traits."

                  Infernals are privileged, decadent aristocrats in the same way that Dragon-Bloods are, because their social structure pushes them towards that. And not all of them are like that anyway, just like Dragon-Bloods.

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                  • #24
                    I cannot help but notice that those who champion Infernals as First Age Solars the hardest seem less interested in making 3e Infernals better and more interested in making sure they don't 'warp' or 'take away' from the rest of the game.

                    If someone wants to explore being a First Age Solar, they're better off playing a Solar in the First Age. Themes of decadence, corruption, and the abuse of power are compelling... as evidenced by the Dragon-Blooded for the last two editions, and likely the third one.

                    What attracts me to Infernals are the elements unique to Infernals: that combination of Yozi alienness with Sol's radiance and grandeur. First Age Solarness might be a nice side dish, a backdrop, some lemon in my ice tea, but people in this thread are already talking about Infernals as little more than green, villainous Solar. I will take the family of cosmic horrors over that any day.


                    Come and rock me Amadeus.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Solar View Post
                      An Infernal is a Prince of Hell. And Hell is not poor. Hell is rich. Hell is filled to the brim with stuff. It can be hard and brutal but it's not a dirt poor shithole. It's a filthy rich, dripping with glory and indulgence and so on fantastical realm that is beyond mortal comprehension. And you are a Prince of that realm. You have power and authority there, you are held in awe by many inhabitants as a chosen of the Yozis. That aristocracy, that privilege, that sense of domination of other beings, that's what feeds into the Infernal themes of indulgence and decadence. It's a social thing, not a "All Infernals are chosen by these metrics/all Infernals develop these traits."

                      Infernals are privileged, decadent aristocrats in the same way that Dragon-Bloods are, because their social structure pushes them towards that. And not all of them are like that anyway, just like Dragon-Bloods.
                      Hmmm. I think I tend to think of a lot of Hell as tasting of ashes in the mouths of the Infernals. Hell's briming with mad pleasures but there is a taste of foulness, bitterness or strangeness in them. It's the exile of the Yozis after all.

                      Infernals I would expect to have less of a base of aristocratic power and grandeur than the Abyssals. Hell is hierarchy but also chaos. The feuding, prideful, unpredictable and strange demons bend the knee to them less, look for leadership to them less and are more dangerous to them than the ghost people do to the Abyssals. But demons are warmer than ghost people.

                      Infernals are privileged in a sort of way, but maybe or will be the least so of all the "Solar type" Exalted when making their way in Creation - their demon allies are less useful to them that the Abyssals undead and they have no old deals and legacies to call on that will know them as they now are.

                      Like the Dragon-Bloods, decadent in some ways, within their kingdoms, in others cut to a razor's sharpness of discipline by a brutally competitive environment and inevitably due to be on a tough collision course with living in a world where no one will ever just defer to them as the prophesied prince who was promised.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                        Do you mean this as an abstract thing, or as an actual assertion of Alexander's motivations in the form of some kind of ideal?
                        Alexander the Great's conquests had a level of discipline and cultural significance that an Infernal - particularly a newly-Exalted Infernal - would be unlikely to pursue. An Infernal would be more likely to treat conquered kingdoms the same way the Primordials treated Creation.

                        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                        You say that as if those things can't be synonymous. What makes the pursuit of a "high ideal" not greedy? What makes greed not functional as a high ideal?

                        More importantly, what about people like Havesh for an established character, or the protagonists of Samurai Champloo for characters who nobody has any business saying aren't good Solar inspirations?
                        The Solar Exalted are Creation's greatest heroes. Within them lies the power to cast down the Realm and the Guild, to rip spirit-tyrants from their false thrones, to forge nations out of the all-devouring Wyld, to kill that which cannot die, to force the demonic hordes back into the entrails of Malfeas, to shred the webs of the pattern spiders and to bring about the end of the Age of Sorrows. Solars Exalt when they show themselves capable of saving Creation. That's important. That's what gives weight to the Solars' tragedy when they fail or choose to abuse their power.

                        Havesh briefly showed the determination and skill necessary to save Creation, and then almost immediately turned around and started abusing his talents, like dozens of Solars before him. He is not at all unique among the Solar Exalted, even if he began to use his powers for selfish greed a lot faster than most Solars do.

                        Originally posted by FromBeyond View Post
                        The thing is, if Infernals work as intended this time, they will completely draw the attention of everyone to First Age stuff.
                        Not really. Dragon-Blooded, Lunars, Sidereals, Solars and Abyssals all tie back to the First Age in some way, but they don't make the First Age any more prominent than "This is why the Usurpation happened, and the Usurpation is the reason why things are the way they are."


                        [Ex3] Why Gods Need the Exigence - Plot hooks for Exigent characters of various gods.
                        [Ex3] Homebrew Solar Charms - I can see the future, and it is glorious.
                        [Ex3] The Glass Library - My Exalted Third Edition Blog (Updated 24/04/2016)

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                        • #27
                          At the risk of recreating the "Solars are heroes" thread...
                          Originally posted by Tiresias View Post

                          Havesh briefly showed the determination and skill necessary to save Creation, and then almost immediately turned around and started abusing his talents, like dozens of Solars before him. He is not at all unique among the Solar Exalted, even if he began to use his powers for selfish greed a lot faster than most Solars do.
                          Havesh overheard a man try to hire an assassin, then offered to do it when the deal fell through, because he wanted the money. He strangled the man, then turned into an Anathema. Then about two minutes later, he killed several guards, including his own brother, so there were no witnesses to warn the Wyld Hunt.
                          Havesh didn't turn to selfish greed after Exalting. He was already selfish and greedy.
                          Which isn't to say he didn't show the determination and skill necessary to save Creation (risk-taking, violence, desperation, contempt for the entities who are supposed to be in charge, fine for a Night caste who'll be given the task of murdering Primordials and their servants). I'm just saying that doesn't preclude being a bad person.


                          If someone wants to explore being a First Age Solar, they're better off playing a Solar in the First Age. Themes of decadence, corruption, and the abuse of power are compelling... as evidenced by the Dragon-Blooded for the last two editions, and likely the third one.

                          What attracts me to Infernals are the elements unique to Infernals: that combination of Yozi alienness with Sol's radiance and grandeur. First Age Solarness might be a nice side dish, a backdrop, some lemon in my ice tea, but people in this thread are already talking about Infernals as little more than green, villainous Solar. I will take the family of cosmic horrors over that any day.
                          Seconded.* I want a demon exalt, prince of a mad and alien horror-world, not a decadent Solar.
                          If I wanted a decadent, corrupt Solar, I'd just play that anyway. Plenty of people do.

                          *Though I think it'll be harder to do that in 3rd ed because they're dumping Dreams for the most part. But that doesn't mean a First Age game is impossible.
                          Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 03-23-2014, 11:25 AM.


                          I play...
                          Kovan, actor, librarian, sorcerer, great bear, Lunar Elder from the First Age
                          Thutmose-Osiris, seventh son of a seventh son, descendant of the Supreme Deity Sukhmet, renegade demigod and bearer of the Ghoul-Banishing Bow. Also bright green.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by hippokrene View Post
                            I cannot help but notice that those who champion Infernals as First Age Solars the hardest seem less interested in making 3e Infernals better and more interested in making sure they don't 'warp' or 'take away' from the rest of the game.
                            Which is both equally important and harder to pull off than just the betterment of Infernals. It's easy to build hype for one thing at the cost of others, but not very rewarding in the long run.

                            If someone wants to explore being a First Age Solar, they're better off playing a Solar in the First Age. Themes of decadence, corruption, and the abuse of power are compelling... as evidenced by the Dragon-Blooded for the last two editions, and likely the third one.
                            Two problems:

                            1. It's extremely hard to offer support for First Age play without compromising the integrity of the line the way 2e did. We're extremely unlikely to see a playable First Age for 3e in years, if ever. And if we do, I'd presume it'll be closer to Shards format.

                            2. The difference between Solar decadence in the Solar-ruled world at it's peak and same decadence inspired and warped by infernal influences and transplanted to the savage world of the Age of Sorrows is like the difference between John Carter the Confederate soldier and John Carter of Mars. Different stories, different themes to explore.

                            What attracts me to Infernals are the elements unique to Infernals: that combination of Yozi alienness with Sol's radiance and grandeur. First Age Solarness might be a nice side dish, a backdrop, some lemon in my ice tea, but people in this thread are already talking about Infernals as little more than green, villainous Solar. I will take the family of cosmic horrors over that any day.
                            Cosmic horror is weak Exalted material. So are green villains. Fortunately, from what we know so far, we're getting neither.

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                            • #29
                              I have given some thoughts to matters Infernal.

                              I have come to consider that part of the problem comes from a shift in the perception of the Primordial War among both writers and fans which occured somewhere during the run, and where the War was conceived of as a large-scale slaughter in which the Exalted died and were reincarnated en masse, bringing down the Titans through slow attrition.

                              Playing the Chosen of the guys who chumped the Exalted like this and killed Solars by the handful, even if they were ultimately defeated, is inherently more awesome than playing the guys who died in droves against them, even if they ultimately prevailed. That's what Infernals offer to many. As long as this vision of the Primordial War remains in the minds of the fanbase, it will be impossible to not make the Yozis come across as more awesome than anyone else in the setting.


                              Bits and pieces of Exalted setting.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Morangias
                                Cosmic horror is weak Exalted material.
                                I'm interested as to why you say that?
                                I can see that the theme of man's irrelevance in the face of the true power of horrors from beyond this frail veil we call reality, is not a good theme, since Exalted is about heroes who can and do make a difference. But I don't see that the look and feel of Cthuloid entities and their mad cultists is a bad one for the Infernals.
                                Saying "this is a setting where there are Cthulu-esque entities*, only you can punch them in the face and drive them back out of reality," doesn't seem like an immediate problem to me, considering it off-hand, but I'm interested in your thoughts.

                                *Especially as they don't like using too much Judeo-Christian thematics for their Hell. And they don't really go the Asian route with King Yama-esque servants of the Gods who conduct the sufferings mandated by Heaven. Well, unless Exalts summon and bind the demons of course. That's more like King Solomon though, and his god-given right to command demons to build him the Temple.


                                I play...
                                Kovan, actor, librarian, sorcerer, great bear, Lunar Elder from the First Age
                                Thutmose-Osiris, seventh son of a seventh son, descendant of the Supreme Deity Sukhmet, renegade demigod and bearer of the Ghoul-Banishing Bow. Also bright green.

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