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How much history do Creation's people know?

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  • Leetsepeak
    replied
    Originally posted by Piff View Post
    Now, exceptions exist. Sima Quan, Livy... occasionally state historians are imbued with the power and money to assemble a more-or-less accurate historical picture. But even these great historians reveal impressive bias in writings from the era, making relying upon them as sources questionable even from our perspective.
    Particularly focusing on the mention of Livy, the other thing worth considering is how much a given culture values the literal truth versus a moral truth. Livy doesn't present an accurate history of Rome (We really don't know what an accurate history would look like, beyond a reasonable certainty that the Kings of Rome are a whole hot mess to unravel) but he presents one which the Roman people and his patrons might find compelling. People's feelings about innaccuracy are likely to only exist in the context of personal knowledge, i.e. He misrepresented my father ,but the idea of looking for a capital t Truth in history that is "objective" is a totally modern obsession that doesn't really bear out even now and especially not the further you go back in time.

    Like, they care about not completely fucking it up with super wrong information, but if Livy says what Caesar or the Brutus that slew Tarquin were thinking at the time, nobody is going like "Yo bro, how did you know he was thinking that for a fact?" Because that part isn't important. Historiography is not a thing anyone cares about.

    History in these situations is usually a teaching tool rather than a discipline in and of itself. That is, if you're learning about the Shogunate from someone, you're learning for a specific reason. Maybe it's to learn some of their battle tactics, or to gain national pride because your city-state believes itself a continuity of the Shogunate, etcetera. There's always a purpose besides the history when history is being taught.

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  • Piff
    replied
    For the vast, vast majority of human history, nobody really knew much more beyond about the world beyond what your great-grandfather knew.

    Further, this was not thought of as particularly onerous or inconvenient.

    Historical research is not particularly useful. Our modern society holds history in great esteem, and so it's hard for us to understand this.

    In the rare case that somebody starts caring about history beyond the realm of what Grandpa can take you, it usually requires patronage and support to be able to do anything about it. That patronage and support usually comes from an interested party who is not concerned with a non-biased or accurate narrative. More often, what is produced will support the ideology and political goals of the person paying for it, which effectively is massively biased or entirely fictional account.

    It doesn't help that these individuals aren't particularly concerned about historical accuracy, so they'll not hesitate to kill you for disparaging the 'false' information.

    Also note that 'everybody knows' this history was written with an agenda and while they may not talk about it openly, they eye-roll privately. It's particularly frustrating to future generations because they will never know what was written with a serious nod or a knowing wink.

    Now, exceptions exist. Sima Quan, Livy... occasionally state historians are imbued with the power and money to assemble a more-or-less accurate historical picture. But even these great historians reveal impressive bias in writings from the era, making relying upon them as sources questionable even from our perspective.

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  • TheCountAlucard
    replied
    Originally posted by Lundgren View Post
    Nope. On discussion methods.
    So in other words, you're disagreeing with me because I'm snarky? That's great - it means you're not disagreeing with me because I'm wrong.

    I mean, you're welcome to not like how I voice my arguments, but I've yet to see any compelling argument that gods should be an easy sword with which to cut through the Veil of Ages Past.
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 09-22-2016, 10:40 AM.

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  • TheCountAlucard
    replied
    Leetsepeak: Exactly. Hence my bit about Leviticus, Satan, et cetera., on previous pages.

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  • Leetsepeak
    replied
    I think a good question for a god talking about the First Age is: Qui bono? Who benefits? What do they get out of explaining things to you, and to what end? Not every god is a manipulative shitbag, but they're immortals stuck in a magical, larger than life bureaucracy. The only thing they got time for is schemes! So the vast majority of them are manipulative. Then there are those who might not want to share details because it wouldn't be terribly hard to figure out who shared them among the Celestial Bureaucracy, and then you also have to account for the fact that they might have an imperfect memory or maybe even don't care enough about said event to remember it right in the first place.

    A really valuable inspiration to consider here is Vampire: The Requiem in its 2nd Edition. There is not a normal "Fog of Ages" to keep Kindred history secret from anyone, and yet, it's still very mysterious. Why?

    Because elders lie. They tell the version of events that serves them better, that they like better. They forget things, too. They are sometimes misinformed as well, and even information they have second-hand can be fabricated. Elders lie because people lie. They forget, because people forget. They misremember (sometimes willfully!) because that's a thing that people do. They may be vampires, inhuman vampires even, but they're still people, and still fallible the way people are.

    Gods are not human, but they are people, and they likely face the same sorts of issues and situations. Maybe you omit the key detail that when you sided with the Circle's previous Incarnations right after the Usurpation, you were doing so because you'd already lost your position due to corruption charges from a Censor, but that's a huge detail with ramifications for the rest of the story, so you have the knock-on effect of having to account for that. At one point, it almost becomes more trouble than it's worth to lay it all out. When two gods who were there tell two different versions of what happened, like people do, what's an Exalt to do?

    Judge's Ear Technique, you say?

    Neither of them are lying.

    History is hard.

    The key takeaway here is that average people probably only know local history within living memory, and legends which might theoretically resemble actual history, because historiography is not a thing.

    Gods might know more, but are subject to very strong immortal biases, and often need incentive to be truthful (and on top of that, there's the limitation that truthful is not always accurate)

    Even educated people have to contend with the fact that unified access to resources that have been verified as accurate is not going to be common outside of certain influential places.

    Then, in terms of being clever: You might get a more accurate picture of what life was like in Lookshy in RY 578 from a trade manifest from the Guild than you might from the historians of the Seventh Legion even though they might have that Lookshy professionalism going on!
    Last edited by Leetsepeak; 09-22-2016, 10:24 AM.

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  • Lundgren
    replied
    Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    So, for clarity's sake, are you disagreeing with my notion that gods are not perfect-unchanging-reliable-unbiased-sources-of-Real-True-Knowledge? Because that seems a weird choice of hill to die on.
    Nope. On discussion methods.

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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    I think it's possible to say they're not 100% perfect historical sources, while still saying they might well be able to tell you a fair bit about the First Age.

    Though I imagine the Celestial Gods would be far more useful for that than Terrestrial Gods, and most people in the setting have no access to Celestial Gods.

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  • TheCountAlucard
    replied
    Originally posted by Lundgren View Post
    Lets just agree to disagree.
    So, for clarity's sake, are you disagreeing with my notion that gods are not perfect-unchanging-reliable-unbiased-sources-of-Real-True-Knowledge? Because that seems a weird choice of hill to die on.

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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    Indeed! The Unshaped would certainly see it that way (to the extent you can make meaningful statements about the Unshaped).

    Originally posted by Marcob
    The Sids and DBs have had how many thousands of years to show their chops at the job?

    They're not any good at it, clearly.
    About 1.5 thousand years.

    But yes, as a group, they're not doing a great job (though I think there are certainly individuals who are good at it, but the overall system isn't great). So, just like the Solars really.

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  • TheCountAlucard
    replied
    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
    The only group with any legitimacy beyond "we seized power so now we're in charge" are the Primordials, who actually created Creation…
    …and even they seized it from the Wyld!

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  • Leetsepeak
    replied
    Are they bad at it? Are the troubles of the world reflective of their failure to lead or of more complicated and varied circumstances than one could actually account for? Were things better in the First Age in the sense of solving these problems?

    3rd Edition doesn't seem directly interested in answering that question, which is valuable in my view, but it's also worth noting that even when 2e was interested in the First Age and describing it in detail, it seemed as if many of these kinds of problems still existed even with the fancy infrastructure made by the Solar Deliberative to handle things.

    I think in-character the notion that any kind of Exalted within the limitation of people knowledgeable enough to have the discussion, the question of whether the Sids or DBs are bad leaders could be an interesting one, but not with any kind of objective answer in mind.

    Such a conversation could be telling when it comes to what a character prioritizes and the limitations of the character's imagination. If ever there was a scene for uncovering intimacies...

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  • Marcob
    replied
    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
    Personally, I'd argue that saying one Exalt type should be in charge is a bit silly: clearly there's going to be suitable and unsuitable rulers amongst all Exalt types.
    The Sids and DBs have had how many thousands of years to show their chops at the job?

    They're not any good at it, clearly.

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  • The Wizard of Oz
    replied
    Originally posted by Boston123 View Post


    Because the Incarnae were the rulers of Creation before the Exalted, and abdicated rulership to them?
    By what right were the Incarnae the rulers of Creation?

    Saying the Solars are the rightful rulers of Creation is like saying that James III/VIII (father of the more famous Bonny Prince Charlie) was the rightful ruler of Britain because his father King James II was overthrown in a revolution in 1688... when James II's ancestor William the Conquerer had seized most of Britain by force from the Anglo-Saxons, who'd seized it from the Romano-Britons, who of course were descended both from Britons and foreign conquerers.

    I mean, sure, if you accept the legitimacy of the previous revolution, but at this point it's subjective. It's just a matter of which revolutions you like and don't like.

    The only group with any legitimacy beyond "we seized power so now we're in charge" are the Primordials, who actually created Creation. But I imagine most people in Exalted wouldn't consider that legitimate.

    Essentially, these are all fine subjective in-setting arguments. But from an OOC view, there's no legitimate group, just whichever one your PCs want to support. If they're Solars, I imagine they'll probably argue Solars should be in charge, if they're not, then probably not.

    Personally, I'd argue that saying one Exalt type should be in charge is a bit silly: clearly there's going to be suitable and unsuitable rulers amongst all Exalt types.

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  • Boston123
    replied
    Originally posted by Lanaya View Post

    What gives the Incarnae the authority to make anyone the rightful rulers of Creation? They didn't even win it by right of conquest - the Exalted did that while the Incarnae cheered from the sidelines. Then after the Exalted had already toppled the mightiest beings to ever exist, conquered Creation and made it their own, the Incarnae gave them the equivalent of a gold star and a pat on the back. The Creation-Ruling Mandate is a meaningless formality.

    Because the Incarnae were the rulers of Creation before the Exalted, and abdicated rulership to them?

    The Primordials created Creation, then created the Gods to maintain and run Creation while they fucked around with the GoD. When the Exalted kicked Primordial ass, the Incarnae (and other Celestial gods) went "sweet, now you run the joint" and scooted off to Heaven.

    The Incarnae didn't "cheer from the sidelines", either. The UCS was pretty involved, about as much as He could be without toeing the Geas line. Do generals in charge of armies not get credit for winning wars if they don't personally fight them?

    I dunno, seems like a pretty standard, cut-and-dried pass-off of power to me. The Old Boss got sacked, the Middle Mangers got pushed (or pushed themselves) up, and the Middle Managers lackeys took their spot.

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  • Lundgren
    replied
    Originally posted by Elfive View Post
    Exigence is like a phone or computer. Only a small number of the people using it actually know how it works.
    I think it is much closer to a car in that regard, and quite the difference to just see one when they are far out of your hand or when you actually have access to one.

    So while both a phone and a car is a mystery to most on how they actually work, it is far easier to know enough for the layman when it comes to a phones (and if you own a crappy car, you tend to learn quite a bit about how they operate as well).

    With Exigens, you have to get a shard, and pick a mortal to Exalt; being actually involved in the process. Get them out of the picture, and what do most gods actually know about the Exalts? Created by the Incarnae to be used to overthrow the Primordials, and that Lytek is heavily involved (regardless if it is true or not). One gives a bit of knowledge among the gods, the other don't leave much more than speculations.

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