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  • Croakamancer
    replied to Should I run 1st or 3rd edition?
    Ohhh... don't say that. You'll make all the people who just want the game to be about grand mythic champions fighting to defend some small podunk part of Creation sad.

    (My snark aside, 3E really disagrees with that point. There's a conscious effort to downplay threats to Creation, and the focus has resolutely been on Solars vs the Realm from a setting PoV. That's a different argument though.)

    Actually engaging with your points

    1: Scaling up isn't too bad for the PCs at later points, the issue I've generally found with higher power games is more one of...
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  • Croakamancer
    replied to Houseroles for Artifacts and Resonance
    Honestly, I'd rather just ignore Resonance/Dissonance if I felt like it/the PC convinced me. It's not really like the balance is so fine on the artifacts that it really screws with stuff. All it does is mucks with Solars being the best at everything.... which is a feature as far as I'm concerned, not a bug! :P (And they still have extra charms on pretty much every artifact in Arms anyway)...
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  • Croakamancer
    replied to JohnDoe Reads the Chapter Fiction
    I object way less to them doing it than the way it was integrated into the fiction? Like, okay, the Realm doing morally questionable to flat out wrong things is fine; they're the oppressive empire, even as someone who likes playing them up as ambiguous I don't object to either act I called out. But the fic sorta just throws them in there both times, just as a reminder 'hey, these guys are morally complex'. It felt like the writers were trying to hit an evil quota, since most of the fic does skim/avoid that stuff, and in both cases it doesn't really affect the story. :P


    ...
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  • Croakamancer
    replied to Your Funny Headcanons
    Plus, Celestial Wine is made from the Peaches of Immortality, right? You don't need to enlighten their essence for that.
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  • Croakamancer
    replied to Your Funny Headcanons
    There's one very overworked mortal bartender who has to cater to all seven Incarnae as they play the Games of Divinity. She could tell stories nobody would ever believe.
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  • Croakamancer
    replied to JohnDoe Reads the Chapter Fiction
    I accept your viewpoint Maseiken. I think it's less a disagreement on what Exaltation should be though, and more how it's presented. I'm not a dogmatist for any given standard of Exaltation, I dislike 'the sun chooses them' for reasons of what that does to TUS as a character, but in terms strictly of 'who should be an Exalt', I've got no horse in the race. Hell, I actually rather like the concept of less 'ZOMG perfect awesome' people being given Solar Exaltation. Giving that power to humble regular people types is great and interesting.

    Yet I got none of those themes or feelings you...
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  • Croakamancer
    replied to JohnDoe Reads the Chapter Fiction
    I remember on the ol' What We Know wiki, there was a quote from one of the writers (Stephan I think) that amounted to "if players don't like engaging with VTM style PCs, we've got other splats for them to play". That's why the Cammies remain my touchstone for a quick synopsis of the 3E Realm take

    And yeah, while I've mostly played Celestials, I found the Great Prophecy and the history of the Usurpation the most engaging thing about the Solar/Realm conflict. I love the moral ambiguity behind the idea that the Solars might be no better than they ended up last time, that even...
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  • Croakamancer
    replied to JohnDoe Reads the Chapter Fiction
    The Lunar Sigs easily got the best presentation, IMO. You're given a conflict that's typical to the splat and easy to be invested in. There's not a lot of action until right at the end, but you get to see them shapeshifting and being cool as well as establishing them as characters. Assuming Sidereals are presented as a morally complex group, and the Bronze Faction gets less villafication than the Realm, I'm looking forward to the chapter fic for Sids.

    As to the Realm.... Wiz, d'you want to actually have that debate? Cause I'm down to chat if you are: you're pretty cool, I don't think...
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  • Croakamancer
    replied to JohnDoe Reads the Chapter Fiction
    Ah, but I did dislike the core fiction, so I felt the distinction was worth making. And hrm. Page 83 aside, slave-tutors were canon for the past editions, and a patrician being flogged is kinda... illegal? Like, they're people. Dynasts aren't supposed to just treat them however. I'm willing to bank on a continuity flub there.

    Do you have Arms? Chapter 5 in that might provide the best example of Terrestrial competence this edition so far. (and involves a certain ridiculous Solar getting his oh-so-very deserved dose of karma. )...
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  • Croakamancer
    replied to JohnDoe Reads the Chapter Fiction
    General reading on the DB fiction from me.

    I like it?

    Really, I like it. There's not a lot of specifics I feel the need to call out, positive or negative, in the individual stories. They do what they set out to do really well: show us the sig characters and use that to portray how Dragon Blooded live within the Realm and present the reader with different aspects of it. The unifying story of the sig hearth/fellowship/brotherhood is a nice touch. I dunno if there was a more unified writing team for these than the core, but they felt more unified, even beyond the connective...
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  • Croakamancer
    replied to JohnDoe Reads the Chapter Fiction
    I dispute provably real. Outta context maybe but Sol hadn't answered their prayers in living memory and his shrine was long abandoned.

    This remains off topic though. Anyone interested in continuing this, we should shift to a new thread or PMs...
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  • Croakamancer
    replied to JohnDoe Reads the Chapter Fiction
    She doesn't though? She calls out Sol as absent, not uncaring. It's not like TUS was a presence in their lives like the local Jiaran gods and ignored her in some kind of visible way. How much courage does it really take to insult God in an empty church?...
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  • Croakamancer
    replied to JohnDoe Reads the Chapter Fiction
    I'm tempted to skip 4, in that it's mostly a lame retread of the comic from 2e core where Swan brokered a deal between local villagers and shark-gods over an upcoming battle. Not much to really say. It's functional. I don't mind it

    5: My god Petals looks like a smug jerk. That's not the artist's intent (I think?) but I just want to punch the shiny dork. As to the story, Marani's not the worst character ever, but her being essentially defeated in one paragraph of fighting doesn't help. Remember kids, only Solars are allowed to be moral or want to change the world or win a fight. Everyone...
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  • Croakamancer
    replied to JohnDoe Reads the Chapter Fiction
    With the idea that the Incarnae are directly responsible for choosing Exalts, the concept of them as actually retired/distracted by the Jade Pleasure Dome goes out the window. And that's canon-ish for Ex3, not just implication of how that one story is written. The old devs had this whooole headscratching doublethink thing about how the Incarnae were totally choosing their Exalts while still being uninvolved and disconnected, but Soul's fic undercuts that amazingly. TUS just flat out says that he's turned his face back to Creation.

    And Exalting Perfect Soul is the intervention I meant....
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  • Croakamancer
    replied to JohnDoe Reads the Chapter Fiction
    Stiiiill hate it! ^^ take your more positive view of the characterization if you want, I still view it as demarcation of Solars from these amazing great figures of legend into TUS' little squad of bully boys who win through a deck stacked in their favor. A more charitable read of the interaction doesn't change that for me....
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    Last edited by Croakamancer; 06-02-2019, 01:12 PM. Reason: Clarification

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  • Croakamancer
    replied to JohnDoe Reads the Chapter Fiction
    I guess the stylistic differences make Intro Fic and Chapter Fic a bit distinct. The Chapter Fic idea has to be very tight; it's a slim wordcount to work with, there's no room for flourishes (in... theory). Whereas Core's intro fic...

    It's not bad? But it's mostly flourish. It's Jenna Moran being all Jenna Moran. I'd have probably loved it in isolation but it's a weird way to start the book. I find it an ultimately weaker story, but Strawmaiden Janest would've probably made more sense as an intro fic. (It would have different problems, yeah, but... well, that's another topic.)
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  • Croakamancer
    replied to JohnDoe Reads the Chapter Fiction
    All you 3e heretics in the house say Haaaay! Well, I'm down to chat about chapter fic! Though I have a tendency to rant and complain about things. .I'll just chime in with my own opinion on things as you go, and see if we can get a conversation going.

    Introduction is... boring, honestly. Perhaps that's just personal taste but Novia uses her Exalted prowess to... break into a place, do some stuff, then get out again. Works, but for a showcase of Exalted power, I'd have preferred something flashier. (I have quotes ready to go if anybody's curious. )

    I haaate Chapter...
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  • Depends on just how willing you are to modify Exalted. Like, the very premise of the setting as it stands kinda works against the idea of cultivators: Exaltation is given, not earned. You can't do everything right and expect to hit that pinnacle, which kinda plays against the Xianxia themes of self mastery and improvement.(Yes, Exaltation is not the same thing as immortality but it's a heightened state of power and awareness, the use of Essence is akin to cultivation of Qi, it tracks pretty well IMO)

    You could try and ignore that and pitch Exalted Cultivators anyway? In terms of what...
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  • *hums* It's far more indirect a source than most of the ones cited here, but I've a fondness for Netflix's Carmen Sandiego. Specifically Episode 7, and Carmen's encounter with Paper Star. It's a pretty nice showcase for an imaginative action sequence that's still thoroughly age appropriate. The series as a whole is a weird rec, since it's a clearly modern setting, but Carmen herself is classic Night Caste material: doing the right thing even with everyone in the world out to get her....
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  • I was gonna say She Ra but got beaten to it.

    Hrm... Switching topics a bit, in the video game sphere pretty much any Legend of Zelda fits to me. The general fantasy feeling helps but all the games I played in that franchise have an air of exploration to them that I feel really helps an Exalted game; be it adventuring to cool new lands, or discovering the lost secrets of a past age.
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Croakamancer
Croakamancer
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