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3E Infernals - Change of Direction

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  • #31
    I like the Allthing. I like the idea of infernals having a sort of meeting of the minds, welcome to the club, airing of grievances thing. Maybe rejigger it to be something more like the Silver Pact, with an ideological platform rather than a specific goal. It'd be nice especially if Infernals are so rare, for them to have something of a decent support network around them. Buuut then I think of how my ideal infernals are individuals of extreme decadence and, to a degree, hubris who want to recast the world in their image, and well, i imagine they all have different ideas of what thats like.
    hm... I'll think more on that.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Matt the Bruins fan View Post
      Contrariwise, I really like the basic idea of the Unwoven Coajutor, if not how it was used to inflict Torment on its Exalt. Hopefully there's still room for its inclusion. With Exaltation seemingly being treated more as an event than a discrete thing, maybe the demon is the means by which the Yozis' power interferes with the Unconquered Sun's to warp the moment of Exaltation, and it gets fused into the new Exalt by the interaction of those forces.
      It might actually work with ability based Infernals. The interesting thing about the Yozi Excellencies was trying to use them with your character's human mindset so something that encouraged you to adopt a less human mindset for your character from the outset just seemed like poor design.

      success is the ability to go from one failure to the next without any loss of enthusiasm


      • #33
        Well, I'll say this much, I really liked Modern's take on Infernals and I absolutely hated Lillun. Manual of Exalted Power: Infernals was the first RPG book I was credited in, and I might've quit if I'd known she was in there the way she was.

        Vance and I have talked about akuma a fair bit. They're still in there as of the moment, but we've talked about gradients of selling your soul. One of my biggest issues with akuma in the prior two editions was that it was essentially a chump's game; if you sold your soul to the Yozis for power, not only was it an abrogation of an Exalted's heroic destiny, but the Yozis were under no obligation whatsoever to let you use your newfound power in a manner pleasing to you. In fact, they were under no obligation to let you remain you. So the only type of Infernal Exalted who were remotely not-chumps were true believers like Dukantha, whose goals would never not line up with Kimbery's. This always struck me as wrong, given that you could sell your soul and not even get what you desired. Even Faust didn't get so raw a deal, having gotten the earthly pleasures he requested as part of a contract. And then there's the Ebon Dragon going kekekekekekeke and just giving you the opposite of what you wanted. I mean, c'mon.

        It was meant to be a fool's choice, but to be honest that sort of playstyle doesn't appeal to me as something to engage the PCs. Infernal bargains should be legitimately tempting if they're to be at all interesting.

        Neall Raemonn Price
        Beleaguered Scion Developer


        • #34
          Now that would be a change in a direction, if I'm remembering some things correctly.

          Originally posted by Neall
          It was meant to be a fool's choice, but to be honest that sort of playstyle doesn't appeal to me as something to engage the PCs. Infernal bargains should be legitimately tempting if they're to be at all interesting.
          ​I found that it didn't create particularly interesting antagonists either.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Neall View Post
            Vance and I have talked about akuma a fair bit. They're still in there as of the moment, but we've talked about gradients of selling your soul.
            I really appreciate how Ex3 sorcery facilitates these deals. I've got a concept floating around of a Eclipse Guildsman who gets his sorcery from Makarios -- and emphatically not one of the Yozis -- and between Infernal Nobility, Dark Paramour, Demonic Tattoos, The Burning Name, Suzerain of Endless Flame, Miracles of Shadow and Chaos, Astral Meditation, and of course, spells, there are a lot of sorcerous powers that can be reskinned for Makarios and that a Solar could barter for, getting in deeper and deeper with the demonic merchant while still retaining the character's core motivation, because bartering and making deals is what Eclipse Caste Guildsmen do.

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            • #36
              Totally agree. I'm in the process of making a pseudo-Infernal character using the Core rules (when Infernals comes out if he's still around I'll do my best to preserve his concept and general slant of powers while translating him over to the splat's published rules), and the Bargain with Mara sorcery initiation and Merits have been quite helpful in achieving the desired flavor. I can also see reskinning the Pact with an Ifrit Lord shaping rituals and Merits to reflect further bargains with Ligier once he's attained enough power and infamy to be worth an Unquestionable's time, with potential to move on to a direct agreement with Malfeas for initiation into Solar Circle.
              Last edited by Matt the Bruins fan; 08-30-2017, 01:23 PM.


              • #37
                A change I notice is that apparently akuma are a category of thing agian. My understanding with the previous guard a bit was that there being something which you could look at mechanically and say akuma rather than it being a thing that's a catch-all with many different ways to approach was the way to go.

                Might in the end still be that, but I'm curious what the new take is on that.

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                • #38
                  I find that it's always a strange thing to deal with categorizations in fantasy fiction, because of the expectation that at least some categories refer to something in an essential, Platonic manner, meaning there can be a bit of confusion about what is covered by that and what is just a matter of a word that somebody uses to describe a thing in common.

                  ​(Which is itself another layer of confusion about categorization )

                  ​For my money, between my own biases and how they shape my reading of Neall's statement there, I would propose that "akuma" might still serve as a catch-all term used in the setting for people who have made deals with Infernal powers that alter or empower them in some manner, without needing to entail some key transformation that renders one indelibly and unmistakably akuma.

                  ​To be honest, I don't mind the idea of a word like that being used in-character. Hell, I don't even mind the idea of there being characters who are transformed as drastically as the prior form had it; I've said before about how I liked the image in Fehim's entry in Caste Book: Twilight, in which he's made contact with an entity that is looking to systematically eliminate all other relationships and motivations in his life until there's nothing left in him but utter "willing" devotion to fulfilling the whims of infernal powers.

                  ​But even that is something more complicated than the prior system in which just about any deal gave the Yozis significant leeway to remake you, and the tone treating them as little more than generic and interchangeable super minions being kept in reserve, and it's still not something that is suitable for every infernalist character.

                  ​So when I was happy before about developers saying "akuma aren't going to be a thing anymore", I was happy for the removal of that particular rendition, and when Neall says that they're using the word but applying nuance to it, I'm quite satisfied.

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                  • #39
                    So... we have a relatively solid implementation of the new Infernal take.

                    What's is your thought, guys?


                    • #40
                      My thought is "shouldn't you have gone looking for an Abyssal thread if you were planning this kind of necromancy?"

                      More seriously, I'm very conflicted. To me, the idea of new Infernals being usually destructive (having been picked as living weapons by beings made of rage and hate and pain) makes sense, and the idea of a minority of them rising above that and finding empathy, rather than malice, in their past oppression is both cool and hopeful.

                      But I see other people saying that people from the underclass striving to change things... but actually being agents of Hell who only make everything worse kinda seems like new!Infernals would run the risk of turning into Breitbart Exalted, and I don't know that I can refute that.

                      I'll probably brood uncomfortably on it for a good long time, until either my feelings shake out or we get a more detailed version from the writers.

                      "For me, there's no fundamental conflict between really loving something and also seeing it as very profoundly flawed." -- Jay Eddidin


                      • #41
                        ...links please. Was there anything new that I missed?


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Yzarc View Post
                          ...links please. Was there anything new that I missed?

                          In the exalted essence manuscript, it gives details on all ten exalted including Alchemicals, Abyssals and Infernals.

                          The basic change from Infernals being people who have been crushed by failure has changed from those who were oppressed in various ways such as slavery, poverty, unjust societies and then some.

                          The infernal talk has literally spread from at least the official and fan discord server as well as tabletop rpg and other sites.

                          Personally, I like the change quite a bit it seems interesting to me as I do like the concept more than infernals 2e

                          A thing to add is that in the discord exalted fan server this sort of talk is termed as infernal discourse and is probably going to happen for a long time. Similar to the should exalted add in more exalted and the probably any other exalted discourse that happens when discussing exalted.
                          Last edited by reaperfrost8; 06-16-2021, 07:54 PM.


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by reaperfrost8 View Post
                            In the exalted essence manuscript, it gives details on all ten exalted including Alchemicals, Abyssals and Infernals.
                            Thanks. I missed that as I was not on the forum for the last few weeks. Just got the Mail Notification and checked it out.

                            Alright so as I was the one who started this thread and in the interest of moving things along, I'll quote a charms Review by Chejop Kejak who posted it on the Essence thread. Props to him for posting this.

                            Originally posted by Chejop Kejak View Post
                            I got unexpectedly busy yesterday (and I'm expecting more business today), but I can at least look at some more Charms right now. As they seem to be driving discussion, and also come right after Getimians, let's talk about Infernals!

                            Devil-Body Incarnation, in all its glory. I really like that they put in a few less combat-focused choices: I can picture a social character going for emotion + difficult terrain (described in a way to help their social stunts, of course), or an investigative one picking X-ray vision + pass through stone. This is something every Infernal gets (though if you're not spending a Charm, maybe you should just take flight + terrain and run away), and it does read like they'd all want to.

                            Joy in Violence is super odd in a world of popcorn initiative. Does this mean the whole group auto-wins Join Battle, or if the ST wins, do they automatically take back over after the player finishes?

                            I'm beginning to think that, especially in Essence, Naked Soul Insight is the kind of social Charm I want to see - it has actual rules for the social influence system, if worst comes to worst, but its primary use is something else.

                            I do not know what Witness to Darkness's bonus/penalty applies to, but I really hope it's just Awareness rolls.

                            Wait, is Hideous Hundred-Limb Strike implying that I can use a Step 1 reflexive Charm in response to someone else attacking me? I'm... just gonna assume this is a specific exception, and I just got too hung up on wording.

                            Acquainted with Deception seems really odd in a world where Judge's Ear Technique is Universal.

                            Laughing in your enemies' faces is apparently a physical rather than social defense, which honestly just makes it more unnerving. Broken Silence Laughter Defense is the first Essence Edition defensive Charm I have any real confidence in, since I'm a little uncertain over whether not getting hit is a viable plan in Essence. On the downside, I don't know whether you activate it before or after your opponent rolls damage, which is a pretty big deal, given that Infernals often want to land in one of two specific health levels.

                            If Will-Crushing Force doesn't deal damage, use weapons, or interact with Soak, then why can I only use it combat and why am I spending Power equal to my target's Hardness? Why isn't this a special influence action?

                            Venom Blood Revenge isn't just one of only two counterattacks in this set, it's also the first one which doesn't call for the Exalt to reflexively make a roll which is defined elsewhere as an action, and therefore (as I understand it) the only Charm we've seen so far where the "counterattacks count as actions" rule means anything. It is also the only source so far to explicitly deal dice of environmental damage, which is notable, because it's usually not stated what environmental damage is, exactly - the systems chapter has an example which implies levels, whilst Elemental Bolt Attack is totally insane unless it's dice.

                            Everything 3E taught me about Soak Charms has been upended by Viridian Rust Defense. What, Charms will help my durability most when I'm already wearing armor? Unthinkable!

                            Dark Miracle Mimicry is a cool concept, but also the first of the Infernal Charms that I'm actually uncertain how I would run in play. Its requirements are all about the target, not the ability copied, so I do not know whether the intent is that the Infernal needs to have seen it used. That's a big difference, not least because it might allow this Charm to "scan" enemy powers (it already implicitly does that for Essence rating, but I don't know whether that's ever hidden information). At the far opposite end of utility, it also never says the player picks the power, so they might get something random.

                            Shadow Spite Curse does seem to outright confirm that, outside of attacks, you can use reflexive Step 1 Charms on Step 1 of someone else's actions. This concerns me.

                            That's a bitter note to end on, when overall, I thought these Charms looked really good! I like how many classic "boss fight" abilities they worked into the combat Charms - heck, I liked that they had a suite of combat Charms. I'm not sure whether Getimians are supposed to be bad at fighting (given their Ox-Body), or just very reliant upon martial arts, but they did not get many of those. Getimian stuff fired my imagination more, but Infernal Charms are the ones were I could play with a stranger who read the same book and feel like we'd be on the same page more than half of the time. It does seem surprising (not bad, but unexpected) that Infernal social Charms are heavily geared towards either gathering information or messing with the mind of one specific person - they don't seem to have any native way to change minds on a larger scale, with the closest thing being Unbreakable Laws of Hell (which can only change actions). If that's deliberate, it plays an interesting part in the question of Infernals' ability to make real positive reforms rather than just bringing calamity.
                            For my part, I have not gotten the review copy yet and will take a couple of days to do so. (Backers get a copy and I am yet to back it.)


                            • #44
                              I'm glad you enjoyed my discussion of (some of) the Charms, Yzarc! That said, I don't think that's the best way to understand the Infernal changes which are now driving the discussion. The manuscript doesn't have a ton of detail on any given Exalt type, but what it does have is pretty evocative:

                              Once the victims of injustice and betrayal, the Infernal Exalted stride across Creation seeking brutal vengeance and sweeping revolution. With the Yozis’ promises singing in their hearts, and stolen Solar Exaltations crowning them with righteousness, the formerly-downtrodden have become the Green Sun Princes, determined to remake the world in Hell’s image.

                              Play an Infernal Exalted if you want to be a fallen hero on a vengeful quest, an anarchist liberating the oppressed, or a general leading a demon-army.
                              That got some very strong reactions - you can see most of the ones which are currently influencing my thinking starting around here.

                              "For me, there's no fundamental conflict between really loving something and also seeing it as very profoundly flawed." -- Jay Eddidin


                              • #45
                                I get the impression that the role of GSPs in setting still isn't solved. If they're not independent of Yozis and powers trend them to harm, people are raising these objections about Chosen from "oppressed" backgrounds being harmful (as being either not their taste or not "correct politically", to paraphrase). If they are independent of Yozis and powers don't trend to harm, then they're back to "Edgy, Angry, 'Rockstar' Solars" in terms of setting role. I guess I would still want to treat them as optional canon.