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  • Cycle of Elements

    Does Creation have an equivalent to the Chinese Cycle of Elements?

    If not, how do the elements relate to each other? Are there any tendencies or do the relationships depend more on the specific circumstance?


    ....

  • #2
    It has many cycles of elements. I think the full number for Second Edition was in Roll of Glorious Divinity. But there aren't really many details on how they interact, or how those map to the various processes of Creation.
    Last edited by Khantalas; 12-26-2015, 04:02 AM.


    "From now on, instead of saying 'half-assed', I will use 'muled'. 'This is a muled job, Chris', I will say to my friend Chris. 'You need to do better, or your ass is grass. And not, like, metaphorical grass. There are weeds growing in there as we speak.'

    "'The DEA is after you, man' I will tell him, in all seriousness."

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    • #3
      I imagine different philosophers and alchemists have different ideas.


      STing Bronze Age Exalted

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      • #4
        1e and 2e, the seasons went Air -> Water -> Earth -> Wood -> Fire, and people complained that didn't match up with the Chinese cycle of Metal -> Water -> Wood -> Fire -> Earth, so when I was writing RoGDI, I put in the bit that suggested Creation had a bunch of different elemental cycles so that anyone who wanted to use the actual Chinese cycle (with Air swapped in for Metal, probably) could just use it and say it was another one.

        For 3e I changed the order of the seasons to Air -> Water -> Wood -> Fire -> Earth. (Mostly to correct that weird thing where Creation's winter was only a quarter as long as all its other seasons while keeping Calibration as a late-autumn festival rather than changing it into a midwinter festival, because it's not Calibration if it's not Halloweenish.) So if you want that to be the elemental cycle, go wild mining Chinese elemental theory for its possible meanings.

        However, this is ultimately something of an Easter egg, as the people who write up new elementals and Dragon-Blooded Charms and such probably do not have any particular idea of an elemental cycle and how it applies to the way elemental magic should work, so any significance you find in the Air -> Water -> Wood -> Fire -> Earth cycle is almost certainly going to be wholly your own invention.

        Tl;dr yes and no, shrug.

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        • #5
          I'm glad you changed them, so that now there's a proper cycle of seasons. Though it's caused some confusion as suddenly the PCs' birthdays have all moved 3 months closer!


          STing Bronze Age Exalted

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          • #6
            If you do decide to mine the Wu Xing, keep in mind the various differences in associations.

            For instance, cold is primarily in the purview of the metal-substitute air, instead of water.

            As far as I can tell, the earth element has no association with humidity in Creation. The sun is something else, apart from fire. The emotional associations, which rarely appear in Exalted to begin with, are different (you won't find anything in Exalted linking wood to anger, for instance - Except maybe Wood Kings being particularly angry spirits).

            Any way you slice it, you are gonna have to built a lot of the cycle and interactions specifically for Creation's elements. But hey, maybe there is even some real insight to get on the way there ^_^


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            • #7
              One of the most interesting things about the elemental associations and cycles in Second Edition was found in Dreams of the First Age, where Lands of Creation detailed some factories that mass-produced medicine, and different seasons allowed for the production of different types of healing tools, such as Earth months creating 15 different types of suppositories, and the Wood months creating 15 different types of medicinal cloths. The rest of the books didn't do anything with that (or, in general, with medicine), but that always struck a chord with me, especially when read alongside Weapons of the Gods' primer to Wu Xing medicine in gaming.

              As such, medicine has been the one part where I have flavored things in terms of elements. Also different groups of medicine folk have heated arguments with each other about why the Southern Water Herbalism (based on the properties and elemental balance of the plants that grow in oases in the South when they are dissolved in water) is superior to the Redwood Acupuncture Techniques (which uses specially treated needles made from Haltan redwoods to stimulate healing and also poke people's eyes out). Sometimes they hire assassins.


              "From now on, instead of saying 'half-assed', I will use 'muled'. 'This is a muled job, Chris', I will say to my friend Chris. 'You need to do better, or your ass is grass. And not, like, metaphorical grass. There are weeds growing in there as we speak.'

              "'The DEA is after you, man' I will tell him, in all seriousness."

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              • #8
                Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
                Does Creation have an equivalent to the Chinese Cycle of Elements?
                Yep. At the moment, I think you'll find out more about it in Dragon-Blooded.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
                  1e and 2e, the seasons went Air -> Water -> Earth -> Wood -> Fire, and people complained that didn't match up with the Chinese cycle of Metal -> Water -> Wood -> Fire -> Earth, so when I was writing RoGDI, I put in the bit that suggested Creation had a bunch of different elemental cycles so that anyone who wanted to use the actual Chinese cycle (with Air swapped in for Metal, probably) could just use it and say it was another one.

                  For 3e I changed the order of the seasons to Air -> Water -> Wood -> Fire -> Earth. (Mostly to correct that weird thing where Creation's winter was only a quarter as long as all its other seasons while keeping Calibration as a late-autumn festival rather than changing it into a midwinter festival, because it's not Calibration if it's not Halloweenish.) So if you want that to be the elemental cycle, go wild mining Chinese elemental theory for its possible meanings.
                  So, while we're on the subject, I've been wanting to ask - what was the motivation for staying with a climate cycle that didn't match the nomenclature the players are being asked to remember? It always seemed to me to give us the worst of both worlds, giving the players Weird Different Things to remember without having actually exotic weather, and I'm pretty sure I'm missing the upside.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                    I'm glad you changed them, so that now there's a proper cycle of seasons. Though it's caused some confusion as suddenly the PCs' birthdays have all moved 3 months closer!
                    Yeah I'm glad that Air and Fire aren't right next to each other now.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Valles View Post

                      So, while we're on the subject, I've been wanting to ask - what was the motivation for staying with a climate cycle that didn't match the nomenclature the players are being asked to remember? It always seemed to me to give us the worst of both worlds, giving the players Weird Different Things to remember without having actually exotic weather, and I'm pretty sure I'm missing the upside.
                      I have no idea. You'll notice that the 3e core talks about Creation's "Five elemental cycles" rather than "Five elemental seasons," so Cycle of Air, Cycle of Water, Cycle of Wood, Cycle of Fire, Cycle of Earth. And then it just says the season of winter starts with Ascending Air and continues into Ascending Water, etc.

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                      • #12
                        You know, this talk about elemental cycles has me considering trying my hand at a Martial Art vaguely based on Wu Xing Quan (Five Elements Fists), which has attacks and defenses based in certain kinds of motion being associated with each element (for instance, fire is associated with Pào moves, rushing or exploding outward like a cannon), and linking techniques and responding to opponents' moves following constructive, neutral or destructive cycles ( such as a water defense against a fire attack for those trying for a destructive outcome or a fire defense against a wood attack for a constructive outcome).


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                        • #13
                          CONSTRUCTIVE CYCLE
                          Air --> Water = rain falls from the sky and collects in bodies of water
                          Water --> Wood = water feeds plants
                          Wood --> Fire = wood feeds fire
                          Fire --> Earth = the ashes of fire feeds the earth; fire quickens earth into lava?
                          Earth --> Air = ???


                          DESTRUCTIVE CYCLE
                          Air --> Wood = ???
                          Wood --> Earth = Wood's roots break into the Earth and steal its life
                          Earth --> Water = Sand greedily sucks up water
                          Water --> Fire = Water extinguishes Fire
                          Fire --> Air = Fire consumes Air for energy; lightning?


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                          • #14
                            I would think would be: Air>Fire>Earth>Water>Wood


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                              CONSTRUCTIVE CYCLE
                              Air --> Water = rain falls from the sky and collects in bodies of water
                              Water --> Wood = water feeds plants
                              Wood --> Fire = wood feeds fire
                              Fire --> Earth = the ashes of fire feeds the earth; fire quickens earth into lava?
                              Earth --> Air = ???


                              DESTRUCTIVE CYCLE
                              Air --> Wood = ???
                              Wood --> Earth = Wood's roots break into the Earth and steal its life
                              Earth --> Water = Sand greedily sucks up water
                              Water --> Fire = Water extinguishes Fire
                              Fire --> Air = Fire consumes Air for energy; lightning?
                              The cycle which showed-up in 2e a lot was:

                              GENERATING
                              Air fuels Fire
                              Fire renews Earth
                              Earth directs Water
                              Water nourishes Wood
                              Wood refreshes Air

                              OVERCOMING
                              Air freezes Water
                              Water drowns Fire
                              Fire consumes Wood
                              Wood uproots Earth
                              Earth blocks Air

                              Though there are other cycles about, like the Five Cycles of the year, and probably some significant for some purpose version for every single arrangement you can make

                              And stuff.


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