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Mental Stability of newly Exalted Solars?

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  • Mental Stability of newly Exalted Solars?

    Something I have been wondering about for a long time is just how freshly-Exalted Solars deal with the memories inherited with their exaltation.

    From what I understand, part of the package of Exaltation is that you also receive some memories from your "past lives". This is how you can justify starting out with several Charms right out of chargen, but what about the actual RP-ing aspect of this? Does it just never come up in your games?

    I mean, sure, everyone would handle things a little bit differently, but most likely the most common "last memory" of newly Exalted Solars is that of being hunted down and executed. No near-death experiences, narrow escapes, saves or such.

    For all intents and purposes, you died. Violently. Via people you probably trusted.

    How would that actually cause the character to react. From what I have seen in the books, it never comes up at all.

  • #2
    Not exactly I mean the cleaning process on an Exaltation does exist and it could just as easily start at the end due to the tendency for the chosen to die horrible deaths usually at the hands of horrific nightmares.

    Also in 2nd the games assumption in the book was that your character had been an exalt for at least a year, so those things would have been mostly coped with at that time. 3E the explanation for the charms is more that they are outgrowths of one's own abilities partially to make it easier to explain their development and probably to help with the scaling back on the emphasis past lives had in 2nd.

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    • #3
      In 1E and 2E, Solars and Lunars can have anywhere from no past life memories, to very vivid ones spanning millennia of time. The default mechanically, for chargen, is remembering only snippets. Sidereals also can potentially remember past lives but, mechanically in 1E-2E, are not allowed to. Or something, I didn't understand that part.

      Green Sun Princes didn't get any memories removed from their exaltations, so they're much more likely to have intense memories, including their Solar past lives' violent deaths at the Usurpation. And voices in their heads. And occasionally being possessed by insane personality echoes that aren't even ghosts, let alone real people, but can still ruin their day.

      However, if a Celestial only lives less than 100 years before they die, they don't tend to leave any memories for their next incarnation. Some of the Usurpation victims were probably young (and quite sane), so there are probably some Solars and Infernals whose most recent past life memories are from a century or even longer before the Usurpation.

      I do think that past life memories are interesting and I hope they aren't gone for 3E. Does the character consider those memories, and that previous incarnation, to be them personally, or things that happened to another person from whom they only inherited a legacy? What do they believe about reincarnation, and the continuity of identity and selfhood? How much do they even know about Celestial reincarnation? It's something that ought to come up in RP at some point, unless the character truly has no memories at all.
      Last edited by Erinys; 09-10-2016, 06:07 PM.


      She/Her. I am literal-minded and write literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to make a joke.
      My point of view may be different from yours but is equally valid.
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      • #4
        They're generally fuzzy enough to not cause any real problems. A solar might somehow just know how to find a hidden manse or some secret cache of weapons. They might dream of lost glories and epic wars, or they might see someone and get the unshakeable sense that they know them from somewhere.

        Ultimately it's meant to be source of plot hooks rather than any real drama. There's already plenty of that in Creation as it is.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Erinys View Post
          Does the character consider those memories, and that previous incarnation, to be them personally, or things that happened to another person from whom they only inherited a legacy?
          I would imagine that with low Integrity, a young Solar might not even realize they have memories and information now that they didn't before. It'd take them time to realize they could remember people they'd never met before, living a life very different to their current one, and having information they never learned.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Erinys View Post
            I do think that past life memories are interesting and I hope they aren't gone for 3E.
            There's a bare mention of them in EX3 core, but details in Miracles of the Solar Exalted (MotSE). In keeping with the developers intention to shroud the First Age in more mystery, "past lives" don't ever manifest as vivid clear-cut memories. Rather one might experience strange dreams or evocative visions, feelings of dejà vu, or unexplained intense emotions about resonant places. On the other hand, ancient spirits, artefacts, and
            workings might recognise the ineffable pattern of the exaltation's heritage and react to it; for good or bad.

            Then there's the bond, which is no longer an automatic pairing between every solar and a lunar, but something that might have been developed by close associations over several excarnations between fated partners.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Greyman View Post
              In keeping with the developers intention to shroud the First Age in more mystery, "past lives" don't ever manifest as vivid clear-cut memories. Rather one might experience strange dreams or evocative visions, feelings of dejà vu, or unexplained intense emotions about resonant places. On the other hand, ancient spirits, artefacts, and workings might recognise the ineffable pattern of the exaltation's heritage and react to it; for good or bad.
              This seems silly to me. The First Age can be as mysterious or described as the ST wants, and presumably the ST and PC decide what specifically the memories contain. I thought the point of mystery about the First Age was just to not have a canon description of it in detail, not to say that nobody anywhere knows anything about or can learn anything about it. That's silly -- it should be up to the ST.


              She/Her. I am literal-minded and write literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to make a joke.
              My point of view may be different from yours but is equally valid.
              Exalted-cWoD-ArM url mega-library. Exalted name-generators.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Boston123 View Post
                How would that actually cause the character to react. From what I have seen in the books, it never comes up at all.
                The memories are highly different for each Exalt. In general, most of the memories tend to be dreams - when Celestial Exalted sleep, they have very vivid dream-memories about the past. These memories usually aren't terribly intrusive and not every Exalt has memories concerning the death(s) of previous incarnations. If you're interested, you might want to check out the old Caste books from First Edition - all of the Exalted in them had varying memories of the First Age.

                Ultimately the problem with First Age memories is that they're deeply personal and unique to each Exalt, so it's difficult to include them in general overview books of directions or subjects, and in the Scroll of Exalts there wasn't really room to include a bunch of Fist Age memories for each Exalt.

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                • #9
                  Plus bear in mind that solars have centuries or even millennia of memories. They aren't all going to be fixated on the shitty ten minutes at the end.

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                  • #10
                    I imagine it's a bit like waking up after a night of too much drinking, and gradually starting to recall what you did. Except they're not quite entirely your memories, and you only have a dim sense of them.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Boston123 View Post
                      This is how you can justify starting out with several Charms right out of chargen
                      ​I think it fits better to the subject matter to start out with a few Charms because they're just things you could already do refined with some Essence.

                      Past life memory should be prioritised on things that enhance the character one is already playing, not replacing them.



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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Boston123 View Post
                        Something I have been wondering about for a long time is just how freshly-Exalted Solars deal with the memories inherited with their exaltation.
                        My impression was previous host memories had as much influence over the Solar as the player and the ST together wanted. In my games, a lot of times previous host memories felt the same as remembering dreams although there was a noticeable distinction that allowed the Solar to know it was a memory from someone else. Also as someone above said, Solars begin play at least a year after they've exalted so they have adjusted to the memories if they have any.

                        Originally posted by Boston123 View Post
                        I mean, sure, everyone would handle things a little bit differently, but most likely the most common "last memory" of newly Exalted Solars is that of being hunted down and executed. No near-death experiences, narrow escapes, saves or such.

                        For all intents and purposes, you died. Violently. Via people you probably trusted.

                        How would that actually cause the character to react. From what I have seen in the books, it never comes up at all.
                        In one of the previous editions, it was said that Lytek left the memories of the final moments or seconds of the Usurpation on many if not most of the shards so the newly exalted Solar would know that he or she was betrayed by the dragonblooded. Also to possibly leave a clue to the Sidereals' involvement. Though I think Arcane Fate would probably take care of those shard-impressed memories as well.

                        Lytek was also instructed to leave some of the awesome glorious moments on there for the new host to draw inspiration from. He was also instructed to do what he could to remove the not-so-pleasant memories where the Solar was engaged in not-so-pleasant activities. This process was never 100% successful. I recall Demetheus saying with what he could remember from previous host memories, the Solars deserved to be betrayed and thrown down.


                        Good night sweet Green Sun Prince: And flights of demons beat thee to thy rest...with billyclubs!

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                        • #13
                          I have Past Incarnation memories as associative, instead of happening all at once. If something comes up that triggers the memory, then the Exalt remembers the past life memory. These memory flashes usually happens in the first century after Exaltation. After that, the Exalt doesn't encounter any new memories, though most past life memories they have already encountered have been integrated into their own memories.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Darkon View Post
                            He was also instructed to do what he could to remove the not-so-pleasant memories where the Solar was engaged in not-so-pleasant activities. This process was never 100% successful. I recall Demetheus saying with what he could remember from previous host memories, the Solars deserved to be betrayed and thrown down.
                            Taking off those particular memories entirely isn't a great idea, IMO. Learning from mistakes (your own or others') is the biggest difference between a fool and wisdom.


                            She/Her. I am literal-minded and write literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to make a joke.
                            My point of view may be different from yours but is equally valid.
                            Exalted-cWoD-ArM url mega-library. Exalted name-generators.

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                            • #15
                              There is no set way to handle this.

                              Past lives only affect a character (plaeyr or otherwise) if those involved want to.

                              The Charms you begin with are not necessarily tied to your past lives. They can just be outgrowths of your own Essence that surged forward with Exaltation.

                              If you want to portray a Solar that is overwhelmed by his Past Lives´experiences, you are free to do so. If you to play a Solar and have nothing to do with your Past Lives, you are also free to do so. Both ways are completely fine by the book.

                              So in other words; Solars handle past lives as fitting to your drama.

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