Posts by: John Mørke

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[#][F] John Mørke - 3/12/2015
Ability definitions changed a bit, and Charm trees are much much bigger, lending to more characters. Each Charm tree has a rock solid thesis and branches from that, rather than being a collection of assorted effects under a broad header. Archery is not "ranged attacks" and wasn't written that way, just like Sail is not "vehicles" and was not written that way.

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/12/2015
Originally posted by Aquillion View Post
I think his objection isn't to firewand-mastery going through MA in general, but to it going through Righteous Devil in particular, since traditionally Righteous Devil has had a lot of other baggage, too -- baggage that tends to touch on a specific moral structure that might not work well with characters that would otherwise be fine using firewands. If it's the only way to get a good tree of firewand-specific charms, I could see that annoying.

Obviously an MA shouldn't be just "generically good at firewands", but compared to most other styles, Righteous Devil has a lot of highly specific thematic baggage that would make it a bit conceptually limiting to have it be the source of useful firewand charms -- eg. assuming they're still part of the style and resemble their 2e versions, Azure Abacus Meditation and Caress of 1,000 Hells would make statements that go well beyond "this is your fighting style" and into "this is the specific way your character interprets morality and the world as a whole." Not everyone who wants to play a firewand-user is going to want to be the Man With No Name.

Yar, I think Zelbinnean mentioned that.

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/12/2015
Originally posted by Arteliex View Post

Oh, I find this a little sad.

Im sure it makes sense, but without the book to understand why, it makes me a bit crestfallen.
No worries. It actually lets Martial Arts end up stronger and better balanced and maintains the other Abilities are their own strong "thing."

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/12/2015
Originally posted by Weimann View Post
To weigh in on the whole Righteous Devil thing, I was under the impression that there would be Styles for all the combat Abilities in 3e? This would supposedly mean that Righteous Devil would be an Archery Style, and as such would not require anyone to be a martial artist (other than in the non-mechanical sense, but really, you'd be that with your normal Charms as well).

I've not seen the book yet, of course, but I think it'd be good if we could stop using Martial Arts Style for things that are actually Archery Styles or Melee Styles (or even Thrown Styles), or just Styles in the general case. If we apply a consistent naming scheme, things will get clearer.

We decided not to use cross Ability Martial Arts. It was something we considered but never promised.

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/12/2015
In EX3 martial arts are insanely good, so you can't combine all of them, and they don't cross combine with Melee and Archery, which are also insanely good. Game's balanced around you getting the maximum out of a chosen concept.

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/12/2015
Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
Alright, so here's an question I would ask the dev's.

With Evocations, you have an artifact, and then you can learn Charms that are based around that artifact.

Let's say you have an artifact golem or clockwork soldier that you are attuned to. Could you possibly learn Evocations based on it? And then, maybe could those evocations actually be used on the golem?

For example, you have a golem made out of white jade. One of the Evocations would be called, "Smashing Earth Tremor." When the Solar uses that Evocation, the golem would stomp on the earth and create a localized tremor. Or another Evocation that might allow the golem to "swim" through the earth. Generally speaking, these Evocations would modify or be activated on the golem rather than the Solar, though the Solar would still be spending his own Essence to activate the Charms.

Would something like that be unreasonable or to out of theme for what Evocations are supposed to do?

Evocations should reveal a very close bond through use, an extension of the Exalt's effort to use the weapon, rather than just paying motes to have a third party do something.

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/11/2015
Originally posted by Zelbinnean View Post
I guess I just find the notion of "all great wandslingers are martial artists" to be a little weird. I know the South isn't really the Old West, but it has some flavor elements of that (particularly with firewands and Righteous Devil), and I guess I see some classic gunslingers as more of street-fighters without a formal temple than "Gun" Kata martial artists.

It also seems a weird thematic statement of "all good wandslingers are martial artists," but at the very least I hope there are multiple firewand styles so all Exalted wandslingers don't appear to play super similar (which I think they might if being good at wandslinging for an Exalt per se involved Righteous Devil Style).

Now, I'm not arguing that it's a bad design decision to make enlightened wandslinging primarily accessible through MA; I'm more interested in why you came to that conclusion.

If it bugs you, use some of the Archery Charms that will support your concept and make up the difference with Evocations from your dragonsigh wand (coming in EX3 core and Arms of the Chosen). Go in guns blazing with the Power Rangers Zeo theme blazing. Via con Dios.

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/11/2015
Originally posted by Zelbinnean View Post
Honestly that's kinda disappointing if one has a character in mind who uses firewands but doesn't approach wielding them from either the particular moral perspective that RD seems to be built around or from the related place of "esoteric kung fu secrets."

Certainly there are southern wandslingers who don't approach their fighting style in such a formal manner as MA?

Given that this game lets a kung fu guy fight with a ladder the logic of sticking gun-fu flamethrowers behind Martial Arts is pretty sound.

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/11/2015
Re: Firewands: Solar Archery Charms are not very good for Firewands. Use Righteous Devil Style.

Re: Mantis being left out?: Mantis will show up at some point. It has already been written and is in the process of being playtested.

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/8/2015

Originally posted by Thoth View Post
please consider that poorly thought out game design is not the best argument to snark attack with, perhaps something to keep in mind for future projects.
It sounds like you think hard-coding bigotry against women into game design is objectively good because it reflects some standard of realism you adhere to. Care to clarify your meaning?

What makes those ideas so poorly thought out?

Originally posted by Thoth View Post
It is all well and good to state that mechanically some things apply and others don't, however when you use certain terms and concepts, more often than not you take the associated baggage along for the ride.

If you want the Terrestrials to be a warrior race (that was what they were literally created to be), if you want to pull content from historical cultures such as Rome, ancient China, Feudal Japan, etc. then you end up pulling many of the associations that go with them.
This sounds suspiciously like you're telling me I can't write about a warrior race unless women and men who like men are subordinate or invisible. Care to explain?

Originally posted by Thoth View Post
I could accept that most of the mechanics and writing look at this from the Exalted side of the equation, rather than the mortal side of it. But that doesn't really hold water with me because every single exalt started as a mortal. Every Terrestrial spent the first 12-20 years being trained as a mortal, being taught to be wary of damage as a mortal and finally being just as weak as a mortal. That doesn't just go away because they exalted, it forms the basis for them to grow upon. This is even more so in the case of Celestials since they could conceivably spend even longer as mortals before exalting.
What doesn’t hold water? Mortal women in patrician society are more educated and more well-groomed and are given more chances for higher political office, greater military training, and so on. This happens because the Realm is a matriarchy with attitudes that favor women, but also because there is some chance of a strong, professional, badass woman bringing prestige and power to a patrician family by giving birth to a Dynast's baby, provided it breathes Second Breath. The more stand-out and professional a woman is, the higher the chance she will attract attention to herself, at least in theory. We know that some male Dragon-Blooded are highly indiscriminate, while others are only going to pay attention to the women around them, usually their fellow military officers, ministers, or other professional-class patricians.

When it comes to the production of Exalted members of a family—the surest path to power in the Realm—mortal male scions of a patrician House have no power at all. If they get a Dynast pregnant, the baby is going to stay with her family and it literally doesn't matter who the father is. The advantage of being male in the Realm is far smaller than you think it is. The Realm is a society in which women hold all the power and the social advantages and it is reflected in women who feel the kiss of the Dragons—as they are likely to have been better trained and groomed for higher offices than their male compatriots.

Originally posted by Thoth View Post
In the end we have writers using terms they have little or no real life understanding of in their projects. Then you have some of the players read the works and react to the subject matter not because of their own experiences, but because they are projecting modern social issues onto the discussion.
I didn't realize you had to be a real life officer in an antique military in order to write about one.

Originally posted by Thoth View Post
If you want proof of the writer short comings, consider that Exalted as a setting was supposed to be bronze age, you know where the most advanced piece of military equipment was a war chariot and the last word in body armor was woven reeds and leather. Kind of sad that the writers can keep their designs within a millennium of their target era, let alone within a century of it.
My co-developer already posted Geoff's quote, so I don't need to. Exalted is not supposed to be Bronze Age. It's been compared to it, but it's never been a perfect match. While we're on the subject, Creation doesn't sound all that improbable when viewed through the lens of actual research, rather than just standing by old books written by bigoted European and American historians.

For example, NASA studied Henry VIII's suit of armor when designing their first spacesuits in the 1960s. They did this because science that went into making the armor was so far beyond modern technology. In other words, Henry's armor was space age in the 1520s, and it’s really not all that strange. Society stopped making armor for 250+ years and the knowledge faded out of use, so the armor had to be studied just to figure out how that was even possible. What I’m saying is, science is not a world-wide average, not even today.

We do know that Mayans invented zero before the Europeans, possibly several centuries before. The Incas didn’t build things with iron because they thought it was ugly, and used gold as decorations. Instead of steel armor, they wove armor of a higher quality than that of the conquistadors, as attested in their own accounts, of Spanish soldiers ditching heavy plate to wear Incan woven armor. The South American indigenous peoples were not stupid savages but had very advanced sciences that reflected a different set of values and different survival priorities than their European conquerors. They didn’t invent the cannon because they didn’t need to, but that doesn’t mean that their science was somehow less. It was just different, and so vastly different that their conquerors dismissed it because they couldn’t comprehend it.

So maybe this whole business of a Bronze Age is possibly misleading. Though probably not as horseshit-inspired as the narrative of the Dark Ages, where the world fell into a well of ignorance and devolved. Except, you know, in Iberia, where the Umayyad caliphate out of the city of Cordoba led the entire peninsula in an enlightenment period, including the salvaging and restoration of “lost” Greek classics that were translated into Arabic. Also contrary to the Eurocentric narrative of the Dark Ages, Christians, Jews, and Muslims were living a fairly harmonious coexistence in a state of merging secular scholarship, religious philosophy and poetic, artistic expression that has rarely been seen anywhere else in the world at any time. And this was all going on while most histories of the early 20th century would have you believe that everyone was scrounging around eating dirt and rocks until some white guys invented peasants and holy war.

Originally posted by Thoth View Post
In the case of the readers focusing on the wrong things, see this thread being focused far too much on the morality of valuing this or that sexual proclivity, rather than focusing on the fact that there is a time and a place for any type of behavior and that mid combat isn't usually the time or the place for such things.
When John Holliday winked at Billy Clanton before he shot him, was it in order to sexually unnerve him? To enrage him into a hopelessly fatal pistol draw? Was Doc just playin' or was he actually flirting? Does it really matter? Doc Holliday was cool as shit, and if he were a man who loves men, he wouldn't be anywhere near the first to be that and also one of the most feared and celebrated warriors of his day. Exalted takes the tack that either answer doesn't diminish Doc Holliday or make him less plausible or less valid. All kinds of things happen in dramatic, cinematic combat storytelling, some of it zany and way over the top. I don't see how a guy blocking a ninja star with the hem of his dress is less plausible than, I dunno, the dude in 300 doing bullet time.

Originally posted by Thoth View Post
As much as you as a writer might hope to be able to pick and choose what aspects you want to work with, it is rare for the writing to reflect the nuance required to convey such hair splitting views.
Consider this: Everything you think you know about antique militaries is rendered useless by the existence of even one guy who can cast Death of Obsidian Butterflies. Armies don't even use the same tactics or formations as you are imagining, and if the differences are that big, then what else might you be failing to notice? You're the one talking about hair-splitting but you really don't seem to see the big huge obvious indicators that Creation is not your world, and its developers don't care if the Eurocentric white guys who got everything wrong approve of how the setting is put together.

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/8/2015
You can be flamboyant while painted in camouflage from head to toe. Don't ask me how I know this. There have been very skilled mortal rangers from Wood-Aspected Houses who preferred the love of men, dressed flashily in the city and in the forest could meld so completely to the colors of a tree they could unwind from its branches, compliment you on your beauty, apologize, and cut you into quarters before they hit the ground.

Effeminacy is not weakness. Effeminacy is not even effeminacy.

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/8/2015
Hi, Thoth, welcome to Exalted!

I think you will be delighted to find out that there are a number of amazing things the Exalted can do, including:

-Fight without wearing a helmet without incurring a soak penalty. Without the use of magic.
-Fight while wearing a dress without a penalty. Without the use of magic.
-Blend into their environment while wearing bright primary colors. Alas, requires magic.
-Have physical attributes that are identical across all genders. No magic required, it's built right into the game.


[#][F] John Mørke - 3/7/2015
I think what Aeroz has pointed out here is that there isn't a real binary of Gold or Bronze. There is a lot of movement between those two polar attitudes, and a lot of reasons why someone might espouse one vision or the other. While I don't think a new Faction is necessary, it's an absolutely valid tack a Sidereal—Bronze or Gold—might take.

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/5/2015
2e Infernals turned Exalted into a Tolkien commentary. All the other Exalted came off as the lesser rings, and the Infernals were the One Ring. You can find evidence of every single Exalt being a dupe of the Infernals, but most particularly the Solars, whose huge splat defining power to turn the raw chaos of the Wyld into something ordered and sound turned out to be just a lesser power of the Infernal Exalted, as if to reveal that Solars were just children playing at gods rather than the greatest of the Exalted.

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/5/2015
And just to clarify further: Infernals 2e was a fascinating, paramount design that offered something intensely cool and textured, but something that overwrote and stepped on the entire rest of Exalted as it has been established. That kind of design-in-a-bubble was the way things were done in 1e, but 2e was explicitly clear that the Exalts would all share space and need to be checked against one another and the rest of the setting, and Infernals deliberately were not checked against the other Exalts and the rest of the setting.