Posts by: Holden

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[#][F] Holden - 9/29/2017
Originally posted by Robert Vance View Post
-Stamina Excellency should probably let them boost their soak, because otherwise it's hands-down the weakest of their Excellencies.
Absolutely true, but I suggest careful consideration of whether preventing Excellency value imbalance (esp. if they're free like with Solars) is more important than the amount of design space lost if the excellency semi-comprehensively covers major competency niches like "soak boost" and "damage boost." It's easy to lose HUGE swathes of design space to one or two powers without meaning to when working with Attribute Charms. They're by far the trickiest things to manage in the entire system, in no small part because they don't look as thorny as they really are.

[#][F] Holden - 9/29/2017
Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
Could you or Holden explain why Lunars can now add a second Attribute rating to their dice-caps when Lunars can already start with the Spirit Shape of an elephant or tyrant lizard?

Our intention was that when Lunars transform into something other than human form, anything in excess of their normal Attribute ratings counts as dice added by magic. We didn't intend to let you have three different floating "true" ratings like in previous editions, as it tended to encourage gaming the system by picking certain extreme animals for your totem shape. Remember, also, that compared to 1e and 2e, persistent scene-long dice boosts of any amount are quite rare in EX3 and thus significantly more valuable, so having them built straight into base capabilities is a pretty big coup for Lunars.

I cannot, of course, speak to what the current devs intend to do with Lunar forms and dice caps, as I'm no longer in the design loop lol. It's entirely possible that when they get to the Lunars hardback, they'll introduce a completely different dice cap for playable Lunars than what the core suggests, if they have a different design idea. Good design means going with the best idea when the rubber hits the road, not the first one to be suggested in print.

[#][F] Holden - 9/29/2017
Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
Do Attributes exist as discrete things when Excellencies don't?
fuck's sake dude

[#][F] Holden - 8/22/2017
Originally posted by Tiresias View Post

So Solars are (sort of) heroes who followed the Vision of Gold and became heroic kings, Abyssals are Solars who destroyed Creation in their tragic hubris, and Infernals are Solars who ruled the world as increasingly depraved god-tyrants? That's how I've been imagining the conceptual broad strokes of it ever since we got the first Infernals during the KS.
Probably wisest not to assume stuff from the KS previews will hold true. Current devs seem dedicated to putting out quality work, and that's going to require implementing a particular vision they're passionate about, not just following old blueprints left behind by predecessors. Same as what we did when we came aboard, same as what Geoff did when he took over from Ken Cliffe all the way back during proto-1e.

[#][F] Holden - 8/17/2017
Originally posted by LadyLens View Post
The thing everyone is missing is that range bands measure your positioning relative to the opponent. It's perfectly possible to have a running battle all through the halls of the palace with nothing more than stunting.

Yes. This is one of the reasons the game uses range band (which only care about your distance relative to other characters or some landmark in the scene you have a reason to give a shit about) rather than zones or a grid or whatever. The engine doesn't really give a shit if you're running in lockstep through a bamboo forest, standing in place, or having a lightsaber duel while standing on two force-fielded pieces of debris as they're carried over miles of lava-river-- they're all two characters just remaining at close range bashing away at one another as far as the system is concerned, so long as there's no important third point in the scene that you need to mark distance against.

(At that point, fudge something, because the engine and the fiction are starting to come unglued from one another.)

[#][F] Holden - 8/16/2017
Originally posted by nalak42 View Post
Yeah I'm gonna be honest the disengage doesn't strike me as "If you don't disengage you and your opponent are locked into fighting in a particular 5 feet of ground," unless that's what makes sense narratively. So Vance's saying that if you wanted to do the cinematic fighting through a marketplace disengage isn't needed makes sense to me. Essentially it becomes that scene in Princess Bride where Wesley and Inigo are fighting along the cliffs of insanity and all that. Disengage isn't used until you're trying to create actual space as opposed to just both of you taking a step to the left
This, pretty much. Or the good old anime trope of the two swordsmen running in parallel to one another through a market or bamboo forest or whatever trading sword-blows. The scenery's changing around them but they're moving in lockstep with one another because the player and ST agreed that would be a cool way to conduct the fight. (That style of play doesn't tend to work too well if there's an archer trying to shoot one of them to death, mind, but it's nice for one-on-one duels.)

[#][F] Holden - 8/16/2017
Originally posted by Leetsepeak View Post
This is what overthinking looks like.

It's not that deep, man.

Also, Vance has to do the dual job of interpreting text he didn't oversee and answering questions as a developer making decisions for the sake of the line. This is probably a good thing to keep in mind when engaging in kremlinology about rules which are explicitly abstracted and require common sense adjudication.
Vance's answers 100% line up with my intent when I wrote those rules, fwiw.

"Embattled" is, I think, a remnant of the old "engagement range" thing from the end of 2e (Christ what a suppurating nightmare that was to calculate) still rattling around in my head, and some vague notion at the time that we might eventually have stuff like really big opponents or enemies with huge long tentacles or whatever that could threaten characters clear out to short range who tried to get away from them. It ended up just not being important or coming up during the rest of the rules writing, and the natural language the rules ended up being written in didn't need the specialized term.

[#][F] Holden - 7/15/2017
The EX2 system had some foundational issues that made it a chore to work with, and the edition was riddled with important books suffering from poor rules quality. Also, the edition's publishing method meant that the setting felt very mapped-down-to-the-last-grain-of-sand by the time it came to the end of its (ten-year!) run. A new edition was the best answer to all of those problems.

[#][F] Holden - 4/12/2017
Not gonna get into this discussion or even really read over it, I just want to drop by to say: Whether you think his contributions were the best stuff ever done for the game, did manifest harm to it, or some more nuanced point inbetween, please remember they -always- came from a place of love for Exalted and the dude consistently put in effort above and beyond the average for anything published with his name on it, often at the cost of significant social, physical, psychological, or financial hardship.

All right, carry on and be excellent to one another.

[#][F] Holden - 1/27/2017
sooooooooo pretty

[#][F] Holden - 1/26/2017
Originally posted by prototype00 View Post

On Nishkriya archiving a post on this forum, Vance has said WDC is good to go with Black Claw.

I would also allow practice of Black Claw with WDC.

[#][F] Holden - 1/24/2017
Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
​Anyway, I was talking about a specific period in which there was a transition away from it being a thing, and the related social implications, as pertained to the subject of what kinds of money would exist and why.

​It depends on a bit on there being a market economy in which whomever is collecting from you can participate, or otherwise what their expenses are.

​For example, in the satrapies, I could picture there being more money trickling up in the form of currency, because the people at the top need to regularly make tributes that include currency.

​There's also an inversion of the concept, in which a government wants people to engage in certain kinds of labour, and so requires them to yield cash in order to push them towards that. I've heard that at a certain point in Chinese history, the authorities started demanding taxes in silver as a way of encouraging larger sections of the populace to devote their farming to silk production rather than food crops.
The Realm is pretty flexible in its demands of tribute, and a big part of a satrap's job is determining exactly what his satrapy is good for, and liasing with his Great House to figure out what to best leverage out of it. The standard of course is money, but due to the dizzying variety of cultures and societies the Realm extorts, that's not always practical. Sometimes it's useful or precious metals mined directly out of the satrapy by the natives and handed straight up to the Realm. Sometimes it's silk, spices, gems, drugs, or exotic plants. If nothing else, the Realm can simply demand slaves (they don't generally care where or how you get them). In other cases, the Realm has ended up in possession of a really 'useless' satrapy and forcibly converted the entire population into industrial production of some commodity it needs, such as lengths of chain, rope, helmets, shields, or whatever else is in constant demand somewhere within the boundaries of the empire. (The problem of pumping out X metric tons of socks for the legions and also growing enough food to survive the winter is left to the ingenuity of the natives to address.)

[#][F] Holden - 1/23/2017
Ancient societies generally had ritual currency for major social events, especially weddings and funerals, that wasn't used for a whole lot else, although it hypothetically could be just to reinforce the notion that it had great value. Usually this was something difficult but not impossible to obtain locally-- such as, say, beautiful and uncommon shells, like a cowrie.

[#][F] Holden - 1/22/2017
Originally posted by Walker-of-Ebony-Clouds View Post
How many spirits can a single sorcerer have bound to him at any given time?

I ask because i gave my group 1 months worth of down time in game to allow them some character development out of play...
Usually this is represented as some sort of montage where they explain what they spend their experience on & how they spend their free time.

One player spent the entire month summoning as many elemental's as he could which worries me he might be building a powerful army very early on as we are only
4 sessions in...

A battle group of a couple dozen elementals is nice, but not really world-shaking or anything.

[#][F] Holden - 1/22/2017
The West and its cowries are a good case to look at, because a lot of the West-- the majority of the West, really-- consists of tiny little islands populated by fewer than two thousand souls in total. Often way, way fewer. Let's take the isle of Alabaster* as an example. It's a tiny little mountain poking out of the sea that has been settled since at least sometime in the Shogunate era, and is parked on a trade route so it sees ships pulling into its one harbor semi-regularly to take on water and anti-scorbutic fruits or to ride out storms. As a result the island's single town (also called Alabaster) has all kinds of loose currency rattling around in it thanks to simple trade and sailors looking to gamble, whore, drink, or buy a monkey to bring back to their ship, because that is the kind of thing sailors do (especially after the drinking part).

Moving away from the town, there's a temple compound on the slopes of the mountain. This temple, Hanno Daira, is consecrated to the ancestor cult, and, unusually for the West, acts as a graveyard. The dead of Alabaster are hauled up the mountain and given into the care of the half-dozen monks who tend the grounds for interment and ongoing propitiation with prayers and burned incense and whatnot; or the monks are commissioned to create memorial markers for those lost at sea. Sometimes ships will pull into port and also commission for their dead to be interred at Hanno Daira as well.

The cost of such a burial is one cowrie shell for incense and ritual, or three if there's to be actual interment and upkeep of a grave. Holy shit, that's a lot. How could poor tropical island farmers and artisans afford such a thing?

Well, the answer is that no local resident of Alabaster would ever dream of paying money to the temple. Instead, periodically, those with folks buried up there will head up the mountain with a couple of goats, or a wheel of cheese that they made; or a carpenter will go up and see to the temple roofs, or, ha ha, foolishly, it turns out we brewed too much beer for the festival, and so here's our five excess barrels, you guys take 'em, we TOTALLY can't drink this much. It's not a barter exchange because the goal is not to ever square up accounts. If someone were to simply pay the temple the value of the services rendered, that would cancel the ongoing relationship between the temple and that member of the community-- it would say "okay, we're quits now." That is not how a community acts or behaves. The constant ebb and flow of debt ties the place together.

The guy who brews beer for the festivals, likewise, I can assure you has never been paid for doing so. But he's also never paid anyone else on Alabaster for shoes, chickens, hats, fish, or help putting his house back up after a hurricane knocked it down. Within the closed cycle of the community, there's no barter-- there's just the symbiosis of communal living, enforced by the simple mechanism that anybody who starts taking advantage of the system is going to be snubbed and left out of it. Money? Money is for dealing with strangers, sailors, outsiders. What do you need (or want) with money to deal with your neighbor?

The West provides good "purist" case studies because its communities are so cleanly separated geographically, but this is the general pattern you see across much of Creation when you're dealing with the issue of "these currency values are way too high for people to use to buy shoes or a papaya, what the hell." The answer is, generally, either that they don't use money at all to obtain those things, or they're strangers and so, yes, they either barter work for those things, add them to an ongoing line of established credit (the Guild favors this method since the entire organization can act as a single debtor in this fashion), or they get overcharged to a hysterical degree, because there are very few places that have sufficient "urban anonymity" to need the concept of small change. Nexus and Chiaroscuro are two examples.

*Alabaster shows up briefly in a story that you will hopefully get to read in the next year or so, if I ever manage to scrape together the time to finish it.