Posts by: Stephen Lea Sheppard

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[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3 Days ago
Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
Personally, i don't get why this change in 3e happened.
Then I’ll be happy to explain!

The Dragon-Blooded play venue is the primary “social play” venue of Exalted; just as people who want to play “typical fantasy” in Exalted are most likely to choose Solars, people who want to play games centered around intrigue, politics, and intrigue- and politics-flavored social drama are most likely to play Dragon-Blooded. Given the large number of LGBT players who want to see their own lives reflected in the game, and given the recent wave of gay marriage being legalized in real life, the prospect of leaving gay marriage out of our primary social venue in our notoriously LGBT friendly fantasy game felt churlish and distasteful.

So, there. Now you can’t say you don’t get why this change in 3e happened anymore.

Unless that’s not what you meant. If you meant you did get it, but just didn’t agree, then I suppose you could keep saying that. But in that case you should say that.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 7 Days ago
As a side note, I am so glad our “Actually remember to publish animal styles” initiative is resulting in so many cool ideas.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 7 Days ago
Well, what I don’t want to see out of additional animal styles is multiplication of complexity beyond the sort of “Here is the name of the style, and all the Charms of the style; now here is the next style” design we see in e.g. the corebook. I don’t think we need multiple styles of the same name or regional variants with one Charm swapped out for another—and I think handling it that way is both sort of nonsensical considering that there’s not enough Exalted, Charm-using MA practitioners for multiple supernatural variants of any given MA to be believable, and doesn’t much mesh with the “Supernatural MA’s expression of fundamental cosmic truth re: this archetype” shtick that usually comes up when it’s time to explain why Sidereals have proficiency with it.

(Besides, you run into the how-do-I-learn-both-variants problem, where your solutions are going to be something like “You can’t,” which people always hate, “You can but you have to buy the whole style again,” which people always hate and which comes with variants like “you get a discount on the redundant charms in the style the second time” which just demonstrates that your approach is broken and you’re patching it half-assedly and you know it, or “You can just learn both versions of the Charm,” in which case you don’t have regional variants, you’ve just expanded the MA cascade by one, and why are you sticking a moose and an elephant charm in your male bovine style MA and diluting its themes thereby just because males of both those species also happen to be called bulls?)

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 7 Days ago
I see a Bull Style that’s based on male bovines, and then we can spend any wordcount that might be necessary to cover Bull Moose Style, Bull Elephant Style, etc. on other styles. And if someone has a good idea for one of those it can just be Moose Style or Elephant Style I guess.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 7 Days ago
Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
And falcon?
For Falcon I think the ideal would be something like a style that involves a lot of leaps, but which synergizes unusually well with Lunar forms that allow for flight.

But we'll probably never see that. It's not like we're doing a book with a bunch of unanounced MA styles where it would fit perfectly or anything.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 7 Days ago
Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
What would Bull Style even be like?
Charges and tackles and bodyslams? I don't know. Maybe base it on sumo.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 7 Days ago
So the Solar Castes have animal nicknames. The Dawns are Bronze Tigers, the Zeniths are Golden Bulls, the Twilights are Copper Spiders, the Nights are Iron Wolves, and the Eclipses are Quicksilver Falcons. When Castebook Dawn came out, it had Tiger Style in it. "Oh," said us on the forums. "I bet that means we'll get a new animal style in each of the castebooks, corresponding to the animal nicknames of the castes!"

That didn't happen.

So my answer remains, eternally, Bull Style, Spider Style, Wolf Style, and Falcon Style. That's been my answer to this question since 2001, and that will be my answer forever.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 7/15/2018
Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
Yeah, why didn't he just stat a gun, make it no stronger than a good bow and say that's the best you can do with guns? I mean, even for an exalt a gun wouldn't be much better than a slightly stronger bow. It seems like the issue has nothing to do with guns and more to do with the aesthetic of guns. You already have ballista cannons and other weapons that imitate conventional warfare but they also look a lot more medieval than a modern canon does.
Because the history of attempting to stat guns in D&D is the history of people complaining that guns with reasonable stats are underpowered, and he didn't want to deal with people complaining that his no-stronger-than-a-good-bow Creation guns were underpowered.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 7/15/2018
Originally posted by Verzio View Post
Actually, you can just find saltpeter lying around; it's extracted from manure. You can even sometimes find crystals of it in old manure piles.
There was a whole episode of Star Trek about that, in fact!

Originally posted by Aliasi View Post
In addition, the "I build assault rifles and win every fight forever" is a fallacy in and of itself, as Shards of the Exalted Dream set out to demonstrate.

Exalted don't stop being Exalted because someone has a gun. I don't expect Shards to ever get a 3e update, but I think the philosophy still holds. Wuxia isn't the only ingredient in the stew, and "Kung fu fails before guns" is not a thing in Exalted. All that happens is you give some bright person the idea to start inventing Firearms charms.
From context, it was clear that Grabowski knew that’s a fallacy—which is exactly what would have made it so unbearable for people to keep throwing it at him as something that ought to be possible for as long as he ran the gameline. So he did an end-run around it by doing small flamegout weapons instead. The issue is as much how people expect guns to work as it is how guns actually work, and he estimated that bringing in rifled slugthrowers would inevitably invoke the myth of the gun as the great equalizer against which all elites must fall, and he just didn’t want to deal with saying “No, that’s not how it works here” over and over again.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 7/14/2018
Originally posted by SpoonR View Post
Also, IIRC "cannon" type artillery are either alchemy (beam o'death) or steam based (scary hissy boiler lofting pumpkins/cannonballs with a mighty hiss)
Shore cannons were powered by huge amounts of firedust in 1e, and then in 2e they were changed to be steam-powered to address the question "If you can build firedust cannons, why can't I scale that down to firedust rifles and then use Craft Charms to upgrade them to modern assault rifles and win every fight forever?" In 3e we changed them back to being firedust-powered because we're satisfied with the answer "Because firedust doesn't combust like gunpower below a certain quantity threshold, which is too big to fit in a personal-scale weapon" and because the description of the firing mechanism for the steam-powered shore canons (the canonball seals the pressure chamber and is held in place by a plank, and then you fire it by pulling the plank aside really quickly) was, uh, dumb. And because we figured giant bronze shore cannons cast from a single piece of metal are cooler than clanking hissy steampunk canons powered by a boiler. Not everything is made better by sticking some gears on it and calling it steampunk.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 7/13/2018
Originally posted by Sagara View Post
Wasn't part of the point also to avoid the classic RPG debate of "why aren't guns dominating the battlefields?"
Yes. I think he wanted something sufficiently like guns as to evoke, well, the tech level of the Musketeers in a few places in the setting, but sufficiently unlike guns that he wouldn't be fielding a hundred million arguments over whether I can use Craft Charms to upgrade them to modern assault rifles and then win every fight forever.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 6/26/2018
If it were an Exigent you could keep iterating new stuff indefinitely.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 6/25/2018
Originally posted by Flinty View Post

Shouldn't the current charmset be shittier by that metric, since (outside fo past life memories) the progress the exalted made in the first age has been largely forgotten.

That said I think "progress" is better expressed through advanced artifacts or the like, not better innate powers.
The First Edition corebook, in the sidebar on custom Charms, said "No you can't just make a custom version of an existing Charm with a lower mote cost; the Charms currently in use by the Exalted were honed to the absolute limit of efficiency over the millennia of the First Age; if you want to make a custom Charm, it has to be meaningfully different from an existing Charm." Or some such. And it's obviously just something being said to discourage "I want to remake Excellent Strike but cheaper," but it also established that the Exalted of the early First Age must have had shittier Charmsets.

Presumably the increased efficiency of modern Charms are transmitted through the memories of the Exaltation.

(Then we wrote Dreams of the First Age and wanted to present the whole scope of First Age history as playable, at which point... no. Out that concept went!)

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 6/24/2018
Originally posted by Aquillion View Post
That would have been hilarious, though! Immunity to Some Things Technique. Two Shadows Evasion. Hill-Crossing Leap Technique. Ready in Three Directions Stance.
If I had all the time in the world, and were more mechanically inclined, "Shittier sets for all the Exalt types for First Age games" is one of those jokes that works the best if you follow through with it to its absurd, overwrought conclusion. Alas, I do not have all the time in the world, and am not particularly mechanically inclined.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 6/22/2018
It’s a good idea, but you’d have to tell people playing mid-First Age games that the Stone of Immortality is off the table as a Hearthstone choice, and that never flies.

(See also: “The Solar Charm set has reached its utter peak of efficiency through years of new Charm development throughout the First Age” getting effectively retconned as soon as people realized it meant Primordial War game Solars would need a shittier set.)