Posts by: Stephen Lea Sheppard

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[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 8/26/2016
You're thinking of Tanith Lee, Janissary87.

...

In terms of what direct effects they can do, like, "If you wrote this guy up as a superhero, what would you put on the 'superpowers' section of his biography?" Solars are limited to stuff that's either superhuman or that follows from what Isator Levi called "culture hero logic."

So, like, a Solar can't shoot people with eye-lasers or telekinetic cutting blades. They can't extend their teeth on tentacles to bite people, or grow a snake from their palm like Scorpion in the first Mortal Kombat movie to extend and pull someone across the room to them.

In terms of what they can accomplish, this is not, in effect, much of a limit. For example, while a Solar can't eye-laser someone to death, they can swing a sword so hard that it creates an ultrasonic killing wind shockwave to slice someone in half from the distance of a football field. There's not much you can really do with eye-lasers that you can't do with ultrasonic killing wind shockwaves. I mean, like, there's some stuff -- Superman can do complex brain surgery with his heat vision, and Solars can't -- but, again, a Solar can just do complex brain surgery by "Being a superhumanly amazing neurosurgeon," especially when you take into account their ability to e.g. summon phantom glowing golden surgical equipment from nowhere as part of the whole sun-hero thing they can do.

If you're thinking in terms of "What sort of powers can I put on my character sheet and how can I make them stylistically different from the powers of guy sitting at the table next to me," especially in terms of superhero powers, yeah, Solars are limited.

Now, ironically, if you define versatility as the ability to alter reality in nearly any way one desires, Solars are arguably the best and most versatile at that, because they're the best sorcerers and sorcery lets you do anything, as long as you're willing to do rituals and not just come up with effects instantly on the fly.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 8/26/2016
Yeah, the quoll-lion is simultaneously a marsupial lion and a drop-bear joke.

The choice to use real megafauna, dinosaurs, etc. was deliberate, yes. Exalted has a history of using real megafauna instead of fake monsters in its bestiaries, albeit not universally—siaka are Megalodon, f'rex. (Siaka were in previous corebooks but we cut 'em from this one 'cause they were redundant with armored terrors.) "Animals" in other fantasy RPGs tend to be low-hit-die stepping stones along the way to "real monsters," but animals in myth and epics are a big deal. So it makes sense to pack the setting with real animals that are big deals. And everyone loves prehistoric megafauna.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 8/26/2016
As per Wikipedia, the hellpig is more closely related to hippos than pigs.

That actually makes them more terrifying.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 8/26/2016
Originally posted by Thesaurasaurus View Post

Boars are fucking terrifying and will end you. Also the dude who chose the Hellboar is a player in my group and a friend, and I will fight you for his honor >

this forum needs a proper angry-face emoji
Oh, I know boars are fucking terrifying. And I'm not complaining! The Entelodont is a great addition to the setting. Just, it makes "Hey, what if the triceratops were behaviorally similar to a wild boar wouldn't that be terrifying?" moderately less impactful when the terminator pig is the next monster down.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 8/25/2016
Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

​I think my conception of triceratops is always going to start first at The Land Before Time.
God, I hated her. Hated cartoon Peter Venkman, too. I could never stand the designated jerk character in cartoons.

(Have come to appreciate her more in retrospect.)

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 8/25/2016
(Admittedly the decision to make the triceratops, not the gentle herbivore from Jurassic Park, but rather a gigantic terrifying prehistoric reptillian wild boar, was slightly muted by the backer-chosen inclusion of an actual gigantic terrifying prehistoric wild boar. Much like as what happened with the martial arts styles, the backer-chosen megafauna made for a spread of animals not entirely ideal for a balanced portrayal of the setting.)

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 8/25/2016
Originally posted by Robert Vance View Post
Death moas are bullockornis
Ah. Right. The Demon Duck of Doom.

Not sure why I could forget that.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 8/25/2016
The angler lizard is a Tanystropheus.

The armored terror is a Dunkelosteus.

The benthic knifetooth is an up-sized and up-fierced frilled shark.

The boar-tusk crocodile is a a Kaprosuchus.

The bunyip is a Diprotodon.

The claw strider is a Deinonychus.

The death moa is literally just a moa, I think. EDIT: It's a Bullockornis. Thank you, Vance.

The emperor sloth is a Megatherium.

The hellboar... I don't remember, but it's literally just a big prehistoric boar of some kind, I know it's one particular species but whatever, Google isn't turning anything up and I don't have these memorized. EDIT: It's an Entelodont.

The ox-dragon is a Triceratops or some other ceratopsid, yeah. That bit about opportunistic omnivorism is based on real current theory. I don't know what's going on with that illo.

The pestletail is a Glyptodont, and therefore a mammal and not a turtle. The stats would work for an ankylosaurus, though.

The quoll-lion is a marsupial lion.

The raiton is an Archeopteryx.

The river-dragon is from Exalted 1e and may or may not correspond to any particular bit of prehistoric megafauna.

The siege lizard is a Stegosaurus.

The tyrant lizard is, indeed, T. rex.

The yeddim is an original Exalted animal but seems to most closely resemble Paraceratherium. Or maybe some descendent of Paraceratherium after thousands of years of domestication by god-heroes.

Most of these were chosen by backers who purchased the "Choose an example of prehistoric megafauna for us to put in the book" reward tier. I was really, really hoping someone would choose Quetzalcoatlus northropi, but nobody did, alas.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 8/11/2016
I put that "Twenty hidden souls of Gaia" line in there just to mess with people who were sure that the Five Elemental Dragons were her whole soul hierarchy, by the way.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 7/28/2016
Originally posted by Leetsepeak View Post
I know we're not at her yet but this does merit a brief question: was Revana Quin's full stats meant to just serve as an example of how one might make a character with full stats? I know it doesn't need any kind of full complicated answer, but I am intrigued!
I think so, yeah.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 7/28/2016
Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
And yet no full stats. Which bugs me for a chatacter with so many other options.
The book can already stop bullets, man. If we gave everything that needed more coverage as much coverage as it needed, it would be a ten volume encyclopedia.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 7/28/2016
Originally posted by Major View Post

Hmm, so kinda like living in Viganella.
Or that town from Twilight, that's constantly overcast so the sparklepires don't sparkle.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 7/25/2016
I believe the sample Exigent is not a Quick Character.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 7/22/2016
Thaumaturgy is rare. Tea-leaf-reading is common, for thaumaturgy. Like, among thaumaturges it's more common than other thaumaturgy rituals.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 7/21/2016
The Greek Titanomachy is the story of the Titans and their overthrow by the gods of Olympus. Neph tended to see Primordials as a game focus; current dev team sees them as scenery.