Posts by: Stephen Lea Sheppard

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[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/28/2017
Notionally, every Exalt who bonds with a particular artifact can potentially develop a unique Evocation suite. Practically, everyone is mostly gonna use what's published. (People are just going to go "Okay the published evocations for this thing are my unique suite and everybody else developed other ones.") Resonant and Dissonant let us do published evocations useful to everyone that describe the power differential between Solars and, say, Liminals, without having to write nine or ten different evocation sets for every artifact.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/28/2017
Originally posted by Korhal_IV View Post
I hope StephenLS is still contributing; I've always liked his stuff.
They've still got me on tap for ideas.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/13/2017
It'd be a French braid, because people in Creation don't speak English and "French braid" is the English term for whatever the hell they call that in, I dunno, Riverspeak.

Yeah, there's tons of those. The only ones really worth fixing are the ones where fixing it says something about the setting, like how Creation has blue light districts instead of red light districts on account of how the Maiden of Serenity's associated color is cerulean.

(See also: Creation's years have more days than Earth years, and its days are the same length as Earth days, and yet a sixteen-year-old is a sixteen-year-old and a ninety-year-old is a ninety-year-old because Jesus Christ can you imagine having to do that sort of math conversion every time you describe a character's age?)

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/10/2017
Originally posted by Piff View Post
One of my players was fortunate enough to be into this game long enough ago to be a backer, and hasn't received the book yet. Should they be worried? From what I hear the address and everything was all correct.
If the mystery tracking number I was emailed last week is indeed my Ex3 package, mine is due next week.

So, no. Only the lucky early folks are getting theirs already.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/9/2017
Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
Oh, Homestuck. I stopped reading that back during the two year break. Did it ever get finished? Did that game ever come out?
It's finished except for the epilogue. The first chapter of the game is out in early access format, I think? I'm waiting for the final release.

(It appears the studio Hussie initially partnered with to make the game took the majority of the KS money and used it to fund development of another game they were doing for a more-financially-important-to-them partner, then only gave him back what they hadn't spent yet when he caught on to this after he agreed to sign an NDA that barred him from publicly accusing them of any malfeasance, but this all comes out second-hand via a rumor mill. In any case, all the initially-teased 3D assets were thrown out and the game is being done in 2D by another studio, so.)

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/7/2017
Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post

I ran quite a few Dragon Blooded games during 1st and 2nd edition, and my group ran into out-of-game issues with this idea - what makes someone Exalt as a Dragon Blooded. Is it their genetics? Or is it because they're worthy? First Edition pushed the idea that it was more due to bloodline, whereas 2nd edition made it a matter of personal worth (with the idea that all DB's needed to have a heroic motivation).

What we ended up doing was settling on a mixture of the two. Certainly ones "genetics" are paramount. In the good old days, when the Dragon Blooded bloodlines were 100% pure, every child born to them would Exalt. On the other hand, if someone has absolutely no drop of Terrestrial blood in their background, it's simply impossible for them to Exalt as a Dragon Blooded.

What my group ended up going with was the idea that when you're born, the cosmos (or Fate or what will you) essentially rolls the dice to see if you're going to Exalt as a Dragon Blooded or not. The more pure your bloodline is, the higher the chance. If it fails however, that's not necessarily the end.

When someone finds themself in an extremely stressful situation or pushes themselves beyond their usual limits (physically, mentally or however) they effectively get a "reroll" - the stress can cause their nascent Terrestrial heritage to assert itself and allow them to Exalt.

What this ended up meaning was that some Dragon Blooded were entirely unworthy of the blessings they had received. They were cowards, fools, and wastrels who had Exalted only because mummy and daddy had a good background. At the same time though, there were other Dragon Blooded who had Exalted because they had done something "heroic" in a sense and managed to earn their Exaltation. And importantly, there was absolutely no way to show whether someone had "earned" their Exaltation or been "gifted" it purely due to the vagaries of their parental lineage.

Most Dragon Blooded (in the Realm) put it all up to personal worth - "In my past life I did such a great job that I was blessed to be born into a Great House, which then had me face a second test to actually Exalted. My personal actions ensured I was Exalted so I earned it."

This allowed our group to have it both ways, with bloodline being a factor but personal worth also being a factor.
I like that!

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/7/2017
Ebon Dragon must have tipped 'em off right away that he'd nabbed her.

(Yeah, it's an option, but let's not pretend it's not the one the books run with for the most part.)

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/7/2017

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/7/2017
Also as a general thing I'm skeptical of setting timeline elements that confirm the setting's "now" as intrinsically significant rather than coincidentally significant. If you look at the timeline, pretty much everything that makes RY 768 meaningfully distinct from the past five centuries can be traced to one event. When the Empress disappeared, the Realm's politics became insular and they started withdrawing armies from the Threshold, which lead to Threshold political instability and vulnerability that drives both an economic boom and increased vulnerability to things like Fair Folk and Silver Pact raids; this vulnerability was what lead the Deathlords to breach the Jade Prison right now, which lead to the release of the Solars. It's all because the Empress disappeared. That feels verisimilar to me -- "now" is circumstantially significant, but not metaphysically or intrinsically significant except in ways that spring from circumstance.

Adding "And there's a bunch of new and extra DB Exaltations because, uh, reasons" violates that.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/7/2017
The Dragon-Blooded certainly tell themselves and each other that Exaltaion of the Dragons (or from the Dragons, if you prefer) is a sign of worthiness, usually in a context that links strength and moral worth i.e. "If you didn't Exalt, it's either because of a moral failing on your part or because you're weak, which is itself a moral failing." And they use this as justification for mistreating Dynasts who don't Exalt.

I think confirming this as a metaphysical truth removes value from the setting, however.

Although I don't have a problem with e.g. that Sidereal Astrology power that flags a soul for reincarnation as a Dragon-Blooded, because Sidereal judgement (and indeed divine judgement, because the existence of a mechanism by which Sidereals flag souls for Dragon-Blooded incarnations suggests a mechanism by which Heaven does the same on a larger scale) is not something the setting presents as morally sound.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/7/2017
No, it does not.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/7/2017
Oh, man, I should have made Crow the sample Eclipse and put a bit in her bio about how she's out adventuring instead of leading her Nexus gangs 'cause she skipped town after faking her death to escape a Wyld Hunt.

(No. This would not have been a good idea. Also, Holden would have vetoed it as too cute and too much of an obscure reference, and he would have been right to.)

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/7/2017
Oh, man, I'd forgotten that was Mel.

Yeah. Mel has no problem with Crow; she just liked the way she looked. But this has resulted in Crow being sort-of semicanonically dead, which is obviously Not Optimal, and was certainly not the intent.

(I'd "fix" this by putting a statted Crow in a future book with a custom fake-my-own-death Charm, but down that road lies Jean Grey, so.)

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/7/2017
Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
Reminds me of DC's Parallax mess.
That sort of thing is fairly endemic to long-running serial media. Hence "Comics, everybody!"

(But see also: The Two Kuklas.)

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/7/2017
It's probably not so much that the artist disliked the character as the artist thought "Oh, hey, this would be cooler if I drew a specific Solar instead of a generic Solar."