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[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 2/12/2013
Anaximander wrote:
So..... Raksi. Still lounging about eating babies? Or is there no change to the iconic Lunars like her and Ma-Ha-Suchi?


Still lounging about eating babies, but for slightly better reasons.

[#][F] Holden - 2/12/2013
MissMaddy wrote:
I also wanna note that this character arc -- 'return the wonders of the High First Age in a gameable timescale'... is like the second most popular character arc I have ever seen.

I see it ALL THE TIME. Both at my table, and at the MUSH I used to play on!

Now, here is my issue : I actually agree with Holden / Steph / The Crew on this issue, because I don't like short-changing the immense sophistication of the High First Age. I've run games where the players whipped up a few talking Royal Warstriders over a month or three, and while it wasn't without it's charm, it always struck me as a bit chitzy and hand-wavey. It's why I've tinkered with tech systems and such in other threads.

It seems like we are walking away from that archetypical 'Exalted Experience' as of 3e, a decision which I think is wise. I can totally understand why people are upset, though, because I've seen first hand what an immensely popular and appealing character concept that is. I've run that campaign. We brought back the High First Age and it was kinda fun.

So, I mean, it's kinda tough to do!... but I still think it's probably wise.

I think it's sorta similar to the Yozi problems of 2e, in a way : posit the Yozi MIGHT get out, and suddenly all stories become about them getting out and they overshadow all other issues...

... similarly, posit a lost age of wonder, and suddenly a ton of stories become about making it not lost anymore. Huh.

So maybe the devs making a definitive 'You Can't' statement is similarly helpful to the setting as the Yozi 'You Can't' is, although it might be hard to accept at first.

Anyway, useless post, just kinda ranting. Sorry to derail. Not sure what I'm contributing here. :P


No that's a pretty good post. My second Solar PC was a "restore the lost wonders of the golden age that came before!" Twilight-type, too. Given the state of Creation, though, just getting Essence lighting for a single city would have been an accomplishment worth celebrating-- "step one, check!" If "restore the lost wonders of the First Age" becomes anything other than one of the hardest goals in the game to shoot for, then it makes those wonders themselves look dumb and cheap. "Hey, why did it take 300 Solars plus all the other Exalted thousands of years to knock together what our Circle managed to recreate in a couple of years?"

[#][F] Holden - 2/12/2013
MissMaddy wrote:
Holden and others,

Proceeding from the thesis that modern Solars should not be able to casually duplicate the efforts of the Exalted Host since it took said Exalted Host many thousands of years to create the High First Age...

... how much of an advantage (if any) do you feel the 'rediscovery' aspect adds?

To clarify, it seems intuitive to me that while such a task should not by any means be easy, it would be substantially easier at least. This is because rediscovering lost technology... or reverse engineering it from existing examples... ought to be, to some degree, easier than building it from scratch.

To put it another way, it's not unreasonable to suggest that a Solar would not be able to make a microprocessor casually.

That said, the presence of an existing microprocessor... or computer... or even just writing that such devices at one point existed, should substantially aid in the effort to reclaim this lost lore.

The lost geomancy of the High First Age is lost, but does having knowledge that such a thing did at one time exist allow for rediscovering it somewhat easier than inventing it for the first time?

I'm not suggesting that Solar Exalted should be able to rebuild the High First Age in a weekend, but surely it would still be iteratively easier to duplicate That Which You Know Was Once Possible.


It's worth remembering that the First Age didn't actually run on technology-- technology is a metaphor, and one that I'm increasingly inclined to stop using because it makes people think the map is the country.

Assuming you could kick Raksi out of Sperimin and just binge on the remnant First Age library materials there, sure, that's more helpful than starting from scratch? You're still looking at the work of lifetimes to transform the face of Creation in that way, even if there weren't any opposition to deal with, and boy howdy is there opposition-- not to mention a bunch of new challenges and problems that have cropped up since the Usurpation that the First Age Exalted never had to deal with and didn't leave behind instructions on how to solve.

[#][F] Holden - 2/12/2013
Night's Master by Tanith Lee would probably be my biggest go-to for hitting the feel of the world. The first character you meet is Azhrarn, Prince of Demons, and he's the steady catalyst for all the stories found within. It's set long ago, on a flat world, before the seas were bent, and features seemingly unapproachably mighty figures-- demons, gods, sorcerers-- in a world of fragile men and women. But these mortal folk sometimes capture the hearts of immortals, and break them or are broken; and sometimes men contest against the Prince of Demons, and win. It has exotic and alien and beautiful demons, cursed artifacts, hubris, sorcery, love, revenge, ruination and ever so rarely, complete triumph. It is Exalted storytelling, distilled.

[#][F] Holden - 2/12/2013
Kitsunemimi-Maiden wrote:
Holden wrote:
That said, keep in mind-- they have Intelligence Charms. You will, from time to time, see Lunar Tony Stark building amazing shit in a cave, out of scraps. But as a whole they don't trend toward sophisticated big-scale manufacturing projects, in large part because the majority of Lunars don't like doing anything that requires them to set up an immobile and semi-permanent base of operations, like a fully-stocked-and-kitted artificer's workshop. It's more common to see a Lunar set up a temporary work site, build a daiklave or some armor or some similar piece of personal kit for himself or for someone else, and then break down the site, hide any of the components he can't easily replace, and then move on until he needs it again some years later. Most Lunars operate on wartime footing at all times, and they are all priority targets.*


*There are exceptions to all these things, and they tend to be interesting subjects in their own right.


I have made this my very first signature. This is the first thing I've heard of 3e Lunars that truly excites me, as 1e and 2e both liked to pretend Lunars were brain-damaged (since the crafting system was entirely dependent on either uncommonly long downtimes given the 10-year span most games are expected to never breach, or charms to reduce those downtime requirements). I hope this remains a true part of the plan all the way to the 3e Lunar book and beyond, and Sidereals are also capable [Serenity does favor Craft, after all].


Mmm. Just keep in mind that I said "amazing shit" rather than "power armor" or "warstriders" intentionally. When you go off the grid, you don't get the benefits of the grid, so to speak. That still leaves the ability to make moonsilver plate, personal weapons, mystic veils, and other such magical wonders well within your capabilities-- and frankly, those things are generally better-suited to Lunar endeavors than something that needs specialist personnel to maintain and repair and a manse to keep it running anyway.

If you're looking for someone that can outperform a maxed out Solar artifact-crafter-- you're not going to find one. If you're looking to play a Lunar that can make cool artifacts and enhance the story, sure. 3e crafting should be fun, whichever kind of Exalt you're playing.

[#][F] John Mørke - 2/12/2013
Robert E. Howard wrote a vampire story called "The Horror from the Mound" that

culminates in a scene where the main character is attacked by a vampire and beats the ever loving shit out of it in his desperation to survive. And that's after his revolver proves completely useless. Sounds like a Solar!

[#][F] John Mørke - 2/12/2013
Exalted is a pulp fantasy revival game. As such, I highly recommend "The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian" for a look at the roots of pulp fantasy. Robert E. Howard's Hyboria has a few things in common with Creation, including Creation's original conception as our world in the time before history. It also gives you a pretty good look at a primal world with elements of post apocalypse (Cimmerians emerged after the fall of Atlantis), set in a pre-Biblical age of iron and bronze.

[#][F] John Mørke - 2/12/2013
Kim wrote:
1. Will the artwork of 3ed. go towards a shared style, to help visualize the developers idea of the games "look" and feel?

2. Will there be at least one piece of artwork for each individual citiy (or at least the larger/more important ones) to help convey the size, architecture and geographical outlines (simply put: the sheer look) of them?

Thank you!
These Q/A oppurtunities are Great! And you all seem to be doing such a great work. Real Excited emotion-1.gif


1) Hmm, I am not sure what you mean by shared. We are going to employ a variety of artists with different styles to keep the game's visual diversity. But my vision for how it should look will come through in the subjects.

2) We'll see.

[#][F] Holden - 2/12/2013

[#][F] Holden - 2/12/2013
Iozz-Sothoth wrote:
Holden wrote:
The First Age was powered by cultivated geomancy in many ways-- you can have as many ultra-detailed descriptions of how to build Gates of Auspicious Passage written by ultra-geniuses as you want, and they will not do you a damned bit of good without an extensive network funneling TERRIFYING amounts of raw power into the things to get them to function.


There's also the tacit knowlege problem that arises with even the most detailed records of how to do something -- basically, we learn by doing, and what we do doesn't always make it into the records of what we should do because we've either not noticed it or we don't realise it's important.

I'd imagine that Charms would overcome this issue fairly easily, though, otherwise it's a bit harsh.


Yeah. In truth, even working off of instruction sheets, you run into problems-- see the glorious "work to rule strike" tactic.

[#][F] Holden - 2/12/2013
Adelante wrote:
This thread has me actually interested in playing Lunars. I'd love to try out Frank Underwood from House of Cards as one. The outwardly genteel and compassionate politician who is in actuality a monstrous and power hungry individual. An ideological barbarian, someone who slinks through the trappings of modernity and discourse and forces everyone to admit that the powerful will always feed on the weak and incompetent. The foolish can cling to their illusion of democracy and justice. It doesn't matter if you wear bison hide or a three piece suit, if you fall under the gaze of a predator you can either run fast or get gobbled up.


He fits the style, yes.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 2/12/2013
Fanservice wrote:
And don't forget it wasn't just Twilight Caste who can build shit. Other Castes can all Favour craft if they like throwing their XP down a big hole.


Keep in mind that Tony was scavenging batteries for selenium and using old POS desktop computers for microprocessors. He had a power grid. The people outside his cave had crates and crates and crates of high tech munitions to turn into scrap and pass to him. Hell, the Mark 1 had to go through a full boot sequence before it could be used.

Now drop him into the Middle Ages.

[#][F] Holden - 2/12/2013
Arion Morningstar wrote:
Working off of "it" here being the Thousand Streams River:
Holden wrote:
It felt tacked on because it was tacked on. The thing had stood alone for an entire edition, something mortals put together with no Exalted prompting, and then suddenly "oh yeah Tammuz was secretly responsible." Sure he was.
It's funny, I thought it turned something that made no sense -- a barbarian horde conquering a major Realm satrapy (Chiaroscuro) without getting rolled by the Realm -- into something that was frelling brilliant. Tammuz pulled off one of the great cons in Creation's history? Yes please.


That's not how Chiaroscuro worked. Chiaroscuro was emptied out by the Great Contagion, then fought over by petty warlords who pounded each other into mulch with salvaged First Age weapons. Once those weapons were all used up in the fighting, the Tri-Khan's big army moved in, put the weakened contenders to the sword, and declared the city open to settlement, with any businesses wanting to establish themselves in Chiaroscuro to be free of taxation for 10 years. The Realm didn't show up until years later-- at which point the Tri-Khan wisely invited them in, then purchased an unusual degree of political autonomy for a satrapy with excessively lavish bribes and tribute.

[#][F] Holden - 2/12/2013
Arion Morningstar wrote:
Working off of "it" here being the Thousand Streams River:
Holden wrote:
It felt tacked on because it was tacked on. The thing had stood alone for an entire edition, something mortals put together with no Exalted prompting, and then suddenly "oh yeah Tammuz was secretly responsible." Sure he was.
It's funny, I thought it turned something that made no sense -- a barbarian horde conquering a major Realm satrapy (Chiaroscuro) without getting rolled by the Realm -- into something that was frelling brilliant. Tammuz pulled off one of the great cons in Creation's history? Yes please.


That's now how Chiaroscuro worked. Chiaroscuro was emptied out by the Great Contagion, then fought over by petty warlords who pounded each other into mulch with salvaged First Age weapons. Once those weapons were all used up in the fighting, the Tri-Khan's big army moved in, put the weakened contenders to the sword, and declared the city open to settlement, with any businesses wanting to establish themselves in Chiaroscuro to be free of taxation for 10 years. The Realm didn't show up until years later-- at which point the Tri-Khan wisely invited them in, then purchased an unusual degree of political autonomy for a satrapy with excessively lavish bribes and tribute.

[#][F] Holden - 2/11/2013
volkmar wrote:
John Mørke wrote:
volkmar wrote:
Thank you for this post.

Here a few questions.

Exalts types usually try to cover all bases, no matter what their general theme is. So you have No moon lunars, Not of Secrets Sidereals and so on.

How will this be done with Lunars? The Barbarian theme does not really do well when you are thinking of a crafter, a scholar, a bard or any other profession BASED on civilization and the existence of non-essential commodities.

In shorts what I would like to hear is your idea of what a scholar/craftsman/bard barbarian looks like and how the Lunar exaltation helps you in that.


The first thing to recognize is that they might originate with barbarians but after that it's just an association. The Silver Pact exists as a network sitting above barbarian culture, not drawing on it. The elder Lunars have seen the First Age, so they do not necessarily adapt a barbaric set of values. Rather, Lunars are animalistic, savage, and bestial by nature, and are right at home living in the wilderness, so their circles tend to cross through barbarian society and territory as a matter of course. That said, someone who is savage, barbaric, and bestial is not mutually exclusive to someone who can build a daiklave, or repair the weather controls in Rathess.


Thank you for your answer.

I understood from what you gents said that lunars are now thematically savages, instead of literal savages. Meaning they look like savages but are not necessarily so. (Cue Leviathan speaking with Victorian English accent and words from now on)


Pretty much. That illustration from the Modern Age chapter of Shards is a pretty good depiction of the kind of style you can expect from an urban Lunar-- graceful, sophisticated, and as soon as that elevator finishes closing, something terrible is going to happen in there.

Quote:
I was merely curious how does that help in making daiklaves or repairing the weather controls in Rathess or in any other thing that requires a bit more specialized knowledge than "hammer, nail, hit" assuming a Lunar would not be out of place doing any of those things.

I'm also curious if shapeshifting would come into this somewhere. Ie: could you have a "smart" form, maybe taking on demon or spiritual shapes?


Shapeshifting doesn't help you with those things. (Well, I mean, maybe you could turn into a mouse to crawl inside a sky mantis tower and jigger some delicate parts back into alignment by hand? I dunno. Mostly it doesn't.)

It's not like Lunars have some kind of special brain damage that makes them less-able to learn things than other Exalts. They can study Lore, Craft, Occult, sure. Their magic isn't the best in the world at building stuff, although they have stuff to help with it. They're certainly not the peers of the Solars in that category or anything (but then, who is?).

Generally speaking, as a group, Lunars are less dependent on external props than anyone else-- from artifacts to infrastructure-- and this is one reason why they tend to favor simple, robust tools that are either very difficult to break, or which are easy to replace.

That said, keep in mind-- they have Intelligence Charms. You will, from time to time, see Lunar Tony Stark building amazing shit in a cave, out of scraps. But as a whole they don't trend toward sophisticated big-scale manufacturing projects, in large part because the majority of Lunars don't like doing anything that requires them to set up an immobile and semi-permanent base of operations, like a fully-stocked-and-kitted artificer's workshop. It's more common to see a Lunar set up a temporary work site, build a daiklave or some armor or some similar piece of personal kit for himself or for someone else, and then break down the site, hide any of the components he can't easily replace, and then move on until he needs it again some years later. Most Lunars operate on wartime footing at all times, and they are all priority targets.*


*There are exceptions to all these things, and they tend to be interesting subjects in their own right.