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[#][F] Holden - 2/11/2013
The Chills and One Last Joke wrote:
John Mørke wrote:

It was the equivalent of giving them macaroni art as their crowning achievement.

You consider, a society that will never fall to pieces because one person leaves or dies or goes stark raving mad, to be comparable to Macaroni art?


Insofar as that it's something a child would make, yeah. Were they planning to send the Scarlet Empress politely-worded letters requesting that she please not march her legions over and take over the place as soon as the Lunars left?

People make fun of the TSR because it was a totally unworkable idea given the rest of the setting, as well as for other reasons.

[#][F] Holden - 2/11/2013
The Chills and One Last Joke wrote:
Aquillion wrote:
Holden had declared that the Thousand-Streams River would never be mentioned again in any future Exalted publication long before 3e was even announced. Some individual Lunars might pursue goals resembling parts of it, of course, but as a unified Lunar goal it never really made much sense and didn't particularly fit their talents.

It also had the problem of clashing directly with the ascetic that Lunars were originally designed around -- while there were a lot of problems with the way 1e portrayed barbarian Lunars, completely denouncing it and rejecting it in favor of Lunars who built civilizations left them without a clear unifying flavor.

(It also meant that Lunars were defined by something that they would have to have done badly, because hey, look at Creation -- see anything remotely resembling what the Thousand-Streams River was trying to accomplish? No. It couldn't succeed without clashing with everything else about Creation.)
You didn't convince me the first hundred times. There doesn't seem to be much to make it seem any different now.

I just don't get it. What could be more worthy of a larger than life Hero than making people's live better? Than teaching them how to make a society that won't fall apart because of the loss of one (much less a thousand) power mad demigods? What's so damned absurd about that in the eyes of the forum?


Well-- and this is just off the top of my head-- building a society that isn't going to get steamrolled by the Realm the instant you leave.

(As long as the Realm has 10,000 Exalts and your society has 0, this is not possible, btw.)

It was a pie-in-the-sky idea that didn't mesh to the setting at all.

[#][F] John Mørke - 2/11/2013
The Chills and One Last Joke wrote:
Aquillion wrote:
Holden had declared that the Thousand-Streams River would never be mentioned again in any future Exalted publication long before 3e was even announced. Some individual Lunars might pursue goals resembling parts of it, of course, but as a unified Lunar goal it never really made much sense and didn't particularly fit their talents.

It also had the problem of clashing directly with the ascetic that Lunars were originally designed around -- while there were a lot of problems with the way 1e portrayed barbarian Lunars, completely denouncing it and rejecting it in favor of Lunars who built civilizations left them without a clear unifying flavor.

(It also meant that Lunars were defined by something that they would have to have done badly, because hey, look at Creation -- see anything remotely resembling what the Thousand-Streams River was trying to accomplish? No. It couldn't succeed without clashing with everything else about Creation.)
You didn't convince me the first hundred times. There doesn't seem to be much to make it seem any different now.

I just don't get it. What could be more worthy of a larger than life Hero than making people's live better? Than teaching them how to make a society that won't fall apart because of the loss of one (much less a thousand) power mad demigods? What's so damned absurd about that in the eyes of the forum?


Because teaching people to garden, to sandbathe, and to swing from vines doesn't require the Lunars.

Neither does the Delzahn incorporation of Chiaroscuro.

The Thousand Streams River was a lot of wordcount about nothing at all, and tried to pull blinders over the fact that the Lunars were irrelevant while making it painfully obvious that they were irrelevant.

It was the equivalent of giving them macaroni art as their crowning achievement.

[#][F] John Mørke - 2/11/2013
Hippokrene wrote:
NASA scientists aren't Twilights.

Take the Professor from Gilligan's Island. Toss him through a time portal to 600 BC. He will be able to make a radio tower and primitive walky-talkys.

And before you ask: He has 5 dots in Magitech and none in Craft: Wood.

That's why he could never make them a boat.


The next iteration of the forum needs a gong button next to the thank one.

[#][F] John Mørke - 2/11/2013
(interprets Chill's post as having to do with Ten Stripes)

[#][F] Holden - 2/11/2013
If you take a NASA rocket scientist--

No, let's be fair.

--an entire team of NASA rocket scientists AND engineers AND trained astronauts, and huck 'em through a time portal into Egypt circa 600 BC, how much luck do you think they're going to have getting themselves to the moon?

Hell let's make it even more fair-- forget Egypt and 600 BC, let's make it England, circa 1880 AD. How fast are they gonna get a space-worthy rocket put together?

[#][F] John Mørke - 2/11/2013
Lunars are barbarians, least of all because they live in the wild and are marked by it. They are ideological barbarians, not because they want to crush civilization or consider society bad or “weak,” but because of their ideological rejection of Celestial society and its political by-product, the Realm. It is only natural that they would cull a power base from barbarians. They walk among these people as gods. They do not necessarily care about them or share their opinions on the Realm or their reasons for fighting it.

Lunars weaponize cultures. Barbaric civilization presents a morass of ideologies, beliefs, followers, warriors, worshipers, and spouses who need not be turned against the Realm, because they live their lives in mortal opposition to the Realm, and see the Lunars as liberators, gods, Heroes-of-Heroes... and it lines up with whatever X tribe or Y culture wants to think about it, because none of them realize that the Lunars don't necessarily agree with any of their reasons for wanting to raid Realm satrapies or crush Realm inquests.

[#][F] Holden - 2/11/2013
Black Paper Moon wrote:
That aside, a few questions:
- Are Lunars going to be more closely associated with loin-clad savages or with jomsvikings (complete with awesome mythology, a religion that encourages them to seek battle to die like heroes, solid metallurgy and strict codes and laws)?


Rather depends on who they are and what they're doing, doesn't it?

Quote:
- Going back to your second paragraph, is this high-society, "civilised" Lunar going to be an effective one? Is she going to get as much out of her Charms as the swords-and-sandals Lunar going around transforming into animals and playing barbarian god? To what degree are you going to be crippled if you want to ignore (or severely downplay) animalistic, rage and barbarism so as to play a sophisticated warrior / socialite?


"This is just as viable as Solar Conan." To what degree is Solar Conan crippling himself by pursuing that concept?

This is the last post I'm gonna make answering variations on this question, which is already answered in the opening post.

[#][F] Holden - 2/11/2013
Lunars!

[#][F] Holden - 2/11/2013
BrilliantRain wrote:
Very nice post. Thanks Holden!

Out of curiosity, have you guys ever read Tatja Grimm's World, by Vernor Vinge? I tend to think of her more as a Twilight, but she sounds like she might work as a 3e Lunar.

In any case, I think a sidebar on this might be useful in the 3e Lunars book, especially if there are any Lunars who still spout Ideological Barbarism around.


There probably are. But note that these aren't terms/categories you'll probably ever see me mentioning again-- certainly they won't show up in a book. I'm mostly breaking it down this way to get people accustomed to not automatically conflating "barbarian" with "frothing lunatic looking to burn down all the cities and make everyone sleep on the ground."

As John pointed out to me recently, the native American nations are kind of a good example of a "barbaric" group with some ideological elements. Note that the various nations enthusiastically adopted the horse, the gun, and various other European things that either provided them with luxury or made supporting their preferred way of life easier, but then wanted nothing to do with anything that would shift that lifestyle into some radically different mode (i.e. they were not interested in milling, mining, share-cropping, etc) -- to say nothing of having their culture or traditions paved over or relocating themselves.

But that's still a very far cry from "tear down all the cities, salt the earth where they stood." Probably you'll see some Lunars like that-- Exalts are prone to extreme expressions of their favored ideology because they can actually implement those expressions-- but you won't see a majority of Lunars like that.

Quote:
Thinking about it, I'm now kinda curious about what "barbarian tribes" Exalted has. Are there any that just seem to have missed out on the concept of agriculture, as opposed to simply not having suitable land/seeds for farming? Are there any nomadic groups that live amongst more settled folk (i.e. the popular conception of "gypsies"*)?


If it's cool and interesting, Exalted probably has it. And I think that was another major problem with the older material-- other than the Delzahn, we didn't get much in the way of interesting, compelling barbarian groups.

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Off and on, I've been working on a group of traveling Tinkers (who secretly have access to magitech and serious craft skillz) who live off the land and sometimes trade with more settled peoples. Basically think an entire tribe of MacGyver (or at least he's considered their ideal). Would such a culture be doable in 3e? (I think I can make it work, but it was originally designed as a TSR project and I had to give them some hidden manses and education artifacts which were maintained by their Lunar benefactor, and it's possible all that might change in 3e).


The magitech makes it a no-go for 3e-- I wouldn't want to drop in a little group performing First Age craftsmanship. "Magitech" is dependent on a huge infrastructural base to support it that's just not present any more; you can't just continue practicing it in its state-of-the-art form by having a few extra Craft dots and a workshop in 3e.

[#][F] Holden - 2/11/2013
Tiresias wrote:
Fun fact: I'm currently writing a thesis on the Occupy movement as a form of barbarism and the response to the Occupy movement as a civilizing project (among a couple of related things).

The thing with barbarism is that it's relative to the nearest hegemony. You can have a complex committee structure, logistical arrangements, health care services and a highly educated population, if you don't fit the model of the local hegemony, you are a barbarian. Officials will assume you and the people around you are homeless. Health inspectors will come by and make sure you know how to wash dishes properly. Fire inspectors will snoop around to make sure you aren't using any candles in your tent and if you (completely legally) deny them entry, they'll tell their superiors that you're preventing them from doing your job and that future inspections should be carried out after dark without warning in case people are only following the rules when they see the inspector coming. Even if you are completely peaceful, these inspectors will all be escorted by armed police officers for their personal safety. Because you're a barbarian and barbarians can't be trusted to follow the rules like properly civilized human beings are.


The British considered the Chinese to be barbaric backwards people speaking gibberish. The Chinese considered the British to be uncultured smelly barbarians. Ultimately the word is a slur meaning "you're too stupid to appreciate my cultural values, which are the correct ones." But that's not a useful position for us because we're proceeding from the desire to capture a set of aesthetics and moods (which neither the Chinese nor British fit, and which are kinda culturally insensitive, but still hella fun to play with and deeply rooted in the pulp fantasy source material of the game).

Quote:
The biggest hegemony in Creation is the Realm. The Realm wants stuff. Everyone that isn't giving stuff to the Realm is a barbarian and needs to be civilized (read: turned into a satrapy or tributary). In most places, barbarism is going to be almost the same as "Fuck the Realm."


Plenty of civilized places are also like "fuck the Realm," usually because it has its boot on their neck. Very few places actually like the Realm. The Lunars have a far more personal grudge against the Realm, and marginal tribal groups are one of their primary weapons of choice against it because it fits very well with their collective aptitudes and attitude, and the strategic necessities they find themselves facing.

(Ironically, one of the best tools by which a Lunar can harness a barbarian culture into a weapon is by cultivating or stressing a purist barbarian ideology, which the Lunar in question probably doesn't really buy into. Just about no culture really has the kind of PURE barbarian ideology shown in the 1e book-- anything like that is generally an expression of cultural superiority, and is particular to THAT culture, not to that culture and all other cultures vaguely like it.)

[#][F] Holden - 2/11/2013
Anaximander wrote:
In what, if any, way could Lunar barbarism, of any stripe, be said to be a Second Age phenomenon? Because a political or an ideological barbarian would seem to me to be responses to the Age current Lunars live in. As Tiresias touched on above, since the Realm is, generally, considered the definition of "civilization," then Lunar rejection of and animosity towards it, whether ideological or stylistic, would be by definition "barbarian." Was this then different in the First Age?


Lunars were very different in the First Age, and were guardians of the Realm.

[#][F] John Mørke - 2/11/2013
MissMaddy wrote:
Firstly, what a fantastic post. Thanks. Very evocative!

To what extent is the 'frenzy' aspect of the Lunar Exalted going to tied to all of this? Will Lunars be more emotional or moody? Will the Full Moon give limit? Will Lunar Limit breaks involve largely animal-themed expressions of primal emotion?


Frenzy aspects are choice driven, not the default state of all Lunars. Full Moon insanity is getting tossed entirely out. Lunar Limit Breaks are undetermined, but are likely to change from what they were.

[#][F] Holden - 2/11/2013
EzraHattrix wrote:
I guess my first question would be, can you possibly give an example of a politically barbaric Lunar?


It would be tough to do so, because it doesn't really apply to Lunars-- it's not that Lunars are politically barbarian so much as that some of them come from that background, and many of them interact with such groups. But like all Exalts, they're individuals that are bigger than their backstory, or very quickly become that way.

The takeaway here should not be "Lunars are barbarians," that is false. A Lunar interacting with a barbarian culture is generally going to be moving through it as a hero or patron or god, standing above the barbarian peoples, rather than among them.

edit: A true "Lunar barbarian" is probably going to be about as common as a Sidereal patriot. That is to say, it's possible, but not tremendously likely-- their post-Exaltation experiences are going to exert a lot of pressure to distance them from their cultural background and push them toward a bigger perspective.

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Second, as a Lunar who is being a bit of a world walker. Someone who holds a lot of pride in the forms they take. Would it be correct to assume that they, with this more refined vision, might be a bit opposed to the people living truly decadent lifestyles in cities where they have no connection with animals. Who have no appreciation for the animals they butcher and eat, or for the animals homes they destroy in their constant need for expansion?


It could be, but I mean, you could say the same of a Solar from a similar background. A Lunar might not like going anywhere near Nexus with its horribly polluted river, but I suspect that would probably have much more to do with what the Grey River smells like to someone with the keen nose of a wolf rather than any kind of philosophical objection.

[#][F] Holden - 2/11/2013
EzraHattrix wrote:
I guess my first question would be, can you possibly give an example of a politically barbaric Lunar?


It would be tough to do so, because it doesn't really apply to Lunars-- it's not that Lunars are politically barbarian so much as that some of them come from that background, and many of them interact with such groups. But like all Exalts, they're individuals that are bigger than their backstory, or very quickly become that way.

The takeaway here should not be "Lunars are barbarians," that is false. A Lunar interacting with a barbarian culture is generally going to be moving through it as a hero or patron or god, standing above the barbarian peoples, rather than among them.

Quote:
Second, as a Lunar who is being a bit of a world walker. Someone who holds a lot of pride in the forms they take. Would it be correct to assume that they, with this more refined vision, might be a bit opposed to the people living truly decadent lifestyles in cities where they have no connection with animals. Who have no appreciation for the animals they butcher and eat, or for the animals homes they destroy in their constant need for expansion?


It could be, but I mean, you could say the same of a Solar from a similar background. A Lunar might not like going anywhere near Nexus with its horribly polluted river, but I suspect that would probably have much more to do with what the Grey River smells like to someone with the keen nose of a wolf rather than any kind of philosophical objection.