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[#][F] John Mørke - 2/13/2013
Golden Demon wrote:
hatewheel wrote:
Kukla wrote:
See, this sort of confusion is why I think it would be so important and beneficial to have clear descriptions of the in-character process of learning and developing charms, and how that process might differ from charm to charm.

Some charms are specific techniques - demanding, peculiar, requiring great precision and strength not only physically but spiritually to perform the necessary physitheological movements. Others are more like... a cultivation. Like your soul is a garden, which you have tended and planted and which transforms as you tend it... until it bears fruit.


I don't think it's necessary to take away people's ability to see, use, and play Solar Charms like they were techniques. People want that anime/kung fu feel, and that's what it's there for. The problem is when Exaltation unravels, over the course of books, and years of forum conversation, into something external to your Solar, win buttons and you-suck-without-power and accusations of Mary Sue, that I can see the belief in this direction creating a complete and total misapprehension of the game. I am not talking about Irked or pretty much anyone presently reading the thread. Most people are smart enough to know how far to carry the idea and when to stop. I am talking about people I won't name, who treat Exaltation like a power pellet and Charms like magic powers you activate and set loose.

Edit: Oops, forum software logged me out and put me on this account.

Could we, like...

...maybe have this presented more clearly in the 3E Core than it previously had been (outside of this thread, at least)?

Because I for one am not enthused about having to have those same discussions all over again with a new generation of players.


I might put healthier aspects of this conversation in the developer's commentary or in the Storytelling Chapter.

[#][F] John Mørke - 2/13/2013
Irked wrote:
Incidentally, I appreciate your continued willingness to engage on this.


I am not arguing. I am explaining. This is not a debate.

Irked wrote:
It seems to me that this is a false dichotomy, though. Why do you have these powers? Because you're Batman. Why are you Batman? Because you have <various attributes>, including these powers. The two aren't really separable from each other!


In a game where the basis for your power is another character (the Unconquered Sun) and the Charm presentation suggests codex-like knowledge of pre-existing, codified techniques that are exactly the same from character to character, there is a huge difference in self-derived power and communal power.

Irked wrote:
The focus on Kenshin as a wielder of a single weapon, I think, mostly misses the point I'm trying to make - would we argue that he'd be a good representation of Solar melee if he sometimes fought with a tonfa or a scythe, and otherwise he'd have to be a representation of a martial art?

My point, rather, is this: Kenshin is a master swordsman. His skill - his ability - is as much a defining attribute for him as Batman's investigative ability is for that character. His ability is also internal; there's nothing supercharging Kenshin except how amazingly good he is at what he does.


This is a fundamental misapprehension about the genre you're talking about. Kenshin is special because he was able to learn Hitenmitsurugiryuu. Full stop. Martial arts techniques are decidedly external, as you are following a single method to create a single result. You can develop a new technique, certainly, and Kenshin does at the end of the manga, but the difference between that and a Charm is that a technique's growth is demonstrable and formulaic. While a Charm can be this, it is also possible that a Charm has no formula, no series of steps, no technique at all, which makes it inherently different from the actual literal definition of what a martial arts technique is in thousands of works of literature, which the rules for form weapons and Martial Arts Charms model to the letter and which Solar Charms do not.

Look, I can preform Iron Whirlwind Attack overhand, backhand, side striking, back striking. I can do it with an axe, I can do it with a sword. That already eliminates it from being any sort of a martial arts technique as literature understands them, because I just demonstrated four different techniques it enables.

Essentially, you can play it as any number of techniques, because it in itself is not a technique, it is "Multi Attacks" the power to strike lightning fast multiple times. Your character provides the entire context. You roleplay it as him being Kenshin. Great! Awesome! But I roleplay it as Cloud's Omnislash. Also fine. This other guy over here makes it Alucard's Crissaegrim. Cool! They have no technique in common. They have the lego brick called IWA that lets them express their themes variously.

[#][F] John Mørke - 2/13/2013
Aquillion wrote:
John Mørke wrote:
Iron Whirlwind Attack, as I just demonstrated, doesn't exist as a distinct technique. It is just modeling your ability to strike multiple times.

If you took Kenshin's sword away and gave him a grimcleaver, he wouldn't know what to do with it. So he is clearly not using Iron Whirlwind Attack. His technique actually depends on a sword. Whereas, Iron Whirlwind Attack, which is named deceptively like a technique, is really just Multiple Attacks and could be described as "Buy this to depict a character who can flurry his weapon. Any weapon."

The kung fu presentation is there to be cool, but that's all it is.
As an aside, this distinction means that it's much more important for Solars to be very good at martial arts (and for martial arts in general to be a useful pursuit for them), doesn't it? I think part of the reason people are struggling with this idea is that they're stuck in a 2e mindset where any MA other than your hero style is going to be weaker than your native charms.

I assume that in 3e, a Solar who wants to learn Kenshin's fighting style as a specific set of techniques (that is, via MA) rather than as broad competence with melee weapons (that is, via Solar charms) wouldn't be weakening himself by doing so?

Or is a Solar generally someone who does better relying on their innate talent rather than specific techniques?


We are building it so that Solar players will find MA styles to be beneficial, rather than a downgrade.



[#][F] John Mørke - 2/13/2013
Omicron wrote:
John Mørke wrote:
If you want to count the beans of this design, Kenshin is using a martial art and his sakabatou is a form weapon and an aikijutsu style much like the one Holden wrote. If you put a spear in his hands, guess what? He wouldn't be able to use his Charms. Solar Melee isn't a technique because it is an inherent, style-less descriptor, completely derived from you. Kenshin is deriving his attacks from Hitenmitsurugiryuu. Iron Whirlwind Attack models the quality of being able to strike multiple times, lightning fast. It does not care what weapon you are using.

Compare and contrast Lancelot, who can grab a branch lying somewhere on the ground, and beat a sword-wielding knight with only this. Contrast the Myamoto Musashi as presented in Vagabond, who can also use a random branch like it's an actual weapon. Contrast Conan, who starts a fight by using a sword, breaks the sword, grabs a greataxe, loses the greataxe, grabs the broken hilt of the sword and cuts your throat with it.

Compare the heroine of Jade Empire, who can use pretty much any melee weapon (and some ranged ones/magic) to make you bite the dust, but progresses individually with each of these weapons, as each represents a specific martial arts rather than a broadly applicable excellence at beating people up.


Grabowski deliberately reskinned the Solar Charm set as techniques and made them explicitly techniques, but if you look into the bones of the design you will see that they are just lego bricks for building the hero you imagined. The difference between a Solar Charm and an actual technique becomes extremely clear when you compare Solar Melee to the rules applicable to Martial Arts Charms.

[#][F] John Mørke - 2/13/2013
Stephenls wrote:
Segev wrote:
I can appreciate every aspect of this, except for the fact that it only works in a lunar-only vacuum.

Why would Solars and Sidereals be better at "stealing somebody's face" than the shapeshifters? And yet, we can't deny them the disguise powers, because disguise does need to be a thing that somebody OTHER than a Lunar can pull off.

The question for me, then, becomes, "How do we make Stealing Faces a bigger, scarier thing when a Lunar does it at that price than when a Solar puts on his divinely perfect makeup?"


This is actually the point that completely defeats all my arguments. The problem with cannibalistic face-stealing isn't all this "Oh, but then I can't play the character I want to play because I'll be faced with ethical quandries I don't like!" malarkey (no shit, that's the fucking point); the problem is it's impossible to implement without watching every other shapeshifter you ever do for the entire rest of the game line, because as soon as you give someone else the power to steal someone's face without murder, your murderous Lunar face-stealers are a Goddamn joke.


Not really. You won't find a disguise Charm that actually turns you into a behemoth.

[#][F] John Mørke - 2/13/2013
Irked wrote:
John Mørke wrote:

It's not weird at all.

It's kinda weird!

(Sorry, watching too much How I Met Your Mother lately.)

Quote:
Solar Charms originally had names like Extra Health Levels (Ox-Body Technique) and Multiple Attacks (Iron Whirlwind Attack), before Geoff went through and renamed them. He didn't change their functions, though. If you had Ox-Body Technique, you were playing a vital person with the constitution of an ox. If you had Iron Whirlwind Attack, you were just playing a guy who was really good at multiple attacks. Charms move in themed strings because they represent skill in certain areas. A character who is a walking blender is represented by putting 24 exp into the Multiple Attacks part of the tree; a guy who is about ki direction puts it into the Solar bolt part of the tree. Each part of the tree is a simplification; a list of purchases that help to depict a character's skill from the lower end to the upper end.

All right!

But all that exists kind of, mm, in parallel to the points I was making - it doesn't change that it's a little unusual to associate "Charms are particular techniques" and "Charms are something external to you." Likewise, it doesn't actually contradict that Charms are pretty commonly viewed as particular specific techniques - a guy who has Iron Whirlwind Attack is a guy who is really good at multiple attacks, yes, and he's really good at them because he knows this technique. (Again, cf. "Kenshin is a really good swordsman, because he knows the techniques of Whatever The Heck His Style Is Called.")

I mean, obviously that's not your intent, but it is a very natural reading of the situation. It explicitly dates back at least to the 2e core: "Charms are simple magical 'tricks.' Each is a technique for channeling Essence through the body or mind to enhance a Solar's Abilities to superhuman levels." (I would not be shocked if this goes back to the 1e core, for that matter, but I don't have that on me.)

Quote:
Iron Whirlwind Attack, as I just demonstrated, doesn't exist as a distinct technique. It is just modeling your ability to strike multiple times.

If you took Kenshin's sword away and gave him a grimcleaver, he wouldn't know what to do with it. So he is clearly not using Iron Whirlwind Attack. His technique actually depends on a sword. Whereas, Iron Whirlwind Attack, which is named deceptively like a technique, is really just Multiple Attacks and could be described as "Buy this to depict a character who can flurry his weapon. Any weapon."

The kung fu presentation is there to be cool, but that's all it is.

It seems very peculiar to me to suggest that Kenshin would not be, if translated, an example of a Solar meleeist sword-wielder. That... particularly seems like it requires an over-narrow view of how Charms "should" be viewed.

I mean, I'm not going to tell you you're mistaken about what you intend Charms to be - that would be kinda dumb. But it seems to me that the distinction you're drawing - between "This is an application of my skill" and "This is a discrete technique" - isn't... well, real. Something can be both recognizable as an innately-developed application and a discrete, repeatable technique.

As a practical example: learning to derive "Socrates is mortal" from the early parts of that syllogism is something I can theoretically do on my own, using only my own skill at logic. It's my ability at play that lets me reach this conclusion! It's also an application of the discrete technique commonly called "Modus Ponens," and many a math professor will require you to shout the name of your technique as you apply your skill if you want full credit on the proof.


I am saying Charms, as in Solar Charms, don't exist. They're descriptors for different characters.

Investigation is Sherlock Holmes, Athletics is Hercules and Jubei and Kenshin. Melee is also Jubei. The entire Night Caste set is Batman.

When you pick your Charms, you are picking traits you want to attach to your character in order to describe him. Every Charm in there is derived from a character in literature or myth or anime. You aren't using a power to make you Batman, you are using a power because you are Batman.

The first example is a guy who doesn't really deserve his power, because he didn't earn it, and the second is a guy from whom the power is derived. The essential difference undercuts several arguments posted earlier in the thread, and if you don't understand that, then you probably missed the point.

They aren't discrete techniques because they do not exist except for us to interface with them. Everyone who experiences such a thing in-game can experience them as a matter of absolutely no outside influence, including training.

Irked wrote:
It seems very peculiar to me to suggest that Kenshin would not be, if translated, an example of a Solar meleeist sword-wielder. That... particularly seems like it requires an over-narrow view of how Charms "should" be viewed.


You can certainly model Kenshin with the Solar Charm set. Your example was unfortunate in that you said that it inarguably models Kenshin.

If you want to count the beans of this design, Kenshin is using a martial art and his sakabatou is a form weapon and an aikijutsu style much like the one Holden wrote. If you put a spear in his hands, guess what? He wouldn't be able to use his Charms. Solar Melee isn't a technique because it is an inherent, style-less descriptor, completely derived from you. Kenshin is deriving his attacks from Hitenmitsurugiryuu. Iron Whirlwind Attack models the quality of being able to strike multiple times, lightning fast. It does not care what weapon you are using.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 2/13/2013
Segev wrote:
I can appreciate every aspect of this, except for the fact that it only works in a lunar-only vacuum.

Why would Solars and Sidereals be better at "stealing somebody's face" than the shapeshifters? And yet, we can't deny them the disguise powers, because disguise does need to be a thing that somebody OTHER than a Lunar can pull off.

The question for me, then, becomes, "How do we make Stealing Faces a bigger, scarier thing when a Lunar does it at that price than when a Solar puts on his divinely perfect makeup?"


This is actually the point that completely defeats all my arguments. The problem with cannibalistic face-stealing isn't all this "Oh, but then I can't play the character I want to play because I'll be faced with ethical quandries I don't like!" malarkey (no shit, that's the fucking point); the problem is it's impossible to implement without watching every other shapeshifter you ever do for the entire rest of the game line, because as soon as you give someone else the power to steal someone's face without murder, your murderous Lunar face-stealers are a Goddamn joke.

[#][F] John Mørke - 2/13/2013
Demac wrote:
John Mørke wrote:


This is all valid, reasonable, and interesting.

Whether you see it your way or mine won't change how the Charms work mechanically.

But a Solar who just Exalted in Nexus can complete the entire Dawn Charmset without ever meeting another Solar, without knowing what the Solars were/are, and without any exposure to First Age lore or past lives.

The Charm set is not external, waiting for him to discover it. So he has no idea what the names of any of these Charms are. He exists in a complete vacuum, and the game supports this—if he is a Dawn, he needs no training. If he can learn the Charms without training, and can learn the Charms without knowing their names, and is not automatically Exalted with a full codex of Charm names (which he is not) then you might conclude that the "Charms" (he may not even think of them as Charms) he has learned have completely different names and methods and pathos from the exact (mechanically) same Charms of another Solar, regardless that these two Solars were modeled by the same Charm set, the same mechanics, the same names.

IE, the names of Charms, and even Charms themselves don't qualify as anything important or crucial or necessary. They are just character descriptors. Your character can learn them without even knowing their names!



So how does all of this line up with a closed Sidereal charm set that the Maidens hand crafted? Or is this way of looking at charms exclusive to Solars and different splats would conceptualize their charms differently?


I see the Sidereal Charm set as a different case.

Flood detection :[

[#][F] John Mørke - 2/13/2013
Odd_Canuck wrote:
John Mørke wrote:
The Charm set is not external, waiting for him to discover it. So he has no idea what the names of any of these Charms are. He exists in a complete vacuum, and the game supports this—if he is a Dawn, he needs no training. If he can learn the Charms without training, and can learn the Charms without knowing their names, and is not automatically Exalted with a full codex of Charm names (which he is not) then you might conclude that the "Charms" (he may not even think of them as Charms) he has learned have completely different names and methods and pathos from the exact (mechanically) same Charms of another Solar, regardless that these two Solars were modeled by the same Charm set, the same mechanics, the same names.

IE, the names of Charms, and even Charms themselves don't qualify as anything important or crucial or necessary. They are just character descriptors. Your character can learn them without even knowing their names!

So this raises a question in my mind, what level of personalization of the charms is possible in 3e? Names that it's known by obviously, the mechanical effect is obviously going to stay the same, but visual, auditory and other flavour elements can change between individual characters? The same question would apply to Evocations. Can I have two different Solars doing a mechanically identical power up with one screaming "I Have The Power" as he draws his sword and being surrounded by golden flames and another whispering "Bankai Mother-f*cker" while being surrounded by golden cherry blossom petals?


Charms pretty much stay the same. You can color two Evocations differently, even if they are mechanically the same (but you could already do that with Charms).

[#][F] John Mørke - 2/13/2013
Omicron wrote:
John Mørke wrote:
Xefas wrote:
Will the Slayer Caste-Mark be a stylized green sunburst in 3E?


What's a Slayer?


Assuming this means Infernal Castes will be renamed: oh thank god.

1)Will Evocations as presented in the corebook allow for a sentient weapon?
2)If not, will Arms of the Chosen do?


1) That's the rumor, but if not
2) Yes.

[#][F] John Mørke - 2/13/2013
This didn't need its own thread, as I am talking about this right now.

Note to future posters: We generally patrol any thread that looks interesting, but if you ask for us specifically in the subject we're going to start pointedly avoiding you, as the practice is being abused.

[#][F] John Mørke - 2/13/2013
Xefas wrote:
Will the Slayer Caste-Mark be a stylized green sunburst in 3E?


What's a Slayer?

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 2/13/2013
ChrisARose wrote:
Stephenls wrote:
ChrisARose wrote:
Face stealing is inane - even more when you kill people. Everything that face means - it dies with the person. You're not going to squat down in their life and keep what they *are* going. You'll wear it a couple days max, more likely an hour or two, and then never look at it again. I take the face of the King of Kalamazoo, sweet, so do I give up my life and become the King of Kalamazoo or do I move on and steal more faces? Once you stop living the life of King Kalamazoo - he is lost and dead - it is now a worthless mask. That title, that power, the station - all gone and dust when you take off the mask. Hell, your better off getting a buddy with disguise of the new face to run shit - at least he can do that (as they are not doing PC stuff) and can serve as a useful contact. Plus you can pop the spell and it gives you power over them. O - and you know - costs less experience, anyone can do it (as in not Lunar Only) - so on.

Lunar's should not need to do something so bloody and debase - they are *gods* - they are the Asura of the First Age. They should just be able to look at someone and done deal. Doppelganger is the way - killing - blehh like some tanner skinning someone and running around with their skin.

Taking a buncha skin-walker primitive Indians (and the worst elements of them at that) and slamming it into the super advanced - nuclear power wielding -gods of the Mahabharata. Just does not fit at all to me.


You have no imagination whatsoever. Two hundred years after King Kalamazoo is dust and no one remembers what he really looked like because all the official paintings and statuary are idealized, you still have his face. You can attach it to any identity you want. Now you can run two-man cons by yourself. Now you can assume his form and sit down on a bench and the people chasing you won't recognize you. You can waltz into a building where everyone is looking for your face by wearing his instead.

Think what you can do with five faces. A dozen?

How many will you steal?



Sounds like an awesome thing for a 200+ year old Lunar to be doing - stealing from morals and walking around with a dead dudes face. emotion-7.gif

It is pretty awesome, yeah.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 2/13/2013
Fanservice wrote:
Stephenls wrote:

Well, you could always play a Lunar who refrains from stealing faces, yeah.


For an awful lot of people that's the reason they want to play Lunar's in the first place. You're basically saying "Sure you can play this splat you really like, but now you HAVE to be a Cannibal if you want to play with the most appealing part of it"


Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. You'll also have a hard time playing Vampire without playing a rapist.



Fanservice wrote:
And really I don't want to play a Cannibal every time sorry. If this means Lunars are"Not for me" then they're not for me, but I'd be sad for them to go from being my favorite splat to one I just know is going to fuck up the entire player party when their Cannibalism comes up and the party tears itself apart in moral outrage.


I really don't care about keeping the Lunars your favorite splat. Good thing I'm not in charge, eh?

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 2/13/2013
ChrisARose wrote:
Face stealing is inane - even more when you kill people. Everything that face means - it dies with the person. You're not going to squat down in their life and keep what they *are* going. You'll wear it a couple days max, more likely an hour or two, and then never look at it again. I take the face of the King of Kalamazoo, sweet, so do I give up my life and become the King of Kalamazoo or do I move on and steal more faces? Once you stop living the life of King Kalamazoo - he is lost and dead - it is now a worthless mask. That title, that power, the station - all gone and dust when you take off the mask. Hell, your better off getting a buddy with disguise of the new face to run shit - at least he can do that (as they are not doing PC stuff) and can serve as a useful contact. Plus you can pop the spell and it gives you power over them. O - and you know - costs less experience, anyone can do it (as in not Lunar Only) - so on.

Lunar's should not need to do something so bloody and debase - they are *gods* - they are the Asura of the First Age. They should just be able to look at someone and done deal. Doppelganger is the way - killing - blehh like some tanner skinning someone and running around with their skin.

Taking a buncha skin-walker primitive Indians (and the worst elements of them at that) and slamming it into the super advanced - nuclear power wielding -gods of the Mahabharata. Just does not fit at all to me.


You have no imagination whatsoever. Two hundred years after King Kalamazoo is dust and no one remembers what he really looked like because all the official paintings and statuary are idealized, you still have his face. You can attach it to any identity you want. Now you can run two-man cons by yourself. Now you can assume his form and sit down on a bench and the people chasing you won't recognize you. You can waltz into a building where everyone is looking for your face by wearing his instead.

Think what you can do with five faces. A dozen?

How many will you steal?