John Mørke wrote:
It isn't as hard as people think it is to make Lunars good. They have all the ingredients for a great design. It's the presentation that's always been the problem.
There are some pretty big mechanical and thematic issues underlying the presentation, though. If NumberCruncher, Fetich Soul of Chungira, looked at the Lunar 1E and 2E sets completely devoid of anything outside of presentation, it's going to turn around and complain. A lot. NumberCruncher will complain about everything, true, but it'll have reason here. The 2E mechanics work
, in that they're actually built for this edition of the game and aren't Scroll of the Monk
. They do the job, didn't need a huge amount of errata, and if you need to build a villain or NPC, done. That's different from there being no issues. Even with sizable amounts of GM fiat to avoid TurboYeddims, the backgrounds are bizarrely ill-balanced for Heart's Blood at start, Claws of the Silver Moon dominate pretty much any sort of combat deal. Pretty-Kitty Revolution is absolutely a Thing, made worse in that it's one of the very few uniquely Lunar Things.
Thematically, they don't really do very many things that are unique. Solars are The Best At Everything, even being things they aren't supposed to do. Sidereals do Impossible Things by filing them in the not-impossible category -- Avoidance Kata is the absolute closest the setting gets to a meaningful reset button or time travel, and Shun The Smiling Lady is explicitly set as more powerful than a charm should normally be, yet Sidereal Charm says screw the rules I have connections. Alchemicals aren't great at any one thing, but in a couple days they can fix your problem. Infernals are Bizarre Thematic Connections, and occupy a special case where natural character design might have a diplomat-priest that can also blast enemies from a mile away. Raksha have entire systems that you can basically only touch by becoming something more Raksha-like.
Lunars have been Silver Medal At Everything, except things that humans think of as especially human, or that don't have easy animal metaphors. They've got a strength that their specializations are a little more broad, but the Storyteller system doesn't really support that. Being Silver Medal at Alchemical stuff is an even worse solution than Being Silver Medal At Everything, but that doesn't make either variant of Silver Medals better.
((I don't personally want to remove anything from the set, but I also admit I don't have a good grasp on either the mechanical or thematic issues -- I'll admit I don't know the problem Elephant, outside of that this particular part feels a lot like the trunk of a tree.))