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[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/1/2014
Originally posted by Chejop Kejak View Post
Historically, nothing results in utopia. There have been, by my last count, exactly zero utopias. (Utopiae?)

And I cannot speak for others, but I want Paragon to have trains that run on time, so to speak, even though history might advise otherwise because I find it more dramatically compelling. The Perfect exists, to my mind, as a question for any world-shaking PCs: is security worth giving up all happiness and self-determination? Can you justify fighting this man when he protects his people and spurns slavery? Is your own society better? Do the people you've allowed to die care that you gave them choices, or would the Perfect's way have been better?

I don't need him to be another example of how power corrupts and societies tend not to live up to their ideals because Exalted is spoiled for those. Paragon can raise different issues.
I'm more interested in examining all the ways that freedom vs. security has proven to be a false dichotomy than examining freedom vs. security itself.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/1/2014
Actually that's a simplification. It's more like, the powerful work first to insulate themselves from the consequences of their mistakes, and then cease to consider those mistakes as mistakes once they no longer suffer consequences for them. The economic decision that necessitates closing a factory and ending 1,200 jobs doesn't count as a mistake to the CEO who makes it if it doesn't affect his life, and doesn't count as a big mistake to him if it affects him in only a small way, even if it counts as a huge mistake to 1,200 suddenly-unemployed people.

So, think about how the Perfect might be running his society, taking that into account. Keep in mind that social mismagement resulting in massive death and misery usually results in the problem correcting itself via social upheaval and rebellion, and then remember the Perfect can kill anyone who even thinks about rebelling.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/1/2014
Originally posted by Grifnir View Post
Well the guy has been ruling for quite a while, who's to say that he hasn't already made those mistakes? Perhaps a large part of what makes it so effective is the advantage of time that he has had to fuck up over and over again and make those necessary changes.
Historically, the powerful work first to insulate themselves from the consequences of their mistakes. Once so insulated, they cease to learn from them.

Originally posted by Grifnir View Post
That said, the emphasis on magical power, whether from sorcery, thaumaturgy, or geomancy, could perhaps fill in some of those gaps. At least going forward, I hope the place won't require as much suspension of disbelief to include in the setting going foreward.
Because Creation is totally a place where magic fixes the unintended consequences of your actions, yes. *nod*

Originally posted by HK-87 View Post
Ah, the "Rapture needs plumbers" problem. Sounds like something I should look into.
It's really interesting but a bit dry.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/1/2014
Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
So in other words, the appropriate response to "that's what you would expect when you've got a singular autocrat exactingly directing everybody to enact his vision" is "going by historical examples, that's not what you'd expect at all"?
Yeah pretty much.

"Give one authoritarian dude as much power as is required to enact his will absolutely" is not, historically, a scenario that results in utopia. I am unsure why people continue to want a Perfect who's just so awesome he can make that scenario work to everyone's advantage.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/1/2014
Originally posted by HK-87 View Post
Can't say I recognize the name. Is that a reference to the "Paragon is apologism for repressive dictatorships" dev statement I've seen elsewhere on the boards?
Kind of, yeah. But Seeing Like a State is a book of historical examples of how utopian high modernism and central planning have, consistently throughout history, created unlivable societies because some variable the planner didn't account for or took for granted turned out to be vital and/or squelched by the way the variables that were planned for received primacy.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/1/2014

Paragon would really benefit from Seeing Like a State.

[#][F] The Demented One - 2/28/2014
Originally posted by Morangias View Post
I'm reminded of this scene in Good Omens where Crowley was asking some poor sod for directions while sitting in a flaming car, and the guy kept thinking very intensely how to tell him that his car is on fire without sounding utterly ridiculous.
Coincidentally, I reread that book exactly yesterday, so I have that exact passage in mind. I'll write it into Sidereal Drive whenever I get around to updating it.

(Someone Else's Problem? Pedestrian-Blinding Prana? Goes-Without-Saying Acceleration?)

[#][F] The Demented One - 2/27/2014
Originally posted by Crumplepunch View Post
It's actually a little worse than that.

Wind Racing Essence Infusion is the upgrade to Flashing Thunderbolt Steed. The latter is (Mount's Stamina x10) miles per hour, the former adds (Rider's Essence x10) as an upgrade. Flashing Thunderbolt Steed is not Obvious, so you can ride a mammoth as fast as a sports car and everyone just takes it in stride.
Just because people can't intuitively work out that your rocket-powered hypermammoth is the result of magic doesn't mean they aren't gonna be gobsmacked to the Nth degree at the sight of your rocket-powered hypermammoth. Unless you're in a hypermammoth-fueled technological utopia, I guess!

[#][F] The Demented One - 2/27/2014
Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
I wasn't so much curious about why a Lunar would use any tools at all, but why he would max out his Evocations with an artifact, or go to any trouble to get special tools like artifact boats or godblooded horses.
Because the Lunar wants to reap the considerable benefits of having maxed-out Evocations on top of his natural puissance. Or to have a boat that is better than mundane boats, for purposes of transporting people other than himself across the sea quicker and more comfortably than he could by going orca-form and letting them ride in his mouth. Or because he is a legendary horseman, and seeks a steed worth of him in its saddle. Those are all pretty natural ambitions, if you're an Exalt who wants to gain power, and there's no compelling reason not for them to apply to Lunars. Now, a Lunar could shun the legendary sword and instead dedicate himself to perfecting his body as a living weapon, or just take some aquatic forms and not worry about having a crew/cargo, or just turn into a horse himself. But just because they can pick option B doesn't mean they should be disallowed or disincentivized from taking option A.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 2/27/2014
NWoD writers can look at other nWoD books to figure out where they should aim, tone- and theme-wise. Same with the 20th Anniversary cWoD writers. Ex3 was actually slow to start because writers kept looking at other Exalted books for tone and theme guidance, and John and Holden had to take them aside and go "No, we want to move away from that, and here's how." Design documents help to an extent, but it really does need lot of direct conversation to get the new direction across. We figure this will be much less of an issue once there are Ex3 books for people to look to for guidance, but that doesn't help us with the writers on the core.

[#][F] Holden - 2/27/2014
Originally posted by Aquillion View Post
No. Onyx Path is a totally separate company from White Wolf (albeit obviously one with a very very close relationship with it), which pays licensing fees for all the Exalted material it produces. AFAIK, paying those license fees is the only legal connection between them.

Note that the flipside to this is that none of that CCP / White Wolf money is available to Onyx Path, of course. They have whatever money the books they publish make, plus whatever money they got from the kickstarter, and that's it. They don't have to worry about what anyone else at CCP says (as long as they're willing to license WW properties to Onyx Path), because CCP isn't giving them any money at all.

(I believe Rich Thomas is still White Wolf's creative director, which obviously shows just how close the two companies are, but that's just a matter of him wearing two hats.)
"White Wolf" is an IP logo Onyx Path is licensed to use. "White Wolf" as a company doesn't exist. It is an IP owned by CCP North America.

Rich isn't employed by CCP North America any more. He is a fully independent small business owner, who publishes licensed White Wolf material, and also original non-White Wolf material.

[#][F] Holden - 2/26/2014
Originally posted by Eolirin View Post
This is not fine.
It's how we're going to proceed. The priority is not on showing the book off piecemeal in previews. The priority is on getting it done, so you can experience it, and then play it.

This may have been fine when WW was a full out book publisher, and things had a fairly rigid schedule, because we were at least guaranteed that slippage would be minimal, most of the time (But then there were the times when things went really bad and we were just left out in the void on stuff; DotFA comes to mind). But that's not how things really work anymore, and especially if you're going to be operating under the sort of very flexible schedules that you are (which is good, don't rush stuff out, please), then you need to treat the development process as a dialog with the fanbase, not a series of product launches. Digital means that you're competing over a very different time horizon, you can't treat this like launch day is important, it isn't.
And yet, I continue to hold out that it is, and will continue treating it as such. Not because I care about promotional hooplah like "Mortal Monday" (anyone else remember that?), but because as an artist I care about your experience upon obtaining the product, and as a businessman I care about how that experience will color your future interaction with the line.

Also, those occasions where we've put stuff out there before it was completed and polished have historically not had great results.

At least, that's how it seems from my perspective. Being in to Fate (and also nWoD, for which much the same can be said), I've got developers that go out of their way to be transparent about what they're doing, that push to over deliver constantly, not just at product launches, but at every single step of the process. That engenders a tremendous amount of loyalty. Makes me much more likely to spend money on their stuff. And it does that because it creates a sense that they respect the community, that they're concerned with involving us in the process of making the things we love, that they value our feedback; we are included. And it seems to be working really well for them too. You are competing with that. You are competing with the expectations that that creates. Dialog, general responsiveness, transparency and a general openness about the development process are baselines for community interaction now. You don't need to go nearly as far as they do on a whole host of things, but secrecy for the sake of a product launch is *insane* from this point of view.
Our Kickstarter is the biggest one the industry has thus far managed. I don't think that is purely on the strength of the Exalted brand name. I think there is value in anticipation and that it is very easy to dispel or deflate it.

And I doubt we'll ever come to any sort of agreement on this issue, because I recognize this is fundamentally a worldview issue; I don't think there's common ground between us on this at all and neither of us are going to change their mind on it any time soon.
Pretty much. Our way of doing things is not the current industry standard way of doing things. Exalted is not another product; it's Exalted. It has its own needs. If I ever get to develop a 20th anniversary WoD book, I'll do the whole open dev thing. It would be neither wise nor desirable for EX3.

But this is *why* there's as much of a sense of frustration over this as there is. You're deliberately holding a bunch of stuff back while having to constantly delay the product, even after we've given you a bunch of money, in a way that your colleagues and other industry leaders don't, and don't seem to register that as a problem; you generally come across dismissive of it as a concern even.
We have a better reveal waiting at the end than they do.

[#][F] John Mørke - 2/26/2014
Chuck E. Cheese had pretty good pizza. When I was a kid.

Not that I eat there to gain Lunar inspiration.

[#][F] Holden - 2/26/2014
Originally posted by Arcanus Dicere View Post
What's our opinion on Papa John's? Yay or nay?

It's my go-to because the spinach Alfredo pizza is delicious, they don't overcook it, and the grease content is manageable.
Mmmm, tastes like oppression.

Their pizza is okay. The flakiness of the crust is nice but also means it's the least filling pizza ever.

I've been enjoying Hungry Howie's lately.

[#][F] Holden - 2/26/2014
Originally posted by Kirby Jerusalem View Post

The last few times I've gotten Pizza Hut it's been rank. So greasy the cross section of the pizza was straight orange. Not pleasant to eat.
It was like that for me last time I got a stuffed crust, yeah..