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Communist Zombie
Nov 1, 2011

Halloween Jack posted:

I've avoided Exalted ever since someone who wrote for the line straight-up admitted that there are nods to Homestuck fandom in there.

Wait what? Do you know who said that or where they are, because Im a fan of both Exalted and Homestuck and never noticed any.

Edit: Unless it was about third edition, since it technically hasnt been released yet.

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Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Communist Zombie posted:

Wait what? Do you know who said that or where they are, because Im a fan of both Exalted and Homestuck and never noticed any.

Edit: Unless it was about third edition, since it technically hasnt been released yet.

I *think* it was mostly just the green sun theme Malfeas/Ligier and Homestuck's big bads have in common. Might have fed into Ligier's characterisation in Exalted Modern?

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.
Fallen Rib

Halloween Jack posted:

To be honest, I shy away from even examining the forum-made Wod fangames too closely because I assume they'll be stuffed full of references that I won't get in the first place and that don't serve the game. (The musical references in Princess are pointless, but at least I get most of them.) I've avoided Exalted ever since someone who wrote for the line straight-up admitted that there are nods to Homestuck fandom in there. I can't be bothered to catch up on a decade of anime fandom that I missed in order to be able to enjoy a game.

That seems like a somewhat extreme stance to take. Like, I get it if the references are too thick, it's annoying, but you seem to be saying that any nods to anything that you're not familiar with ruin something for you. Like, I haven't read a whole lot of Doc Savage or the Shadow, but I can still enjoy Spirit of the Century, even though there are a bunch of references I'm not getting.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Now that I'm done running games for the weekend, it's time for more

WARHAMMER FANTASY ROLEPLAY 2E!

Equipment is in an interesting place in Warhammer Fantasy. On one hand, it's incredibly important because the relatively low numbers (and relative scarcity of large piles of money) mean any advantage you can get or decent stuff you can loot will help you out a lot. On the other hand, it's both much more highly abstracted than something like D&D but there are also a few weapon types that are just straight up pointless, because with the small scale of the numbers there isn't much granularity to model the differences between weapons.

I'm going to be straight here: They have rules for Encumbrance based on your strength score and if you're a dwarf or not, but firstly, they make it clear they're optional as is, and secondly, I have never once actually used them while playing or GMing WHFRP. We always just went with an abstraction that you had to leave most of your spare weapons with the party's baggage and horses during combat and picked a couple things you could reasonably carry plus your armor, which to the game's credit it makes clear is an acceptable way to do things.

As for armor, armor is life and armor is love. Armor is one of the most valuable pieces of equipment in the game. There are two systems for armor: Basic and Advanced. Basic armor, all that matters is 'is your armor Leather, Chain, or Plate' and you have a uniform amount of Armor Points on each part of your body. Armor costs are all or nothing. In Advanced, because the game features hit locations, you have different armor on different body parts, meaning you might be able to get by with a cheap mail coat without arm or leg protection to go over your padded underarmor but your legs and arms would only have padding protecting them. I've always preferred Advanced because it makes it a lot easier to upgrade armor gradually as you go, adding chain and plate elements to the leather and padding you probably started with. Why is armor so good? An average starting PC has a Toughness Bonus (tens digit of their Toughness) of 3 (4 if they're a dorf, 2 if they're a hobbit). This reduces all damage taken by that number; a suit of cheap leather is easy to get, has no drawbacks, and gives an extra point of reduction. Chain gives -10 to all Agility tests, but combined with leather has a full 3 point damage reduction, doubling the average character's resilience. Plate has an amazing 5 points, but in addition to the chain penalty, lightly penalizes movement speed (unless you're a dwarf or rolled lucky on the human/hobbit starting talents and got Sturdy, which eliminates all armor drawbacks). Now, bear in mind the average hit does d10+3. If an average human is wearing plate, this gives them a full 50% chance to tink that hit like it was Fire Emblem. That's on par with an additional active dodge or block, while also greatly reducing the damage you take even if the damage roll gets through. Armor is expensive as hell and getting it up to full plate will be a long term goal, but a tough warrior in a suit of plate is really hard to take down and unlike in 40kRP, everyone and their dog isn't carrying armor-ignoring 30mm autocannons that shoot rockets. Only a few guns and bows pierce armor at all and even then, they only ignore 1 point of protection.


The full plate experience is a wonderful catharsis after a long campaign of worrying about conscripts with spears getting lucky hits.

Next comes weapons. Weapons are heavily abstracted compared to D&D; a bunch of weapons are Ordinary, meaning any PC can use them without a penalty. This includes shields (can be used to Bash to get a bonus on Striking to Stun, give a +10% to Parry rolls, let you parry without spending an action once per turn, and penalize enemy shooting. Shields are life.), Hand Weapons (Any generic one-handed primary weapon that just gives d10+Strength Bonus damage, every PC starts with one), Spears (Can't be used to free-parry even with a shield, but subtract 10% from enemy defenses for reach), hunting bows (d10+3 basic ranged weapon with a half action reload), crossbows (d10+4, longer range, but take a full turn to reload. Great for unskilled characters making an opening volley before melee), daggers (mostly a backup weapon), punching people with a gauntlet, and javelins. A character who only has Ordinary weapons still has a fair bit of variety and a hand weapon is perfectly fine. There are also Two Handed weapons, which trade the defense of a shield and are easier to dodge for rolling twice for damage and taking best, flails, which get to roll twice and take best only on the first turn of combat but lack the other drawbacks of great weapons, longbows, which are just bows with longer range and a point of armor piercing, repeating crossbows, which absolutely suck and I don't know why they cost a proficiency (they do d10+2 for the privilege of not reloading), guns (which do d10+4 and roll twice and take the best, but take a long time to reload and cost a ton), cavalry weapons (which effectively act exactly like flails), slings (which can use a shield while being as good as a bow), and fencing swords (which do less damage but penalize enemy defenses) Some of these weapons have very redundant stats; there are only so many ways you can modify what a weapon does when you're trying not to stray far from d10+SB damage and only have so many special abilities.

There are also a bunch of simulationist-esque items, tools, medical supplies, lock picks, different fashions of clothing, etc, but many of them have relatively few actual mechanics with them and will mostly come up as treasure or situational factors. Finally, there's money.

I want to kill whoever used the british currency system for this game. Why couldn't they use a simple, made up base 10 currency system? Instead it's 20 silvers to the crown, 12 pennies to the silver, and it's all just unnecessarily annoying.

Next Time: How to Actually Fight, Including A Heroic Match With Bogdan Strongfoot (Ring Name Slamwise Gamgee)

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.
I am probably unfairly biased against Exalted. The last Exalted game I played was pitched to me as Beowulf and Sun Wukong Team-Up, and ended up involving jokes ripped off from Love Hina. What little I hear about the game leads me to believe it's gone further in the direction of being a conglomeration of anime and JRPG influences, which makes me want to run very far in the other direction.

I only ever participated in a couple "Let's make a setting!" threads, and I quickly bailed out when I saw that A) people weren't reading previous posts, so "Yes, And" wasn't happening, and B) per Sturgeon's Law, things drifted toward ideas that weren't really original at all. (For example, "God and magic are powered by belief!" There's nothing wrong with incorporating this into your premise, but be aware that this concept is decades old and many things have been done with it already.)

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003



Halloween Jack posted:

I am probably unfairly biased against Exalted. The last Exalted game I played was pitched to me as Beowulf and Sun Wukong Team-Up, and ended up involving jokes ripped off from Love Hina.
I'm pretty sure that's the fault of the group not the system/setting.

Grnegsnspm
Oct 20, 2003

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarian 2: Electric Boogaloo

Zereth posted:

I'm pretty sure that's the fault of the group not the system/setting.

Pretty much this, yeah. While I'm not going to go super out of my way to defend Exalted, I have played a fairly large amount of it and it has never been even remotely anime like outside of the aesthetic of the overly large weapons/armor. That's because nobody in our group watches anime. If we had a GM that was a crazy anime fan then I'm sure any game they ran would start to include that stuff.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Isn't Exalted's actual system really close to unplayable, though? Like, more than usual for Storyteller?

senrath
Nov 3, 2009

Look Professor, a destruct switch!


Night10194 posted:

Isn't Exalted's actual system really close to unplayable, though? Like, more than usual for Storyteller?

I wouldn't call it unplayable, but it's definitely pretty lovely, yeah. 3e might be better, but it's not out yet and I haven't played around with the leaked stuff at all.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

JackMann posted:

That seems like a somewhat extreme stance to take. Like, I get it if the references are too thick, it's annoying, but you seem to be saying that any nods to anything that you're not familiar with ruin something for you. Like, I haven't read a whole lot of Doc Savage or the Shadow, but I can still enjoy Spirit of the Century, even though there are a bunch of references I'm not getting.
To answer this more directly, my objection is when writers essentially port over something from their influences with little thought given to whether or not it really fits into what they're creating. When I reviewed Everlasting, I saw that this was rampant. The author wanted it to be some pretentious grand exercise in self-discovery, but it's also littered with quotes from late-night syndicated B-movies like Subspecies. Vampires are supposed to be angst-ridden "dark angels" but are also depicted as psychopaths who happily wallow in splatterpunk violence. I dug up an example from Exalted:

Strength of Many posted:

Perhaps the keenest example to me was, say, the whole coming-of-age rave-orgy they detailed. Which felt so silly given the 'work until you die (for the Maker)' attitude of the world they live in. And how they all live in cramped shared housing. Like sex is suppose to be this great liberating deviant force to them when its probably something they see on a regular basis because gently caress, like there is anything else to do for recreation?? A society who's entire impetuous for procreation is to shove more good workers into the assembly line. There is absolutely nothing sacred or abhorrent about it. If anything, there should be so little mystique about it that no one should loving care.

But nah, body paint rave orgies.

Stephenls posted:

You're no fun.

Strength of Many posted:

Maybe if you guys had rewritten their society sufficiently enough to make that kind of thing understandable, but instead it clashes with literally everything about their mortals' daily lives.

In all honesty it felt like someone had just finished watching the second Matrix movie and decided to wedge the orgy scene into Autocthonia.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer

JackMann posted:

That seems like a somewhat extreme stance to take. Like, I get it if the references are too thick, it's annoying, but you seem to be saying that any nods to anything that you're not familiar with ruin something for you. Like, I haven't read a whole lot of Doc Savage or the Shadow, but I can still enjoy Spirit of the Century, even though there are a bunch of references I'm not getting.

I dunno. Doc Savage is a household name in adventure pulp fiction. Dropping references to him, or Indiana Jones, or their fellows makes some sense in the context of a game that emulates that genre, and might expect the player to have some familiarity with it. On the other hand, dropping references to Sluggy Freelance into Scion would be pretty hosed up.

In-jokes are one thing, like ancient Gygaxian PCs being immortalized in countless spellbooks over several decades, but many fan writers don't know where to stop. They're writing for their group, or the rest of the forumites working on the magnum opus, all of whom understand <jokey reference> and encourage it, because they think the essences of comedy and communication are repetition at increasing volume.

Baofu
Jun 15, 2007

Exalted 2E worked pretty much foine in the last campaign I was in. The problem in that campaign came from a player whose character was basically King Geoffrey as a Solar. He made a custom Celestial style that included charms from that Sidereal style with Essence 2 charms and no one could really stand up to him because no one wanted to bother with social combat.

That campaign proved very educational for a lot of people involved.

fool of sound
Oct 10, 2012

Night10194 posted:

Isn't Exalted's actual system really close to unplayable, though? Like, more than usual for Storyteller?

2e Exalted was godawful to actually play RAW, and several systems just flatly didn't work anything like intended. 3e Exalted (at least the leak) is solid in a lot of ways, but still carries over some frustrating traditions. At least combat isn't a ridiculous slow slog of Perfect Defenses anymore.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015

Halloween Jack posted:

I am probably unfairly biased against Exalted. The last Exalted game I played was pitched to me as Beowulf and Sun Wukong Team-Up, and ended up involving jokes ripped off from Love Hina. What little I hear about the game leads me to believe it's gone further in the direction of being a conglomeration of anime and JRPG influences, which makes me want to run very far in the other direction.

Should've gone for Azumanga Daioh. Now that's what Exalted was meant to emulate.

Night10194 posted:

Now that I'm done running games for the weekend, it's time for more

WARHAMMER FANTASY ROLEPLAY 2E!

It's cute how they used the same degree of weapon abstraction as the wargame, which makes sense (especially since you can turn your character sheet into a workable wargame stablock in a matter of seconds). And shields are massively more useful in WFRP2e.

The Dark Eye


Time to cover TDE's gallery of monsters, one general group at a time. But first up, a bit of general tidbits.

The Zoo-Botanica Aventurica


The Dark Eye 4th editon - aka "Does anyone know how to draw a monster manual cover?"

Man, these two are just sad. I think I have to go back to 3rd edition for something more presentable:


I am very positive legless dragons don''t actually exist in TDE. At least the gryphon looks like he doesn't take poo poo from anyone.

The Zoo-Botanica Aventurica is 4th edition's 300+ page bestiary / monster manual, covering just about everything aside from highly supernatural stuff like undead, elementals and demons. Those can be found in the magic supplement (though only in a short, stripped down format so your caster can actually do stuff with the summoning spells) and the divine supplement (which covers just about everything).

Creatures in TDE come with their own slew of special rules and maneuvers. Some animals like aurochs can just run you over, bears like to hug, and giant maritime critters like sea serpents can dish out a crapload of damage to ships by just jumping out of the water and letting gravity do the rest.
Several animals can also do multiple attacks per round, which ties to a sort of combo system where successfully pulling off a predetermined chain of attacks results in a maneuver activating (like a bear hug, or worrying).

The thing that makes fighting creatures annoying is that smaller and larger creatures are harder to defend against. You can't just parry a bee swarm, you have to dodge out of the way. Parrying an ogre's club is also not possible (it would probably break you wrist, anyways), but you can block with a shield. And as soon as a creature is big enough to nom you in one go, there's only dodging to help you out.
On the plus side, animals that fall into the right size category to be parry-able are at a clear disadvantage, because they will suffer half damage from the parried weapon. Animals can also only defend through dodging (unless they get really close). The rules state that animals don't have to deal with Initiative loss from dodging, but I think the various penalties associated with dodging still aplies. In other words: animals suck when it comes to defending.

It should be noted that the Zoo-Botanica is not entirely dedicated to listing various critters. There are also rules for raising and training animals (and holy crap, warhorses cost a lot), and a big ol' "bestiary" for the various plants and herbs you can find. Because if Drakensang and Realms of Arkania taught me anything, it's that TDE really wants you to pick up any interesting looking plant you can come across.

And with that bit of general overview gone, let's cover dragons!

Dragons

Though there a variety of lesser types of dragons (some of which being barely above a normal animal), dragons in TDE are generally the most powerful creatures native to Dere. Their physical capabilities are more than a match for an adventuring parties (with really big dragons having such a high Armor Protection they needed to point out weaker, less protected spots), they are highly intelligent, and their spellcasting abilities are just plain better than anything a humanoid spellcaster could come up with. Their spells last longer, have a wider range, affect more people and are even cheaper. They can also technically not die straight away because their essence lives on inside their carbuncle (aka "dragon brain pearl").
If I had to make a guess, I would say TDE dragons are on part with their D&D buddies (though TDE dragons only come in the fire variatey, with like two ice dragons; I also think some of them would have levels in Archmage), with TDE characters being forever stuck in E6 hell.

In an interesting attempt at "realism", dragons don't actually need their wings to fly, as they fly through sheer magic. They also possess telekinetic abilities to move stuff around and "speak" with a language based on telepathic pictures, which humans and other lesser mortal somehow understand as spoken lines in their mother tongue.

So where did dragons start? Well, the first batch of them - the Old Dragons - were created in the Third Age (which was like millions of years before elves and dwarves even existed, right after the gods and titans settled their score) by various gods and titans. Of these Old Dragons, around 12 have survived to this day (because 7, 12 and 13 are the only numbers that matter in Aventurian history and mythology). 6 of them hang around in Alveran with the gods and call themselves the High Dragons.

Old Dragons
  • Aldinor: The dragon of cosmic balance. He is a little bit confusing because he was apparently created by Charyptoroth, the Archdemoness of maritime Lovecraftian horrors. I guess the apple does fall far from the tree.
  • Fuldigor: A wise and all-knowing dragon said to be big enough to have a small forest (or at least one big tree) grow on his back. He's also the only Old Dragon hanging around in Aventuria itself. His creator was Tairach, the orcish good of death and blood. Some dragons really don't care at all about their parents.
  • Nosulgor: A creation of Phex and another dragon of cosmic balance. He's however busy looking for his All-seeing Eye, the very first Dark Eye. As he is said to be blind, I guess he was a one-eyed dragon and this first Dark Eye was is actual eye.
  • Teclador: Hey, look, a dragon of balance. Balance between gods, humans, animals and pretty much everything, to be more specific. He has a prophetic vision to help him in his quest.
  • Umbracor: Another balance dragon, this one dedicated to curb-stomp anyone who has become too powerful (he isn't called "The Destroyer" for nothing). Originally "killed" by his son Ardakor who took over his spot, but the events of Drakensang led him to take over his son's body.

High Dragons
  • Branibor: This iron-winged dragon is big into justice, making him a BFF of Praios.
  • Darador: Supposedly the oldest and mightiest of the High Dragons and a nother BFF of Praios (who in fact created him). His wings are said to have a hundred colors, so he's quite fabulous.
  • Famerlor: The lion-headed guardian of Alveran's gate and BFF of Rondra. They apparently also used to be lovers at one point because they are the parents of demigod Kor. Seeing how Rondra is also the mother of a whale, I can only assume that Rondra's sex life is weird.
  • Menacor: A six-winged dragon flying through the Limbus and kicking demon butt. He also runs an order of human knights that help him out, who reside with him in Limbus. That's some weird high-/epic-level D&D stuff. There's also a theory floating around that Golgari (the afterlife raven express) is actually him.
  • Naclador: The dragon of truth, follower of Hesinde.
  • Yalsicor: The goat-headed dragons of friendship and hope (aka the magical girl dragon), hanging out with Travia.

Now you might be wondering why there are only 5 Old Dragons. Well, that's because the 6th is/was Pyrdacor, lord over (almost) all the elements. He was just as much of a colossal jerk as his creator, the Nameless God. I guess at least one of those Old Dragons had to resemble his creator...

Pyrdacor's big day came in the Tenth Age (around 35,000 years ago) when he covered pretty much all of Aventuria in a multi-racial war: His loyal lizard races (including the not-Slann) waged war against other lizard races who didn't bow down to Pyrdacor, and he became good friends with the high elves (surely as a troll attempt by the Nameless), which he promptly led to a war against the dwarves. Famerlor fought against Pyrdacor in two great wars, which culminated in Pyrdacor's body getting shattered, followed by a bit of racial cleansing to get rid of his followers (aka bye high elves). His carbuncle - the Dragon Egg - now resides in a Tulamidian mage academy, probably seething with rage.
Pyrdacor's return is one of those looming threats that may or may not come in the near or far future, but seeing how the metaplot is more interested with demons than the Nameless and his lackeys, the chances of this happening are quite slim. Though there was a recent metaplot campaign that was at least partially revolving around him (or at least his legacy).

Lesser Dragons

These are either distant relatives to real dragons much closer to animals in intelligence, or dragons that aren't just very clever and talkative. A lot of these don't even have magical abilities, forcing them to actually rely on their wings for flight (if they have wings to begin with).

Frost Wyrm

These guys do have magical powers and a rare frost breath. Send out by Pyrdacor to find the first Dark Eye before Nosulgor does, they have a thing for collecting black things ever since.

Horn Dragon

A distant dragon-relative with a giant horn on his head. Pretty much a smaller, less powerful Monoblos focusing on fly-by attacks

Pit Wyrm

Completely non-magical and very beast-like. They hang around in swamps and stink a lot.

Tatzelwurm

Named after a dragon-like lizard from German folklore, though it doesn't really have a lot in common with the source material. A distant relative of real dragons that looks like a six-legged mix between a crocodile and a Komodo Dragon. Their most defining characteristic is their stench, which is so potent that elves can't engage them in melee and anyone else who did engange them in melee will stink for 3 weeks (bathing doesn't help).

Tree Dragon

The bottom-of-the-barrel when it comes to dragonkin. These guys are about as strong as a starting fighter character, with only the typical dragon fire aura (which constantly drains the opponent's health little by little) and wings setting him apart. They have no magic to speak of, are pretty dumb and like to collect shiny stuff.

Official artwork and in-universe heraldry also can't seem to agree on whether or not these dragons look more like proper dragons or wyverns.

Westwind Dragon

The most dragon-like among the lesser dragons, with just the right size to serve as an awesome mount. They hang around in the western ocean they're named after.

The Real Deal

These are the proper dragons. The big bad party killers.

Cave Dragon

These guys like to hang out underground and have eight legs. The large majority of them can't fly and don't have wings. They are very focused on their hoard and will hunt you down if you steal from them, giving them a slight Fafnir angle . Rather crappy spellcasters for a real dragon.

Emperor Dragon (or I guess you could call them "Kaiser Dragon" to keep it more German)

These guys are pretty much D&D Gold Dragons, if D&D Gold Dragons weren't too good-aligned to steal virigns and terrorize villages. They do however seem to have the highest population of benevolent dragons. One of them - Shafir - even managed to become part of the Horasian royal family and is the father of their current emperor. Not sure how that works.

Anyhow, like Gold Dragons, they have the perfect balance between physical and magical strength, making them one tough opponent to fight. Their scales start out gold and become redder over time.

Giant Wyvern (a strange name, seeing how there is no normal wyvern around)

Not nearly as good at spellcasting as the Emperor Dragons, but they don't really have to. Why? Because they have three heads. This means thrice the bites and breath weapons, allowing them to dish out the pain almost as good as three dragons at once. They are also highly aggressive and brutal. One of the few critters in TDE about whose TPK potential the books actually warn about.

Since they are the closest thing TDE has to hydras, these Fire King Ghidorahs have small extra rule about chopping off their heads. They grow back quite fast of course (though they won't multiply), but the dragon will die if all three heads are gone at the same time. The regrown heads also don't inherit the memories or personality of the previous head.

Glacier Wyrm

Actually not a "real" dragon, but an artificial one created by Pardona, a servant of the Nameless and last of the high elves who also created the dark elves. Glacier Wyrms are strange in that they spend their first 13 years as a giant worm before turning into a physical powerhouse of a dragon. They're the other dragon species besides Frost Wyrms to be ice-based.

Pearl Dragon

Cousins of the Westwind Dragons from the eastern ocean. They count as real dragons because they are much smarter than their Western brothers and sisters.

Purple Wyrm

The mages among the dragons. Not as physically imposing than an Emperor Dragon, but they make up for that in the magic department. They even become freecasters once their old and powerful enough. Their scales start out purple and then become darker over time, until they almost look pitch black.
Since they're also one of the animals attributes to the Nameless God, I think these dragons are extra evil or something.

Next Time: The humanoid races TDE doesn't want you to play as. All hail the lobsterfolk.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 21:40 on Oct 5, 2015

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018

fool_of_sound posted:

2e Exalted was godawful to actually play RAW, and several systems just flatly didn't work anything like intended. 3e Exalted (at least the leak) is solid in a lot of ways, but still carries over some frustrating traditions. At least combat isn't a ridiculous slow slog of Perfect Defenses anymore.

It is, however, still a (somewhat less) slow slog, to say nothing of all the other problems the game's got.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
One annoying thing I didn't point out in WHFRP that shows some of the abstraction problems. The Two Handed Weapons proficiency lets you use a Great Weapon (Slow, Impact, which gives enemies +10% to dodge/block it but lets you reroll damage) or a Halberd. The thing is, a Halberd's entire thing is it can swap between being a Great Weapon (With Slow and Impact) or a Spear (with Fast, penalizing enemy defenses by 10%) at will and even between attacks. It's even cheaper to buy. There's mechanically no reason to ever use a Great Weapon instead of a Halberd. That's the kind of problem I meant to point out a bit more.

fool of sound
Oct 10, 2012

Mors Rattus posted:

It is, however, still a (somewhat less) slow slog, to say nothing of all the other problems the game's got.

Compared to what though? It's relatively fast solidly designed for a high-crunch game, tbh.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018

I felt it was still a slog to do chargen and pick charms for - charms I found largely uninteresting - for a combat system I still found really sloggy. But my bad opinion of it is also heavily reinforced and influenced by my opinions of Holden and Morke. (Particularly Morke, who is a total shitheel.)

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!

Mors Rattus posted:

I felt it was still a slog to do chargen and pick charms for - charms I found largely uninteresting - for a combat system I still found really sloggy. But my bad opinion of it is also heavily reinforced and influenced by my opinions of Holden and Morke. (Particularly Morke, who is a total shitheel.)

One of the big problems with 2E Exalted(and as far as I've seen of the leak, also 3E), is that an awful lot of Charms just boil down to "have some more dice" or "have some more dice in a specific circumstance." They don't add any interesting new tricks or abilities, they just let you do stuff more better. And the sad thing is that the stuff that DOES give you new abilities often gives you very niche/weak abilities which still cost the same as the one that'll let you throw an entire extra bucket of dice and drop a mountain on someone.

So it's often a choice of "do I want to get completely left behind and be useless mechanically" or "do I want to be able to keep up with everyone else but just keep doing the same two or three things"?

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!


And the general difficulty created by the fact that it's quite easy to be completely left behind in one or more areas...a combat-focused badass is probably going to get their brain kicked out in social combat and vice versa, and a jack-of-all-trades or dabbler character is going to be too unfocused to be useful. Perfect defenses served as a kind of band-aid (ensuring that, with minimal investment, you could make sure you wouldn't be wiped out by an opponent) but that then completely warped the combat at higher levels as well.

The problem is hardly exclusive to Exalted of course (see Scion and Aberrant), or even Storyteller games specifically. But it's too bad because for some reason Exalted scratches an itch I didn't even know I had...but I haven't found any other system that quite does it as well, despite Exalted's (often gaping) flaws. Some people have found substitutes that work for them in other systems but I've found them all unsatisfying. Oddly, I actually find first edition (with some patches) to be the most playable, mostly because I don't like most of the new systems in 2nd edition.

senrath
Nov 3, 2009

Look Professor, a destruct switch!


Another problem was that in 2e one of the best defenses against social combat was to just punch someone in the face, due to the difference between ticks and long ticks.

Kenlon
Jun 27, 2003

Digitus Impudicus

fool_of_sound posted:

Compared to what though? It's relatively fast solidly designed for a high-crunch game, tbh.

A large amount of the complaints I've seen about Ex3e boil down to "I don't want this much crunch in my game," which a) is a perfectly valid opinion and b) makes me wonder what they expected from a game that has always been unapologetically mechanics heavy.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012
Fallen Rib

Kenlon posted:

A large amount of the complaints I've seen about Ex3e boil down to "I don't want this much crunch in my game," which a) is a perfectly valid opinion and b) makes me wonder what they expected from a game that has always been unapologetically mechanics heavy.

Does the amount of crunch actually make the gameplay substantially better, is the thing. Like, prior editions of Exalted didn't have magical weapons which themselves had like a dozen separate charms you could purchase for them among other things. What I've seen of Exalted 3E suggests that the crunch level went up a not-insignificant degree while the overall quality of the game went from "pretty lovely" to "kinda okay," which isn't a very substantive improvement to me.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.

Kenlon posted:

A large amount of the complaints I've seen about Ex3e boil down to "I don't want this much crunch in my game," which a) is a perfectly valid opinion and b) makes me wonder what they expected from a game that has always been unapologetically mechanics heavy.

3e confirmed my belief that the game was originally meant to be a Final Fantasy 7 simulator by taking the initiative/crash system almost wholesale from FF: Dissidia.

Kenlon
Jun 27, 2003

Digitus Impudicus

Kai Tave posted:

Does the amount of crunch actually make the gameplay substantially better, is the thing.

In short: yes.

The combat system now hangs together better, both mechanically and thematically. The fact that you no longer have to avoid every single attack or die horribly is the most obvious.

Social 'combat' being tied to intimacies is a huge improvement over hypnotoading everyone into submission with unnatural mental influence. And there's a real benefit to having and maintaining those intimacies, despite the fact they can be used against you.

Some things are still just inexplicably bad, though - the fanatical devotion to keeping the BP/XP split, for example, or the unwillingness to include a proper bureaucracy mechanic for running large organizations, but it is now a much more solid game than it ever was.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.



That Katana thing in Phase World is just the Shofixti Scout from Star Control, btw. I bet it even has a suicide bomb option.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012
Fallen Rib

Kenlon posted:

In short: yes.

The combat system now hangs together better, both mechanically and thematically. The fact that you no longer have to avoid every single attack or die horribly is the most obvious.

Social 'combat' being tied to intimacies is a huge improvement over hypnotoading everyone into submission with unnatural mental influence. And there's a real benefit to having and maintaining those intimacies, despite the fact they can be used against you.

None of this is tied to having a huge amount of crunch though. "The game actually works now" isn't really something that should be held up as an improvement or a selling point, it's a basic expectation. To what degree does having eleventy billion charms and fiddly rules make Exalted's gameplay substantially better than, say, D&D's eleventy billion lovely feats and fiddly rules? Even in the Exalted thread among people who like Exalted I see a pretty fair amount of "why is Craft such a crufty, convoluted mess to little benefit?" or "is it me or is there no reason to use weapons of a certain category because X does the job better?"

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Kai Tave posted:

To what degree does having eleventy billion charms and fiddly rules make Exalted's gameplay substantially better than, say, D&D's eleventy billion lovely feats and fiddly rules?
Sounds like you need to Graduate Your Game!

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!
Having run and played Exalted 2e quite a bit, Exalted 3e still has plenty of the same trap issues, and wading around them is a tremendous chore. The extra complexity of the systems makes it hard to understand what you need to purchase, and that's without several avenues that require you to write your own mechanics if you want to go down them. I see what they were going for - people loved the Infernal Titans and they wanted to add more of that, but the thing was that Titans were an extreme late-game option you could plan for and consider months in advance, and things like Evocations require you to plot out a charm tree more or less at chargen... and then provide no guidelines except eyeballing existing charms and trying to make a judgement call. It's bizarre. Like, crossing your eyes until your pupils trade places levels of bizarre.

Kai Tave posted:

Even in the Exalted thread among people who like Exalted I see a pretty fair amount of "why is Craft such a crufty, convoluted mess to little benefit?" or "is it me or is there no reason to use weapons of a certain category because X does the job better?"

Craft's 55+ charm purchases fix the Crafting issues 1e and 2e had by terrifying people into never ever wanting to gently caress around with Craft ever again.

Nessus posted:

That Katana thing in Phase World is just the Shofixti Scout from Star Control, btw. I bet it even has a suicide bomb option.

I think it bears restating that:

The Katana is made by Bushido Industries of the Bushi Federation. Presumably, when you're done buying one, you can go down to Bushi Burger and have a Samurai Slider. After that, you hail a Ronin Ricksaw, which takes you to your Daimyotel, and have a nice rest on your bed which doesn't have a fancy name, but the mattress is padded with unsheathed sword blades.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.



Kai Tave posted:

None of this is tied to having a huge amount of crunch though. "The game actually works now" isn't really something that should be held up as an improvement or a selling point, it's a basic expectation. To what degree does having eleventy billion charms and fiddly rules make Exalted's gameplay substantially better than, say, D&D's eleventy billion lovely feats and fiddly rules? Even in the Exalted thread among people who like Exalted I see a pretty fair amount of "why is Craft such a crufty, convoluted mess to little benefit?" or "is it me or is there no reason to use weapons of a certain category because X does the job better?"
Well we'd tell you, but that would ruin the Christmas morning experience.

NutritiousSnack
Jul 12, 2011

Kai Tave posted:

Does the amount of crunch actually make the gameplay substantially better, is the thing.
Yes. It's now a fun "game" to play. I mean it's leaning much more on the gaming part than FATE or FFG Star Wars does, but that's cool for people who like the gaming part.

fool of sound
Oct 10, 2012
Believe it or not, a lot of people like a lot of crunch. Optimizing a character concept and putting it into action has it's own appeal. It's not an inherently bad thing, despite prevalent goon opinion. Exalted does have some lovely parts, but the core systems actually work now, and it's a reasonably solid game.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!
I love well-designed crunch; see also: Crafty games. Problem is, it's very hard to do well. A good crunchy system has its individual elements stand out as intriguing on their own, but Exalted doesn't have much of that. Like, if you look at the Melee tree, what you get is:
  • charm that adds accuracy
  • charm that adds damage
  • charm that adds accuracy
  • charm that provides motes
  • charm that adds damage
  • charm that lets you do two attacks
  • charm that lets you do two attacks
  • charm that lets you do two attacks more often
  • charm that lets you do multiple attacks
  • charm that lets you do multiple attacks and move
  • charm that lets you do one attack with multiple targets
  • charm that lets you do one attack with multiple targets
  • charm that summons your weapon to your hand
  • charm that summons your weapon to your hand
  • charm that summons a lightsaber in your hand.
  • ...
It takes fifteen charms before I'm like "oh, that one's neat". Otherwise, it's like the Department of Redundancy, in the College of Redundancy, located in scenic Redundant State University.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012
Fallen Rib
I don't know why everyone feels the need to explain to me that crunch can be cool and good. I've played plenty of crunchy games that I've enjoyed and I don't go around telling everyone how their favorite game would go better in RISUS. I love D&D4E and that's not some lightweight system full of handwaving stuff. As someone who would like to like Exalted, my issues with the current edition, addressing the original question of "what the hell did people expect from such a crunch-heavy game?," boil down to my opinion that Ex3 has too much crunch in places I don't want it and not enough crunch in places I do, that a fair bit of that crunch doesn't look particularly super-wow-amazing for the third iteration of a game that's been around for 15 years and two years in Kickstarter hell, and in places it comes across to me like the people working on it were more concerned with making their mark on the game than they were addressing very obvious deficiencies like the aforementioned BP/XP split among other things. This is entirely aside from which Exalted dev/hanger-on said what where.

fool of sound
Oct 10, 2012
Yeah, the generic combat and craft charms are garbage. It's why I've traditionally suggested that everyone do a martial art of choice instead.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!
Yeah, I thought I'd apply the same test to say, Fantasy Craft's melee feats and this is what I get:
  • you can reduce accuracy to improve damage
  • you can throw any axe and gain accuracy when your foes remain still
  • light axes make your foes bleed out, heavy axes improve your defense, and you can break your foe's gear when hitting them
  • you get stronger and can auto-kill mooks weaker than you
  • you get two attacks, sometimes
  • you get more attacks sometimes and crit mooks more often
  • extra attacks give you movement and you crit mooks a whole lot
  • you can adjust lethality with clubs and knock people around with them
  • you get a bonus to intimidate with clubs and do extra subdual damage
  • light clubs let you feint better and heavy clubs swing farther, and also create a shockwave that knocks people off their feet
It's not the same sort of game, but each feat opens up new tactics and I'm only on the third feat before I go "okay, that's interesting". Some are a bit dull, but even at its dullest it rarely falls back on just having "what you did with the last feat, only bigger numbers / counting dice differently". That's what I like to see in crunchy games.

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.
I'm still sad that only Eclipse can start with Sail charms with Essence Requirement higehr than 1. What if I want to play a Night Caste Pirate, huh? Huh!? What then?

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.

Isn't that what Supernal Abilities are for?

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.

theironjef posted:

Isn't that what Supernal Abilities are for?

Yes, but Supernal Abilities can only be chosen from Caste Abilities and not Favored. I think this is stupid and needlessly restrictive. Some Abilities (like Sail) can only be chosen as Caste by one Caste.

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AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I FORGOT TO HAIL KING TORG
Maybe I just had a bad experience (as a player), but I remember the Exalted MA charm trees going "thing I actually want > dumb conditional thing I will never use but need in order to get: > improved version of charm #1 that means I will never use the lower-level version again" and so on.

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