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Cease to Hope
Dec 12, 2011

Zereth posted:

what the HELL does this one do

it's a divination that answers a simple question

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Barudak
May 7, 2007

Zereth posted:

what the HELL does this one do

I dont see how we could possibly make this more clear, it is an Eagle Fish Transition Prophecy.

RiotGearEpsilon
Jun 26, 2005
SHAVE ME FROM MY SHELF

Zereth posted:

what the HELL does this one do

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



Sir that is clearly a duck

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

Exalted 3rd Edition: Retroactive Not Getting Hit

Dodge starts out fairly simple Ė minor dice tricks or trading Initiative for Evasion, being better at Disengage attempts, that kind of thing. Oh, and another thing that counts 1s and 2s before they get to be rerolled. In fact, I think everything thatís counted 1s and 2s on the enemyís roll has been before rerolls now, so Iím not sure why that rule actually exists. Iím also not sure how Drifting Leaf Evasion works. For 1m, if activated before someone rolls an attack on you, you dodge their attack if it has successes equal to your Evasion. WhichÖlike, I donít know why this is a Charm, it is very niche. You have to bet that youíll only just barely be hit? Like, it only works if you get hit but not hit hard enough to have any threshold successes? Why?

Also, someone claimed perfect defenses donít exist. This is wrong; they do. Sort of. Seven Shadows Evasion, for example. It costs 4m1wp, and is usable once per scene. When used, you automatically dodge any one attack, even one that deals uncountable damage. You then canít use it again until either the next scene or you successfully use an earlier Charm to dodge three Decisive Attacks from dangerous foes, whichever comes first. Thatís how perfect defenses work in this edition. For Solars, anyway. Theyíre limited-use, expensive and generally require you to do dangerous stuff to use them multiple times in a scene. A lot of Dodge also likes to give you Initiative for dodging attacks, or steal it from folks that miss you. Dodge is also the only Charm tree to, as far as I can tell, have no Essence 4 Charms Ė it jumps from 3 to 5. The weirdest part of it, though, is the tree that lets you dodge stuff thatís already hit you. Vaporous Division lets you spend motes to reduce attack damage, and the charms that branch off it let you turn your dodging ability into temporary health boxes, then get benefits for tanking attacks with them, or even use your dodging ability to self-heal. I have no idea what these Charms are doing in Dodge, rather than Resistance. But I guess Solar Dodge can do this. There are 26 Dodge Charms over 5.5 pages.

Integrity gets a bunch of poo poo it can do, as it gets to do a lot of Resolve-boosting. You can choose to buy some of its Charms by just having a ton of Charms in other abilities rather than do the sane thing and buy, like, a tiny amount of Integrity, if youíre nuts. It also does things like prevent Wyld-induced hallucinations and mutations (which, as far as I can tell, there are no rules for Ė they just happen if the ST says they do) or other environmentally-caused warping effects. Or then thereís Destiny-Manifesting Method. To take it you need ten Charms from any one other ability, and it prevents any effect that would instantly turn you into something that would render your character concept unviable, altering the transformation so you can still do your core idea. Second, it ensures that no matter how powerful such a curse is, thereís always a way to break it, and you have seasons or even years in which to do so, even if itís a normally fatal curse. You can rebuy this multiple times by having more multiples of ten Charms, and each time it ďamplifies the effects.Ē Iím not sure how it amplifies them because they seem pretty drat absolute to me, but whatever. Thereís an entire sidebar on how this Charm has hugely wide-ranging effects and gently caress it, ST, you come up with the mechanics for how it downgrades poo poo, our examples are a swordswoman turned into a cat instead becomes a catgirl so she can keep using a sword, or a courtesan cursed with ugliness only gets a minor ugly feature she can hide.

Integrity lets you do stuff like pay motes instead of Willpower to resist influence, to meditate in order to gain a bonus on rolls to notice poo poo, to resist influence better, to do social influence so good it makes people respect you at a Major Intimacy level if they want to in order to get bonus dice, andÖI think Soul-Nourishing Technique is meant to be a Charm that lets you help people resist starvation by hollering at them about your Defining Intimacies, but it honestly could just be fluff text?

quote:

The Solarís words are bread and water to those who listen. The Solar gives a sermon, recites a parable, or tells a story that explains one of her Defning Principles and why it means so much to her, how it influences her views and what it reveals about Creation. This sermon must last at least an hour. The Solarís words feed the audience like a nutritious meal and hydrate them like water from a fresh spring. Listening to this sermon grants listeners automatic knowledge of the Principle being discussed without needing to make a read intentions action.

At upper levels it can do poo poo likeÖsteal the Charms of spirits that acknowledge you as the local ruler or priest, or who you beat up? Iím not really sure why. It just can. STs are told to either pick from published spirits or make up Charms on the spot, because thatís a sane and easy thing to do, sure. And you can just collect spirit powers this way and swap between them like Pokemon. BecauseÖof course you can. And unlike the Eclipse anima, itís not limited to Charms with the Eclipse keyword, which are explicitly the ones the game thinks are balanced for Solars to have. Of course. There are 29 Integrity Charms over 8 pages.

Investigation starts out with a permanent Charm that lets you know whenever you have wandered into a place where a crime was done or met someone who could be criminally profiled, though it doesnít tell you why beyond Ďheís suspiciousí or Ďa crime was done hereí or Ďthereís a trapí. You just get CRIME SENSE. You can then get one that lets you know whenever someone rolls Larceny nearby. You just are a crime-detecting zone. Itís only after that that the dice tricks start. Some things are cool, though, like the ability to profile a character that isnít present based on the evidence they left behind. Iím also honestly okay with psychometric adventure game protagonist vision. The dice tricks are boring, but thatís fine. I donít think making a memory palace should be Essence 5, though! Itís a thing real people can do! The benefit is it lets you do hours of evidence compiling and research in seconds, but thatís not a mechanically notable thing? Like, the system does not ever actually require hours of research, just a scene of casing and then thought, at most, and Solars can already do the scene of casing near-instantly with earlier charms. The actual effects of the Charm are, quote, ďlargely dramaticĒ but itís meant to let you pull the solution to a riddle or mystery out of your rear end, and is limited to once a story. There are 17 Investigation Charms over 4 pages. I get the sense that Investigation didnít excite them.

Larceny starts off with a Charm that lets you get project an aura of criminality, innocence or vulnerability as you choose, which has no strict system effects but means folks tend to read you as whatever you want to be read as in a criminal context. It also is where you can go for boosting Guile or finding ways to exploit peopleís lack of knowledge. It also boosts gambling stuff, except gambling has no system? But I guess itís just saying Ďwell now you can make Larceny rolls to be a super gambler.í Or other crimes, it can boost theft and stuff. Or disguises. Or memory stealing.

I actually like Master Plan Meditation, the Charm that lets you just make a Larceny roll to get a pool of points with which to gently caress up evidence retroactively, because itís more interesting and fun to be able to say Ďyeah, I planned for thatí rather than have to work out ahead of time what you would have to plan for, which will eat up way too much session time. So thatís cool. I do think itís odd that they couldnít pick out one name for a later Charm, though, so the name is Skillful Reappropriation (Phantom Sting Search). Pick a name, ya bums! You can also learn a charm to have magic essence gloves that let you steal Initiative or Essence from people in combat, or even their attuned Artifacts. (An ST that uses that last one against PCs is likely to get them in full revolt.) There are 28 Larceny Charms over 7 pages.

Next time: Linguistics, Lore, the Lore Charm That Takes 2.5 Pages By Itself, Medicine, Melee

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

quote:

Listening to this sermon grants listeners automatic knowledge of the Principle being discussed without needing to make a read intentions action.

Someone has just spent an hour telling you about it in excruciating detail. I don't think a Sense Motive check is really called for here, Charm or not.

gourdcaptain
Nov 16, 2012

Mors Rattus posted:

Or then there’s Destiny-Manifesting Method. To take it you need ten Charms from any one other ability, and it prevents any effect that would instantly turn you into something that would render your character concept unviable, altering the transformation so you can still do your core idea. Second, it ensures that no matter how powerful such a curse is, there’s always a way to break it, and you have seasons or even years in which to do so, even if it’s a normally fatal curse. You can rebuy this multiple times by having more multiples of ten Charms, and each time it “amplifies the effects.” I’m not sure how it amplifies them because they seem pretty drat absolute to me, but whatever. There’s an entire sidebar on how this Charm has hugely wide-ranging effects and gently caress it, ST, you come up with the mechanics for how it downgrades poo poo, our examples are a swordswoman turned into a cat instead becomes a catgirl so she can keep using a sword, or a courtesan cursed with ugliness only gets a minor ugly feature she can hide.
It says something about Exalted that "make sure my character remains playable instead of getting hit with a save or suck or fiat effect into unusability" is a goddamn charm you have to purchase.

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
In addition to raw numbers spiraling upward and out of balance, that's the kind of thing that happens when you try to build an epic-scale ruleset on top of a system like Storyteller.

gourdcaptain
Nov 16, 2012

Oh, don't forget that Fate Shifting Solar Arete, the most ridiculous geneticist dice bonus adder for any skill in the game apparently, is somehow a Larceny charm.

GimpInBlack
Sep 27, 2012

That's right, kids, take lots of drugs, leave the universe behind, and pilot Enlightenment Voltron out into the cosmos to meet Alien Jesus.
The more I read of this review, the more I'm reminded I should really update my CortExalted hack to Cortex Prime.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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gourdcaptain posted:

Oh, don't forget that Fate Shifting Solar Arete, the most ridiculous geneticist dice bonus adder for any skill in the game apparently, is somehow a Larceny charm.

Oh wow, I don't know how I skimmed over that one. For the record, what it does: Spend 1WP, pick a number between 2 and 5. On the roll you just boosted, that number counts as a 10. You can use this once per day.

Tibalt
May 14, 2017

What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee

Looking forward to the Torchbearer review, Xiahou Dun! How did you sell your players on it? Or did one of your players bring it to you and ask 'Can you just ruin our day in this ugly damp dungeon'?

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

Now prepare yourselves! You're the guests of honor at the Greatest Kung Fu Cannibal BBQ Ever!

gourdcaptain posted:

It says something about Exalted that "make sure my character remains playable instead of getting hit with a save or suck or fiat effect into unusability" is a goddamn charm you have to purchase.

Incidentally, such an ability is a base function of being a player character in Chuubo's and is the heart of it's damage system. There's several pages of examples of how to twist a curse/injury/whatever into letting you keep playing despite being a frog or mind controlled or dead. A theoretical Exalted 4e could do worse than to just steal that stuff outright, since dumb epic poo poo happens all the time in Exalted and that's a nice compromise between letting it happen and killing everyone or not letting it happen and defense is the 'no fun allowed' power.

Ratoslov fucked around with this message at 14:33 on Mar 29, 2019

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!
Ah, Dodge, the skill that does nothing but boost a combat die pool and unlock Charm prerequisites. Yes, there are some Charms that call for Dodge rolls, but you're never going to roll it "naturally".

You're bad, Dodge.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Dungeons: The Dragoning: 7.5 Edition

Feats! Not Talents! Feats!

The funny thing is, Feats are significantly better here than they are in 3.X. This is because they work exactly like WHFRP Talents. Each one is 100 EXP, so you can easily buy like 5 of them per session if you don't spend on anything else. You're much more limited in what Feats you get by what your Class allows than by EXP costs. Feats do a lot. Also remember the average class has like 5-8 Feats if you include their Optional ones, and that you technically only need to buy all its Feats to finish a Class. Thus, if you're not happy with your Feat access in your current class and want to jump to a new one, it's usually only a session's EXP away, and you still get all the stuff you purchased to get out of your current one. Honestly, the basic backing of the Feat system is fine.

The problem lies more in the Feats themselves. I was going to save this for later, but I can't explain the issues with Feats without explaining it now: You never roll more than 10 dice in one check in DtD. This means if you're rolling over 10 Unkept dice, all those over 10 get converted to Kept dice. So take Kim, since he's our constant example. Say he's using something where he gets +2k0 for his Appearnce, and he had 4 skill and a Specialty (For +1k0) plus 4 stat in that action (like performing on stage). Instead of 11k4, he'd turn into 10k5. Now, an awful lot of Feats add +2k0 where a D&D Feat or 40k Talent would add +2 or +10. Remember, your starting attributes will often include one or two 4s. Some of your starting skills will be at 4. And that's just a starting character. Remember how Kim can eventually get 3 of his skills to 6 due to being an Atlantean? Or how some circumstances can get your stats to 6, too? It's entirely possible to be in a situation where you're rolling 12k6 (convert to 10k8) before Feats even apply. And if you go over 10k10, every additional die (kept or not) becomes a base +5 to your eventual check score. And this is before even thinking about situations like werewolves, buffing magic, or Prometheans turning into mecha.

Basically, the 'no more than 10 dice' rule from 7th Sea (it is taken directly from there) wasn't that much of a problem in 7th Sea, because 7th Sea's advancement was completely glacial and knacks and such tended to be more limited, with fewer ways to get tons of bonus dice. This is not to say 7th Sea 1e was any kind of good mechanical system, but it wasn't going to run into the dice problem nearly as consistently as this game. The same applies to damage rolls, to the point where a genuine melee specialist is never going to bother with the expensive '+0k1' special attacks because effectively '+1k0' cheap ones will be doing the same thing. Also remember a melee character adds their Str to unkept dice when doing melee damage. And again, wolfies exist, as do stat boosting spells. Some of the best melee weapons do 6k2, etc. Add a strong PC to that and some damage boosting Feats and watch that damage soar.

In essence, what were nickel and dime bonuses in D&D end up being system breaking because they've been put into a system that has a capstone on dice that suddenly makes them hyper effective once you reach a certain point of competence. And it's possible to start the game at that point, and with the much faster advancement in this game, it's not exactly hard to get to or exceed it. This is also one of the main reasons skills aren't entirely a waste of time next to raising stats more; one point in a skill is useful, 2 is kind of eh, but once you're up to 4-5 you're probably going to crazy town if your stat doesn't suck. So when Weapon Focus gives you +2k0 with your ancestral Daiklave and you're a melee specialist, there's a good chance that's not the minor unkept dice bonus the system intends depending on how many other bonuses you have and what level you are.

I suppose it's hardly out of character for trying to ape either Exalted 2e or 40kRP for the game's base system to be shoddy, full of bonuses that then break all scaling, and for everything to break down remarkably quickly into a morass of high numbers and pointless rolling.

The Feats themselves are almost all direct conversions of 40kRP Talents and D&D Feats. They're where you get more spells, become proficient with weapons, get more proficient with weapons, move faster, pay feat taxes, etc etc. They would honestly do the job fine if the game wasn't using 7th Sea Roll and Keep. 7th Sea Roll and Keep was really, really not designed to handle this many sources of bonuses, this many ways to break the '5-5' cap on stats and skills, or a fast advancement scheme. It wasn't a good system in the first place, but it was never meant for this. The annoying part is the base way the Feat system works for gaining new powers is just fine. The Class system is even kind of good? As a basic advancement scheme? But when you combine the actual resolution mechanic with the Feats, because of the decision to use Roll and Keep 'as a joke' and to include the mechanical footprint of John Wick's work, everything breaks down.

Which is probably the saddest thing about DtD. Some of the elements of this game really do show attempts to make a playable, real RPG, 'joke' or not. Then they're undermined by the dumb poo poo that got thrown in as a reference or to say 'look we also have mechanics from X other game!'. There was real effort put into this game, but it undermines itself at every turn because of the 'just a joke' attitude. The concept of DtD honestly has promise; if the rules were tightened up and made less of a joke in and of themselves, it could be a fun mechanical parody. The author is not an entirely terrible designer, they just can't resist throwing everything in. And worse, the decision to use Roll and Keep (and to use it exactly like in L5R/7th Sea without modification) just kneecaps the entire system.

Hell, you can say the same thing about the fluff. If the fluff of this game had a good sense of the actual authorial voices of the gaming companies it's parodying, rather than just being endless references? You could do a pretty funny mashup setting where it's clear the various companies are at goddamn war with one another in the fluff, fighting over the typewriter in the background so to speak. One section having the Noble Fascist Imperium and the Glorious Space Marines Aasimir purging and cleansing all over the place, then another section going into the 80 different polearms used by the Elves of Evernight to defeat them using poorly researched medieval tactics and purple prose, then another brooding section about how everything is poo poo and the Imperium is full of sheeple before the Planescape author brains White Wolf and writes about philosophical knife fights for a bit, before White Wolf teams up with John Wick off the cynicism top ropes to make a comeback. And by God, is that the Ratcatcher's music!? It could be done! It is not done.

It just bugs me that this project had so much effort put into it, but still ends up 'just a joke'. It could have at least been a funny one.

Next Time: Assets

gourdcaptain
Nov 16, 2012

Mors Rattus posted:

Oh wow, I don't know how I skimmed over that one. For the record, what it does: Spend 1WP, pick a number between 2 and 5. On the roll you just boosted, that number counts as a 10. You can use this once per day.

From what I understand, FSSA hilariously good on Craft and Sorcerous Working extended rolls, since you're only making one roll in a day tops. And it was even more ridiculous in an earlier version, which unfortunately I don't have access to right now to check.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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gourdcaptain posted:

From what I understand, FSSA hilariously good on Craft and Sorcerous Working extended rolls, since you're only making one roll in a day tops. And it was even more ridiculous in an earlier version, which unfortunately I don't have access to right now to check.

It actually can't be used on extended rolls at all, so I guess they did notice that.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.

Mors Rattus posted:

Oh wow, I don't know how I skimmed over that one. For the record, what it does: Spend 1WP, pick a number between 2 and 5. On the roll you just boosted, that number counts as a 10. You can use this once per day.


Mors Rattus posted:

Exalted 3rd Edition: Retroactive Not Getting Hit

There are 26 Dodge Charms over 5.5 pages.


There are 29 Integrity Charms over 8 pages.

There are 17 Investigation Charms over 4 pages.


There are 28 Larceny Charms over 7 pages.

I wonder how you could ever have missed an individual charm. It's a mystery.

gourdcaptain
Nov 16, 2012

Mors Rattus posted:

It actually can't be used on extended rolls at all, so I guess they did notice that.

Ah, sorry, it blurred together in my head and I don't have my PDF to check on me, which TBH I mostly still keep around because I'm a ridiculous packrat digitally, and to compare with the earlier backer release with the hilariously bad poser art, which after all the delays stated to be over art was an amazing surprise. I am never deleting that version. :P

Artists are free spirits, you can't tell them to actually stay on the topic you requested of them, you know? (Might have to do with industry pay, which is fair, but Exalted has had a ridiculous history of WTF art as a result of artists just doing bizarre offtopic poo poo.)

Edit: Like "we added Djala because we couldn't get an artist to stop drawing them."

gourdcaptain fucked around with this message at 15:10 on Mar 29, 2019

Kaza42
Oct 3, 2013

Blood and Souls and all that

gourdcaptain posted:

Edit: Like "we added Djala because we couldn't get an artist to stop drawing them."

I actually really like Djala, especially because of the story behind them. They aren't creepy or anything, just some harmless panda people the artist kept drawing and so they got added in.

gourdcaptain
Nov 16, 2012

Kaza42 posted:

I actually really like Djala, especially because of the story behind them. They aren't creepy or anything, just some harmless panda people the artist kept drawing and so they got added in.

True. It's just the main example I could think of off the top of my head where it went Canon which is hilarious.

...there's also that one 1e Sorcery book with the borderline porn art on the cover, that happened.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

gourdcaptain posted:

True. It's just the main example I could think of off the top of my head where it went Canon which is hilarious.

...there's also that one 1e Sorcery book with the borderline porn art on the cover, that happened.

They hired a really famous Korean artist for that one and then he didn't actually turn anything in until just before the deadline, so they didn't have time to replace it.

Xelkelvos
Dec 19, 2012

Night10194 posted:

It just bugs me that this project had so much effort put into it, but still ends up 'just a joke'. It could have at least been a funny one.

I think it's a funny joke :colbert:

Also, iirc, DtD's Werewolves also take a page out of Lunars since their patron, so to speak, is Luna who's more similar to her Exalted counterpart than her WoD version so it comes out as W:tA + Lunars

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Dungeons: The Dragoning: 7.5 Edition

A Real Asset

Assets take up a ton of page space for something you can only pick up at character creation. You probably want to spend a lot of your starting 600 on these, to be honest; if I'd been smarter with Kim he'd have spent 200 on these instead of on a Sword School because he can't even use his Sword School until he buys some actual combos with it (it only permits him to do so). The most important things you can do (and Kim did not do this, because I messed up) is to look at your list of Exaltation Assets and pick one. If you're not a Paragon, you can only take one, and these are all really good. For instance, Kim is trying to be a bit of a gish with his flashing rapier and exploding magic. He should really have taken Dawn Caste Atlantean for +2k0 to all Weaponry checks in any scene where he's spent a single Resource point. That's the kind of stuff that lives there, and he can never actually take that in gameplay; a smart Kim would have dropped his Tau Farsighted and bought Dawn Caste.

Similar, you can take things like Academy (+2 Weapon Profs of any sort) if you were planning to spend EXP on something like an Artifact Weapon from a rare category. Lots of the Assets are very useful, and very worth spending your starting EXP on them while you can. Many are also nebulous as hell, or not especially useful, but you can pick out the useful ones pretty easily. You can be Large for higher Size. You can only ever get the full suite of 2 weapon fighting stuff by taking Ambidextrous NOW. Veteran o' the Wheel is extremely powerful and has only a pretty nebulous drawback: You get +1 dot to one skill and one stat, with no mention of them being capped; you could start with 5s this way if they were racial skills and stats. In return you have, like, an enemy or something. I dunno, up to your GM. I can live with 'nebulous drawback' for 'got 1250 EXP worth of poo poo for 100'. Starting out with 5 Con and 5 Weaponry as a Tiefling would not be a bad move. Or 5 of whatever the hell you want as a Human.

Hindrances are mostly just that. A few have actual attached mechanics and you'll want to avoid those. For instance, Ailing makes you make a TN 15 Con check every session or suffer -2k0 to every action that session. That's not a good trade for 100 EXP. Big Britches, by contrast, makes you supremely confident. In a game about high-powered Exalted superheroes. That's not really an issue! As per every Merits and Flaws system ever conceived, the winners are the flaws that you were going to play anyway. One weird one is 'Young'. Your PC is a kid, and magically won't age until you spend 200 EXP on it; you'll be forever a teenager of your species. There are no actual mechanical drawbacks attached to this. This is reaaaalll weird, DtD, and given your origins with the AdEva community I got an alarm going off in my head right now. DtD is generally free of the creepiness of AdEva. Honestly, most of its GMing advice is normal, and fine. But there are definitely a few moments. Not to mention the usual dumb anime jokes in some of the chapter fiction (all of which is just direct scenes from other shows/series with the DtD characters tossed in, like Abbadon the Despoiler filling in for Azrael in Dogma or the Standard PC Party having the Star Wars Cantina scene) about big breasts being mind control and flat chested girls being jealous and blah blah.

There was probably no avoiding dumb anime jokes in this game.

Anyway, back to the actual mechanics, you REALLY want to take one of your Exaltation Assets. Here's some examples of what they can do for you:

Almost all the Atlantean ones are good, but Dawn Caste and Twilight Caste stand out. Dawn is +2k0 on Weaponry and Intimidate after using Resource for any reason in a scene. Twilight lets you spend Resource to add your Power Stat in kept dice to an active defense. Both are winners.

Silent Strider gives a wuffy +1k1 with Transmutation magic, permanently, plus always give them access to it and give them the first level for free. Transmutation has a ton of stuff that is generally useful, then even more stuff that's specifically useful for werewolves like being able to shed your clothes in an instant and transform as a free action. That's right, a 1st level spell absolutely obsoletes the Werewolf's 3rd level Exalted ability. Not only that, the physical buff spells are great and you can use them on allies, too. Get of Fenris gives you the power of being a wolf nazi being buff and good at sport, letting you spend 1 Resource to get +1 to Str, Acrobatics, and Athletics for a scene. If you really don't feel like investing in Transmutation on the side, this is your best option as a wolf. Black Spiral Dancer gives +1k1 with your lovely natural weapons (Why, that makes your natural weapons as good as a basic hand weapon!) at cost of needing to make a TN 20 WP roll or go after friends as well as foes. Avoid.

Basically all the materials the Promethean can be made of are good, except maybe Darksteel; doubling your innate armor sounds useful (and honestly, will actually get your armor to usable levels eventually) but it limits you to Max Dex 3 which might bite you in the butt. Mithril lets you take a Full Action as a Half Action by spending Resource, and anything that breaks action economy is super powerful. Necrodermis lets you gain Fear by spending. Wraithbone lets you heal 1 HP per round for 1 Resource and is eh. Orichalcum just makes your great Transhuman Potential (the spend 1 Resource for +1 to a stat for the round) power give each stat you spend on an extra point. Mithril's probably the clear winner.

Mark of Vectron: You want Vectron as a Chosen anyway, because He has the most golden of wings, but also the easiest to fulfill alignment requirements (Praise Vectron! Often!). Since Chosen rely on Resource, getting 1 extra one back per scene that they find time to declare BY VECTRON'S KINDLY CLAW! is a good deal and He's the easiest God to keep happy anyway.

The Daemonhost ones are pretty meh and situational; they're mostly easier ways to get Essence back and some minor free raises related to some sin or another.

Paragons can, notably, buy Legendary Trait from 7th Sea and can do it after character creation. No need to invest in it until you're near where you could be getting a stat to 6, then. It lets you bring stats to 6. Any stats. You have to pay 100 EXP per stat to unlock the potential. Otherwise, their Assets all revolve around dealing with their relatively poor pool of Resource or giving them more of that special Pressure move.

Vampire Clans are mostly good, but Ventrue and Tremere stand out. Tremere does for Necromancy what Silent Strider did for Transmutation. Ventrue is a permanent +10 to Wealth tests (We'll get into those, but that's a pretty significant amount) and you'll always have friends in high places. It pays to be Nigel Trustfundsman, Undead Lord of the Board Room.

So, as you can see: The biggest single build mistake with Kim was not taking Dawn Caste or Twilight Caste while he could. Kim has made Errors.

Next Time: Oh god, Magic is going to take forever.

EthanSteele
Nov 18, 2007

I can hear you
Dodge is used for Disengage and you can just do a Dodge+Dex roll to avoid boulders or whatever in normal play, same as any skill can be called for a test of whatever difficulty.

Having a charm to make sure the GM doesn't gently caress you up is straight up the worst, especially considering there's a highlighted bit somewhere that says that destroying someone's concept permanently can't happen anyway. I think the example given is that yeah you can accept a crippling injury to lose your arm, but you didn't sign up to play a one-armed swordsman so you can just go on a quick little quest and be all healed up. Adding a charm that does it as well instantly gets people thinking that loving up a character is thing that can and maybe even should happen unless they get the charm. Then what if one guy has the charm and another doesn't and you want to make that charm purchase useful so you give them the whammy magic and welp guess one dude is hosed now? Just absolute awful dogshit all round. Shouldn't exist except as a custom charm and if your GM makes that a custom charm then it's actual effect is to get you the gently caress out of the game because that is red flag central.

Mors Rattus posted:

They hired a really famous Korean artist for that one and then he didn't actually turn anything in until just before the deadline, so they didn't have time to replace it.

That guy is wild. When someone pours a bucket of water on him and gets him to not draw Maximum Thigh and Titty Women he has a bunch of really good stuff and his fantasy warrior and weapon stuff is extremely on brand for Exalted. Shame people don't get him a cold shower more often.


megane posted:

I've always hated dice tricks, even normal-rear end exploding dice, because they do exactly two things: they make it harder to understand the outcomes involved, and they make it harder to understand the probabilities of those outcomes.

As someone that can't do numbers for poo poo because of a brain problem I just have to trust that the thing improves the odds and doublecheck with the GM/anydice if something feels weird. Exalted success chance in my mind is ~40%ish because 4 out of 10 results are successes, but 10s are double so you have a 10% chance of two successes on a die so it skews towards either a million successes or just a few and the more dice you roll the closer it gets to 50%? I think? I absolutely couldn't play Exalted without a thing to roll the dice for me and auto-order them from highest to lowest.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

Mors Rattus posted:

They hired a really famous Korean artist for that one and then he didn't actually turn anything in until just before the deadline, so they didn't have time to replace it.

The Art of Exalted posted:

Okay, we knew after we got this cover in that yes, it is a little sexist and it totally stoked the ExXxalted stories, but man, it's Hyung Tae-Kim. It's an amazing cover. He's never been really known to "rein it in" as an artist and I didn't want to limit him. The only major changes I had him fix were to cover her up a little bit and to get rid of her elf ears. Also, this is the first cover where I've actually received physical hate mail about. But hey, publicity's a good thing, right? ;)

- [Brian Glass]

EthanSteele
Nov 18, 2007

I can hear you

Mors Rattus posted:

Iím also not sure how Drifting Leaf Evasion works. For 1m, if activated before someone rolls an attack on you, you dodge their attack if it has successes equal to your Evasion. WhichÖlike, I donít know why this is a Charm, it is very niche. You have to bet that youíll only just barely be hit? Like, it only works if you get hit but not hit hard enough to have any threshold successes? Why?

You explicitly use it after the attack roll is made so you never waste it. If you had to use it before then it would absolutely be weird and bad, but it's not. It's used when you thought you were going to dodge but then they rolled some 10s and got way more successes than they "should" have. it's generally held by the playerbase at large as one of the most powerful and useful defensive charms in the game that comes up a lot more often than you'd think.



Ah, the innocent days of 10 years ago where people legit thought there was no bad publicity

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
I never knew who HTK was before, but he's a discount Terada who draws every woman with the same figure and does Liefeldian things to their spine and pelvis. Are their standards that low?

gourdcaptain
Nov 16, 2012

Halloween Jack posted:

I never knew who HTK was before, but he's a discount Terada who draws every woman with the same figure and does Liefeldian things to their spine and pelvis. Are their standards that low?

...it's White Wolf.

So, no, apparently they weren't surprised by it and forced to put it out by deadlines. They liked it, I guess.

Xiahou Dun
Jul 16, 2009

We shall dive down through black abysses... and in that lair of the Deep Ones we shall dwell amidst wonder and glory forever.



Tibalt posted:

Looking forward to the Torchbearer review, Xiahou Dun! How did you sell your players on it? Or did one of your players bring it to you and ask 'Can you just ruin our day in this ugly damp dungeon'?

Thanks, gonna write up the first chapter in a bit!

It's actually not that tough of a sell. I bought the game at PAX East like 4 years ago or something, and managed to get my friends at home to play it without too much grumbling ; my pitch was basically in the post : it's a gritty game about worrying if you packed enough iron rations, possibly getting typhus and O poo poo now there's a giant spider o gently caress! gently caress!

Xiahou Dun
Jul 16, 2009

We shall dive down through black abysses... and in that lair of the Deep Ones we shall dwell amidst wonder and glory forever.



I hope someone writes something before I finish posting this cause I don't want to double-post.

Torchbearer!

The Light Of Civilization Flickers

This is the first chapter and itís your general introduction to RPGs and whatever, but itís done in a pretty good way so I want to mention that and give it props.

Also itís dedicated to the authorís mother who has passed away and, hey, if youíre gonna dedicate a book, even one about pretending to be elves with scurvy, thatís a pretty good thing to dedicate to where I come from.

Thereís a brief intro to the generic assumed setting being defended towns surrounded by ruins of past great civilizations and goblins and Things That Go Bump in the night. Itís effective and doesnít overstay its welcome. Then it has a brief but good description of ďWhat is a Role Playing GameĒ that (I think) both explains to a complete newcomer what an RPG is, while also getting across to a more experienced player what tone itís going for and addressing the themes that will come up in play (short version : Iím really not joking about all the dying of disease in a cave alone and cold). You need friends, someone to be the GM, a bunch of six-sided dice, pencils, etc. The usual.

Then it gives a run down of the subsections of the book that Iím gonna steal as a way of sign-posting whatís to come :

The Adventurerís Essential Guide to Life on the Road is character generation and basic rules and stuff. Itís the bare minimum necessary to play the game, basically. This is like how skills and gear and stuff work.

The Dungeoneerís Survival Guide is the meat and potatoes of the rules and shows how the actual engine of the game functions. Things like how combat works or Conditions. (Iíll be covering Conditions in detail when we get to them, but in brief : theyíre things like Hungry and Thirsty or Injured ; Torchbearer doesnít have HP or anything like it, so this is the equivalent.)

Safe Havens and Other Poor Assumptions is downtime mechanics. Of which there are a lot. Basically the players and the GM each have ďturnsĒ so to speak, with the GM having a ďturnĒ i.e. an adventure, and then the players having a ďturnĒ to rest in camp and recover or buy poo poo in town. These are discrete phases with different actions and rules available. Did I mention that this game loves being abstract but also super crunchy?

Skein of Destiny is leveling up your mans.

Calamity, Calumny and Catastrophe : Rules for the Game Master is the GMing section and I canít wait to get to it. Itís probably my favorite part. Itís like John Wickís Playing Dirty but written by someone who isnít a walking back of cocks, so itís actually, you know, good instead of a trash fire. It also emphasizes that youíre supposed to make the charactersí lives hell so itís even better when they succeed, not because youíre just a power-mad dick. Stop just killing your players for fun, Todd. Nobody likes it. loving Todd.

Then thereís a good description of best practices at the table that Iím not gonna delve into, but itís pretty good for what it is. Pass the spotlight, donít be a dick, be polite, etc. Itís good but itís kind of generic advice that everyone should follow. The one thing Iíd have preferred is it doesnít explicitly have a section mentioning things like X cards, but the game doesnít by default have anything that goes towards that tone, and so few games actually have that in the rules that I feel like Iím quibbling a bit. But itíd have been cool if that was included cause thatís a thing more games should have.

Structure of Play

These are the phases of the game I mentioned earlier :

Prologue : If this isnít the first session, someone summarizes what was happening last time and gets a bennie. Then people do some light book-keeping, because crunch crunch munch bunch.

Adventure : The GM gives the players challenges and they do them. Itís like every other game in the history of ever.

Camp : Players take a nap, eat some food, try to recover from Nasty poo poo from the Adventure Phase by spending various abstract (drink!) resources and hope they can shake off the bad case of Kobold Rubella they got.

Town : This doesnít happen as often, cause, shockingly, it only happens when the players go into a town. This is buying more lamp oil or twine or whatever. Yes it has its own little subsystems, because look deep in your heart you knew it was going to have those.

Finally it gives the briefest of brief overviews of the system that I basically already gave but Iíll do it again : you will have some kind of Score in Thing at A Number. You Roll Number many d6 (which the game just calls a D because there arenít any other kind of dice used ever*) and any results of a 4+ are successes, other numbers not. You need to get as many successes as your Obstacle, i.e. how hard the thing youíre doing is, with 2 being the standard. If you get a bigger number than the Obstacle (abbreviated as Ob.) you did it, hurray. If you didnít the GM can either give you a twist (something breaks, you failed, bad things happen, you suck) or a Condition, e.g. you broke down the door but it took a lot out of you so now youíre Hungry and Thirsty. So it basically has fail-forward baked into the rules resolution. (Yes I know I still havenít explained Conditions yet, this book is dense. Weíre on page 8 right now, work with me. Just know that theyíre Bad Things and Iím gonna keep Capitalizing Them.) Then it defines some terms/notation itíll be using.

+D/-D : Add or subtract dice from the dice pool. What a strange and rare idea in a dice-pool game.

+s/-s : Add or take away successes, after the roll has already beaten the Obstacle. Fiddly but they actually explain the math and use it as an appropriate lever so it works, trust me.

Reroll 6 : sometimes you re-roll 6s. When it specifically says to. Just use your reading eyes and itíll be okay.

Margin of Success/Margin of Failure : how much you beat or missed the Obstacle by, e.g. if you rolled 4 successes to beat Ob. 2, your Margin of Success is 2.

And thatís the first chapter!

Iím gonna try to find a good scan of the art cause itís beautifully old school yet amazingly modern. I really love the art, but my only scanner is my phone andÖ Iím very, very lazy.




*I think I might technically be lying and they might use like a d3 or something on one table somewhere, but shut up, Todd. What the hell is wrong with you, Todd. This is why Karen doesnít talk to you any more. We all miss Karen, Todd.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Can the elves actually get scurvy? This is important facts.

Thuryl
Mar 14, 2007

My postillion has been struck by lightning.

gourdcaptain posted:

It says something about Exalted that "make sure my character remains playable instead of getting hit with a save or suck or fiat effect into unusability" is a goddamn charm you have to purchase.

Yeah, I can't imagine using that as anything other than a flag to say "hey, ST, please give me a cool curse with some kind of beneficial side effect", because the situation it's ostensibly meant to prevent is one that shouldn't normally be coming up in the first place.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.

Thuryl posted:

Yeah, I can't imagine using that as anything other than a flag to say "hey, ST, please give me a cool curse with some kind of beneficial side effect", because the situation it's ostensibly meant to prevent is one that shouldn't normally be coming up in the first place.

In every age, in every place, the deeds of lovely GMs remain the same.

Xiahou Dun
Jul 16, 2009

We shall dive down through black abysses... and in that lair of the Deep Ones we shall dwell amidst wonder and glory forever.



What does your soul tell you? Think deeply.

Of loving course they can. But it's super abstract so that's true of any disease. You want Dwarf Measles? Yup. Hag Pertussis? O yeah, tons. Halfling Pellagra? We got a whole pallet of the poo poo out back. It's all just the Sick Condition, which loving sucks to get but is a good mechanic. Fluff to taste.

Also total spoiler for another chapter or two, but they bring back Race As Class but in the most hilariously passive aggressive manner possible. And I know I already mentioned it, but it always reads like the author is just extra lovely to Elves. Like, in general it's a pretty grim thing to be a PC in Torchbearer, but there's all these tiny subtle bits where the rules go, "No go gently caress yourself and your stupid pointy ears. Rivendell? More like Riven-smell amiright."

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
A lot of fantasy really, really hates elves because, you know. Elves.

But it's been so long since the default fantasy Elf was the super perfect unironically better than everyone types that it starts to feel really weird and misplaced. Like someone hating something that hasn't been the norm in 10 years.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



Night10194 posted:

A lot of fantasy really, really hates elves because, you know. Elves.

But it's been so long since the default fantasy Elf was the super perfect unironically better than everyone types that it starts to feel really weird and misplaced. Like someone hating something that hasn't been the norm in 10 years.
I mean, "hating something that hasn't been a meaningful thing for a decade" isn't exactly limited to RPGs making GBS threads on tropes. And arguably, making GBS threads on our Elf brothers is in there from D&D, since I think Gygax didn't want them in but there was such popular demand that he did it. (Unsure of his opinion on dwarfs)

Desiden
Mar 13, 2016

Mindless self indulgence is SRS BIZNS

Halloween Jack posted:

I never knew who HTK was before, but he's a discount Terada who draws every woman with the same figure and does Liefeldian things to their spine and pelvis. Are their standards that low?

He did a bunch of Final Fantasy concept art; I'm guessing that was the standard.

Though I am actually kind of baffled now, having looked through his stuff some more. Lots of absurd poses aside, even his less skin heavy stuff is just...kind of average, I guess? Like, I came across maybe a handful of designs that actually had some clever or unique designs or compositions. Everything just seems like someone who's competent at painting in photoshop, and likes to put a ton of shiny highlight on a lot of his work. Maybe a decade ago that really stood out, but I'm not seeing it today.

So in conclusion, if you're going to brag about having a smutty Korean artist design your cover, at least make sure its Kim Jung Gi.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Guess who just found his copy of For A Few Subtitles More? It's this guy. In an effort to avoid writing up the magic system a little longer, I'm going to dive back into it and write up the new Races/Exaltations first so I can stave off yelling about how bad an idea mixing 40k's miscast tables with this game was.

Also this might mean when we get to guns they won't suck!

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Ithle01
May 28, 2013

gourdcaptain posted:

It says something about Exalted that "make sure my character remains playable instead of getting hit with a save or suck or fiat effect into unusability" is a goddamn charm you have to purchase.

I think the root of goes back to two things. The first thing, and most likely reason, is that Exalted insists that NPCs and PCs use the same powers. So, while save-or-suck is fine for a future PC power in Lunars or Sidereals, it's bad for an NPC power and thus this dumb charm had to be written lest we kill that sacred cow. Or we could just kill that sacred cow and fix a whole lot of poo poo that's wrong, but whatever we all knew that wasn't going to be happening in Ex3. The second thing, was the shaping-effects as attacks from second edition. Not necessarily a bad idea, but it's an attack phrased as a curse so it's intended to be able to kill you or perform something functionally similar, the same as if you ate a massive decisive attack.

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