Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Mors Rattus posted:

Wits: Cache!
Okay, so a thing I ran into seeing this charm, and looking at Ex3 in general is...are hearthstones actually worth this? I couldn't find many written up that would be worth throwing on unarmed/natural attacks, and the greaters range from "this is so good it's banned by the charm" to "you make crops grow faster"

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

PurpleXVI posted:

If you don't mind the critique, I feel like the writing could do with a bit more commentary and a bit less summation. When I've skimmed the posts they mostly just feel like a paraphrasing of what's in the book, rather than any amount of analysis of it, or focus on any particularly excellent/dumb bits. I know that's some people's style of writing, personally it just doesn't do much for me.

A lot of people who do reviews here basically just rewrite the whole game. It's not particularly interesting to do that, and it really skirts the edge of legality regarding copyright.

Speleothing fucked around with this message at 16:15 on Jun 5, 2019

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





Speleothing posted:

Yeah, just going through pages and pages of magic spells is a waste of time for any game line. Skip the charms and focus on the more interesting stuff.

I think you mean to be addressing Mors, not SunAndSpring, who is summarizing a setting-only book rather than charms.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Yes, I realized that.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Chernobyl Peace Prize posted:

Okay, so a thing I ran into seeing this charm, and looking at Ex3 in general is...are hearthstones actually worth this? I couldn't find many written up that would be worth throwing on unarmed/natural attacks, and the greaters range from "this is so good it's banned by the charm" to "you make crops grow faster"

Mostly, I think the use is to let someone go with hearthstones and an animal form specialty - Legendary Size forms especially are very mote-hungry and having to split your pool between that, your other Charms and artifact attunements can be really nasty. Gem of the Wind-Blade is pretty handy, lets you use your nastier unarmed/natural weapon tricks at Short range. (How does this work? I dunno.) Ram's Horn is good if you want to go with a smashing-based thing, which some animal forms want to do. The Ardor-Igniting Gemstone is actually very good for a social character, too, this way. The Stone of Hatred is a decent pick for a greater, I think, as is the Seven Leaping Dragons Stone, since it's martial arts-focused and having it socketed in your body means not needing armor or weapon restriction woes.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Fangs at the Gate: Ten Thousand Feet Kick Many Asses

Centipede Style is a style based on speed. It uses fast flurries of blows to wear foes down and quick footwork to evade and outmaneuver their attacks. Once the many strikes send an enemy reeling, they have created the perfect moment to grapple the enemy, lock up their movements, strike at a weak spot or use the deadly venom that Exalted masters of the style are able to call on. Centipede Style schools are most prominent in the East, often rivals with Snake stylists or syncretizing the two styles together. It is also found through the South and West. Centipede unarmed strikes are a mix of punches and kicks in quick succession, and the style also wields fighting chains, hook swords, iron boots, seven-section staffs and tiger claws. It is compatible with light armor and relies on Athlerics and Dodge to enable its signature speed and mobility.

Blurring Scurry Prana gives a bonus to a movement action and, if successful, also boosts Evasion. Further, if used for a rush and you use the reflexive movement to reach Close range, you get a boost to your attack next turn against that foe. Motion of Myriad Legs lets you make a bunch of Decisive attacks against one enemy that ignore Hardness but do less damage individually. If at least one does damage, the foeís onslaught does not refresh next turn. Terrestrial keyword reduces the number of attacks and the damage. Chitinous Centipede Shell increases soak and Hardness based on Athletics or Dodge, and for Solars extends its duration to a full tick rather than a single attack. Centipede Form causes your limbs to leave afterimages due to your massive speed, boosts your Evasion, boosts Decisive damage and grapple contrl rolls if the foe has an onslaught penalty when you attack and lets you ignore the normal penalties of flurrying an attack and move action. It can be autoactivated when you land a grapple or Decisive attack against a foe with an onslaught of at least -2.

Hundred-Leg Embrace can be used when you land a grapple or are hit by an enemy grapple, causing your limbs to twist and coil for easy movement. You get a bonus based on the 10s in your roll and you foe gets a penalty based on 1s. If you successfully resist a grapple, you can use the Ninety-Nine More technique (unless limited by Terrestrial, which does not allow this). This lets you take 1B to dislocate your grappled limb in order to gain leverage, reflexively making your own grapple attempt on them with a bonus based on your successful resistance of theirs. Tenacious Centipede Technique lets you ignore some wound, crippling and fatigue penalties on attacks, grapple control and movement actions, and also your Evasion if not limited by Terrestrial. If you have no such penalties, you instead get a bonus to Withering damage and grapple control rolls. Venom-Dripping Mandible lets you make a Decisive attack wreathed in poisonous Essence, poisoning the foe with a bonus based on their onslaught penalty. If used during a grapple to boost a savaging attack, you can give up rounds of control to boost the poison duration.

Agony-of-One-Hundred-Hells Technique lets you, once per scene, make a Decisive attack that causes extreme pain, turning the foeís onslaught penalty into additional wound penalty until their onslaught refreshes and causing poisons in their system to deal instant damage. If used to boost a savaging attack, you can give up rounds of control for more poison damage. Numberless Blows Technique lets you unleash your anima when using Motion of Myriad Legs, paying additional cost to gain anima limbs that increase how many attacks you can make and their damage. If at least two attacks before the final deal damage, the final attack is unblockable. If at least three do, itís also undodgeable. If at least four do, it is an ambush. If used in a savaging attack, you can give up rounds of control to deal additional damage. Terrestrial keyword can only use this against Crashed foes and canít cause ambushes, while Mastery keyword lets you only have to pay for non-Excellency Charms once to boost all the attacks involved.

Falcon Style is an acrobatic, aerial fighting style that uses leaps to deliver powerful blows and likes to jump off high places. On top of its midair attacks, it also makes a lot of grappling attacks to lock foes in submission holds or throw them around and prepare them for follow-up. The techniques are showy and flashy, and many Falcon stylists fight before crowds of admiring onlookers, whether they are heroes or monsters. This is lucha libra. Itís the lucha libre style. It is most common in the South, but iconic masters of the style have spread it elsewhere as well. Its unarmed strikes use all four limbs plus headbutts, and it is compatible with the cestus, iron boot and tiger claws, plus medium or heavy improvised weapons that deal Bashing damage. Unarmed attacks boosted by Falcon Style charms can be stunted to deal Lethal. It is compatible with light armor and also relies a lot on Dodge and Athletics for mobility.

Falcon Takes Flight gives a bonus to disengage, rush or rise from prone as long as you describe it with jumping or flight, and also can be activated after attacking to use a reflexive move away from the foe without need for a disengage check as long as you directly up. Mastery improves the bonuses if youíre heading upwards or have done so that turn already. Swift Talon Strike can be used when you go to Close range and attack a foe in the same turn, giving a bonus to the attack and the damage or grapple control roll. If you moved downwards to reach Close range, the bonus is better, especially with Mastery. Raptorís Fatal Descent lets you make a Decisive attack on a prone foe or one a range band below you (which is your movement for the round as you jump down). You get a damage bonus and the foe loses Initiative based on your 10s. You end the attack prone but suffer no penalties for this; you just canít use this again until you stand up. Mastery means it doesnít count as your movement to jump down. Falcon Form involves a wide, wing-like stance and gives a bonus to grapple control rolls and the number of rounds of control you can spend on throws and slams. It also lets you make jumps up one range band without a roll as your reflexive move and reduces falling damage, as well as boosts Defense against foes under you unless they have the Reaching tag. You can autoactivate it when you roll really well on a movement or grapple control roll.

Grasping Raptor Clutch can be used when grappling to simultaneously make a restrain or drag action and a Decisive savaging attack, throw or slam, with the cost of the Charm refunded if the foe is taken out by this. However, Terrestrial keyword forces the normal flurry penalties on this. Talons Greet Prey gives a bonus to Defense against a Close-range attack once per scene, and if it misses you can counterattack with a grapple, which gets a bonus based on the foeís 1s. Hare-Killing Death Dive lets you do a hurricanrana as a special grapple gambit with a bonus. If you succeed, the foe goes prone and you steal Initiative from them on top of the normal grapple effects.

Neck-Piercing Hook lets you hook your grapple foeís neck and throw them in mid-air with a leg, throwing them to Short range. When they hit, they have to make an Athletics check or they take additional damage. At Essence 3, you can throw out to Medium range but the extra damage is reduced. Terrestrial caps the extra damage. Raking Talon Kick lets you make a spinning double kick the turn after you throw or slam a grapple foe (or after you do so reflexively). You make a Decisive attack which gets a bonus from the rounds of control spent on the throw/slam, and if you stunt this by describing how you use the surroundings to make them vulnerable or for leverage, it is a surprise attack. You can reflexively use Raptorís Fatal Descent, ignoring its usual restrictions. The damage bonus is capped for Terrestrial. Doom Plummets Down can be used as a finisher when you have 5+ rounds of control in a grapple. You throw the foe into a hard surface and make a reflexive Decisive attack. Any stunt bonus is also applied to the damage roll, and if the initial throw was Decisive, your attack is made before Initiative resets. You can reflexively use Raking Talon Kick on it. If you threw your foe past Close range with Neck-Piercing Hook or similar, you reflexively jump to Close range of them when using this, but itís your movement for the round. Mastery lets you reflexively rush or disengage the foe if you hit and automatically succeed, without it counting as your movement. Terrestrial can only use this on Crashed foes and the initial throw must be Decisive.

Next time: Laughing Monster and Swaying Grass Dance

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


SunAndSpring posted:

god why am I even bothering writing this stupid poo poo out. I don't bring any insight to it, only three people here loving give a poo poo about Exalted, and the only time people have talked about it is the one time it mentioned sexism.

I'd rather hear what you have to say about the book than what the book says in itself. I can just download and read this whenever I want, but I came here to see what you and other people have to say about it. Just talk about the parts you like, the parts you don't like, the parts that are dumb as hell, the stuff that makes no sense, etc. Obviously, it's much easier to do this when reviewing a RIFTS book because the lead game dev demands his books be bugfuck crazy.

golden bubble
Jun 3, 2011

yospos



For all the eastern trappings, the Realm feels more like an Roman empire than a Chinese or Japanese empire. The haphazard succession, the powerless but important senate, and the structure of the legions feels rather Roman. Plus, the relationship between the Immaculate and the empress seems more like Christian caesaropapism than the messy and mercurial relationships between emperors and monks in eastern empires.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



golden bubble posted:

For all the eastern trappings, the Realm feels more like an Roman empire than a Chinese or Japanese empire. The haphazard succession, the powerless but important senate, and the structure of the legions feels rather Roman. Plus, the relationship between the Immaculate and the empress seems more like Christian caesaropapism than the messy and mercurial relationships between emperors and monks in eastern empires.

it's kind of a mashup/greatest hits of various grand historic empires, so that's kind of by design.

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!


golden bubble posted:

For all the eastern trappings, the Realm feels more like an Roman empire than a Chinese or Japanese empire. The haphazard succession, the powerless but important senate, and the structure of the legions feels rather Roman. Plus, the relationship between the Immaculate and the empress seems more like Christian caesaropapism than the messy and mercurial relationships between emperors and monks in eastern empires.

What Exalted claims to emulate and draw inspiration from and what it's actually thematically influenced by has always had a certain gap.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


golden bubble posted:

For all the eastern trappings, the Realm feels more like an Roman empire than a Chinese or Japanese empire. The haphazard succession, the powerless but important senate, and the structure of the legions feels rather Roman. Plus, the relationship between the Immaculate and the empress seems more like Christian caesaropapism than the messy and mercurial relationships between emperors and monks in eastern empires.

Yeah, this is called 'writers don't know poo poo', but especially about non-white people. It's really not even a good analogue to the Roman empire either and there's a ton of stuff that tries to look Roman, but really isn't. For example, the legions are obviously based on the Roman legions (although they should be based on the armies that the Qin emperor used, but whatever I don't want to get into that), but um, the Roman legions changed dramatically over time so which Roman legions are you talking about exactly? The Pre-Marian? The Marian? The Diocletian? etc.Also, the Romans didn't have demi-gods with super powers to contend with and didn't have a bunch of magic that mimics modern technology. Nobody was going to hit a maniple with the equivalent of a 155mm shell and if someone did have that capability the generals of that time would have adopted really loving fast to not piling men into close formations. Giant banners and flags are a lot less necessary when you have magical cellphones in every unit. I could go on, but what's the point?

Sunandspring, these are the sort of things I'm talking about what I want to see in a review.

Mors Rattus posted:

it's kind of a mashup/greatest hits of various grand historic empires, so that's kind of by design.

As interpreted by a bunch of white guys with no clue what they're talking about.

Ithle01 fucked around with this message at 19:46 on Jun 5, 2019

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





I get the sense you're not a fan of Exalted as a whole.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Joe Slowboat posted:

I get the sense you're not a fan of Exalted as a whole.

edit: If there's one thing you can count on it's that Exalted fans are passionate about their game, for good or for ill.

I actually am, but in the way that a fan who's burned out really liked it. My two big problems are when things are either over-written in ways that aren't helpful, and the Realm is filled with this. Or when the writers get lazy, and once again the Realm is filled with this, because generic authoritarian empire tends to lend itself to that.

Okay, here's an example of sort of what I'm talking about, the Deliberative. As written it's basically the empress, barely 100 years old, deciding she's going to trick a bunch of DB who are themselves also super-bright into doing do-nothing work instead of working against her. That's just, like, what the gently caress, even a child can see through this poo poo and it makes the Deliberative a kind of boring plot hook because you're trying to reform an institution that is itself a joke into a real governing body. It's literally 'we taught you wrong as a joke'. So... okay how about this, instead the Deliberative actually was a real governing body because at the time the empress didn't actually have the clout to govern uncontested and its veto even worked on occasion. Until one day, maybe a couple hundred years ago, the Empress decided that all the Old Boys who's poo poo she's had to eat over the years are dead now and she's the real top dog with centuries of power concentrated in her so she has it liquidated (although some of them escape) and re-appoints her own sycophants to make sure this never happens again. The Great Houses look at this and say 'cool' because they hate the Deliberative even more the empress does.

Now the Realm feels like a more dynamic place and the Deliberative feels like a more interesting plot hook because it governed once, perhaps it can do so again? Do the Houses even want it to govern? There's a lot you can do with this. What I don't need to know is how voting procedure works unless that actually matters to my game.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





I'm pretty sure the Empress did, in one edition (I'm away from the PDF so I don't know if that's still in 3e) liquidate a version of the Deliberative that managed to leverage itself into more power, despite her creating it as a way to maintain control. Mass execution of delegates, the works. The current deliberative was reconvened for legitimacy, and then (some significant period later) she vanished.

E: I'm also not sure it's fair to call the Realm generic, for good or for ill.

Ee: I like the specifics of vote order because, as a GM, it means I can actually run scenes in the Deliberative. The rules are dramatic but simple, in ways that are in a practical sense dysfunctional (like the Realm's opposition to lawyers) such that I think will let players actually take relatively unstructured actions within that space and still be effective. I'm unlikely to use the Deliberative proper but I'm planning to pitch Model Deliberative in a rotating-GM game set in Spiral Academy that I'm hoping to start soonish.

Joe Slowboat fucked around with this message at 20:15 on Jun 5, 2019

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Joe Slowboat posted:

I'm pretty sure the Empress did, in one edition (I'm away from the PDF so I don't know if that's still in 3e) liquidate a version of the Deliberative that managed to leverage itself into more power, despite her creating it as a way to maintain control. Mass execution of delegates, the works. The current deliberative was reconvened for legitimacy, and then (some significant period later) she vanished.

E: I'm also not sure it's fair to call the Realm generic, for good or for ill.

Ee: I like the specifics of vote order because, as a GM, it means I can actually run scenes in the Deliberative. The rules are dramatic but simple, in ways that are in a practical sense dysfunctional (like the Realm's opposition to lawyers) such that I think will let players actually take relatively unstructured actions within that space and still be effective. I'm unlikely to use the Deliberative proper but I'm planning to pitch Model Deliberative in a rotating-GM game set in Spiral Academy that I'm hoping to start soonish.

Yes, that is the specific event I was referring to. It assumes that a large number of centuries old ubermensch are incredibly dumb, just shockingly loving stupid in a way that makes no sense. If it worked until one day it didn't that would be the sort of thing that can blindside even the best of us. Also, I don't think the Realm as a whole is a generic empire, but it does sometimes get written that way.

Anyway, for me giving me a description of voting procedure is a waste of time because I'm going to wing it anyway. Not everyone games this way so I guess I shouldn't poo poo on it. Some people really do want that stuff and that's fine for them. For me, total waste of words, but for others it provides a common conceptual space to work in.

edit: you know, now that I think about it, the best way to write a book on something like the Realm is to just make it an in-setting book that's essentially a children's civics textbook. Call it something like the Diligent Pupils Introduction to History (or whatever, I'm bad at names) and make it, more or less, a collection of the culture myths and over-simplifications that fill our own lovely text books. Then add chibi illustrations of things like the Empress poking over Bargash Kol's tower to Heaven and stuff. Yes, I'm aware that event didn't happen, that's why I said culture myths.

Ithle01 fucked around with this message at 20:40 on Jun 5, 2019

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Dawgstar posted:

I wonder what a bar who caters to women Kevin thinks looks like, I really do.

Rifts Coalition Wars 5: Shadows of Evil posted:

31. Femme Fatale: A three story building that resembles a classy fret-house or Mansion. It is an exclusive club for female warriors and adventurers; psychics and sorcerers are also welcomed. It is a posh and lavishly decorated tavern with a woman's touch. Facilities include a dance hall, art gallery, jewelry shop, candy store, salon, massage parlor, and small library as well as private guest rooms and conference rooms. Prices are fair but on the high side. Only male "guests" are allowed and they are limited to the dance hall and private meetings and guest rooms. While one might think women to be more refined and gentle, this place has its share of brawls and duels. Moreover, some will go out after getting loaded to pick a fight with men at one of the other bars, The Bunker, Barracks and Magic Cloud being the most likely targets. Typical alignments of patrons: 15% Aberrant, 15% Miscreant, 20% Anarchist, 20% Scrupulous, 15% Unprincipled and 15% others.

JcDent posted:

I still have some eyesight left in me!

It was also later I realized that while hard to read on my laptop it looks pretty clear on my phone. Live and learn.

SunAndSpring posted:

god why am I even bothering writing this stupid poo poo out.

It can be tough, though I think the best advice was already given by others. The timing can be tough, too, as there are two Exalted F&Fs going up at once, Warhammer tends to dominate the thread in general, etc. I've had enough reviews read to a silent room that I can understand, though I usually have the "solution" of having already written the whole review before the first post hits, so I'm committed for better or worse. Still, I remember stuff like the Rifts Index reviews were tough, especially since I committed to extra work for a far lower return on feedback. (Of course, I also requested a higher level of commitment myself, which was probably a mistake.)

If you want any general advice, though, just ask.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


At least hams is done now and should stop taking up so much attention. I'm trying to decide if I should go back and cover Feng Shui, 7th Sea 1e, or just move on to Spycraft 1e. Feng Shui 1e and 7th Sea 1e were already covered, but I would like to talk about them in a more purely mechanical sense rather than getting bogged down in the fluff, partly because both games' fluff hid their general mechanical weakness. Similarly, I think Spycraft 1e is a really great example of vintage era OGL 'this dearly doesn't want to be d20 but thinks it has to be' work.

E: Though pretty much everyone knows Roll and Keep/7th Sea 1e were mechanically terrible, and Feng Shui's mechanical weaknesses are mostly a function of it being one of the early games to try to do the things it did rather than strict 'this is badly made' stuff.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 21:12 on Jun 5, 2019

SunAndSpring
Dec 4, 2013


Eh, I guess I've just been writing this more to feel like I've done something while I wait twiddling my thumbs to start work since I've been delayed by my only photo IDs being expired, and my criticism is limited since I am a poor historian (probably better than most in that I know what a Hussite is, but worse than most geeks who play map games) and scholar of Asian religions. I can tell you what probably works well in a game, such as how playing a magistrate is a very exciting career that is the closest to a general "good guy" role you can get, but if you wish for me to list, say, how formation works when your commanding officers have a good chance of exploding into a flood of water that drowns you or radiate a poison aura that gives you the same kind of deal you'd get ingesting hemlock, or how really this legion structure doesn't make sense because shouldn't there be Equites-analogues in there or something, I have no loving clue! I guess I'll stop and just really give a deeper read through and maybe summarize better, but I just don't really know how to make a good critique of this and I've hosed up the other chapters, so gently caress it, kill me.

I can offer one criticism that I've been thinking about a lot, and it's that the book really seems to not get what a "catamite" is, listing it in the same breath as a "courtesan". I genuinely hope that it's one of the authors making an utterly botched attempt at finding a different word for "male prostitute" (because get it the Realm is sexist towards men) than it being what it is on face value, in that the Realm has a lot of people loving underage boys since I really wanted Exalted to move on from the creepy sex poo poo.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Shadowforce Archer is an example of a setting that did not work for me at all at the time because it leaned way too far into bizarro 1990s pulp territory than anything I wanted, but in retrospect some of the weird stuff it does is fascinatingly hammy, at least.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Oh, I wouldn't be able to cover Shadowforce Archer since I never bought the book for it; it was kind of irrelevant to what we used Spycraft 1e for. It's also a system where uniquely I have much more experience playing than GMing for it; I only ever ran a couple games that were my attempt to do a different take on more actiony Delta Green-inspired stuff with it, while I played in 2 X-COM based games and one attempt to translate Ghost in the Shell to it.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Ahhh, yeah, I have it because I have a complete Spycraft collection (or at least crazy close) minus the Modern Firearms Guide. Shadowforce Archer was a setting where I went in expecting James Bond or The (British TV) Avengers as the basis, but the basis may as well have been the lyrics to Veteran of the Psychic Wars. It got odd.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


The Modern Arms Guide is some amazing vintage '80 different guns that all do the same thing' stuff.

Though it did let me use a Russian 23mm anti-jeep shotgun to blow the head off a Muton, so I can't hate it.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





I'm planning to finish Goblinville and then keep on through my haul of the Kickstarter Zine RPGs. the short-form, setting-lite RPGs probably won't get much comment, but they deserve the review.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





If you do choose to continue, SunAndSpring, personally I'm much more interested in your analysis of player roles and how things like the magistracy works for games, than in historical comparisons or nitpicking. Give us your take as a player or GM on how all this setting text strikes you - is it useful, how would you use it, any experience you have that's parallel.

I'm honestly curious how other people would set up a game with a magistrate PC, given their independence from the Great Houses. One of the big problems in 2e was the text that basically said major setting groups were unremittingly hostile towards certain PC types that would regularly have to work with them. Does that seem present with the magistrates? Or is there enough space for them?

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




And now I had to go and ask Google what a catamite is
:ohno:

Tendales
Mar 9, 2012


kommy5 posted:

World Tree has been very interesting to me. But I am curious to see what they actually do with this concept. Original world building by itself only goes so far, after all. I'm curious what kinds of adventure seeds are supplied and what kind of PCs they envision for this imaginative setting. And how much they play around with this concept of 'the rules mechanics are the physical laws'.



Before I forget to point this out, one major notable thing that's missing from World Tree entirely is any kind of metaplot. There's lots of examples presented, but there's absolutely no "This is our story, the players are just watching it."

Even though there's a lot of setting detail, I think this book really did "Draw maps, leave blanks" long before PBTA codified the principle. Things like "Weird stuff happens when the hollow moon points at the world, and you could probably fly there if you're really resourceful" leaves lot of room for player and GM creativity, I think.


World Tree: A Roleplaying Game of Species and Civilization


Part 2:The People

OK, so the world is neat and all, but you can't have a story without people. This chapter is split into two parts: a detailed description of each of the eight prime species, and then a quicker overview of the non-prime people of the World Tree.



As mentioned, there are eight prime species; one created by each of the gods, and then an extra one created because one of the gods hosed up and wanted a do-over. The prime species all share civilization, rather than entire kingdoms being a single species.



It's kind of interesting to see this Y2K take on RPG species, especially considering how the discourse on portraying race has progressed since then. In any case, every prime species is very distinct. There's not even two races as similar as dwarves and orcs, really. One thing I appreciate: There is no "default" race that all the others are compared to. That is, there's no human equivalent. No baseline species that only has some handwavey "I dunno, they're adaptable?" to make them stand out.


This picture isn't really related to anything right now, there aren't even any Cani in it, but I still like it. It gives a neat little slice of life view. That wall of snakes isn't metaphorical or anything, by the way. That's a perfectly normal way to protect a city.

Anyway, the prime species. Each species gets about half a page of story, generally a representative of the species describing themself, and then a description of appearance, social structure, naming styles, art, diet, moral attitudes, variation, and how they tend to view the other species. All of the stats and mechanical effects are saved for another chapter, so we'll have to revisit everyone later.

Cani
The dog folk

Hey, it's Azliet again! She goes on to explain how she was a wild puppy and always got into trouble no matter how much she wanted to be normal. She married into a family of eleven(!!) spouses and had some puppies, which are extremely normal Cani things to do. Then she started getting caught up in trouble again, partly because of her also-wild brother, and then later because of wanting to help a patient in the opening story. The story talks about a concept called affan, which seems to be some kind of authority that is apparently very important to Cani and not to anyone else. Also, it confirms that she did return successfully from that adventure and helped her patient out, happy end.

The first thing the actual description makes clear is that Cani are a) extremely social and b) extremely loyal. If there's a powerful political family somewhere, they're probably Cani just because Cani care the most about having big powerful families and about forming up into packs, families, and nations.

Loyalty is instinctive and unavoidable. A Cani that's part of a group, for any reason, for more than a couple weeks will develop loyalty to it. This doesn't replace any existing loyalties, and a grown Cani will find they often have to balance many conflicting loyalties, but it's there and it's real. A disloyal Cani is almost unthinkable, the stuff of horror stories. They're well suited for adventuring life; they work well in teams, their hide is tough enough to count as a light armor, and their teeth and claws, while not ideal weapons, mean they're never completely disarmed. Unsurprisingly, they also have the keenest sense of smell of all the primes; they can distinguish two brothers by scent, even when following a days-old trail.

The differences between male and female Cani aren't readily visible to most other species. (Aside: A lot of the artwork gives female Cani decidedly curvy bodies. Chalk that up to artists being artists.) Cani can effortlessly tell the difference by scent. So can Sleeth, but Sleeth don't give a poo poo. Cani love fashion, and will dress up quite extravagantly given the opportunity, with the exception that their tails are always left uncovered and unhindered; it's just too important for scents and social cues.

Azliet's big family is completely typical for Cani; most live in a longhouse with a dozen or so adults in a single group marriage (although it's actually structured more like a fever dream of poly tumblr; each spouse will have a specific and distinct relationship to every other spouse. Husband/wife, mate, co-mate, brother-brother, etc.) along with all the children, and probably a selection of parent, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. Cani don't need or even want privacy, so living space is communal, divided up by purpose (kitchen, gathering area, playroom, workshop) rather than "Azliet's room."

Usually when a Cani family wants children, all the women in the family will schedule their pregnancies around the same time, so even though single birth is normal, there's still a "litter" of puppies all the same age to grow up together.

Outside the longhouse, Cani find other ways to organize. There's nine clans, descended from the originally created families. Clan membership is hereditary through the mother's line, but each Cani is also fully aware of all their secondary clan associations. While there's some political power to the clans, their function is mostly to enforce exogamy; two Cani of the same clan mustn't bear a child (although sometimes the male will officially change clans to one of his auxiliary clans to get around this.)

Between families and clans, Cani group up according to extended families, guilds, nations, clubs, and sports teams. Two Cani meeting for the first time will spend the effort to find some connection in common. Sharing a clan is easy, or being in the same trade guild, but if those don't work they'll most on to common friends, having gone to the same school, or even just having relatives that happen to have the same name. If all else fails, they'll just invent a made-up social connection that lasts long enough for their loyalty instinct to kick in, at which point they'll laugh off the "misunderstanding" since now they're friends and that's enough of a connection.

Cani have two concepts that have no direct human equivalent; affan and choofing. Affan is basically dominance in some social setting. A queen would have affan in government, a head chef has affan in cooking, one adult in the longhouse will have affan in organizing chores. In any social situation where someone can take charge, affan comes into play. Cani love this. Obeying the person with affan is natural and instinctive, not a cause for resentment.

Affan is determined by a process called choofing. This is also an instinctive urge; even if the head-chef has been doing the job for years, from time to time all the cooks will feel a neat to test their position in the chain of command. A choof takes the form of some kind of contest related to the affan being held. There's even a big book of etiquette describing how the rules should be determined. In general, the more powerful the position, the more rarely a choof is held. Clan leaders choof every five years, leaders of nations every three. Juvenile Cani will choof several times a week to sort out where they fit in their groups of friends.

Along with these concepts are emotions that are also alien to humans. Deffa is the emotion the loser feels; an acceptance of the loss, recognition of the winner's position, and loyalty to the affan-holder. Salaffan is the converse; the winner feels a loyalty to and a drive to protect the loser, rather than humiliate or injure them. These emotions fade after a couple days, but in the moment they are very strong, and both the winner and the losers will feel satisfied and even happy about how things turned out.

While individual Cani aren't particular powerful by World Tree standards, they're probably the dominant race just by virtue of organization. A Cani might not win a one on one fight, but they have friends, family, and clan backing them up if need be.

Artistically, Cani tend towards stories about conflicting loyalties, with complicated resolutions that bore other species to death. Their visual art isn't special one way or another, but they are fond of making scent-sculptures that only Cani and Sleeth can perceive as the artist intended.

Cani are omnivorous, but prefer meat-heavy diets for energy. They like to eat several times a day, often in big communal dining sessions. Visitors to Cani kitchens need to be careful; Cani have no concept of "tastes bad" or even "smells bad." Your friend that likes to eat durian in public has nothing on these people. That isn't to say they'll eat rot or poison, but it does mean that they're perfectly happy wearing a cologne of eau de carrion.

Loyalty is at the core of Cani moral norms. This can be to their disadvantage; if someone kidnaps a Cani and sits with them long enough, the Cani will form a loyalty to their kidnapper. Also, their tendency to think in terms of the pack can lead to heinous behavior; if one member of a group considers a crime or misbehavior, the idea can spread, blame gets divided, they goad each other on, and the ugliest aspects of pack behavior can manifest.

While Cani are generally described as being doglike, there's a lot of diversity in breeds, including forms more like foxes, wolves, or jackals. Being of a distinguished breed, such as one associated with a powerful family, is a point of pride, but not generally the most important factor in social position.


Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

SunAndSpring posted:

god why am I even bothering writing this stupid poo poo out. I don't bring any insight to it, only three people here loving give a poo poo about Exalted, and the only time people have talked about it is the one time it mentioned sexism.

For the record, I was reading along and enjoying it (Mors' review is harder to read since so much of it just now is spell lists). I leave the choice of how much commentary to make up to you.

EthanSteele
Nov 18, 2007

I can hear you


SunAndSpring posted:

I can offer one criticism that I've been thinking about a lot, and it's that the book really seems to not get what a "catamite" is, listing it in the same breath as a "courtesan". I genuinely hope that it's one of the authors making an utterly botched attempt at finding a different word for "male prostitute" (because get it the Realm is sexist towards men) than it being what it is on face value, in that the Realm has a lot of people loving underage boys since I really wanted Exalted to move on from the creepy sex poo poo.

I gotta hope so. Burning Wheel was another one that had catamite as just being gay more than anything else (specifically gay in a culture that disproved of it I guess????). In the newest edition they've apparently got rid of that cos it was weird and poo poo.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





You should communicate that to the developers- it's still in last-round editing afaik, and if they didn't intend 'catamites' they should probably consider whether they want to keep it.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Yeah, if you were to bring that up in the Ask a Dev thread on the official forums they'd probably respond.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


SunAndSpring posted:

Eh, I guess I've just been writing this more to feel like I've done something while I wait twiddling my thumbs to start work since I've been delayed by my only photo IDs being expired, and my criticism is limited since I am a poor historian (probably better than most in that I know what a Hussite is, but worse than most geeks who play map games) and scholar of Asian religions. I can tell you what probably works well in a game, such as how playing a magistrate is a very exciting career that is the closest to a general "good guy" role you can get, but if you wish for me to list, say, how formation works when your commanding officers have a good chance of exploding into a flood of water that drowns you or radiate a poison aura that gives you the same kind of deal you'd get ingesting hemlock, or how really this legion structure doesn't make sense because shouldn't there be Equites-analogues in there or something, I have no loving clue! I guess I'll stop and just really give a deeper read through and maybe summarize better, but I just don't really know how to make a good critique of this and I've hosed up the other chapters, so gently caress it, kill me.

I can offer one criticism that I've been thinking about a lot, and it's that the book really seems to not get what a "catamite" is, listing it in the same breath as a "courtesan". I genuinely hope that it's one of the authors making an utterly botched attempt at finding a different word for "male prostitute" (because get it the Realm is sexist towards men) than it being what it is on face value, in that the Realm has a lot of people loving underage boys since I really wanted Exalted to move on from the creepy sex poo poo.

Even if you're not an expert or particularly well-read on stuff talk about it anyway, the worst that can happen is people will point it out to you. I miss references in poo poo all the time, but that's fine, so what? Concubine really should be gender neutral in Exalted anyway. It's certainly a better compromise than trying to rehabilitate a word for young boy prostitute.

kommy5
Dec 6, 2016


SunAndSpring posted:

I can offer one criticism that I've been thinking about a lot, and it's that the book really seems to not get what a "catamite" is, listing it in the same breath as a "courtesan". I genuinely hope that it's one of the authors making an utterly botched attempt at finding a different word for "male prostitute" (because get it the Realm is sexist towards men) than it being what it is on face value, in that the Realm has a lot of people loving underage boys since I really wanted Exalted to move on from the creepy sex poo poo.

I think this sums up everything I hate about Exalted for me. The authors write something horrible and because of the history of the game line, people are not entirely sure whether it's the writers being complete idiots or being purposefully horrific and rapey.

I simply can't stand Exalted in the least and hate it with undying passion. If you want my reason for not commenting on it, that would be it, SunAndSpring. I honestly find your authorial voice more engaging than most. I simply can't speak civilly on the subject matter for more than a few sentences.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Pretty much the same for me. I'm content to leave people who enjoy it to enjoy it, but it's always been a setting I will despise and so I try to avoid commenting on it.

E: I should also note I do find it interesting and I'm glad it's being reviewed, even if I hate the setting and game.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 23:34 on Jun 5, 2019

SunAndSpring
Dec 4, 2013


I would say that they have a weird aversion to saying "prostitute" in the book, which probably led to the whole stupid blunder. "Well, we can't just flat out say prostitute, that would be uncouth! Now what's a fancy word for male prostitute..."

Like Jesus Christ, I get that people in the Realm buy hookers, you can just say it instead of dancing around the subject and saying, "Oh, they're courtesanssssss."

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




It's okay to borrow historical words, just make sure that if you are lazy it's in the Brujah clan way and not this.

SunAndSpring
Dec 4, 2013


Well, might as well make a quick post with the header and everything before I move on to the Immaculate Order chapter.



The Realm: In Which Sunny Offers a Short Actual Critique instead of Changing the Words Slightly so the Teacher Doesn't Notice She Copied Off Someone Else

So, alright, let's start backwards, with the stuff freshest in my mind. The legion is a bit of a mixed bag in my opinion. It's honestly very hard to run a legion-centered campaign due to the modern make-up of the legions being largely Dynastic officers from the same House and occasionally an outcaste that they can trust or couldn't get rid of for whatever reason. I find that in a game which encourages you to make your character super special and unique and has made the Great Houses so very different, players tend to dislike a GM going, "Alright, you're all House Cathakl legionnaires! You have to have gone to the House of Bells or Pasiap's Stair for your secondary school, you must be from House Cathak or an outcaste, and you must have Command 2-4, but you can't have more than Size 4 of soldiers commanded." Characters who have retired from the legions are possible, but I don't think you need to have read the whole chapter to make it believable. Oddly, it doesn't go too in-depth as to how Dragon-blooded actually fight in a legion. Do they all sit back and yell commands, do they go off on their own and charge the Solar warlord on the opposite side of the fight, do they join the skirmisher vanguard, do they avoid flaring to full anima since it would gently caress up the ranks if they're suddenly too dangerous to be close to thanks to Anima Flux? Who knows, wing it, I guess! You do know however that you have a valet who will help you put your armor on and serve you green tea and cheese to start your morning off, which is incredibly useful and I would never be able to get by without this information. I find this is actually more useful for a Solar or Lunar campaign, honestly; it gives players and GMs necessary knowledge as to how legions operate, how they fight back against Lunar sabotage, and gives specific advice on how to stat battles between player forces and the Realm (mainly, don't do roll Sive 5 battlegroups and 50 Dragon-bloods into a battle, you fool, zoom in on one point and have the group fight a Size 4 battle-group with its 3-6 Dragon-blooded officers). Likewise, I feel like no mention is given as to how the Imperial Navy works with Dragon-blooded who can burn the drat sails down with their anima banner if they're riled up or pushed to the brink, and the Imperial Navy is even more restricted since it is ONLY House Peleps who gets in charge. At least tell me that they soak the wood and sails in fireproof solutions if they have a Fire Aspect captain!

The bureaucracy of the Realm is mostly sound, save for the Deliberative being an extremely odd case of the Empress somehow being able to do, "Haha, idiot, I tricked you into a poo poo job!", on the scale of hundreds of Dragon-bloods (who are all supposedly talented enough that they might be dangerous outside of the Deliberative), who all somehow get duped by it and go along with it. I would say my one bit of confusion with the magistrates is that how does anyone tell who is a magistrate? Do they get a special badge or something, or do they just go off pure reputation? What prevents any other Dragon-blood from impersonating someone who has unlimited authority, especially now that the Empress is gone? Also, an odd point is how loyal most of them are to the Empress. You figure some would resent that she forced them into a job that, while much lauded in the Scarlet Realm, is extremely difficult and removes any chance of them acquiring wealth and severely limits their marriage chances. While I get that all are religiously indoctrinated to view her as basically a Buddha, you figure there should be at least be mention of those who have gone turncoat and are abusing their authority now that she's gone, or have otherwise just hosed off and retired somewhere else or assumed a new identity.

Ministers aren't very playable, since it seems like most don't really have much leeway and free time, but they work better for Dragon-blooded games since they're basically omnipresent and very useful as NPCs for political-focused games. If one of your player is a House Sesus business magnate doing everything he can to reduce House Peleps' influence in Chanos, why not have some Imperial judges (mostly Peleps) start loving with him? Tell your Immaculate monk player that she can go to the Imperial Treasury to beg for funding for the Wyld Hunt as an option. There's a lot of options there for the imaginative GM, and I suppose if a player wants to be a minister, they could at least make up a role in that organization that enables them to actually travel around. The All-Seeing Eye is fairly open-ended and probably the one I like the most, simply because one can either play one desperately trying to keep the Scarlet Realm from collapsing by working with Bal Keraz and the other clean ministry heads, or someone who is now abusing the contacts they made to get ahead in the civil war.

Chapter one is probably the closest to the old editions as it can get; most changes are in regards to the pacing of the Scarlet Realm's rise (it's now a bit slower to start), the Great Houses (birth dates of important Realm figures and the founding of Houses have been shifted a lot), and a few new things. The new stuff mostly revolves around Prasad, in that the personal legions of Houses Burano and Ophris went rogue after they conquered it, and that a House Jerah found Eyem (basically a magical AI from older editions), and that Ragara later said that Eyem led them into treachery against the Realm, thus getting that House stricken from the ledgers and all their property given to the new House Ragara. No idea why that's there, maybe it'll be a plot hook in a future book? I can say that I generally like all the changes to the Great Houses, as it largely does a lot to make them far more interesting and offer hooks for Dynastic players, which is a big part of this book, as well as inspiration for Solar and Lunar players as to what Great House is loving over their homeland. Most of the fluff for the day-to-day stuff is alright, but doesn't really wow me; it services as a way to set the scene, and I suppose that's enough.

I will say that I do find the Immaculate Philosophy greatly improved from its depiction as mindless religious types in 1e and 2e; White Wolf was way into fedora-tipping style atheism back in the day, and none of the writers ever really gave a good explanation as to why the Immaculates can have such conviction when it was so easy to stumble onto contradictions of what they believed. Nowadays, they are fairly nuanced, in the sense that they genuinely care for the peasantry (but in a very patronizing way that only ever solves temporary problems), they know that the Solars and Lunars are Exalts too but are prone to insanity in their eyes so seeing a city clearly built by a Solar won't break their minds, and so on. Chapter 4 and the one about the prefectures are stuff I really look forward to since it's the biggest changes from 2e that I can think of outside of the Great Houses.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Coalition Wars 5: Shadows of Evil, Part 4- "A spider's web with the resident practitioners of magic the bloodthirsty spiders, the townsfolk their helpers, and the Coalition soldiers the unsuspecting flies."

And so, we continue on with discussions of locations in the Mizereen Barony.


This is not remotely what happens in Salvation.

Salvation is essentially a magical university town, but has lost most of its wizards to the war effort, as most of them joined with Tolkeen and have perished. The town is embittered by this, to the point that some local mages are secretly providing aid and information to the Coalition. They've lost all hope and don't have any delusions of the Coalition actually helping them in the long-term, but instead want to get revenge on Tolkeen itself for their losses. Moreover, they've given the Coalition a magical device they say will get them past the shield, and this is true. However, it will transport tens of thousands of troops within Tolkeen itself, were they'll be wiped out at tremendous cost to Tolkeen. They intend to have fled at that point, and avoid the eventual Coalition retribution.


"Rise, my undea- wait, were none of you buried with pants? Ugh."

Specter is a shantytown with only a handful of hostile residents. Ultimately, though, it's a trap for Coalition soldiers, as any visiting soldiers are greeted in a friendly or terrified manner, depending, and then the local necromancers release hordes of zombies on unsuspecting soldiers. While the zombies aren't big threats, they basically try and swarm and grapple soldiers for execution, after which they're just added to the horde complete with their armor. They have a longer-term scheme for when the Coalition returns to infiltrate the forces, disguising themselves and their zombies in Coalition armor. This would seem to be a flawed plan, but I'm no scheming necromancer. "Can I get your name and number, private?!" "nnnuugh" "NAME AND NUMBER, PRIVATE!" "NUUUUGH."

. o O ( This one seems more sinister than the usual 'Burbs recruit. Officer material?! )


"What's that, boy? A Coalition soldier stuck in a well? Well, just leave him there."

Lucky is a farm town and trading post that seems to have good fortune in both wealth and safety, with major troubles either being averted or passing them by. The locals are convinced they have preternatural luck and that they'll avoid the worst of the war. It's left to the GM whether this is happenstance or they really have some magical defense, but highlights this as a place to save (and the PCs' intervention backs up the town's reputation) or as a safehouse they can lie low in. "Of course, Lucky is not an invisible shield, so this will only work once or twice."

Blueline is built between two ley lines, and is a Techno-Wizard town responsible for many of Tolkeen's innovations (including the Iron Juggernauts) - as such, it's heavily defended and is a launch point for troop movements involving ley lines. No visitors are allowed here without explicit permission, and it's largely a military community. We get a laundry list of nearby communities and the specific things they build. The most notable innovation they have is "The Bridge", which is an artificially created means to join two previously unconnected ley lines into a ley line nexus. This doesn't provide the extra P.P.E. of a nexus - it mainly just lets it act as a highway junction of sorts between lines, and shuts down a lot of the magical spells that interfere with ley line usage. Also, it has more M.D.C. than most gods for some reason, and has 25,000 M.D.C. (?!). But hey, it only takes 15,000 of mega-damage to make it nonfunctional. A bargain! The Coalition just thinks it's a defensive bunker for some magical defense or secret.

And that's that for the Mizereen. What, you say you want to hear about Tolkeen? Well, uh, you'll have to be a bit patient... well, okay. A lot patient.

Next: Adventures solved while you wait!

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!


SunAndSpring posted:

I will say that I do find the Immaculate Philosophy greatly improved from its depiction as mindless religious types in 1e and 2e; White Wolf was way into fedora-tipping style atheism back in the day, and none of the writers ever really gave a good explanation as to why the Immaculates can have such conviction when it was so easy to stumble onto contradictions of what they believed. Nowadays, they are fairly nuanced, in the sense that they genuinely care for the peasantry (but in a very patronizing way that only ever solves temporary problems), they know that the Solars and Lunars are Exalts too but are prone to insanity in their eyes so seeing a city clearly built by a Solar won't break their minds, and so on. Chapter 4 and the one about the prefectures are stuff I really look forward to since it's the biggest changes from 2e that I can think of outside of the Great Houses.

In 2e I always felt like the Immaculate Order was too poorly detailed. Like, there was little information on how the faith impacted people's ordinary lives, what strictures, superstitions and customs it created, etc. at least from what I recall, unless it was buried in a non-DB sourcebook somewhere. All I ever felt that I really knew about it was that they bullied the local gods if they got too uppity and theoretically had a responsibility to keep the dragonblooded nobility in line but in practice did not in fact do so. Not saying they should've written up an entire Immaculate Bible, but just something like... "here are the ten things you will get absolutely hosed for if a faithful of the order spots you doing it" and "these are the principles and tasks you should set yourself if you earnestly believe the order's tenets."

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




Salvation is so close to something that actually makes sense:
A group of mages disillusioned with the war effort fits entirely with the plot but I reckon they'd be much more concerned with securing a way out (probably by demanding to be PAID, Nazis are not to be trusted) than revenge.

As it is it kinda reads like proto Chaos worshippers with just a semblance of self preservation.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

SunAndSpring
Dec 4, 2013


PurpleXVI posted:

In 2e I always felt like the Immaculate Order was too poorly detailed. Like, there was little information on how the faith impacted people's ordinary lives, what strictures, superstitions and customs it created, etc. at least from what I recall, unless it was buried in a non-DB sourcebook somewhere. All I ever felt that I really knew about it was that they bullied the local gods if they got too uppity and theoretically had a responsibility to keep the dragonblooded nobility in line but in practice did not in fact do so. Not saying they should've written up an entire Immaculate Bible, but just something like... "here are the ten things you will get absolutely hosed for if a faithful of the order spots you doing it" and "these are the principles and tasks you should set yourself if you earnestly believe the order's tenets."

I would say that chapter 1 did a good job of showing how the Faith impacts everyone's lives on the day-to-day basis. Just about every town is mandated to have at least one shrine to the Dragons and the rich will always have at least one shrine in their homes, geographical wonders are attributed to the actions of the Immaculate Dragons ("Oh, Danaa'd made this spring to rest in after a long day of fighting the Solar Anathema!"), the blessings of monks are considered magical (if they're a Dragon-blooded monk, that might even be true!), and so on.

In general, the Immaculate Faith's biggest no-nos are:
1. Don't associate with Anathema, don't help Anathema, don't worship Anathema, and don't listen to anything Anathema say. Do what you can to keep yourself alive around them and once it goes away, get the nearest Immaculate and she'll find some shikari to deal with it if they're not already on the Wyld Hunt.
2. Don't worship the gods outside of the ordained days your local Prayer Calendar demands. You're gonna make them lazy and gently caress up the whole system if you feed them prayer to get them to do poo poo for you.
3. Don't worship the Dragons, Immaculate or Elemental, directly. They are perfect in themselves, unlike gods, and therefore don't need it, and you're wasting time and effort that could be used to improve your own life.
4. Don't worship the Dragon-blooded. You lead them into error and temptation doing that.

I would say the 3e book does actually lack something 2e had, which is basically the behavior of each Immaculate Dragon you're supposed to emulate, but then again, I think that was listed in the core so it's not too terrible. Essentially, in addition to not breaking the rules, you need to be able to help yourself, share your natural gifts and wealth with your community, understand the traditions of the Faith, not take the easy way out and pull up the ladder behind you when you do, and pass on the knowledge you know that benefits you. Something else I like about 3e is that there's far more schisms in the Faith. Lookshy's version is rooted in the Shogunate, and is thus more militaristic (the Immaculate Dragons are venerated as the best warriors ever), but also looser in regards that it isn't a state religion and it allows iconography. Prasad has a syncretic version called the Pure Way where gods and Dragon-blooded alike can both be worshiped, which infuriates the mainline Immaculate Faith.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply