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Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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Also we're kind of numb to this poo poo by now. Hell, as mythology goes, that's possibly less rape than any given story featuring Zeus.

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Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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JcDent posted:

Yeah, it would be hard to make a grimdark setting with IoM that's competent (not perfect), in, like, just using the massive hive world populations to keep factories running in 8 hour shifts without interruptions, having an imperial faith that not only does good but fights the more regular kind of corruption within it, and flak armor being 5+/4+ against explosions, but that would be super hard and would require a new setting... and you can't have orks in an original setting :/

I'm also angry for 40K writers for doing the Star Wars EU writer thing of "bigger = better": if this conflict kills a bajillion guardsmen, it means it's important! Hives have a billion people in the upper spire alone! Twenty Space Marine chapters were deployed to fight this! I just see those numbers and I don't care. What's so charming about Middenheim and stuff is that I can read and get how people live or understand the lay of the land. In 40K, not so much.

I dunno, I think the lore chapters in Dark Heresy etc did a good job with it. Like they kept the population numbers, but used them well, to create a sense of overwhelming, impossible enormity to the Imperium. Yeah, the upper spire for a primary hive can hold a billion people, but that spire is unbelievably huge, to the point that its top is usually above a planet's atmosphere. The hive itself can span an entire continent because the forerunners of the Imperium had the tech to hollow out tectonic plates without collapsing them. The amount of infrastructure required to sustain these populations boggles the mind, to the point that one such city has another city beneath it that exists entirely as a kludge for a biomass depletion problem where the terraforming engineers couldn't figure out a more elegant solution. A billion guardsmen dying is 5-10% of the population of a typical hive world, and while the Imperium definitely has a labor surplus, a single planet will certainly feel that kind of loss...but the Imperium has a lot of planets, too.

None of which is to apologize for the 40K writers doing the Star Wars EU thing, but that kind of astronomic scale can work if you're doing bleak, existential horror, and I think FFG were wise to recognize that when they wrote the RPGs.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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Robindaybird posted:

yep, from the Rusalka who drown men who swim with her, Sirens who depending on the version you hear lure men to eat, because they want to see men drown trying to get to them, or because they're so enchanting, the men stay and starve to death on their hostile island. Very old trope from very old times where women are considered devious and dangerous to men.

I liked how the Rusalka in Quest for Glory 4 was written. She doesn’t really WANT to drown people, and if you’re nice to her she’ll tell you what she is and warn you away, but if you get in the water with her she WILL drag you under. She can’t help it, what with being an accursed spirit of vengeance. It’s really limited her range of conversational partners, and she’d hate to lose you as well.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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wiegieman posted:

It's sort of pressing the same button with me that Cthulhutech did. Yeah, vampires as a metaphor for transgression is a thing, but it seems so lovingly goddamn crafted here that maybe the people who wrote this stuff should take a long hard think about themselves.

For Masquerade, maybe. Vampire’s byline has always been “A Storytelling Game of Personal Horror”, and Requiem, I think, is the first iteration to really deliver on that promise. Masquerade had a lot of gross, unnecessary shock material that cheapened the horror and diminished its impact, but Requiem was tightly crafted from first principles to make the experience of luring unwitting humans away from the public eye to drain their blood as viscerally-unsettling as possible. Which is a good thing, IMO, because I mean really. If you don’t want to feel unclean and monstrous, maybe don’t do that.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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Rand Brittain posted:

The main problem with the Bureaucracy system, which as far as I know the new devs haven't figured out a favored solution for either, is figuring out how to make it so that having an Excellency doesn't protect you from making stupid decisions.

If a 3e system ever shows up, it's probably going to look more like the original Mandate of Heaven system everybody hated (because it was a badly-designed plot hook generator designed to look like a Bureaucracy system) than the Creation-Ruling Mandate system that came later.

Except, hopefully, good.

The easy way is to have your Bureaucracy score entitle you to warnings that you're about to make a terrible decision, but not actually prevent you from going through with it. Here's what you can do, here are the likely attendant consequences, here's how it COULD go badly wrong due to factors entirely outside your control but won't NECESSARILY. WARNING: this action cannot be undone. Continue y/n?

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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Mors Rattus posted:

Sail begins with a permanent ‘you are way better because ship’ thing – free dice tricks on all Sail rolls, resistance to fear because…boats, I guess, balance boost, and memory of distance routes. None of which is contingent on being aboard a ship, just knowing how to sail. Sail also provides resistance to deprivation, resistance to social influence if you woke up on a boat, boosts to navigating around danger, penalties to any foes aboard your ship, drawing Essence from your love of your ship, speeding up your ship, preventing creatures of darkness from counting as such when crewing your ship…and a bunch of stuff to boost your rolls in the single player game that is the Sail rules. Lots of dice tricks for that, and your group is going to love you being the unstoppable sailor who gets to roll all the dice while they sit around and do nothing, I’m sure.

Sail also gives weather prediction, reduces penalties from weather and currents, gives bonuses to combat for you and everyone on your ship when boarding, gives bonuses to sensing danger when on your ship, prevents Wyld mutation (for your ship and crew), lets you give your ship temporary bonus health, lets you train your crew and boost their stats, and ultimately lets you merge yourself with your ship, allowing its naval combat stats to boost your physical combat stats, and lets you speak the ancient tongue of the sea, understood instinctively by all ocean spirits and Raksha and also by the Lintha and Niobraran League, but not other sea-going nations or groups, plus a bunch of other minor ocean-related buffs. There are a total of 39 Sail Charms over 7 pages.

Solar Sail makes a lot more sense from a thematic standpoint when you realize that it SHOULD be called "Hemingway".

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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NutritiousSnack posted:

Depends on the splat, but Infernals should totally be Berserk and ironically, Naruto for Dragon Blooded. I'd add a splash of One Piece for Solars, ironically, because it hits adventure right and how Haki and fights function.

Yeah definitely Berserk. Also Fist of the North Star for Solars and Sidereals, Jojo for Getimians (although Kars is definitely an Elder Lunar), Princess Mononoke for Lunars, Evangelion for just about anything involving Limit Breaks, etc etc.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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Ratoslov posted:

This is, in general, a good demon management axiom. Always use the right tool for a job. If you need a demon to watch a baby, don't give it to the blood ape, give it to the neomah. Worst case scenario with the neomah is that you now have more babies, while you're basically guaranteed less babies with the blood ape.

The main difference between first circle demons and third circle demons is that there is almost definitionally a perfect first circle demon for any given task, while there is almost never a perfect third circle demon for any task other than a kaiju battle or the apocalypse. It's a remarkably useless spell.

Hey, sometimes you really want Orabilis to vomit up a glass library containing every bit of wisdom in existence. Sometimes you really want Munaxes to open up and swallow all the traitorous things your disloyal subjects are saying about you, along with the disloyal subjects themselves. Sometimes you really want to cackle madly with power as Ligier annihilates your foes in nuclear fire. Sometimes a Neomah or Mara won't cut it and you want to summon Erembour to give you a literally world-shattering orgasm.

Basically there are reasons why you might want to call up any Demon of the Third Circle, but if any of those reasons apply to you then you are probably why the Usurpation happened.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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MollyMetroid posted:

If a lunar exalt is trans their exaltation gives them their proper gender expression just, instant and free, incidentally.

And then some; apparently Leviathan used to be a weedy AFAB femme before Exaltation transformed him into a seven-foot meatwall of masculinity!

E: and yeah regarding what That Old Tree said, you probably COULD formalize the techniques and conditioning used by Exalts into discrete moves with specific names, but only a huge nerd would do that in-setting and most people are not huge nerds. Also given the limited reference pool of Celestial Exalts and their tendency to evolve their Essence in unique and idiosyncratic ways, trying to come up with any sort of grand unified theory can be a bit of a crapshoot.

Thesaurasaurus fucked around with this message at 21:47 on Apr 6, 2019

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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That Old Tree posted:

I remember when I added the "you can't spend Essence to turn rituals into flavorless cantrips" to the 2E errata and there was a thread half-full of people bitching that it was an assault on Exalted agency and coolness that you actually had to do something interesting and setting-based to perform hedge magic instead of just waving your hand and spending a magic point.

That and the Resources costs to perform thaumaturgical rituals could prove ruinously-expensive. I mean you can't really call it "hedge magic" when you have to empty the treasury of a mid-sized kingdom every time you want to perform a minor miracle.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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Mors Rattus posted:

e: and now can I request that we hold the DB debates until I actually get to that book, so we can see the actual text instead of arguing about what it might be like?

Adding to this, I'm just gonna remind y'all - if you wanna argue about Exalted, we already have a perfectly good thread for that!

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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LatwPIAT posted:

Honestly, I like it. Yes, it encourages eugenics but central to encouraging eugenics is that the social measures necessary to run a eugenics programme are horrid. The Realm is an oppressive hegemonic empire that engages in large-scale social engineering programmes to create more soldiers. And that's bad - and we can recognize that it's bad. What it tells us about eugenics is that even taking for granted that eugenics produces the results you want, the costs are horrible and it should be self-evident why selective breeding of humans is evil, actually - and the only reason to do it in the first place is to be a hegemonic empire.

I'm not sure, once a player sits down, looks at the setting's explicitly oppressive evil empire, and decides that they want to do that but with more treating humans as cattle, that the writer has any further duty to tell them that actually what they're planning is evil.

I blame Dune for rehabilitating eugenics within SF/F.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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Mors Rattus posted:

Exalted 3rd Edition: The Unstoppable Giant Yak

I'd like to add to this: Legendary Size is a VERY powerful advantage. Creatures with it don't take Onslaught penalties from smaller attackers without magic that specifically inflicts them, can't be reduced below 1 Initiative by them (meaning they can't be Crashed) unless the post-soak damage is at least ten dice, can't be grappled by smaller foes, make their own rolls to control grapples UNOPPOSED, and Decisive damage is capped at (3+Attacker's Strength) levels before Charm bonuses. If two characters with Legendary Size go head-to-head, they're both treated as if neither has it.

What this means is that Legendary Size makes a creature EXTREMELY dangerous. It won't go down in one hit, is very hard to Crash, and getting grappled by a gigantic foe is basically a death sentence unless you're a Solar Brawler or your allies are quick to focus fire down its rounds of control so it can't sacrifice them to squash you like a bug. That Tyrant Lizard blurb about Daiklaves in their stomachs isn't hyperbole.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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Mors Rattus posted:

Exalted 3rd Edition: Magical poo poo You Own

Artifact 3 non-weapons also exist! They’re powerful, though the lack of Evocations means you’ll want to be sure they’re useful to you.

Clarification: Any Artifact rated at 3+ CAN have Evocations! In-setting, Evocations aren't strictly properties of their weapons...usually. They're borne of the spiritual rapport between an Artifact and its wielder, as well as an Artifact's specific legend. So a Twilight could coax Evocations out of, say, Bracers of Universal Crafting, which would then become part of that Artifact's legend. If another character were to inherit those bracers, they could awaken either the same Evocations (by establishing the same spiritual rapport and continuing the legacy begun by the Twilight) or new ones (by taking an old legend and making it their own), although the new set would likely transclude some of the Twilight's Evocations because those deeds are now part of the Artifact's legend and thus its Essence.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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That Old Tree posted:

Nope. They explored at least a few options and talked about possibly putting in hooks for a supplement because it might not fit in the core (lol), until they apparently gave up at which point it became "pfft, rollplaying."

I seem to recall a quote from Mørke saying that he spiked the plan because "he didn't want you to be able to put a dot on your character sheet saying that you'd restored the First Age". Which, if that's your goal...why not just...not numerically-define the First Age?

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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megane posted:

Exalted wants to do two things:

a) be a game where you are a crazy mythic superhero who can do anything you can dream of, in combat or otherwise, and

b) codify literally every single possible supernatural action mechanically.

The astute may notice that these two goals are slightly at odds.

For instance, Morke wants Solars to be able to do this: *dumps towering stack of Kung Fu movies onto desk* But he also refuses to say "players can roll Brawl to do whatever cool fantasy punchman poo poo seems appropriate," because, I dunno, some mixture of a hatred for player agency and the grognard verisimilitude screech reflex I guess. So instead he sat down and listed every single cool move he could find, individually, and if anybody wants to do a cool move he didn't think up yet they have to pay him to print it in this book.

It's the same reason the D&D core book is like 80 pages of spells and 70 pages of literally the entire rest of the game. It's magic! We can't just let players make it up!

I really cannot wait until Mors gets to Lunars who are just so much more sensible in their Charm design.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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Night10194 posted:

Does anyone actually like Solars outside of their huge mechanical power?

For all of my kvetching, I actually enjoy them quite a bit, mostly when they're played as fun myth-heroes instead of grim Snyderverse demigods.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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KOGAHAZAN!! posted:

Mors has been slacking with the art, so I'll post this one:

Sorry but the best piece of art in the Ex3 corebook will always be Crocodile Goldilocks and the Three Two and a Half Bears.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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why would you type this

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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wiegieman posted:

A disappointingly large percentage of Rifts players were likely cheerfully donning their skull armor and goose-stepping off to genocide the wizards.

Oh look, the perfect excuse to post this wondrous and horrifying thing I saw.





Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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jakodee posted:

-Must get rid of democracy to prevent capitalism from falling to prevent democracy from falling to prevent...

This goes on.

Edit: But what is the equivalent of this in the Realm, to get a little bit back on topic.

The Realm doesn't need an endlessly-convoluted illogical justification for its foreign adventures because it doesn't pretend to hold human liberties in any kind of esteem. The Empress is the rightful ruler of all Creation and her descendants are the Princes of the Earth. They acknowledge some sort of duty to their subjects, but as a purely-aspirational goal, while their subjects' obligations to them are immediate, concrete, and unquestionable. The Immaculate Order exists at least in part as a safety valve, a check on Dragon-Blooded whose cruelties and excesses grow so great as to threaten the stability of the Dynasty as a whole, because that is the entire point: the stability of the Dynasty as a whole. All other considerations are secondary at best.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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LatwPIAT posted:

Does she still want to be like you~ou?

If she does, run.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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Raksi is now terrible in the same way any brutal, tyrannical autocrat is terrible, instead of being terrible in the way that late-90s White Wolf was terrible.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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Joe Slowboat posted:

So you have this really interesting tension between the local concerns of PC-age Lunars, who want to protect their homes and people, with the ancient grudges of the others. Like, Raksi and Ma-Ha-Suchi would both like to see the Dragon-Blooded broken as a force, not just because of the Realm's depredations, but because of the Shogunate. Lookshy is as much their enemy as the Realm, while to a young River Province Lunar, Lookshy is a much more complex institution.

It's a really good texture and space for Lunars and I legitimately want to run a Lunars game and bring the Silver Pact in, which I have never really wanted to do before.

I mean. That attitude's not likely to last long; not when Lookshy is every bit as serious about killing Lunars as the Realm, and in fact that's one of the very few areas where the two will actually cooperate.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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Mors Rattus posted:

Also, in the Deep Wyld, it is possible for couplings between humans and animals to possibly yield beastfolk. I have no idea why this was even mentioned.

Presumably to head off arguments about something that was true in prior editions and prevent those discussions from spiraling into multi-page dissertations on the optimality of bestiality. Honestly I think this works better than Progenitive Essence for DBs because rather than inventing new setting metaphysics that just provoke further arguments, it just posits that yeah, you can do this because the Wyld gives no fucks about biochemical barriers but why would you want to?

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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Mors Rattus posted:

There's still an air-breather population, and they still live in the shittiest parts of Luthe, but it seems like their abuse is more a result of them being poor and stuck in the Haven rather than any direct hatred.

Yeah it's ableism toward those poor saps who can't even breathe properly without special accommodations rather than inter-generational torture porn.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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Loxbourne posted:

Now this is good, and indicates learning from previous skeeve points. The limit break turning Lunars into generic mythical monsters is predictable but there's nothing wrong with it; it's good for the kind of story they want Lunars to tell.

My personal favorite is Vainglorious Siren Promenade because it’s 100% NOTICE ME SENPAI and that’s just wonderful.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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Mors Rattus posted:

The main thing is that when Dynasts are a major, y'know, PC group, it is genuinely important to make playing them not also mean having to be the worst person unless you want that.

Also the system they're born to, designed to prop them up at the expense of the rest of the world, certainly blows chunks, but in the wise words of Morty Smith: "Nobody exists on purpose."

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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Mors Rattus posted:

Fangs at the Gate: Charismatic Lunar Tricks

Charisma: Influence! Beast-King Dictates lets you reroll failures on a persuade, bargain or threaten roll because of your natural authority, and you reroll all 1s first if you’re in a human shape that has a superior position to your target in a formal or informal social hierarchy.

[snip]

Charisma: Territory! Boundary-Marking Meditation lets you claim a territory with size based on your Essence. You must physically travel the majority of it, and any mortal communities there must accept your presence and acknowledge that they have no ability or desire to drive you out. Any supernatural beings in the region, including other Exalts, must either consent to your claim or be forced to submit in battle or similar. Also, if the territory is already claimed by another Lunar, you can’t take it unless they let you or they die. You pick three qualities to describe the territory; any action taken by anyone in the territory that is supported by a quality is treated as having an applicable specialty, and any action opposed by a quality gets a minor penalty. You never suffer penalties from this and you may reflexively give that immunity to others, or deny them benefits. Story events may remove qualities, and once per story you can change a territory’s qualities or replace lost ones with new ones that apply. You can only have a number of territories based on your Essence. This can be learned via Wits, too.

Dream-Shrouded Wilderness lets you whisper a dream into the land as a Charisma-based instill or persuade roll, binding it into your claimed territory. The first time any given character sleeps in your territory each story, they are hit by the influence roll via a dream. This ends if you go more than a season without visiting the territory. King-of-Beasts Sovereignty lets you enchant a region to pick an animal species that lives there with a Charisma roll, as long as they would be 2-dot familiars or below. All animals of that species in the region get a Minor Tie of loyalty to the region’s mortals, or a Major tie if it’s your claimed territory. So long as they are treated well, they will protect and aid the locals. They return to the wilds at the end of the story, though individuals might remain based on events. Even those who leave will not harm the natives unless provoked afterwards.

Living World Embodiment gives each of your territories a virtual healthbar. When you take Decisive damage within your territory, you can shunt half the damage to the territory’s healthbar, and you can deal damage to it to prevent botches or Willpower loss to disease. Damage to the territory manifests in the form of withered plants, barren land, diseased animals and so on. Its wound penalties apply to all Survival rolls to forage and find shelter in it and to Craft rolls to make things from its natural resources. It heals one level of damage per month, or per week if enhanced by the Lunar Charm Moon-and-Earth Blessing, but while it has wound penalties it loses the bonus successes granted by that Charm. While in your territory, whenever you would heal a level of damage, you may choose not to in order to heal a level of damage to the territory, which the GM may rule can also be used to heal blights, infestations or curses on the land. You can also, if the territory is undamaged and blessed by Moon-and-Earth Blessing, forgo healing to increase that Charm’s effects to bless the land further, causing massive supernatural fertility.

Oh boy, Lunar Charisma! This new cascade is wonderful, and the Territory Charms in particular are an amazing utility that Solars and Deebs can’t easily replicate. Really helps Lunars feel like living forces of nature rather than Silver Solar Understudies.

Also Beast-King Dictates is a bit contentious because its Protean keyword means that its strongest benefit can never apply to your own shape, and a fair few players have Strong Opinions about the implications of that.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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Yeah the Realm is terrible but it's not actually much worse than its historical inspirations, the writing just doesn't elide those details as with D&D-style generic medieval fantasy. Its portrayal isn't static, either - the book goes into detail on how there have been real progressive/reformist movements, which if they aren't crushed are usually co-opted by the Empress and directed against her enemies, but even so hobbled the Realm is probably better for their presence. Of course, now the Empress has vanished and all bets are off - if your DB PC wants to make a real difference, now's the time.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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Night10194 posted:

Did the Realm ever fight a war with a sovereign nation to force it to buy drugs.

Not that I can recall; that's really more the Guild's sort of thing.

e: although I guess any war of conquest that led to a satrapy's incorporation under House Cynis administration would count.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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Mors Rattus posted:

Wits: Territory! Secure Den Prana lets you make a Wits check to secure an enclosed space for a number of people based on your Wits and Essence. This den cannot be found by casual observers at all, only those actively seeking it out, and they must beat your roll with a Perception check. Attempts to track people to the den or otherwise indirectly infer its location get a penalty. You and those you reveal the lair to can find it unhindered, of course. If you have a relevant Craft, you gain crafting XP as per a basic project. If you know Magpie’s Nest Resourcefulness, you may use it to retroactively have made a den, though this has a penalty to the roll, and the cost to use this Charm is reduced if in a territory you’ve marked via Boundary-Marking Meditation. Hungry Mouse Mandate sets the vermin of your territory against foes. You make a Survival check in an area you’ve claimed with Boundary-Marking Meditation. Whenever unwelcome characters travel in it, one of their group must make a Survival roll against your roll each week. Failure means that a member of their group will get an automatic botch on a Medicine, Investigation, Sail, Survival, Stealth or War roll due to interference from local wildlife, as long as the roll is made in your territory. Further, they get a week-long penalty to any influence rolls targeting animals in the territory and Survival rolls to tame them, though any character using magic similar to Friendship With Animals Approach is immune to this penalty. After a number of botches based on your Essence, the group becomes immune to further botches for the rest of the story, but not the penalty.

What, no love for Harmony-with-Reality Technique? Turn a Wyld Zone into a surreal-but-safe haven for your friends? Or Forbidding Wilderness Perils, which makes your territory into a hellscape so murderous that invading armies might flee before you even meet them in battle?

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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megane posted:

I always appreciated that the Immaculate Philosophy openly states that, if you're a mortal, getting taken in or overawed by Anathema is not a sin. Sure, you should do your best to avoid it, and if you're found in their service we're gonna kill you, but ultimately they are too powerful for you to resist so it's not really your fault.

It's refreshing after Warhammer (and plenty of other settings), where you can get mind-controlled or mutated by having a demon briefly glance in your direction while you are in the process of stabbing it, and this is treated as heresy on your part.

Warhammer in particular seems to treat heresy and sin as infectious illnesses, tangible things, rather than voluntary actions. Spend too long on a Chaos-tainted world or in the wrong sort of company and you'll contract a moral failing.

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Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

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Barudak posted:

The system most closely, in my opinion, represents Calvinisms concept of unconditional election wherein a select few are pre-chosen by the divine and are guaranteed to go to heaven and their job is to keep the reprobates from loving everything up too much. That said this idea of innate status of moral goodness, be it in calvinism or in the indian caste system, historically gets abused in exactly this way where people with the status dont listen to anyone below them and huge swathes of them are kind of useless.

In Exalted its helpful because from a player perspective it lets you either play a true believer who is going to do all the good they can or someone who is going to tear down the system. Its a nice move to have a religion that can be good or bad depending on player view rather than one or the other.

Also the whole tiered education where only the initiated are given the whole truth (heavily-slanted to favor the teller but still more factually-accurate than what the laity are told) is pretty well in-keeping with historical practices of organized religion, especially when coupled with the Calvinist/Dharmic notions of the elect. Obviously, you wouldn't want peasants to learn the finer details, because they aren't already indoctrinated and heavily-invested enlightened enough to process this information without hurting themselves!

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