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
Ithle01
May 28, 2013


My experience with stunting as a GM is that I really loving hate stunting. I get the idea that it's supposed to encourage a cooperative storytelling experience, but what I usually see happens is the players all act on their own with no attempt to create a consensual game experience and babble on with ridiculous bullshit stunts to maximize whatever benefit they can. Then I'm supposed to sit in judgement of that and give awards, so it got to the point where I just stopped giving a poo poo and gave an award based on how difficult I thought the player was going to be if I didn't give them the award they wanted. If anything it actually made the game less of a cooperative experience overall, sure there were good moments but the exhausting and boring parts outweigh the good ones by a hefty margin. On top of that there are players who don't like being 'encouraged' to get involved in the game if they just don't feel in the mood for it tonight, once again I get the idea behind it, but it's just generated more bad feelings than good overall.

But the thing I really hate about it is that it slows the game down, which is a major problem for a game with an action resolution mechanism as glacial as Exalted's.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Mors Rattus posted:

We also get special rules for chasing down and slaughtering fleeing battle groups, though I have no idea why anyone thought they were needed. Gotta have them massacre rules, I guess? But basically when a battle group routs you can take an action to chase down and murder a bunch of the fleeing soldiers.

I assumed that at the time this was just future-proofing for Abyssals because of their penchant for drawing strength from mass murder. Although, the 3rd edition Abyssals are supposed to be a bit different I expect that they won't be ditching that entirely.

The social system was pretty impressive to me at first, but after using it a bit I found it to be really cumbersome and usually just boiled down to 'bigger numbers win' which made the entire exercise consume a lot of time for something that could've been handled by just rolling charisma + presence (or whatever you're preferred stats are) and moving on with my day. Just to be clear, you can say the same thing about combat so it's not like this is an indictment of the social system. Players spamming read intentions actions on everyone they meet made me fourth wall break and tell them to stop doing that, but that's not a big deal either. I think there's some pretty decent ideas here, but it's all stick and no carrot without any real means of enforcing its outcomes beyond what the player or GM feels like doing. In a 3rd edition game I ran using the leaked rules the one and only time the social system itself actually mattered and got used properly it killed the session because one player tried to influence another player and she was not having that. It was for completely innocuous reasons, she just didn't like the idea that she was going to lose 'social combat' as she preferred to call it and so that was that.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


PurpleXVI posted:

I'm not really surprised. I don't like the idea, as mentioned, of social combat with players on the receiving end, but it would at least be one thing if the GM was doing it. One player getting to dictate to another player how they should play their character would be even worse.

It wasn't that, it was extremely innocuous and was basically just 'I try to use to the social system to change your mind on a policy issue' and the other player going 'gently caress you, no'. The player using the system was the party Eclipse and was trying to fulfill a character goal to create a union between the living outside Whitewall and the dead outside. One player thought they were walking into a debate, the other thought differently. Also, social combat is what it was called in 2nd edition and everyone hated that because it was terrible and misrepresented what it was trying to achieve. Either that or it accurately represented a terrible idea, I can't remember which. 3rd edition writers did have some good ideas and expunging that phrase was one of them. Now, if they had kept going with that, maybe they would developed a system that actually produced results beyond 'bigger number wins' (which is fine, most of the time).

Ithle01 fucked around with this message at 23:57 on Mar 26, 2019

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Desiden posted:

I wonder if player reactions to influence attempts by each other or NPCs would change if it was a carrot rather than a stick. Something like getting a buff or other mechanic reward for accepting the influence. Of course, unless really well set up that sort of system could be gamed and broken in many many ways, but I'm more just wondering if changing the parameters would be more comfortable for some players and get away from the feeling like they're having to blow personal resources to not be told what they think or do.

This is basically why the system doesn't work right here. Because at the end of all the dice rolling you, the player, can do whatever you want and you have no reason to bother to engage with the system if you don't feel like it and the system doesn't give you a reason to do so. It tries to escape from the conceptual parameters of 'social combat' and has a lot of good ideas and complex pieces, but then at the end it falls right back in because one player is using influence on someone else and that looks a lot like getting hosed.

I never bothered to have any NPCs actually try to use the social system against the players because I already knew what the result was going to be. Something about a Roman adage 'the ideal man is one with no holes'.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Nessus posted:

Well speaking as someone who likes, conceptually, the idea of people who will use "social" means rather than "physical" means - if the social rules boil down to "idk ask your GM, maybe roll a social skill?" and the physical rules unfold into a glittering gamescape of complicated challenge and prowess, it does kind of suck.

If I'm reading folks' problems, here, the general issue is the idea that social influence rules could be turned on PCs, either by other PCs or the GM, right?

That's not my issue with it at, That Old Tree basically gave my reason for discontent, but whatever I'll just make it clear here. The social system gives you no reason to engage with it and as presented it's almost the exact opposite. But that doesn't actually matter because the social system has no means of enforcing its outcomes without charms. You can spend a really long time working through a social encounter using all the options at your disposal and then it just turns into fiat - which is true of just about everything because this is a pen and paper game, but here it's especially noticeable - and if that's the resolution then why did we spend all that time working through the complicated subsystem when we could have just said charisma + presence vs. difficulty 5 and get it done in thirty seconds?

If people have a problem with losing some agency over their character they should probably play a different game? I don't mean that to be a dick, I mean, it as actual advice because it's been in the game since the beginning and is a fully intended part of the game experience. Exalted is fairly up-front about all of this and even tells you so at character creation. So if you have a problem with social influence being used against you then don't play Exalted. The tricky part is making that happen in a good way without pissing people off and Exalted has consistently failed to deliver on this, 3rd edition is no exception. It's not a surprise why so many Exalted hacks use Fate.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Night10194 posted:

I have been thinking the core book seems a bit fan-gamey while reading it. Didn't it also take for loving ever to produce? More time to add more subsystems, I guess.

The number of subsystems stayed about the same between the 2014 leaked copy and the release copy. In fact, almost the entire book was the same except for a few clarifications in some charm text, the addition of some Integrity charms, and a rework of the evocation system. The evocation system was actually going to be even more ridiculous and then they sort of toned it down a bit from its original incarnation because it was a giant pain in the rear end. When they did they threw out almost all of the charms for it, which meant the ex3 core released with almost no support for artifacts. This was remedied by the first actual book release over a year later.

edit: I just checked my documents folder and the artifact book was released just over two years after the core book pdf was distributed to backers. Two years.

Just for reference, the leaked copy was 949 pages if I remember correctly (as a pdf without real book formatting). That's what they had to slim down.

Ithle01 fucked around with this message at 01:59 on Mar 28, 2019

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Dual Magnus Prana is one of the best charm in the entire Crafts tree because it performs a specific effect, albeit a ridiculous one, instead of interacting with the abomination of a Crafts system. If anything, the problem is that there aren't more charms like DMP and instead we have a shitload of dice tricks and 'solutions' to the problems the Crafts system purposely creates for people who use it. The only charm I can think of that's better than DMP is Craftsmen Needs No Tools.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Mors Rattus posted:

I will grant you, it does a thing, yes, rather than being Cookie Clicker.

E: basically, it's still awful and I hate it for thematic reasons and the fact that it's a Charm trying to be Sorcery, but that doesn't actually mean it's not one of the best Charms in Craft, that's just a really low bar

I don't have a problem with it thematically because it's just straight up stolen from comic books and 'stuff Doctor Doom does' sounds appropriate for solar craft charms and that's really all that matters to me. So, sure, it raises some questions, but *hand-waive-y motions* whatever it's fine for me. I generally don't ask too many questions about rpg effects implications, for me they're there to tell a story, but I can see this bothers some people and I guess that comes down to game style. I think the root of the problem here is that DMP is so out of place compared to the rest of the charms it's just jarring because it doesn't even remotely look like it's supposed to be here. That and the fact that even the guy who wrote DMP thinks it shouldn't be here. For me the solution isn't to make DMP sorcery, it's to make craft less .... whatever it is.

Ithle01 fucked around with this message at 21:09 on Mar 28, 2019

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


EthanSteele posted:

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep, Morke sucks. New devs are way better.

Think of the Abyssal charm preview alone. There are 25 abilities in Exalted. Twenty-five. Out of all the abilities they picked the one ability that would let them write rape ghost charms. That is - and I am using the word in the Classcial sense - an awesome commitment to being a creepy sex pest.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


gourdcaptain posted:

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

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

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Mors Rattus posted:

I am going to note, the core book Martial Arts are way more fun to read than any of the Solar trees. They're nicely contained, they all provide an interesting combat suite, and they do stuff that's much more interesting than generic die tricks most of the time.

If I ever decided to play Ex3 again I'd be sorely tempted to just strip out the native charm sets and run the game using only martial arts, sorcery, and evocations.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


ChaseSP posted:

I'm not sure how warham Fantasy originated but 40k started out as a giant parody of dark scifi including the goddamn term grimdark being dumb as hell and impossible to take seriously. As well as jabbing at British politicians a bunch to boot.

And yet somehow a shitload of people missed that and do take it seriously. The last time I ran a game my group wanted to play Dark Heresy so I told them I'd run it only on the condition that they understand satire. The British guy got into it just fine, but I'm not so sure on the rest.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Kaza42 posted:

For Solars, investing in sorcery is literally a single charm purchase, with a requirement of Essence 1 and Occult 3. It gives you access to Workings, the benefits of a Shaping Ritual, and a single control spell as part of the package. Solars have extremely efficient Sorcery, and the last two Solar campaigns I ran had everyone pick it up at some point or another because it's just so incredibly useful. Even if you don't favor Occult and are starting at Occult 0, it's 19 xp (9 of which can be solar xp) to get access to a lot of stuff.

For Lunars and Terrestrials, it's less clear-cut because they have actual pre-requisites for sorcery so it's much harder to casually pick up but that fits their themes.

Yeah in Ex3 they went in the other direction and now it's dumb to not invest in sorcery because of how effective the single purchase is. Just giving access to sorcerous workings alone is worth the price of admission and two of the control spells are amazing for combat characters. Although to be honest I was always fine with sorcery being a buy in because summon demon/elemental were basically worth two charms to begin with.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


gourdcaptain posted:

Yes, well, that would be sane. Also, using the word Prana less.

I'm not going to lie, one of the things that bothers me the most about 3e charms is how badly the names try to imitate previous editions of Exalted without acknowledging that many of the early charm names were actual references to real things or specific examples of mythology (or anime). I think at least few melee charms are named after things from The Book of Five Rings and when older charms had prana in the name they explicitly assumed that yes you are using your control of your breath and body to work magic because in Creation yoga stuff actually is magic. It's hard for most people to understand that when Exalted first came out, but back then actually paying attention to non-Western fantasy and mythology was a new thing.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


EthanSteele posted:

For making artifacts, nothing says you have to come up with all the evocations at once. Make your thing with just one and see how it goes. I definitely agree guidelines would be a huge help. Can't wait for the Exigents book.

You don't have to, but it really does help. Like KOGAHAZAN! said, making a character with an artifact feels like making two characters. They really need to come out with Exigents. Arms of the Chosen was a big let down to me because I needed it to do one thing and that's a how-to-make-evocations guide or at least advice. Arms gave almost no advice for designing artifacts beyond 'read all the stuff we wrote for an idea of power level and then design your own'. Except that the power level of individual artifacts varies wildly, Sirresh vs. Gnoman (edit: actually just Gnoman vs. anything) for example, and reading another one hundred pages of charms makes me want to blow my brains out. Even if you do that it's really hard to compare artifacts to get an idea for evocations when each author has their own ideas on what artifacts should do and there's no guidelines for charm creation. It gets even worse when you consider that there are evocations that specifically enhance specific charms and some of those are really good, such as that one moonsilver symbiote armor that makes Increasing-Strength Exercise effectively reflexive at the start of combat.

Ithle01 fucked around with this message at 20:04 on Apr 12, 2019

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


So out of curiosity did they expand on the Sea of the Mind in anyway? The original version in Outcastes was pretty out there - in a good way. I'm a fan of Jenna Moran's work so I'd love to hear if they implemented anything from this or just sort of left it blank.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


sexpig by night posted:

DB Exalted lends itself to a lot of good rear end campaign fuels but if you haven't tried 'divine powered failchildren of their families Trying Their Best' you haven't experienced the full DB power.

I'm pretty sure this is the default DB game. At least for me because I've never actually seen DB played any other way. I mean, sure, I've heard on the internet that people play DB in other ways, but that's probably just made up internet bullshit.

edit:

sexpig by night posted:

yea that's exactly how my group does it too. Low powered threats are more freeform, do what we need to handle them, usually something stupid because we're monkey brained dipshits. When someone else busts out the magic elemental banner that's the signal for 'oh this is real times then'.

Totally agree. The best way to play Exalted is to give the players unbelievable power and then let them loose to dick around and get into trouble after their misguided efforts to help people or enrich themselves inevitably end in catastrophe.

Ithle01 fucked around with this message at 22:25 on May 8, 2019

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Really not a fan of the change to the definition of creature of darkness. Already have had to deal with people that don't seem to understand the original intention behind it and considered it to be a basic 'evil guys we can kill indiscriminately' label.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Nessus posted:

For a moment I thought this post was about the Coalition States. :v:

From a gaming perspective I think it may be neater to put it as: "This tag is applied to those who oppose the order of Heaven (the good kind involving justice, not the bad kind involving celestial graft). By default it includes all demons and undead, but some examples of both (viz. righteous ancestor spirit) can not qualify, and sometimes entities receive this cosmic tag for political reasons."

Now you retain the best of both worlds without having extended verbiage on material which is no doubt very interesting to consider when reading about Exalted on the toilet but which may not contribute very much to a game.

Ehhhh, I would rather just leave it at "Opposes the order of Heaven" because that's an open enough statement that it works for me. I understand the desire to move away from the UCS, but in terms of things that are a problem about big NPCs like the UCS this is one time it's not an issue as far as I'm concerned. Creature of darkness being a political label rather than a value statement was one of the things that, to me, separated Exalted from all the other fantasy rpgs out there.

edit: to put it this way, I've seen people using the example of the benevolent ancestor spirit as someone who shouldn't qualify as a creature of darkness when they are the ones that are absolutely creatures of darkness because ancestor cults, no matter how beneficial, are a clear violation of the celestial order and should be punished to the full extent of the law.

Ithle01 fucked around with this message at 22:18 on May 13, 2019

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Nessus posted:

In the old version the Sidereals were actually relatively open towards a specific subcommunity of DBs - the ones who went to the sorcery college. What they would do is that they would lay a Celestial-circle enchantment on any Dragon-blood which was basically "if you try to talk about us or write about us to people who don't already know, you will start vomiting maggots until you stop trying to do that." Given how the 2E rules worked, a Terrestrial could never learn how to crack a Celestial enchantment so it was pretty foolproof!

I don't think it works that way any more but I think the people up at the top - and Mnemon is certainly one of them - become vaguely aware that there's some shadowy dudes backing them up.

It got kind of ridiculous because lazy writers wanted to show off how their DB characters knew about the sidereal conspiracy so it ended up being just about the worst kept secret in Creation. The whole thing is kind of ridiculous for other reasons, but that's a whole other set of issues.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Night10194 posted:

So, a crazy murder-machine who believes her strength gives her the right to decide what sacrifices other people get to make, huh?

I'm guessing the goal is generally 'kill Raksi at some point?'

That's usually what people end up doing, but to me that feels like completely missing the point of a game like Exalted. I feel Raski is best served as someone who actually likes and gets along with solar exalts. If anything she's probably enthusiastic about their return because for once she can finally meet a sorcerous peer. Thus making her a natural ally to any twilight caste who she will shower gifts and attention upon if you accept her advances. Of course, on the other hand, she eats people (and why shouldn't she? She's literally a god in the flesh, do you care what pigs think about bacon?).

That last part was a joke, but it's worth pointing out that animals in Exalted actually have some pretty legitimate claims to sapience so if your character isn't vegetarian than that does raise some questions about how much poo poo you can talk on Raksi.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Joe Slowboat posted:

Raksi is great because she is a very effective and playable example of the excesses of the Silver Pact while remaining a potent ally against the more pressing dangers of the Realm. She's being used in this edition to make it clear that Lunar warlords are not inherently going to build a just world - in fact, she practically shouts 'you must be morally compromised to stand a chance at winning a guerilla war' with her whole god-empress display.
She's also a really good candidate for PCs to declare 'we will never be like you, and we will still defeat the Realm' against. And also a good candidate for their horrifying but useful ally!

I also love that Ma-Ha-Suchi is now Megrims Conan, and the return of the Solar Exalted is the thing which allows him to believe the impossible might be possible once more. His makeover for this edition is extremely cool, and he would be a fantastic mentor figure.

E: also I figure Raksi is much more useful for challenging PC notions of divine right than suggestion that she could be right about the great chain of eating; her political position is "as a living god-monster, I have the right and power to rule my territory absolutely and eat humans for fun" - a clear extension of "the Exalted have divine right to rule and the Celestial Exalted should take over the world again" and also "nobody has any right to tell me what to do, I will do good as I see fit." Raksi is living that life, and it's awful and she needs to be confronted.

Ma-Ha-Suchi as Conan is absolutely cool. It's hard to do worse than previous editions when it comes to Ma-Ha-Suchi and this one is not only an improvement, but actually good. I'm honestly surprised Raski get poo poo talked more than Ma-Ha-Suchi when people talk about the Lunar elders.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Mors Rattus posted:

It's really easy to forget that Dreams of the First Age made it so that Ma-Ha-Suchi's issue was that he used to be a sexy seducer type and he was mad at the world that he got warped to have horns and hooves. (Ma-Ha-Suchi has always been presented as Goatwolfman, his spirit shape was a wolf but it had horns and hooves for some reason. Before 3rd Edition, it was Wyld warping before he got his moonsilver tats during one of the apocalypses; it is now a deliberate choice on his part, he took the Charms that let you chimerize your spirit shape with another animal.)

Also the less said about the beastman camps in the Nameless Lair in 2e, the better.

e: but generally, all Lunar elders in past editions have sucked. Leviathan was probably the least bad, because he was just Depression Whale.

Which, uh, actually gets called out in 3e, several other shahan-yas are extremely mad at Leviathan for spending the better part of a thousand years in a depressive funk.

I was actually fine with all of the elders being batshit crazy mutants, it's sort of a big part of the game after all or at least it is to me. My problem was that they were badly written or that the writers elaborated on things they shouldn't elaborate on. For example, the Nameless Lair. All you have to say is 'you don't want to know what happens in the Nameless Lair' and leave it at that, but second edition poo poo writers had to go and elaborate and .... why would you do that. Everybody with half a brain can figure out what it is, you don't need to go making it explicit like a moron.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Mors Rattus posted:

I mean, it's not like they aren't batshit crazy half the time anyway. Wait'll we get to Ul and his genocide plans!

Yeah I definitely like almost all the new devs have done with regards to setting changes, but it's one of those cases where I'm a bit leery of letting the fans write the game you know what I mean? Exalted fans are the worst, I should know I've been one for close to 18 years.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


ChaseSP posted:

It comes with absurd higher level charms is the big deal I think?

You get custom charms, but not like the old edition's ridiculous nonsense with action-length perfect defenses that can be spammed for fifteen rounds straight. They're still strong, but supposed to exemplify the character's legend rather than just be a straight 'bigger numbers' boost. We'll see how it plays out.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Mors Rattus posted:

Well, that's not entirely true, given Grabowski's being a diehard libertarian.

Grabowski's libertarianism is pretty easy to see once you've read some of his thoughts on Exalted and it's really obvious once you read into how religion in Exalted is portrayed. For those who don't know: it's taxation and therefore basically extortion. It's actually funny to me to see how the new writers have tried to rehabilitate the Immaculate texts to be friendlier, for lack of a better word, when the original intention was 'religion is the opium of the masses and this is all bullshit strongmen use to justify their rule'. Probably one of the things that attracted me to Exalted back in 2001 even though my politics are from the other end of the horseshoe.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Joe Slowboat posted:

Yeah, I just thought the tragic underpinnings of Ex1 were in part meant to point up the deep failure of the libertarian ideal of individual great men who need no infrastructure: the setting's deepest problems come from individuals with incredible capacities still being products of their times and places, and no attempting to construct or support systems that aren't totally reliant on their own skills. The Scarlet Empress being the pinnacle of this, since she was an incredible individual who created a towering empire that was deeply unjust and also collapses in on itself the moment she disappeared because she built it around herself as an individual.

If this was unintentional, then Grabowski played himself.

He was well aware of what he was doing. Not all libertarians are caricatures that are incapable of self-criticism or blindly adhere to the extremes of doctrine.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Stephenls posted:

1e-era Grabowski always struck me as someone who thought libertarian thought was fundamentally accurate without being fundamentally just, yeah. Like, “The libertarians are right about how the world works and everyone else is varying degrees of naive, but that’s not necessarily a good thing, just true.”

(The corollary being “And if you think this not being a good thing is at all relevant to anything, you, too, are varying degrees of naive.”)

That's about how I read it too. I was looking for a way to articulate this earlier, but couldn't quite get it together because all I could think of was 'he's a lot like my uncle'.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Mors Rattus posted:

Fangs at the Gate: Everywhere Else


One of the things that I really like about 3rd ed. is the new setting stuff they've added with just a paragraph and the rest for the ST to fill in. These Lunar blurbs are pretty cool and I wish they just did more of these short blurbs because they really give you a diverse set of NPCs to use in your games or show off the various idiosyncrasies of a diverse splat. And the short descriptions let you have some fun with describing places in the Wyld, like the ouroborus river.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Joe Slowboat posted:

I really like the longer write-ups as well, because they give rich plot hooks and cultural shape to regions. Iscomay would be much worse if we didn't know more about its government, religion, and budding empire- and then the places Iscomay threatens to overwhelm are themselves short rich setting descriptions.

Long write-ups are basically just a waste of time as far as I'm concerned because I'll end up changing at least half of it. If they keep it short I can more easily fill in the details as I go without having to think about what's already written down because my players might end up reading that and make assumptions on things I've changed or subverted. For example, in a recent game I told my players not to make assumptions about setting stuff regarding cosmic lore because I'm making serious changes, they did anyway, and then ignored or misdiagnosed poo poo constantly to the detriment of pretty much everyone.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


SunAndSpring posted:


EXALTED 3E: THE REALM[/b][/u]


I feel like if we're going to do Exalted books we should at least put the opening quote from each book up first. If Exalted has one thing going for it, it's that the authors generally know what sort of poo poo show they're in for. Obviously, some exceptions may apply.

Also, one other thing, as some people have already pointed out, real world empires usually are cartoonishly evil so I have to give previous authors a pass on that. It's hard to portray them otherwise because it turns out that the people who benefit most from the concept of imperium are usually huge pieces of poo poo. A casual look at certain contemporary empires may confirm this.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Thesaurasaurus posted:

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.

So far the Realm is actually better than contemporary empires and significantly better than historical ones. If the writers portrayed it accurately as an empire this thread would be a poo poo show of people screaming about the writers making it ridiculously evil.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Joe Slowboat posted:

There's multiple instances of the Realm crucifying entire peasant revolts; the cooption of peasant movements is directly comparable to Richard II's treatment of the ... I want to say levelers.

It's an unfortunate thing that I think this is fairly tame by the standards of empires. Then again I'm an American.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Really looking forward to the Feng Shui review. That's one game I always wanted to play or run, but never got the chance. The things I heard about it seem to tell me it's just a mess of amazing nonsense, but in an endearing way.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


SunAndSpring posted:

Once again the Exalted devs make me look bad for being an Exalted fan. "I got into it in 3e, I got into it in 3e!", I continue to insist as I slowly shrink and transform into a corn cob.

Welcome to being an Exalted fan, the game that you hate to love and love to hate. I have no idea how anyone can use Minton's defense because the primary meaning is young boy or at best young teenager and I have literally never seen it used for anything else. This is someone refusing to admit they hosed up.

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