Explaining 3rd Edition lore to die hard 2nd Edition players

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Blaque
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The level of whether the Lunars surviving or not was part of Siderela strategic goals is not actually that clear. Kind of worth remembeirng that we don't actually know the details of the Jade Prison (which likely is sitll htere in some form) but whatever it was, Solars were rendered effectively extinct while Lunars weren't. Whether this was a failure or just part of the assumed issues is not clear.

Something in that too is that the Shogunate more-or-less had the LUnars handled too. This is in part what feeds the annomosity of it too. Elder Lunars saw the Dragon-Blooded as Usurpers who took power from them. Shogunate Lunars saw the Dragon-Blooded as straight-up enemies who dined them their (self-assured) divine right to rule, and persectued htem to the edge of the world. Full out war failed, so they went to guerilla war, but the Lunar insurgency seemed to be mostly pushed-out to the peirphery.

The Contagion's destruction of the Shogunate, lots of global power strucutre,s and also unifying a generaiton of Lunars seems to be a pretty big factor in why the fight is more a long term stalemate, and why Luanrs have been able to do more than sabotage infrastrucutre. I think that's especially what's intersting in 3e really there: thre's more back-and-forth.

And Solars are note, not irrelevaant. The big thing is their absence is knwona nd felt, and again, they were for a lot of Creation extinct for at least twelve and as many as fifteen centuries. (Sources differe on this in books.) For kind of contrast, the last Western Roman Emperor was deposed around that long ago. Kind of for context in that, the last Roman Emperor, Romulus Augustulus, was deposed in 476 CE, was 1,546 years ago. The last non-Muslim ruler of Iran, Shah Yazdegerd III, was deposed in 651, 1371 years ago. And the last ruler of the Mayan city-state of Copan was in 822 CE, 1200 years ago. Kind of think of htat. In the time span the Solars were extinct, we had the Mongols, a lot of the spread of Islam, the entire Age of Exploraiton and so on.

For something even weirder to think on, the Late Bronze Age Collapse ended around 1200 BCE. This means that by the time of Augustus, it was already an Usurpation ago at least. By that point, no one oculd read anything save some Egyptian hierogyphics form that period...barely. If Solars didn't pop up every few years needing to be put down, they'd probably be complete mythology at this point.

Which you know, throws a spanner in a lot of works when there's now over a hudnred of them, plus a hundred new Solar-likes and half another many built on raiinsg literal Hell in the world. To me the Lunar position is actually weirdly like...sensible. Solars dying fucking sucked. But Solars were gone. And now you have centuries of Lunars fighting for power not especially ready to just hand that over to someone new...ripe space for conflict, no?

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CTPhipps
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Blaque wrote: The level of whether the Lunars surviving or not was part of Siderela strategic goals is not actually that clear. Kind of worth remembeirng that we don't actually know the details of the Jade Prison (which likely is sitll htere in some form) but whatever it was, Solars were rendered effectively extinct while Lunars weren't. Whether this was a failure or just part of the assumed issues is not clear.

We know the Sidereals didn't imprison the Lunars and the "destruction of everything if left unchecked" portion of the Prophecy didn't apply to the Lunars. However, the Lunars were absolutely added to the Anathema list and the goal was to implement a permanent Terrestial Rule that the goals state the Lunars have to be hunted to extinction in perpetuity. If they DIDN'T plan to slaughter them all then imprison them then this is a terrible plan.

Which, as we know, is literally the Curse of the Sidereals so it could be possible. However, it's also possible they just utterly and completely failed to achieve the level of victory they planned against the Lunars.
Blaque wrote: Something in that too is that the Shogunate more-or-less had the LUnars handled too. This is in part what feeds the annomosity of it too. Elder Lunars saw the Dragon-Blooded as Usurpers who took power from them. Shogunate Lunars saw the Dragon-Blooded as straight-up enemies who dined them their (self-assured) divine right to rule, and persectued htem to the edge of the world. Full out war failed, so they went to guerilla war, but the Lunar insurgency seemed to be mostly pushed-out to the peirphery.

This is a statement but I'm getting the take from Third Edition that "barbarian" actually is more or less meant how the Realm means it rather than someone trying to invoke Conan. It's a derisive term that is thrown about by the Realm but doesn't actually mean as much as people think it does. The depiction of the Lunars sjow they control vast swaths of Creation and have fairly effectively since the First Age while the Realm simply determines these places to be the boonies. Yes, the Realm is bigger and richer but that's not really the limit of one's determination of a civilization's value.

The Shogunate might have had them all mopped up or they might have had a similar arrangement with the Lunars and the Contagion wiped them both out.
Blaque wrote: And Solars are note, not irrelevaant. The big thing is their absence is knwona nd felt, and again, they were for a lot of Creation extinct for at least twelve and as many as fifteen centuries. (Sources differe on this in books.) For kind of contrast, the last Western Roman Emperor was deposed around that long ago. Kind of for context in that, the last Roman Emperor, Romulus Augustulus, was deposed in 476 CE, was 1,546 years ago. The last non-Muslim ruler of Iran, Shah Yazdegerd III, was deposed in 651, 1371 years ago. And the last ruler of the Mayan city-state of Copan was in 822 CE, 1200 years ago. Kind of think of htat. In the time span the Solars were extinct, we had the Mongols, a lot of the spread of Islam, the entire Age of Exploraiton and so on.

Frankly, I'm not sure those number shave that kind of relevance since Exalted is the sort of place that has the flow of history of immortal god kings, Numenor, and three thousand years since the death of Isildur. Isildur lived almost 3000 years before Aragorn, but that was not necessarily 40+ generations. Taking the two of them as our examples, both lived over 200 years and both were 90+ years old when they fathered their firstborn children. Which means to say they were both Dragonblooded Terrestials.

Even then, the numbers of the Solar Exalted put an interesting perspective on this with the "Lost Twenty-Three." Presuming that number hasn't been retconned, that means the Sidereals were never quite as successful as they claimed to be because while the books aren't giving hard numbers on it for obvious reasons, the Solars are either 100-200 and I'm more inclined to the latter than the former.

Still, that means roughly 1/4th or 1/8th of the Solars were never imprisoned. While it's the "Dark Times" with the Realm, I'm inclined to think the fact they're always reincarnating also meant that they did have a steady history that we haven't heard of as well.

Blaque wrote:Which you know, throws a spanner in a lot of works when there's now over a hudnred of them, plus a hundred new Solar-likes and half another many built on raiinsg literal Hell in the world. To me the Lunar position is actually weirdly like...sensible. Solars dying fucking sucked. But Solars were gone. And now you have centuries of Lunars fighting for power not especially ready to just hand that over to someone new...ripe space for conflict, no

I don't think the new version indicates the Lunars ever thought the Solars were in charge to begin with but much more like their partners in this. Hence the Hapsburg and whatever other Dynasty they were aligned to. Which is a big and good change I think.
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CTPhipps wrote: Wed Mar 02, 2022 5:27 pm Well, I'm not an RPG developer but I think it'd be interesting to explore the idea of Lyta as a character who could be used either as a hero or a villain with the strong possibility that as a teenage girl (same as with a teenage boy) that her opinions are not entirely set and could be strongly influenced by a sufficiently strong party.

It would allow some interesting RPG opportunities that, yes, the players could outright kill her as a psycho teen but they also might try to redeem her and maybe even gain some insight into the Great Curse.

As she would be a good example of a young Solar being effected by it because she doesn't know better and is being influenced by her Exaltation.
I’m not sure what route I’d tale with Lyta.
I don’t mind her being a villain, but I dislike how much she’s being influenced by her exaltation in Caste Book Dawn. It’s difficult to even get a bead on her personality without it.
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CTPhipps
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Lioness wrote: Thu Mar 03, 2022 3:29 pm I’m not sure what route I’d tale with Lyta.
I don’t mind her being a villain, but I dislike how much she’s being influenced by her exaltation in Caste Book Dawn. It’s difficult to even get a bead on her personality without it.

Could you go into more detail what you dislike about that?
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We know the Sidereals didn't imprison the Lunars and the "destruction of everything if left unchecked" portion of the Prophecy didn't apply to the Lunars. However, the Lunars were absolutely added to the Anathema list and the goal was to implement a permanent Terrestial Rule that the goals state the Lunars have to be hunted to extinction in perpetuity. If they DIDN'T plan to slaughter them all then imprison them then this is a terrible plan.
My head canon is that they either

1# Planned for them to be imprisoned alongside the solars but the nature of Luna's power made their attempt to seal them away a no sell

2# They had hoped that after the dust settled and the crazy mad solars were gone the lunars would calm down and they could talk things out like reasonable adults to make the new world order. This didn't happen and so onto the anathema list of their new religion they went and etc.
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CTPhipps
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Mizu wrote: Thu Mar 03, 2022 6:24 pmMy head canon is that they either

1# Planned for them to be imprisoned alongside the solars but the nature of Luna's power made their attempt to seal them away a no sell

2# They had hoped that after the dust settled and the crazy mad solars were gone the lunars would calm down and they could talk things out like reasonable adults to make the new world order. This didn't happen and so onto the anathema list of their new religion they went and etc.

I suspect 2# is probably more likely since I have the view the "we need to bottle up the Solars forever" option barely managed to pass by itself and adding the Lunars was something that would never be able to be sold. The thing was that the Lunars were never going to go along with the Usurpation and the Dragonblooded wanted Rulership of the UniverseTM in exchange for theirs. So there was no way to reconcile after that, even assuming that X number of Lunars did have bonded mates that they loved (I'm going to go and say that was maybe a dozen who really-really cared about this but that's enough).

My inclination is if I want to be "blame the Sidereals for wrecking everything" that the Contagion and Fae Invasion certainly could have used the Solars to deal with both but even without them, they might have been able to come up with something but the Shogunate, Lunars, and Sidereals were at each others throats then too.
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Blaque
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Mizu wrote: Thu Mar 03, 2022 6:24 pm
We know the Sidereals didn't imprison the Lunars and the "destruction of everything if left unchecked" portion of the Prophecy didn't apply to the Lunars. However, the Lunars were absolutely added to the Anathema list and the goal was to implement a permanent Terrestial Rule that the goals state the Lunars have to be hunted to extinction in perpetuity. If they DIDN'T plan to slaughter them all then imprison them then this is a terrible plan.
My head canon is that they either

1# Planned for them to be imprisoned alongside the solars but the nature of Luna's power made their attempt to seal them away a no sell

2# They had hoped that after the dust settled and the crazy mad solars were gone the lunars would calm down and they could talk things out like reasonable adults to make the new world order. This didn't happen and so onto the anathema list of their new religion they went and etc.

I think there's also just option of "Solars are gone, Shogunate can handle the rest." Which all told from what we get told in Lunars...is kind of what went down. Lunars were on their back foot most of the Shogunate. We don't know why the Solars were locked-up and Lunars weren't other than Plot. We will likely never be told that. But I think in interest of what I note the line not trying to write groups of Exalts as broadly incompetent, Lunar Exaltation bieng notably wriggly and accounted for in the subsequent Wyld Hunt progrom existing seems probably just like...part of the plan.

Something that's been discussed on the Discrod is that the Shogunate proably wasn't like, Sengoku Jidai all the time level bad. It was tenuous, but seems to have had a lot more abiltiy to exert power and extend authority than it did in 1e and 2e's take. There's a reason it's seen as a Golden Age for DBs, even if that's somewhat nostalgia and historical idealism at play. But I kind of in context of 3e get a sense Which for Lunars, is not a good situation.
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Blaque wrote: Thu Mar 03, 2022 7:56 pm
I think there's also just option of "Solars are gone, Shogunate can handle the rest." Which all told from what we get told in Lunars...is kind of what went down. Lunars were on their back foot most of the Shogunate. We don't know why the Solars were locked-up and Lunars weren't other than Plot. We will likely never be told that. But I think in interest of what I note the line not trying to write groups of Exalts as broadly incompetent, Lunar Exaltation bieng notably wriggly and accounted for in the subsequent Wyld Hunt progrom existing seems probably just like...part of the plan.

Something that's been discussed on the Discrod is that the Shogunate proably wasn't like, Sengoku Jidai all the time level bad. It was tenuous, but seems to have had a lot more abiltiy to exert power and extend authority than it did in 1e and 2e's take. There's a reason it's seen as a Golden Age for DBs, even if that's somewhat nostalgia and historical idealism at play. But I kind of in context of 3e get a sense Which for Lunars, is not a good situation.
I think that's something of an assumption since we don't know what lands were under the control of the Shogunate versus the Lunars because so much of Creation simply does not exist anymore. We can't say what kingdoms were wiped out or how much they held their own against them because the only recorded history we have is the Lunars holding the Realm at the Threshold.

And given the Contagion is such an enormous apocalypse followed by the Fair Folk invasion, any time before will look better by comparison.
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CTPhipps wrote: Thu Mar 03, 2022 4:18 pm
Lioness wrote: Thu Mar 03, 2022 3:29 pm I’m not sure what route I’d tale with Lyta.
I don’t mind her being a villain, but I dislike how much she’s being influenced by her exaltation in Caste Book Dawn. It’s difficult to even get a bead on her personality without it.

Could you go into more detail what you dislike about that?
Lyta's a former mortal dynast who now has a murderous hatred for all Dragon-Blooded that comes entirely from someone else's life, there's no real attempt at reconciling it with her own experiences of growing up on the Blessed Isle and having Dragon-Blooded parents (by her own account she was better treated than most of the character in the Aspect Books).

As a point of comparison while I’m critical of Mnemon's portrayal in Aspect Book Earth it at least manages to be her account of how 12-year-old girl who wanted to be a monk ended up as the Wicked Witch of the Realm.

Beyond this, she’s like the Ur-example of a Celestial Exalt ruled by her past life which has both been a major cause of brain spiders and it’s something I’ve seen done a lot better elsewhere.
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Lioness wrote: Thu Mar 03, 2022 9:58 pm 0Lyta's a former mortal dynast who now has a murderous hatred for all Dragon-Blooded that comes entirely from someone else's life, there's no real attempt at reconciling it with her own experiences of growing up on the Blessed Isle and having Dragon-Blooded parents (by her own account she was better treated than most of the character in the Aspect Books).

As a point of comparison while I’m critical of Mnemon's portrayal in Aspect Book Earth it at least manages to be her account of how 12-year-old girl who wanted to be a monk ended up as the Wicked Witch of the Realm.

Beyond this, she’s like the Ur-example of a Celestial Exalt ruled by her past life which has both been a major cause of brain spiders and it’s something I’ve seen done a lot better elsewhere.
Ah ha!

I think my fandom osmosis of Exalted affected me here because I never knew about Lyta from the Dawn book. I always assumed a different motivation for Lyta's hatred of the Dragonblooded and for the very reasons you listed. Lyta was apparently a very well-loved and better treated Dynast than most and then suddenly her own people are trying to kill her. I mentally put it in my head that Lyta's gross murderous rage at the Dragonblooded she grew up around is due to the intense sense of betrayal she must feel.

Sort of like how the sincerely religious take it hardest when they are let down by people they had put their faith in, particularly if they are rejected for something that is beyond their power and doesn't affect them otherwise. Which is a roundabout way of saying, "imagine Lyta exalting as a Solar as a coming out story only to have her parents reject her for being gay/Chosen by the Unconquered Sun."

Fire Orchid's family is quietly investigating whether she's a Solar or not but you could easily imagine the whole thing being the worst sort of example for Lyta. Mind you, that gives Lyta a much more sympathetic reason to want to see the Realm's nobility destroyed.

This is all completely made up by me on the spot, though.
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Oh, just wanted to clarify a couple of 2e to Ex3 misconception I see a lot of –

Enlightened Mortals-
You’ll sometimes see the removal of ‘Enlightened Mortals’ cited as one of Ex3’s sins, but that’s an incomplete picture.
In 2e Enlightened Mortals were people who were neither exalts nor god blooded who somehow unlocked their own essence through a variety of esoteric techniques, they could learn thaumaturgy, terrestrial martial arts and sorcery.

Ex3 primarily objects to the name and the idea that an unexalted essence user unlocks or earns the ability to wield essence through hard work and meditation in favour of treating acquiring an essence pool as a transformative experience not unlike a sorcerous initiation and capable of making someone rather powerful in a way Enlighted Mortals never were but are more limited than Exalts.

The two examples we have thus far are Mist the Eternal Revolutionary a farmer who power quested in the wyld for the strength to topple a tyrant but in doing so became lost in a narrative of going from city to city topping regimes barely able to remember his own past and Ku Nenaveya a woman who failed the Bishop and was given over to his torturer-artisans and now she’s powered by hate and wielding a Daiklave from her frozen tears.
Now is there something of a hole left by Terrestrial Martial Artists? Honestly, yes.

The intent was also to give each Martial Arts style several charms which didn’t cost motes that were called techniques and were intended for mortal use. They didn’t make it to the final Ex3 core book (the TLDR, is that they were too complicated and the sort of thing an Exalt MAist would snap up to establish themselves as a master of the style then possibly never use because of their activation conditions we only saw the ones for Tiger and Snake Style in the playtest but apparently they were some of the simpler ones) but might appear in some form somewhere down the line.
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Blaque
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Kind of not quite a setting change but a comment, is to me mortal martial artists wer emostly overblown also. In 2e at least, they were often so crippled on motes and using such bad Charms for so much cost and no abiltiy to combo until 2.5e, that in effect they were a "feel good" mechanic. Something a mortal could aspire to to show some modicurm of magical power but which ultimately didn't like...do anything meaningful save for all-mortal games or beat up other mortals more.

Something with 3e that shifts with how Martial Arts are handled is the Ability is the same thing that mortals and Exalts like, use. The thing is Exalts can pump magic into it. There is a third example of a supernaturlaly-powered mortal in hte line right now: Ashana Ikatu, Master of the Coiled Viper Dojo. In her case, she doens't use Charms, but leans a lot on the Ex3 thing of "Important characters can just have bespoken stuff" and she has a neat Merit that gvies her some combat prowess linked to Snake Style and buffs practioners of the magical version.

I think a big thing to remember with 3e that is always worth harping is there is a clear distiction between the ruels as PC-facing and whehter they're reflective in teh game. The Martial Arts Merit, for example, mostly exists for Exalted PCs to restrict that access. NPCs don't follow PC rules, and in fact, the game line doesnt' assume the game-logic is based on the ease of access or lack thereof of things for PCs. So your NPC martial artists probably can do tricks that look like Charms are might even ust be copy-pasted ones: They aren't PCs and odnt' need to follow PC rules htere, but how they do it probably is something more shown of extreme skill, limitted access, or as in Ashana Ikatu's case, a little bit of supernatural "Dojo master spirit help" stuff. I actually used this in a game when I had an NPC who was head of a group of Single Point users, and had the mortal character jsut have Merits to keep up the fight with Essence 1 Exalts, even if eventually he did go down in a neat duel.
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I'm currently prepping a vaguely "Rhime of the Frost Maiden" and "Skyrim" inspired trip for my protagonists to go to the North. My third edition experience so far has been quite enjoyable and I'm going to have a lot of fun dealing with all the various issues encountered. I'm particularly enjoying the introduction of Liminal Exalted as that provides a nice intelligent free-willed undead addition to the stories that I've previously lacked.

The player characters are going to be caught between the Bull of the North (Stormcloaks) and Realm (Imperials) fighting it out and figuring out which side they should support. The Realm is a bunch of people they utterly loathe as a general rule but unleashing Genghis Khan on the rest of the setting isn't something they're particularly happy about the prospect of as well.

I might make the Imperials more sympathetic by having Tepet Ejava but the fact is that I'm inclined to think I'll subvert her sympathic qualities by having her betray them once their use is done. I've already had some fun with this with Mnemon being much-much more inclined to be okay with Solars than they thought she would be (and Tepet will be the reverse).
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Blaque wrote: Fri Mar 04, 2022 10:06 pm Kind of not quite a setting change but a comment, is to me mortal martial artists wer emostly overblown also. In 2e at least, they were often so crippled on motes and using such bad Charms for so much cost and no abiltiy to combo until 2.5e, that in effect they were a "feel good" mechanic. Something a mortal could aspire to to show some modicurm of magical power but which ultimately didn't like...do anything meaningful save for all-mortal games or beat up other mortals more.
I came to see Terrestrial Martial Arts as a patch for a problem that the core system created, where it favoured weapons and armour to such a degree that someone wearing a martial arts gi and fighting with their fists was basically committing suicide fighting someone who looked like a european knight in heavy plate armour with a sword and shield, unless there was a significant power imbalance at play like only one of them having access to charms.

Ex3's base rules have reduced the disparity there. Not as much as I'd like it to mind you, soak is overturned and the mobility penalty for heavier armour is a trade-off that won't matter in most of the fights you're in.
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Lioness wrote: Sat Mar 05, 2022 10:39 pm I came to see Terrestrial Martial Arts as a patch for a problem that the core system created, where it favoured weapons and armour to such a degree that someone wearing a martial arts gi and fighting with their fists was basically committing suicide fighting someone who looked like a european knight in heavy plate armour with a sword and shield, unless there was a significant power imbalance at play like only one of them having access to charms.

Ex3's base rules have reduced the disparity there. Not as much as I'd like it to mind you, soak is overturned and the mobility penalty for heavier armour is a trade-off that won't matter in most of the fights you're in.

One of the things I liked in Dragon Age: Inquisition was the revelation that the Qunari use magical tattoos so they don't need to use armor. I always felt that was a clever idea for someone who potentially wanted to wander around shirtless punching things in Exalted. Ditto other ubiquitous magic items like bracers and loin cloths of power!

:)
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