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

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CTPhipps
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FYI - is it just me or is Third Edition's supplements a bit Dragonblooded heavy?

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Mizu
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Lioness wrote: Sat Mar 05, 2022 10:39 pm
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.

I don't agree with this being a problem, weapons and armor should be an advantage otherwise what even is the point of having them? Why should someone who spent points getting artifacts weapons and armor be told that this dude who spent no creation points/XP on a weapon or armor is just as good as them? Though a fix I always considered would seem to be just having the martial artists pay for artifact weapons and armor and treat them in story as the result of their training giving them an artifact worthy body (with probably an increased rating cost to reflect the advantages of not being able to disarm them and them having concealed 24/7 always accessible artifact grade stuff on them).
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CTPhipps wrote: Sun Mar 06, 2022 1:29 am FYI - is it just me or is Third Edition's supplements a bit Dragonblooded heavy?

Symptom of the edition still being relatively early in its life despite having been out for a few years+Dragon blooded being the second group of exalts to get focus after the solars do. We have plenty of not dragon blooded focused things coming.
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CTPhipps wrote: Sun Mar 06, 2022 1:29 am FYI - is it just me or is Third Edition's supplements a bit Dragonblooded heavy?
I don't really think so, they just got out the door earlier and Lunars are catching up.
Of the seven published books (eight if you count Tomb): Three Solar books (four if you count Tomb), three Dragon-Blooded books, one Lunar book, one splat-agnostic bestiary. One each of the Solar and Dragon-Blooded books are arguably omnisplat but definitely very heavily weighted. So Lunars are a bit behind, which makes sense considering they have pending material. And of course all the other Exalts are nowhere to be seen, since their books are pending.
I'd expect we get two or three books per splat when all's said and done, with the third book always being less directly splatish.
Mizu wrote: Sun Mar 06, 2022 1:31 am
I don't agree with this being a problem, weapons and armor should be an advantage otherwise what even is the point of having them? Why should someone who spent points getting artifacts weapons and armor be told that this dude who spent no creation points/XP on a weapon or armor is just as good as them? Though a fix I always considered would seem to be just having the martial artists pay for artifact weapons and armor and treat them in story as the result of their training giving them an artifact worthy body (with probably an increased rating cost to reflect the advantages of not being able to disarm them and them having concealed 24/7 always accessible artifact grade stuff on them).
But what about the not Artifact stuff that somebody didn't spend anything to get? Why's that stuff better than a kick-ass all-natural combat person's kick-ass armorless+weaponless punchiness?
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If a regular fist was just as good as a regular sword people wouldn't have invented swords. You have to be extraordinary to make fists a viable means of combat against people armed with weapons made to improve over firsts.
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Mizu wrote: Sun Mar 06, 2022 2:27 am If a regular fist was just as good as a regular sword people wouldn't have invented swords. You have to be extraordinary to make fists a viable means of combat against people armed with weapons made to improve over firsts.
But Exalted are extraordinary, so why should the sword have such an advantage in their hands?
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Five Fathoms Fall wrote: Sun Mar 06, 2022 2:39 am
Mizu wrote: Sun Mar 06, 2022 2:27 am If a regular fist was just as good as a regular sword people wouldn't have invented swords. You have to be extraordinary to make fists a viable means of combat against people armed with weapons made to improve over firsts.
But Exalted are extraordinary, so why should the sword have such an advantage in their hands?

Because you are a guy who is extraordinary with your fists against a guy who is extraordinary at using a thing meant to improve over fists and therefore you are back at square one and must become extra-extraordinary to win.
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Mizu wrote: Sun Mar 06, 2022 1:31 am
Lioness wrote: Sat Mar 05, 2022 10:39 pm
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.

I don't agree with this being a problem, weapons and armor should be an advantage otherwise what even is the point of having them? Why should someone who spent points getting artifacts weapons and armor be told that this dude who spent no creation points/XP on a weapon or armor is just as good as them? Though a fix I always considered would seem to be just having the martial artists pay for artifact weapons and armor and treat them in story as the result of their training giving them an artifact worthy body (with probably an increased rating cost to reflect the advantages of not being able to disarm them and them having concealed 24/7 always accessible artifact grade stuff on them).
Okay, so you've immediately gone into artifact weapons and armour when I'm talking primarily about their mundane equivalents that don't really cost points.

I'm happy with how Ex3 handles the difference between fighting barehanded and using any other mundane weapon being mostly a matter of available tags and access to the medium and heavy profiles. Do you miss the days of 1st and 2nd edition's bloated weapon lists?
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CTPhipps
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I think that fists breaking stone and knocking people around even if you're not a superhuman in a wuxia setting is perfectly fine.
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While it is true that in the real world, the guy with the sword has a distinct advantage, I think it's important to realize the sort of stories Exalted is at least trying to tell.

After all, you're talking about a game that lists Jade Empire as it's inspiration, where you, a barefisted/weapon using monk with no armor can fight a European Knight with a musket and beat him and take his gun. In as much as Exalted loves to be subversive in tropes, it also wants to whole-heartedly engage them at the same time; the unarmed monk your sword wielding Exalt gets into a fight with should be a threat because it's a legitimate character choice, and there's not actually a real benefit to making one option of combat significantly weaker then others in the prospect of 'it's realistic!'.
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Might be worth accepting that the sword vs. fists MA thing is a matter of personal preference and rule of cool. Not sure there's a right or wrong answer on it for your own game and it risks getting into the weeds a little
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It's a bit outta the scope of the thread too.

Something else that's come up from devs, though not in text quite yet, has been some stuff on the Wyld and presentation of people in the Threshold and such.

Where's the Wyld?
For one thing, Creation being bigger means the Wyld being limitted to the edges is probably not going to be as useful since that means for a lot of the world it is very far away. So there's going to be when we finally get more on it stuff on how there are more cracks in the world and such. They're also like, more in places you owuldn't htink. The Blessed Isle has a couple areas like that since there's less an emphasis of making it boring and simple. It even has some barely-capped shadowlands too, to add a bonus.

Barbarism
Barbarism in general is something talked about in the Lunars and Realm book I mentioned I think already. But the idea that barbarian isn't something folks usually call themselves ala Conan, nor noble savages, but kind of more just like....what a dominant political power calls outsiders. The Persians were barbarians ot the Greeks, the Germans were barbarians to the Romans, the Koreans and Mongols were barbarians to the Chinese, the Emishi were barbarians to the Japanese, and the Aztecs were barbarians to the Spanish. It's all contextual and usually a statement of in-group and out-group.

I honestly like the way The Realm and Fangs at the Gate kind of contradict on this too, where the former defines barbarian in context of the Realm, while the latter rejects the label at all for folks in it. It's worth noting that form the Realm, polities like Isconey or Ysyr are barbarians, while being fully relaized civilizations and empires in their own right.

You see this with some of the nomadic societies in Fangs at the Gate also, with them being presented not (to me) as noble savages and jsut....people living in rough environments. A thing to remember is that 1e DBs and Lunars were came out in 2002. And so a lot of works which didn't fetishize native peoples as harmonious with nature or even some of the more overt colonial narratives, were still around without critique. Folks will bring up the Life of Brian bit about "What have the Romans done for us?" and it's worth remembering that while roads are nice, those were from Roman soldiers to enforce power and collect taxes, not for Palestinians to have better roads. So groups needing to be civilized and not being like...Disney's Pocahontas, which remember was just six yers before Exalted 1e came out, probably is for the best there.

Wyld Mutants
Kind of in this context is somthing on how some groups are being approached going forward.  Groups like the Arczeckh Horde and Varatjul cannibals, while fitting in a lot of pulp tropes, are kind of like...not great. They kind of draw on the colonial narratives of the 19th and 20th Century European empires about the savagery of locations in the world, especially Africa, where ramapnt cannibalism or idolotry were used as justifications for things like colonial rule or even enslavement. The tropes kind of just carried on without much thought and so having actual-for-real cannibals who are not negotaible-with have two issues. They kind of play on those ideas that savages need to be euthenizedf or the good of the world...and reify the empire's narrative. Think on it it this way: 2e Varatjul were in part basically what the Dtuch said the Congo was like. Only in 2e, the cannibals were dangerous and the Realm was necesaary to put them down. Let's say it doens't read well.

So likely going forward, we won't see groups that are kind of the for lack of better word "orkish" in thier presentation. Note,  you could have soem nasty groups still. The Lintha are still around, but they have a lot more nuance in the sense of being kind of a showcase of ethno-nationalist propoganda can do to a group. There's a difference between a group that due to being as a culture crazy and cannibalistic as presented in the text, and a group that's normal people who drink from a poison well, so to speak.

Beastfolk
Something 3e seems to want to have is more access to beastfolk for well, folks to play. This is shown with groups like Ixcoatl, and some of the example beastfolk in The Realm. This isn't to say there's not prejudice against htem in the world, but I think they at least run them as kind of werid folk with people having different opinions well.

I think that they have more diverse origins is nice too. Some are the result of the Wyld. Some are something from long ago. And the way Lunars make htem now via the training ground trial things is nice for not having to attach what reads as "Well myths are this..." and not quesitoning whether we really need to emulate the Minotaru that hard in order to get beastfolk.

Lintha While We're Here
The general gist I got with the Lintha is as a few things, rolling back to thier 1e take. This actually requires some summary. So in 2e, they were presented as for-sure a non-human race that became degenerate from breeding with lesser humans. Which well...is not something I think we should have as a group reified based on the usual views of stuff like that in the real world. The Dragon-Blooded have a similar thing in 3e.

In 1e, the Lintha blood-purity thing was like, overtly a farce. There was even a textbox on the guy in their culture who advocated stuff basically saying it was all fucked and everyone should just die, and the Lintha instead turning it into an ethno-nationlist cult. Their origin story was ahistoric and seemed to me like something of a national myth, not a genuine history, and their link to some Pure Lintha thing was basically regressive blood purity nostalgia, not like, actual history. They were demon-bloods and mutants with over-inflated sense of importance.

There is also a thing mechanically where they did have Solar Charms for NPCs, but apparently this was so that people could use them as god-blood like NPCs and not have to cross-reference books too badly. Note this book was right before the Player's Guide and so we didn't have god-blood rules yet. And before 2e was announced, more "tailored to Lintha" sutff was something I remember devs saying they'd like to do.

2e kind of like...made all that actually true. They were a pre-human race that conquered a lot of the West and only became degenerate due to interaction with lesser mortals. And thier blood purity regimes are genuine and real things. Plus, the whole "These are crib notes" on Charms got turned into "No these mechanics are real, Lintha were the template" in the text. They in efffect became basically water drow I guess. It didn't help that they were kind of presented as a pan-Western threat and often like, the only real pirates worth talking about.

The 3e take again, seems to be going back to the 1e take that they are demon-blooded who happen to have a big narrative to them. This doesn't mean they are weak. They are you know, a line of magcial folk with evil demon ships, martial arts, and all that. Their reach apparently is more constrained to my gathering (again, Creation be big), including splits. But the details on that to my understanding will be in the Essence KS extras and Across the Eight Directions, so I don't know more than what I gleamed on conversaitons there. But probably less "But what if stand-in pirate eugenicsts were right, but still evil" I think.

EDIT: Some proof-reading <_<
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The Fair Folk
Kind of also a thing tweaked are the Fair Folk. Mostly there's a general "don't just use South Asia to be exotic" going on. So while we'll likely still see the term raksha, fairy or fae isn't banned. It's just a synonym in Creation's context I would expect.

The most useful resource for them in 3e is to my understanding (until further notice) the Ink Monkeys article "Chapter Seven: Fair Folk". Basiclaly something closer to what the original 1e hardcover outline mentioned by the previous devs in this quote here. I kind of suspect we'll get more on the fae as refugees and stuff, plus the singular unique nature of the Balorian Crusade, even if we don't get as much details on things like Ishvarra (whatever they are called this time around).

Kind of simlar in that vein is that there's been some comments from devs on other aspects to kind of not expect, such as the Fair Folk not being basically p-zombies or to worry about like, a Second Balorian Crusade as inevitable. There's also a bit from the corebook where the Fair Folk rather than being different degrees of the same entity, are different things. What were nobles in previous editions are their own "species" so to speak of Wyld critter, with different kinds of caste of commoner being other ones and hannya being yet antoher.

It's also unclear whether Unshaped come back, as they were something that kind of ate a lot of wordcount and din't like, add a lot due to not being useful mechanically and kind of again, growing out of "these beings of the infinite Chaos are the same things, actually" I think.

There's current not plans to have Fair Folk PC rules. They're going to be treated a bit more "bespoke" this time, ala the ones we see in Adversaries of the Righteous so far.  Think more like gods than a PC option basically. This is actually to my understnading part of the concept of Dream-Soulsed in order ot have at least some of the chimeric illusion stuff, but in something that's a bit less alien and in need of more customized-for-the-plot than Fair Folk powers relaly lallowed for when based on PC constraints in previous editions. That being said, how to play them in say, Essence, is given as crib note sin one of hte episodes of Systematic Understanding of Everything if you wanna do that still. It's just that at this time last I saw, playable raksha isn't a big priority for 3e since it's focusing a lot more on the titular Exalted generally.
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CTPhipps wrote: Sun Mar 06, 2022 1:29 am FYI - is it just me or is Third Edition's supplements a bit Dragonblooded heavy?

Sad fact of having, like, five books published. One of them being the DB book and the other the Realm. :/

I also think this is overcompensation. 2E sort of shit on the Dragonblooded, so, 3E thinks it has to super build them up. Same with hiding everything behind a veil of vagueness and maybes. 2E over explained, so we're going to scrub that out and say it was super bad* and then never explain anything.

There's got to be a happy medium.


*Although, admittedly, some of 2E was super bad.
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I agree that it feels that they're weighted a little more heavily because of the volume of material that is out but also think there's probably a level of personal preference to some of it too.

Personally I'm a big fan of the amount of extra development they're getting this edition. The Realm has been the world's dominant power for the last 750 years and the dragon blooded themselves for even longer. I think it's good to have things viewed pretty heavily through that lens and welcome every bit of nuance and complexity and character they can add to that. The lore to me certainly makes them feel much less monolithic this edition not just with the Great Houses but also with additions like Prasad.

There's going to be a bunch a some people don't want to focus on depending on the game they're running and that's cool too. But I think 3e does the best job so far of giving you what you need to really dig into stuff with them and ask how your game is going to handle them, even of the answer to that is that you're not because you don't find them fun. I really hope we get the level of quality for other splats down the line too
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