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Author Topic: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder  (Read 1706 times)

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Offline kongmingTopic starter

So I've learned my lesson about starting massive games. But I could run a small group game, one that doesn't have too many of my own subplots and detailed Npcs. It's just a matter of what interests more people:

1. Exalted: Scarlet Blade. You play an all-female team of Alchemicals, specially trained as a strike force. The gates opened to Creation, and Creation is practically destroyed - high Essence weapons in the wars, and the Wyld influence that crept in while the factions were too busy fighting. Now, you need to restore the world.

2. D&D Souled Out. You were great heroes. But demonic forces conspired against you, and you only won because of a group of Devils. They kept you informed, one step ahead of your enemies, and gave you powerful magic items - uou didn't sell your souls, you just signed up for one major service after you die.

And then you started to lose the war. Demons were closing in, and you had only one option: sell a fifty percent share of your souls, in exchange for cheating death. Funny thing: nobody ever found your bodies, or your gear, but you must have died, right?

So now you awaken quite a distance away, a year after your defeat. And now, each only has half a soul, and has been influenced by a devil. Do you want to earn full ownership back? Claim your souls from the corpses of your co-owners? Just feed on new souls? And what of your old legacy - and old enemies?

Offline Question Mark

Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2014, 10:17:33 PM »
Option 2 is intriguing, but I'm need a lot more info before I make a decision.  For example, what was the conflict, and how did it get so bad that four characters needed to resort to selling their soul?

Offline Meliai

Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2014, 10:25:13 PM »
While I would normally pounce on any mention of an exalted game, I actually really really love the set-up for the second game.

Definitely consider me interested if you go with that one and choose pathfinder.

Initial PC idea would be a "reluctant hero" sort of sorceress, an Aasimar (if non-standard races are allowed, the half-elf daughter of a couple famous heroes if not) who was kind of pressured into trying to play Big Damn Hero due to her heritage. Bad decisions because of peer pressure, yay!

Offline Question Mark

Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2014, 10:41:45 PM »
While I would normally pounce on any mention of an exalted game, I actually really really love the set-up for the second game.

Definitely consider me interested if you go with that one and choose pathfinder.

Initial PC idea would be a "reluctant hero" sort of sorceress, an Aasimar (if non-standard races are allowed, the half-elf daughter of a couple famous heroes if not) who was kind of pressured into trying to play Big Damn Hero due to her heritage. Bad decisions because of peer pressure, yay!

On that note, I'd much prefer a Pathfinder system as well.  DnD is nice, but I'm just so used to all of the little niceties in PF that switching would be a sore experience.

Also, now that I've had some time, here are some specific questions regarding Souled Out (awesome name by the way):

-- So that I have this straight, our characters pulled a Vaarsuvius with some devils in order to gain an edge.  Then, when this edge wasn't enough, we sold half of our souls to become temporarily immortal (chest death).  However, we were instead cheated by the devils, lose, and wake up a year later.

-- So now we have a devil sharing our body with us...  Is this a distinct alien being inside our mind that's fighting for control of our faculties, or is it more of a new and malign presence that is as much a part of us as our own intellect, influencing us subtly?

-- What's the setting?  Is it post-apocalyptic, all wastelands and fallen kingdoms, or was our conflict only a minor one in the grand scheme of things and the world is more or less still intact?

-- Are we still intact and alive, i.e. Are we undead?

-- Were all part of the same adventuring party?  I hope so; we could have a lot of fun making up past events on the fly.

Offline kongmingTopic starter

Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2014, 11:46:45 PM »
Ultimately, it will be 3.5 as I can't be fucked learning all the tiny and stupid changes of Pf. That said, feats will still be "every odd level" and you can use any feats, classes, spells etc from Pathfinder. So mostly I imagine people will use PF classes (as they give extra class features and options and all that) but 3.5 feats and spells (because they're better). Unusual races are allowed, and people should definitely use the PF races.

Traits are still in (two to start). I like plenty of PF "stuff", I just hate the changes to the system itself.

You are properly alive, yes, and can be killed again. The devils didn't cheat you, they just basically moved you away and brought you back as though by True Resurrection. They didn't kill your enemies, however.

Yes, you were a team before, and I encourage the making up of past adventures.

I have some maps at home I can upload, it's a fairly wartorn fantasy setting, but there wasn't some massive cataclysm so characters actually can have maps and history books.

The devils only co-own your souls. Your bodies are yours to do with as you please... though obviously,  death would turn out to be unfortunate for you. Similarly, your shareholder might slowly influence your personality if you (as a player) want, and has a big bargaining chip, but you control your actions.

Offline Meliai

Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2014, 12:16:20 AM »
Ah, I'm afraid I'll have to bow out then. I don't know 3.5 well enough to be comfortable mixing the two systems.

Offline kongmingTopic starter

Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2014, 01:15:16 AM »
I understand completely. The two are similar enough with just enough differences that if you're mostly used to one, the other is an incredible pain and everything you know has to be re-checked.

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Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2014, 05:33:18 AM »
Kong-chan! 

*poucne* 

Exalted?  Pretty please?  With a silk whip on top? 

Offline kongmingTopic starter

Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2014, 05:54:22 AM »
Muse: if a few others are up for it, it might be the one I go with. As is, we have one person maybe interested in the D&D thing, and for Exalted there's you and possibly one other. So it could go either way still.

Question Mark: you were originally just a team of adventurers, out for wealth and fame. Then you disrupted a minor demon cult - people that wanted some quick power (and the idiots they fooled). After that, the demons that were in on a good deal before you came along, they decided to make it personal. More and more often, you didn't need to go searching, trouble would look for you. Assassination attempts at night. Thug teams ambushing you on the road. Whenever the element of surprise would actually be enough for them to win, those were the times the devils gave free advice. In their untrustworthy words: "information of this sort is free, because these demons are our enemies. We need to make sure they fail at all they attempt. But if you want anything else, we can talk prices..."

As you became more powerful (and richer, and better-known), more and more forces were gathered. It was as though the things sent to kill you were just there to distract you from the army that was being formed, with legions of the undead, with the grimlocks and their medusae masters, with humanoids simply working for coin. The war was broadly about gaining territory (or creating corpses for animation), and forging their own massive kingdom, but in truth, the demons at the helm just wanted you dead. Several towns were reduced to ruins in the process, and there were a great many lives lost.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2014, 07:55:24 AM by kongming »

Offline Rajah

Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2014, 08:12:52 AM »
I love Exalted, but...that second idea is just too awesome not to vote for. Epic quests of vengeance and redemption while suffering under a terrible debt to terrible powers? Sign me up.

Offline VonDoom

Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2014, 09:13:12 AM »
I'm not that big a fan of 3.5 ever since Pathfinder stole my heart away nor of mixing the two, but the second option sounds too delicious not to denote interest.

Offline Empyrean

Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2014, 10:23:27 AM »
With the Exalted setting, could you explain more about how Creation broke and the Alchemicals got involved?

Offline kongmingTopic starter

Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2014, 09:17:21 PM »
I don't actually get credit for the Souled Out, that goes to the (now defunct) WCW.
That said, all the interest for that one comes down to people wishing it were Pathfinder.  I tolerate the existence of PF but I don't have to *like* it. I wanted to provide the options there as a halfway measure, but it's kind of looking like this isn't going to work.

Empyrean: when the gates of Autochthonia opened, Creation was already fucked. You're there to fix it, but it's not your fault. However, the time spent separated from Creation seems to have made you resistant to the Wyld corruption,  so you might actually be able to do it.

What happened: the Dragonblooded engaged in so much Dynastic infighting that when Solars fought them to reclaim their glory, they no longer had the military advantage.  The fight was long and drawn out, which in turn meant the belligerent forces of the Abyssals and Infernals had the perfect opportunity for unleashing a full assault. As a result, the three Solar factions fought bitterly, free to use High Essence Charms and artifacts. Destruction was widespread, and thanks to the accursed Solar Bond, nearly all Lunars were dragged into it. With the guardians pulled away from fighting against the Wyld, that is what the Wyld needed: the land became corrupted and infected.

There weren't enough left to fight it when it happened. Like a disease or creeping radioactive leak, it spread. Many souls were destroyed by this, preventing reincarnation. Some Abyssals fled to the relative safety of the Underworld. Some Infernals fled to their hellish prisons. SomeTTerrestrials with low Essence survived, too weak to function as a beacon. The Sidereal Exalted that chose to intervene perished with the others, so most just hide in Yu Shan. The only remaining Lunars are mutated monsters of the Wyld.

Offline Rajah

Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2014, 09:51:32 PM »
I don't actually get credit for the Souled Out, that goes to the (now defunct) WCW.
That said, all the interest for that one comes down to people wishing it were Pathfinder.  I tolerate the existence of PF but I don't have to *like* it. I wanted to provide the options there as a halfway measure, but it's kind of looking like this isn't going to work.

I prefer 3.5 to Pathfinder. I appreciate giving everyone a higher baseline, because it needs to happen, but it doesn't fix the serious problems and it's really hard to homebrew. I'd rather play 3.5 where every player brought their own class from GITP or brilliantgameologists or wrote it up just for the game because it only takes a couple hours and it's a lot easier than dealing with five thousand wiggly bits that still won't make your monk viable in a serious, character-driven and consequence-based game where the DM won't hold your hand just because you forgot to be a full caster.

I like what they did with skills and I like that they understand the principles of how much stuff should be happening per level at a minimum, but they just don't go far enough. I think a halfway measure is great because you have Pathfinder classes for people who won't touch homebrew or for people who get nervous about someone's pet class with its own little subsystems or whatever but you're still acknowledging what makes D&D 3.5 great, that it's an unholy mess with an enormous amount of creative freedom. I'd be fine with straight 3.5, though.

While people have some reservations about systems, you're at least getting great feedback on the idea. I'm really interested in it. It's simple on the face of things but it has just so much potential.

The Alchemicals game sounds fun, too. I am a big fan of post-apocalyptic Exalted and the splats that support transhuman weirdness (Alchemicals, TAW Lunars, and Infernals, and to a lesser extent Abyssals) so I won't be sad if it goes in that direction.

Offline Question Mark

Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2014, 09:53:38 PM »
I don't actually get credit for the Souled Out, that goes to the (now defunct) WCW.
That said, all the interest for that one comes down to people wishing it were Pathfinder.  I tolerate the existence of PF but I don't have to *like* it. I wanted to provide the options there as a halfway measure, but it's kind of looking like this isn't going to work.



Well, to be fair, I only voiced my interest because it was an intriguing plot hook.  The system business is secondary.  I prefer PF because I like PF more, but I would hardly say that's the source of my interest.

Offline kongmingTopic starter

Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2014, 10:08:11 PM »
Okay, that sounds reasonable.  So at the moment there's support for both ideas. I'll wait a bit longer for other people to poke their head in and will answer questions in the meantime.

And yeah, I'm generally good with classes and such from BG or gitpg or tgd, or custom homebrew stuff, for D&D.

Offline VonDoom

Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2014, 12:12:55 AM »
Well, to be fair, I only voiced my interest because it was an intriguing plot hook.  The system business is secondary.  I prefer PF because I like PF more, but I would hardly say that's the source of my interest.

Same here.

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Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2014, 02:05:56 AM »
I'd honestly enjoy either game. 

Pertaining to the Exalted idea, Alchemcials are very good at building, and Creation needs a lot of that in any era--specifically this one you speak of! 

Offline kongmingTopic starter

Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2014, 08:23:49 AM »
Yeah, it will involve clearing the corruption out of places, rebuilding, forcing your technology on the land to prevent the Wyld taint from returning, making contact with communities of survivors, punching Wyld creatures in the face, discovering lore about Creation, trying to stop servants of the Void from stepping in... and of course, there will be some defectors from Autochthonia who want to do their own thing, and may need fighting and then some rather vigorous convincing to repent. Likewise, the more the world is cleaned up, the more likely there will be a return of those factions that retreated, and they may need killing, or perhaps rather vigorous convincing.

In other words, there will be opportunities for many things. Including sexy stuff. And there's a reason to keep it to one faction rather than my disastrous attempt previously to balance Solars and Dragonblooded and whatnot all as playable things. (Dear White Wolf: on behalf of all the people who might like a mixed game: fuck you. Oh wait, WW went out of business, they don't exist any more. VENGEANCE IS MINE.) I might put some extra Charm trees in for people (including various ones that expand the caste-specific abilities so being Starmetal or Jade actually means something).

As for D&D, I'm thinking the level should be pretty decent, in the 7-10 region where you actually could lead an army, and where fighting some demons is actually reasonable (what with the only CR 1-3 fiends basically being smaller than my dog). There'd still be a bunch of "dungeon-like places" that could be adventured in if you ever decided you wanted to get sidetracked and find weird crap. But you also have things you can do - re-establish your presence, make people know you're alive (if you wish to do that), soul-related things, negotiations with devils...

Offline VonDoom

Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2014, 08:42:03 AM »
Going evil due to the partial soul loss seems within the scope of things, considering eating souls was presented as a viable approach. This pleases me. I hope a willingness to still work with former comrades and not be stupid about it is a prerequisite?

Also, any opinions on/knowledge of Psionics? And would they be viable for this?

Offline Rajah

Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2014, 11:49:49 AM »
Going evil due to the partial soul loss seems within the scope of things, considering eating souls was presented as a viable approach. This pleases me. I hope a willingness to still work with former comrades and not be stupid about it is a prerequisite?

I can't say I'm the MOST interested party in building a character who can work with things that eat souls, but I can roll with it...that said, the whole "Lawful Stupid" thing kinda falls apart when you're talking about consuming the immortal essence of other sentient creatures. That's not evil like the rogue who robs the rich and also everyone else, that's Evil with the kind of capital letter you PRONOUNCE. :P

Quote from: Muse
I'd honestly enjoy either game.

If everyone wanted to play a Warforged we could totally hybridize them. :P

Quote from: VonDoom
Also, any opinions on/knowledge of Psionics?

They're great, just not always setting-appropriate...but, I mean, how much of D&D is ever really setting appropriate? I've never seen a write-up that makes monks and druids not feel awkward. "Over here is the Forest of Druids, where druids live, right next to the Monastery Mountains..."
« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 11:52:15 AM by Rajah »

Offline VonDoom

Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2014, 11:51:09 AM »
Eh, I don't specifically want to eat souls with my character, I just took it as an indication that being evil is an option.

Offline Question Mark

Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2014, 01:32:20 PM »
I gravitate towards good and chaotic with my characters, but I could see myself playing a lawful or neutral.  In other words, I'd be cool with a party that leans evil.

Offline Empyrean

Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2014, 01:39:11 PM »
So with the Alchemicals game, what Essence would we be starting out? A bunch of E2s fresh out of the Vats or experienced heroines? And what sort of things might they have been allowed to requisition for the operation? Also, would Adamants have been revealed to Autochthonia/sent on this mission? I sort of have an Orichalcum in mind but thought I'd ask.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 08:46:04 PM by Empyrean »

Offline kongmingTopic starter

Re: One of two small group games: Exalted or D&D 3.5/Pathfinder
« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2014, 09:21:22 PM »
D&D: any alignment is fine as long as the actual party gets along together. I am fine with psionics. I mean, the crystals are weird, but then the material components for fireball are "basic napalm" so magic has stupid jokes - how can I complain about the psi stuff just being weird?

Exalted: you've all had specialist training, so the characters would be created as normal, then raised to Essence 4 and given some specific bonus skills and charms, then a bit of xp to spend as you wish. And one or two free Artifacts to help with your job. A bit generous but it's nice to start with a character who has options and feels competent. Given the state of the world and the extraordinary circumstances,  the Adama t caste are now known to Autochthonia. The inhabitants of Creation may still have a hard time remembering them when motes are spent, though.