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Author Topic: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons  (Read 2945 times)

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Offline The Great Triangle

Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2010, 03:49:04 AM »
I'm perfectly willing to play the tiger warrior martial artist concept.  :-)

And if I play the hell-sorcerer, she'll also be water aspected.  Basically, she was born into house Ragara, and spent two years at the Spiral Academy before transfering to the Heptagram, upon realizing the financial gains that could be made with clever application of Sorcery.  At the Heptagram, she excelled in Infernalism and chose to sacrifice her firstborn child to gain the gift of sorcery.  Shortly thereafter, she began her graduate work and made several trips to Malfeas, before being assigned her Imperial obligation to hunt down and attack the Lintha.  The deliberative hoped that seeing the horror of demon half breeds would cut short her adventurism in hell.  It didn't work.  She went more and more insane, assembling a collection of infernal artifacts before dissapearing in the midst of a battle with the Lintha.  She then vanished for several months, before turning up again on a brass bout crewed by demons and sailing into Lookshy.  She pledged eternal loyalty and fealty to Lookshy in exchange for unlimited access to a particularly inauspicious lighthouse in the midst of a shadowland.  Since then, she's converted the lighthouse into a manse of some considerable power, and somehow cleaned up the shadowland as well. 

Offline ReijiTabibitoTopic starter

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Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2010, 03:55:54 AM »
Okay...so both concepts are Water Aspect.  That's good, then.  And I admit, the hell-sorcerer's history is very intriguing, but by dint of who she is, she'd draw the attentions of both Lookshy and the Realm defectors - the Lookshyans because she's from the Relam, and the defectors because she's freaking *scary*.  Plus, she'd need a lot of Willpower.

It's not that I'm opposed to the idea...it's that I find the Tiger warrior idea much less...stressful to try and slip into the group, that's all.

Offline The Great Triangle

Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2010, 04:07:23 AM »
The character would be willing to wear a slave collar, which could make the group dynamic easier (and another player could buy my character's slave collar as an artifact, thereby providing some goup hooks)  A slave collar, by the way, is a four dot artifact from wonders of the lost age that completely cancels the wearer's ability to disobey the commands of the exalt who attunes the artifact.  A character wearing a slave collar also cannot treat any order as an unacceptable order, though vague and confusing commands can be interpreted.  That could ease a certain amount of the tension.

The implicit idea is that the character has some kind of agenda in coming all the way across creation to Lookshy,  but around the time she arrived she wiped a decent chunk of her own memories with sorcery and came to the authorities in Lookshy holding a slave collar in one hand and an infernal prayer strip in the other. 

A slave collar does cost 8 motes to attune though, although the responsibility could easily fall to an enlightened essence mortal NPC.  If I did go this route though, would I have to pay for the slave collar as part of my character's starting equipment?

Offline ReijiTabibitoTopic starter

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Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2010, 04:13:48 AM »
Well...I can leave the attunement thing to an NPC, I suppose...though it would be difficult if said NPC remained in Lookshy when you went traveling.  I could probably make up a Terrestrial NPC to be the attuned for that one - I was planning on having one or two in the group anyways.  And I'm not sure if you would have to pay for it...I'm pretty sure Lookshy itself could come up with one on their own.

Offline The Great Triangle

Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2010, 04:30:53 AM »
The other functions of a slave collar are that for one mote, the attuned user can look through the senses of the slave at any distance, and for two motes, the attuned user can send a telepathic message to the slave (which the slave must, of course, obey)  This provides a pretty good insurance policy even if the master isn't physically present, since the slave can be given long term orders like "obey all orders my representative gives you, and cast no spells without permission" at the start of the day.  Successfully removing a slave collar without permission of its master deals 16 unsoakable levels of aggravated damage, so even a lunar kind of has to live with it.

Now of course, my character's real agenda is a plot hook that you can ruthlessly exploit, since my character is liable to have left the gems containing her memories scattered in places that she's likely to find.  Some likely possibilities for what she's doing include: Trying to get out of a deal with the devil; Trying to counter the influence of the deathlords, possibly for the yozis, who with the exception of the Ebon Dragon very much want to keep Creation from getting sucked into Oblivion; an attempt to gain political power in Lookshy; and pure sensual relish of being a slave to terrestrials to prepare her to find some way of keeping her free will and sanity when she sells her soul to hell for power. 

Offline Katina Tarask

Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2010, 08:44:39 AM »
I'm for anything that keeps the number of NPCs latched onto the party to an absolute minimum (preferably zero), whether that means giving another PC the collar or handing a distant NPC the remote control.

Offline Chimerelf

Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #31 on: January 20, 2010, 11:42:34 PM »
I agree.  Demon summoners would be watched with a keen eye and a readied bow.  No offense, but I think a less... erm... "unique" character concept might work best.  At least amongst the players I've talked to.

I'm all for secrets and unique powers, but I feel most of them should be earned through play.  If you can survive the hurdles the GM throws at you, then by all means, get the powers.  I just don't like the idea of a character starting with them.

Offline Katina Tarask

Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #32 on: January 20, 2010, 11:47:51 PM »
Whereas I'm all for a character starting out with them, rather than waiting for the game to sputter out and die before decreeing the interesting stuff justified at last.

Offline ReijiTabibitoTopic starter

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Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #33 on: January 20, 2010, 11:50:04 PM »
Well, I've talked to some of the players, and at least 3 players, and 1 GM (myself), don't feel comfortable with this concept.  I can't speak for the players, but I'm uncomfortable because

1: Lookshy doesn't exactly look well on demon sorcerers,

2: It's very hard to integrate the concept into the group.

Offline The Great Triangle

Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #34 on: January 21, 2010, 12:00:14 AM »
Alright...  I really like the concept, but if people REALLY don't want me to use it.  I do think you're overestimating how dangerous demons are and how uncommon they are in the setting though.  My character specifically avoids summoning demons with motivations towards harming creation, and has over a dozen thamaturgical procedures for containing and banishing demons who do the wrong thing.  I've also offered concrete suggestions for integrating my character into the group, and at least one player seems to want to run with the concept.

However, I also don't want to spoil everyone's fun!  :-)

(I may be overreacting to the rules changes in combos making terrestrial sorcerers even weaker than they already are though, and they started insanely weak anyway, hardly better than mortal sorcerers.  Actually worse, in some cases, for their harder time getting access to thamuturgy.)


Offline The Great Triangle

Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #35 on: January 21, 2010, 01:27:09 AM »
Upon further discussion, I've decided to hand my previous character concept over to the ST as a villain.  Now I'm going to be playing a loyal and dedicated Lookshy soldier who found a source of first age celestial martial arts. 

Hopefully that will be considerably less objectionable!

(although if people start complaining about how celestial martial arts are forbidden and dangerous, I'm totally quitting.  ;) )

Offline Chimerelf

Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #36 on: January 21, 2010, 02:22:37 AM »
No complaints about Celestial Martial Arts, provided they aren't Sidereal styles, which I don't think we have to worry about since you don't have Essence 4 that's required to start most styles.

And as for the comment about games drying up, that's the sign of a poor DM and powergaming players.  If characters are allowed to explore their own interests and develop connections and powers accordingly, things will be fine.  Having been in one of ReijTabibito's games before, I can promise you he maintains a good balance between fun powers and playability.

Offline The Great Triangle

Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #37 on: January 21, 2010, 02:46:07 AM »
My character's plans consist of Tiger Style, followed by the Art of Relentless Persuasion, followed by Solar or Lunar hero style if the campaign somehow goes on that long.  In the extremely unlikely event I end up with three complete celestial martial arts, my character will likely be ready to start playing around with those funky dragon blood elder charms. 

Offline Katina Tarask

Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #38 on: January 21, 2010, 07:25:59 AM »
And as for the comment about games drying up, that's the sign of a poor DM and powergaming players.  If characters are allowed to explore their own interests and develop connections and powers accordingly, things will be fine.  Having been in one of ReijTabibito's games before, I can promise you he maintains a good balance between fun powers and playability.
What does powergaming have to do with games drying up?  I've seen powergamers blamed for a lot of stuff for little reason, and this certainly makes the list.

A lot of games dry up, just as a matter of course.  Real life issues come up, folks don't click, or things just don't strike too many folks' fancy.  It is the way of things.

Offline The Great Triangle

Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #39 on: January 21, 2010, 08:52:42 AM »
The cutting off of the power level is one of the best things about Dragon Blooded Exalted campaigns.  It's why I'm signing on to play a Lookshy game even though I hate Lookshy with a fiery burning passion.  *grins*   

Now of course, this is completely unrelated to why games fail, but I'll talk a little about what the celestial game looks like, and how it impacts the dragon blooded game.


When you're playing with Celestial Exalted, there's pretty much one optimal build, often referred to as "Jon Chung's Silver Hammer"  You play a character with a grand goremaul, an extra action charm, and a perfect defense.  The grand goremaul is a weapon so powerful it usually kills in one hit, but is restricted to one attack per action.  The extra action charm enables you to spam this thing and be sure it gets through, while the perfect defense goes into a combo with the extra action charm to perfect away any attack that comes at the hammermonkey. 

When taken to it's inevitable conclusion, large numbers of characters playing with silver hammer builds get into a situation where if you don't pop a combo that includes a perfect defense while fighting celestial exalted (or any cutter with a grand goremaul and an extra action charm really), you die.  Taken a bit further than that, this leads to what people call "Paranoia Exalted" where characters never ever use a charm that isn't combo OK in combat, and die if they can't confirm enough +2 stunts.  If paranoia exalted goes further, characters begin to fear their own shadows, and start including the other tiers of a paranoia defense; a "flurry breaker" and a "suprise negator."  A flurry breaker is a charm that allows a character to move away from an attacker as a counterattack, which limits the number of times the character can be attacked, and helps shut down Jon Chung's silver hammer, hopefully saving many motes on defense.  A suprise negator, meanwhile, enables a character to avoid being hit by a suprise attack, and losing their DV and ability to perfect the attack.  When the three elements of flurry breaker, suprise negator, and perfect defense are combined into one combo, it becomes a three tier "Paranoia Combo."  A player playing paranoia exalted will include these three charms in all of his combos, which he will have for every charm he intends to use in a situation he feels is even slightly dangerous.


Now, for dragon blooded,  an imperfect version of Jon Chung's Silver hammer can be created by taking the charm "Ringing Anvil Onslaught" and weilding a grand goremaul.  Since Dragon Bloods don't have easy access to perfect defenses, this build can be extremely deadly.  With Earth Dragon Form and perfected kata bracers, such a character can essentially kill any dragon blood in creation without perfect defenses comboed to flurry breakers with impunity, provided she wins the join battle roll. 

Dragon Blooded have access to an imperfect flurry breaker in hopping firecracker evasion, though successfully using it relies on your opponent not having speed enhancing charms active and successfully dodging the first strike.  This, of course, is much much easier if your GM is generous, lenient with, or ignorant of the DV cap rule.  (about which I will say nothing more)  They also have access to an almost useless suprise negator in all encompassing earth sense, and a much better but expensive one in Tiger and Bear Awareness.  Taken together with a Dragon Blood's chunky perfect defense, a Dragon Blood can put together a chunky three tier paranoia combo at about 60-90xp.  Because of the mass resource drain, I beleive one conclusion is more or less inevitable:

Optimization in a Dragon Blooded Game: Just Say No.

(also, GM's, say no to any player who hands you a character with a large piercing weapon and an extra action charm.  That way lies madness.)

Offline ultlifeform

Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #40 on: January 21, 2010, 04:06:06 PM »
*sigh* this is exactly why I never play characters who focus on combat... what's the point if everybody has the same crap and can do all the same things... either whoever wins initiative wins the battle, or nobody wins... boring...

Offline The Great Triangle

Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #41 on: January 21, 2010, 06:34:24 PM »
Rate limit removal is an effective tactic against Lunars, Spirits, and Dragon Blooded, but fairly useless against Solars and somewhat weak against Sidereals, since pretty much every Solar and his mother has Fivefold Bulwark stance, which completely negates this strategy, and Sidereals have a version of Shadow Over Water, which enables them to cheaply cancel out onslaught penalties.  You also have to pump your speed to simply criminal levels to be effective, since removing the rate cap doesn't do anything to help you against flurry breakers.  (of course, the weakness of Lunars to strategies like this is one of the major reasons for the success of the Wyld Hunt)

If you're not a celestial, you'll also be incredibly screwed if you use the tactic and don't kill everything threatening you, since you'll end up with such a low DV that you'll have to perfect everything which comes your way, which will end up draining your essence so much you'll end up dead.  (assuming you even had a perfect in the first place)  Solar Analogues get around this with Fivefold Bulwark stance, and Lunars have their own ways of negating this disadvantage, but all others are fairly screwed.  Also, unless you've got some way of lowering flurry penalties, such as fire dragon style or certain Infernal charms, (which usually take you out of the realm of instakill weapons) you'll end up unable to penatrate the DV of any seriously combat ready opponent very very quickly, simply from how harsh flurry penalties are.  (though if you're using Blade of the Battle Maiden alongside maxed out combat stats, you might just be able to pull off 7-8 attacks while still having a decent dice pool on each attack)



*sigh* this is exactly why I never play characters who focus on combat... what's the point if everybody has the same crap and can do all the same things... either whoever wins initiative wins the battle, or nobody wins... boring...

The problem isn't actually that Exalted combat is boring, it's just that the core book makes the high end artifact weapons too powerful compared to armor in general.  (It's even worse with Warstriders)  There are a number of tricks you can do to close this gap, but generally the best way is just to remove the ability of charms to negate the penalties of such weapons (low rate) which requires a house rule.  Of course, house ruling perfect defenses to weaken them also makes combat somewhat more interesting, but compensating for the gains defense makes.  I like to rule that any given perfect defense can be used only once per tick, thus forcing characters to develop multiple perfect defenses and try and determine with every particularly deadly blow whether its worth it to risk the perfect defense.  As a final concession to defense, when GMing I allow defensive use of excellencies during step 6 of attack resolution, since they're usually an expensive defense yet they give players a sense of control without having to go out and buy the third dodge excellency. 

Ultimately however, it's simply a part of Exalted that from about essence 5 on, if a celestial exalted wants to make someone dead, no matter who they are, unless they have a full defensive suite operational, they're going to die.  I once played in a high essence game where Chejop Kejack himself got his arms and legs hacked off by an Infernal Exalt expending over 100 motes in a single flurry when Kejack stopped to activate a form type charm.  (Quicksilver Hand of Dreams Form can be a pretty good charm.  Not so good if your opponent is outside fate and beating you to death with creation's last Protoshinmaic Vortex.)

If the GM is interested, I've also written up alternate rules for the Deathlords that make them considerably more reasonable opponents to fight, rather than being so bloody overpowered as to pretty much leave it a complete mystery as to why they haven't gone and personally wrecked creation.

Offline ultlifeform

Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #42 on: January 21, 2010, 10:15:36 PM »
there is such a fine line between stupid choices and fun choices... so very fine of a line... I consider it my duty to make that line as small as possible... ^_^

Offline The Great Triangle

Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #43 on: January 21, 2010, 10:47:43 PM »
You know, it sort of reminds me of the idea of a quadrapeligic solar permanently bolted into a warstrider, heavy combat airship, or even better, (in a first age game) a Directional Titan.  Why worry that your body is useless when you've got anywhere from a 40 foot long to 5 mile long steel and magical metal replacement body? 

(A quadrapeligic infernal permanently grafted onto his hellstrider seems like an actually plausable scenario... at least for she who lives in her name and possibly the Ebon Dragon.  Which reminds me that Mind Hand Manipulation is an absolutely brutally effective/broken charm, especially for making it really really hard for an enemy to keep you from damaging what they have positive intimacies to.)


Of course, a Sidereal pretty much can't help verging into wierd, but that's the life of the chosen of the Maidens.

Offline Chimerelf

Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #44 on: January 22, 2010, 02:28:27 AM »
What does powergaming have to do with games drying up?  I've seen powergamers blamed for a lot of stuff for little reason, and this certainly makes the list.

A lot of games dry up, just as a matter of course.  Real life issues come up, folks don't click, or things just don't strike too many folks' fancy.  It is the way of things.

Your comment was about games drying up due to the interesting stuff not being available.  Perhaps you meant games drying up before the interesting stuff becomes available.  In which case, I'm sorry for misunderstanding what you meant.  I was simply going off the context of your previous post.  Although I fail to see how you have difficulty understanding that powergamers who feel jilted by not being given amazing powers at character creation would stop playing and thus cause a game to dry up.

Offline Chimerelf

Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #45 on: January 22, 2010, 02:43:03 AM »
I'm fine for openly posting character sheets, as it ensures honesty, although I'm normally about character secrecy.  I just feel that in a forum setting, openly posting character sheets is the best way.  Of course, and proof of someone using said knowledge should.

Do we have a Water Aspect yet?  It'd be nice to have one.

I know I'm playing a Wood, Josh is also wanting to play a Wood, Ult Lifeform is playing an Air, like 3 people are wanting to play Earth, and I think, Katina is playing a Fire.


Offline ReijiTabibitoTopic starter

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Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #46 on: January 22, 2010, 03:05:13 AM »
The tally is as follows:

Ultlifeform - Air
Chimerelf & Josh the Aspie - Wood
Pumpkin Seeds & Katina Tarask - Earth
The Great Triangle - Water
Terian - Fire

Though Terian has said that if he doesn't have a character sheet to me by the weekend, he's probably not going to be able to play.

Offline The Great Triangle

Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #47 on: January 22, 2010, 05:18:51 AM »
I'm perfectly fine with posting my full character sheet, dark secrets and all.  (though of course, I redefined my dark secrets to things that wouldn't be offensive to most exalted players.)

My character is a mostly combat oriented one, though not at an extreme level of expertise.  (although he could probably kick the butt of a poorly designed celestial exalted pretty easily... although to be fair, so could a gang of mortals swinging lead pipes.)


While I'm at it, another reason I enjoy playing Dragon Blooded is that I can go into my peripheral essence pool without other players exploding with "O Noes!   Apocolypse Tiem!"  Sort of reactions.  (Although I think a lot of people have an insanely distorted view of the power of the Bronze Faction and the Wyld Hunt, as well as possibly the number of elder sidereals.)

Offline ReijiTabibitoTopic starter

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Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #48 on: January 22, 2010, 07:26:13 AM »
Okay, quick note to everyone playing.  After submission of some character sheets, and talking it over with other players, I have decided to raise the cap on bonus points gained from Flaws to 15 (as opposed to the original 10).  If you want to take advantage of this, feel free.  If your character is fine as-is, then that's great as well.  The 4 different Flaw cap still stands, though.

Offline Katina Tarask

Re: Exalted: Brotherhood of the Dragons
« Reply #49 on: January 22, 2010, 09:42:35 AM »
I'm generally against secrecy between players.  Anything that everyone else doesn't know may as well not exist.  It's also the difference between, "Hey, you just stabbed me in the back after all this build-up and it was awesome," versus, "You just stabbed me in the back out of nowhere and it sucked, screw you."  Players ought to trust each other.

And seeing others' sheets may be useful to me.  Newbie and all.
Your comment was about games drying up due to the interesting stuff not being available.  Perhaps you meant games drying up before the interesting stuff becomes available.  In which case, I'm sorry for misunderstanding what you meant.  I was simply going off the context of your previous post.  Although I fail to see how you have difficulty understanding that powergamers who feel jilted by not being given amazing powers at character creation would stop playing and thus cause a game to dry up.
It's about both.

The notion that interesting things that you can legally acquire in character creation should instead be 'earned' annoys me, as they can be legally obtained in character creation and are assumed 'earned' by default.  A demon-summoner in character creation is weird and significant, yes.  That doesn't mean the player should have to wait three months to be allowed access to the basics of her character.

Getting bored and walking away because you were told, "No, you can't have your character this month," is not being a powergamer.  It's just base wanting to play the game, and getting frustrated when you're denied that.

And... we're playing Exalted for crying out loud.  A system where a freshly made character can create the Pieta in a minute.  The game's practically built on ridiculous, over-the-top powers.  Just making an exalted in the first place means you're getting amazing powers at character creation.

Beyond that?  The, 'You have to go earn that,' mentality applied to things that are already earned as a part of character creation is extremely frustrating, particularly since it prevents interesting things from happening in the timeframe required to maintain the game.

And dude, watch your use of 'powergamer.'  Right about now, it's very insulting and utterly baseless.