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Author Topic: [Interest Check] Exalted: Heroic Mortals in a dark world of lust and abuse  (Read 2410 times)

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Offline The Great TriangleTopic starter

I'm interested in running an Exalted game set after the victory of the Ebon Dragon, in a very different creation with few heroes left, in need of saviors.  Here's what the setting looks like:

There are fewer and fewer stars in the sky every year.  The sun is but a broken red cinder, which hangs uselessly in the sky for all to see.  The moon is a blue disk that inflames all in its sight with lust.  The world is an endless expanse of blackness, covered in barren rock.  Survival comes not from agriculture, or from scavenging, but from the predatory hunt; for after a thousand years of darkness in a world by the Ebon Dragon, exploiting and devouring others to be rewarded by the Dragon has become the only way to survive...  Unless one would rather deal with demons for survival, or be supported by ancestor spirits bringing back the memories of better times.

Humans are an endangered species.  Rape and sexual degradation is just as effective a means of survival as cannibalism, and few are left not thoroughly tainted by demons.  The average person is a darkness tainted mutant, almost certainly the result of wicked incest, and degrading sexual practices with any type of beast.  The Ebon Dragon has corrupted the very essence of Creation, causing virtue to become a strange anachronism, and making selfishness the very core of all mystical power. 

And yet, in this world of darkness, there is something even worse than the Ebon Dragon; the dead primordial at the core of the labrynth, ambassador of oblivion: Engine of Extinction.  Formerly known as Autocthon, the god called the Great Maker has embraced a destiny as the ultimate un-maker, and united the forces of the Underworld to annhialate all of existance.  The demon hordes on the surface fight a constant war against the unmaker, leaving a strange and unlikely source of hope: the imprisoned Yozis of Hell.


I'd like to run a game focusing on a community of Heroic Mortals trying to find a way to resist the darkness of the world, and overcome the darkness that has shattered all.  The general idea of the game is that it will be extremely, almost farcically grimdark, and feature vice and selfishness as prominent themes.  Player characters will be fairly disposable, and much of the game will simply be about trying to find a way to overcome the darkness enveloping the world.

Anyone interested?  :-) 

(Feel free to enquire about the fate of various factions and character types from the base exalted setting.  The game is set 1000 years after the end of the second age, and the following exaltations are extinct: Solar, Sidereal, and Dragon Blood)

Offline schnookums

So death is cheap for pcs, hmm? Is it your typical 'you die feel free to make a new character and rejoin the struggle' sort of thing?

Offline The Great TriangleTopic starter

Yup!  That will certainly be an option.  (for players who like to explore many different concepts)  There's another setting element that nearly the entire world is covered in shadowlands, so when your character dies, he or she can exit the underworld and return to adventuring with the group as a ghost.  (though you'll have to watch your fetters and passions)  There will also be an option to start the game as a ghost, though ghost characters begin the game with slightly weaker attributes and fewer skill dots. 

(the advantage of starting as a ghost is that you get a slight head start on learning arcanoi, and can use background dots to control the circumstances of your character's burial, which can lead to a much more secure state for your character.)

Offline schnookums

I know this is terrible to say, but I'm kind of keen on playing a character that'll likely have something horrible happen to her, preferably something nawty and horrible.

Offline The Great TriangleTopic starter

I don't think that will be a problem in this game, though theoretically ONE of the players is supposed to be able to actually save the world.  However, that leaves a lot of room for victims, and unlikely antiheroes.  It's a nasty world, one where the question isn't if you should sell your soul, but who will give you the best price. 

Offline schnookums

well, I'm definitely interested, hope I'm not the only one

Offline Tonalberry

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I think this could be fun to play.  I've played in a mortals game before already.  Not even heroic mortals, just your standard, Podunk mortals.  We eventually got to the same strength as heroic mortals, but the game fell apart before we could all exalt.  It would have been interesting too, because we all had a basic idea of how we might exalt, though that was really up the storyteller.  I was a smalltime bandit leader, who thanks to agreeing to the voices that appeared in his head while the party was in the underworld, I gained Whispers 5 or whatever it is that Abyssals can get, that lets them hear the voices of the Neverborn. 

Offline The Great TriangleTopic starter

I'm quite happy to run this game, as long as I get a good solid 3-4 players.  :-) 

It won't neccisarily be an extremely fast paced game, but if people can stick with the laconic pace, it should be quite fun.

Offline Tonalberry

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A slower-paced game would be fine with me.  I'm trying to find a new job with more hours, so at some point my playtime may be cut short.  I've also already got a character in mind, though I'll have to tweak him some to fit in this world.  Some time ago, I came up with the idea for a traveling luchador-style character, using grappling and bare-fisted fighting. He was an entertainer though, believing that putting on a good show for the crowd was more important than winning or losing.  For this however, since it's a lot darker, I'm thinking he could still travel across Creation, though instead of entertaining, he fights against the ever-growing darkness and tries to instill hope back into the people.

Kinda cliche, I know, but hey, cliches can work in Exalted I think.

Offline The Great TriangleTopic starter

A traveling luchador actually sounds perfect for this setting!  (though he might end up fighting for his life rather than entertaining others quite often) 

There's not much of a line between "entertainer" and "thief" in the Ebon Dragon's world, though heroic warriors can still survive, if they can withstand the constant and irritating betrayal they face from an ungrateful population.

Offline Tonalberry

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Fighting for my life is just fine.  I just hope he survives long enough for me to have fun with him.  And if he's a true luchador, he will forgive any distrust and betrayal by the people he has sworn to protect.  For while he strives to be a shining beacon in the darkness, he knows that not everyone can do the same.  They can only do what they can, to survive.  *strikes a heroic pose*

Now I'm gonna have to go and dig out my RPG stuff from storage, having packed it all up when my mom and I moved.  What material is usable?  I have the core book, Wonders of the First Age, or whatever it's called, and the Scroll of Heroes as actual books, and more on my computer.

Offline The Great TriangleTopic starter

Most sourcebooks will be permitted, though merits and flaws from Scroll of Heroes won't be allowed.  Mutations will be your primary means of character customization. 

Here's the list of legal backgrounds:

Quote
Abyssal Command (MoEP Abyssals, costs double)

Allies (Core Rules)
Artifact (Core Rules)
Backing (Core Rules)
Contacts (Core Rules)
Demonic Patron (Infernals)
Face (Scroll of the Monk)
Familiar (Core Rules)
Followers (Core Rules)
Henchmen (Core Rules)
Influence (Core Rules)
Leige (Abyssals, if character's leige is the Ebon Dragon, the character becomes a priest of the Ebon Dragon.)
Library (Scoll of Heroes)
Manse (Core Rules, costs double)
Mentor (Core Rules)
Patron (Scroll of Heroes)
Resources (Core Rules)
Retainers (Dragon Blooded)
Sifu (Scroll of Heroes, ignore minimum requirements)
Spies (Infernals)
Underworld Manse (Abyssals, max rating 2)
Whispers (Abyssals)


And the legal mutations:     (character point cost in parenthesis)

Quote
Acidic Pustules (4) (MoEP Lunars)

Allergy (-1) (CoCD Wyld)
Amnesia (-1, -2, or -4) (CoCD Wyld)
Armored Hide (4) (Core Rules)
Atrophy (-1) (Core Rules)
Attribute Reallocation (1) (Scroll of Heroes, stackable)
Awakened Essence (6)  (Infernals)
Beast Form (-4) (Scroll of Heroes)
Beast Speak (2) (Scroll of Heroes)
Blindness (-2) (CoCD wyld)
Cannibalism (-1) (MoEP Lunars)
Chakra Eye (2) (MoEP Lunars)
Chamelion (2) (Core Rules, stackable 3)
Claws/Fangs (1) (Core Rules)
Cosmetic Changes (1)
Creature of Darkness (-4)  (A character with this deformity cannot have virtues rated higher than 2)  (Infernals)
Deathsight (2) (Scroll of Heroes)
Deathwalker (4) (Scroll of Heroes)
Deceptive Frailty (-1) (Scroll of Heroes)
Decomposing (-4) (Core Rules)
Delusions (-1, -2, or -4) (Core Rules)
Demon Meat (-2) (Scroll of Heroes)
Deterioration (-2) (CoCD wyld)
Diet (-2) (Core Rules)
Disgusting Scent (-1) (MoEP Lunars)
Disturbing Voice (-1) (MeEP Lunars)
Dragon's Breath (6) (CoCD Wyld)
Enhanced Sense (1) (Core Rules, stackable 3)
Enlightned Essence (4) (CoCD Wyld)
Exalted Healing (2) (CoCD Wyld)
Eyes of Wicked Madness (2 or -2)  (MoEP Infernals)
Fetter Sense (1) (Scroll of Heroes)
Fragile (-2) (CoCD wyld)
Frog Tongue (2) (Core Rules)
Fur/Feathers/Leaves (1) (Core Rules)
Gatekeeper (1) (MoEP Infernals)
Gills (2) (Core Rules, character is automatically amphibious, or this mutation costs -4)
Glider (4) (Core Rules)
God Body (6) (Scroll of Heroes)
Hallucinations (-1, -2, or -4)
Hideous Maw (4) (MoEP Lunars)
Hive (6) (Core Rules)
Hooves (1) (CoCD Wyld)
Hungry (-1) (CoCD Wyld, stackable)
Immortality (6) (Scroll of Heroes)
Impossible Joints (2) (CoCD wyld)
Inexhaustable (2) (CoCD wyld)
Involuntary Medium (-2) (Scroll of Heroes)
Lame (-2) (CoCD wyld, stackable 2)
Large (2) (Core Rules, stackable 3)
Lidless Demon Eye (4)
Limited Manifestation (-1) (Scroll of Heroes)
Longevity (1) (CoCD Wyld, stackable)
Lost Sense (-1) (CoCD Wyld, stackable)
Magical Attunement (4) (the character can gain a magical material bonus from one magical material) (Infernals, stackable)
Mark of Infernal Favor (4) (Infernals, character is considered a priest of the Ebon Dragon)
Megalomania (-1,-2, or -4) (MoEP Lunars)
Multiple Limbs (6) (Core Rules, use the errata from MoEP Alchemicals)
Night Vision (1) (CoCD Wyld)
Obsession (-1, -2, or -4) (CoCD Wyld)
Ordination of Lies (6) (MoEP Infernals, stackable)
Ordination of Pain (6) (MoEP Infernals)
Phobia (-1, -2, or -4) (MoEP Lunars)
Plague Carrier (-4) (Core Rules)
Posession Immunity (4) (Scroll of Heroes)
Prehensile Body Hair (4) (MoEP Lunars)
Prehensile Tail (2) (Core Rules)
Quills (4) (Core Rules)
Rotundity (-1) (CoCD Wyld, stackable)
Scorpion's Tail (2) (MoEP Lunars)
Second Mouth (-1) (MoEP Lunars)
Serpentine Tongue (1) (MoEP Lunars)
Serpentine Hair (4) (MoEP Lunars)
Serpent's Body (6) (MoEP Lunars)
Sexual Addiction (-1, -2, or -4) (MoEP Lunars)
Short Gestation (1) (CoCD wyld)
Short Life (-2) (CoCD wyld)
Slow Healing (-2) (CoCD wyld)
Small (1) (Core rules, stackable 4)
Spider Legs (6) (MoEP Lunars)
Spirit Shift (6) (Scroll of Heroes
Stone Body (6)
Surrendering Flesh (-2) (CoCD wyld)
Talons/Tusks/Horns (2) (CoCD wyld)
Tail (1) (Core Rules)
Temperature Sensitivity (-1) (CoCD wyld, stackable)
Tentacles (4) (Core Rules)
Terrifying Mane (6) (MoEP Lunars)
Thick Skin (2) (CoCD wyld)
Third Eye (1) (MoEP Lunars)
Wall Walking (4) (Core Rules)
Witness to Darkness (6) (As the Ebon Dragon charm of the same name)
Wolf's Pace (1) (CoCD Wyld, stackable)
Wracking (2) (CoCD wyld)


Characters use the normal heroic mortal character generation system (see core rulebook, page 81), except that all virtues begin at 1, and characters begin with the effects of the charms selfishness is power and transcendant desert creature constantly active at no cost.  Characters receive 36 Bonus points, and may get up to 12 additional bonus points through negative mutations.  Essence Costs 10 bonus points, supernatural martial arts charms and sorcery spells cost 7 bonus points each. 

As a house rule, characters have the option to become a sorcerer/necromancer through initiation via the salinian working (which is the only way normal mortals may become sorcerers) or by taking charms.  This won't really affect things for PCs, except that you don't need to spend any EXTRA points to become a sorcerer or necromancer.  Just meet the requirements, and account for your character's initiation in backstory.

Offline Tonalberry

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Cool.  It looks like I'll have to remake him from the ground up, which is fine.  If this gets off the ground, and you start running it, would we be staying as mortals, or would we eventually exalt at some point?  Or is that something you don't want to give away..

Offline The Great TriangleTopic starter

You'll probably be staying as mortals, but becoming akuma is a very real possibility.  In this setting, Akuma learn spirit charms instead of yozi charms, but they can use celestial circle sorcery, and get a discount on terrestrial martial arts charms.

Abyssal exaltation is a corner case, but very very unlikely.  (you would more or less have to beg the controller of a monstrance of celestial portion.)  Infernal exaltation is outside the context of the game, and most other types of exalts are extinct. 

If you can get to heaven, and restart the loom of fate, you may be able to exalt sidereal, but that would be an EPIC quest to manage.  However, that would create the possibility of using astrology charms to recover the destiny of the dead Incarnae, and ressurect the gods by granting that honor to other party members.

Offline Tonalberry

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Exaltation or not is fine with me.  We can have plenty of fun as mortals.  Also, is this going to be freeform, with character sheets meant more as guides, or will there be actual dice rolls involved?

Offline The Great TriangleTopic starter

Die rolls will be used, though freeform play might get used at times when the mechanics wouldn't accomplish much.  (the automatic success rules will likely be applied liberally)

Offline Tonalberry

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Will you be having us use the dice roller on the site, cause I've never used it before, or just rolling our own dice and trusting us not to fudge them?

Offline The Great TriangleTopic starter

If you're doing critical die rules, do them on the site die roller.  Non critical die rolls, I'm perfectly happy with people doing them themselves.  On the honor system, of course.

Offline Tonalberry

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Critical die rules?

Offline The Great TriangleTopic starter

If the entire plot hinges on the die roll, I'll want you to use the die roller, or let me do the die roll for you, just so that everone knows things are above board.

Offline Tonalberry

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Ahh, okay.  No problem.

Damn, we need more people expressing their interest in this!

Offline Miasma

I'd be up for playing as a Heroic Mortal. I just need to think of a character concept.

Quote
(Feel free to enquire about the fate of various factions and character types from the base exalted setting.  The game is set 1000 years after the end of the second age, and the following exaltations are extinct: Solar, Sidereal, and Dragon Blood)

What happened to the Dynasts and the Scarlet Empress?

Offline The Great TriangleTopic starter

The Scarlet Empress ended up marrying the Ebon Dragon and ascending to become the Scarlet Dragon, one of the four inauspicious Dragon goddesses who are the wives of the Ebon Dragon.  (The other three are the Cerulean Dragon, the Viridian Dragon, and the Argentine Dragon) 

Meanwhile, the scarlet Dynasty and the realm were first used as pawns of the Dragon, inadvertently aiding His escape, and later conscripted as the enforcers of the Dragon's empire.  With the death of the greater Elemental Dragons, as the Ebon Dragon hunted them down one by one, Creation lost its connection to the elements, and the sexual corruption leaking through the world caused the terrestrial bloodlines to die out.  The last terrestrial exalt was born about 500 years ago, and all of the remaining dragon bloods seem to be infertile.  (or at least have been sternly commanded by the Ebon Dragon not to breed)

Today, the mere existance of the terrestrial exalts is a matter of obscure arcane trivia, and the remaining survivors (all akuma) are frequently mistaken for Infernal Exalted, though a dedicated fighter of such beings might notice that they are slightly weaker than a true Green Sun Prince. 

There are perhaps 300-400 Terrestrial Akuma left in Creation, and most of them are essence 6+  The vast majority are old, withered, pathetic beings without a hint of their original elemental resonance left. 

Offline Starfall Smiting Prince

While I know you say heroic mortals, would it be fine to actually play a god-blooded? I think this is in the appropriate power level range of heroic mortal.

Offline Tonalberry

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Well, there's three, possibly four people interested.  I'd really like to see this idea get moving.