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Exalted 2e: Infernal Devil Tigers - What they become and what can they do?

Kajata

Forever King
Validated User
It looks like I might soon be running a game in which an Infernal NPC going Devil Tiger may be an important plot point; while I thought I understood what Triumphant Howl of the Devil Tiger did, having gone back to the Broken Winged Crane after a while, I'm now not so sure.

So, after taking the whole tree of Essence 6 Devil-Tiger-esque Heretical charms your Green Sun Prince has largely freed himself from the dominion of his Yozi overlords, reforged his own caste into one of his choosing, broken his urge into something more of his liking and probably also given himself his own special kind of torment, never mind invented his own excellencies and his own yozi-style charm tree. I understand that Devil-Tigers are not becoming yozis, they are in fact becoming something altogether new, but what is that? Are they just Exalts who no longer need to worry about aging and who can make their own weird charm trees?

THotDT prevents the GSP from ever learning (Yozi) Cosmic Principle, so I guess they can never blossom into a full yozi/primordial type being? Can they ever get world-bodies, or draw things out from the imaginary land inside them?

I feel like I'm missing what happens at the conclusion of the Devil-Tiger process; do we just end up with a weird different type of Exalt (which is fine and cool, but I feel may fail to deliver on the promise of GSPs), or are they meant to go further and use their own charm trees to design their own versions of (Yozi) Cosmic Principle that they can learn?

Colour me confused. And green, I guess.
 

Brian888

Registered User
Validated User
The implication, I think, is that Devil-Tigers actually become a better version of the Primordials. There are some key differences.

1) Primordials/Yozis in 2E are functionally made of Charms. They don't have Attribute and Ability scores, for example. If they want to do something and its within the purview of their First Excellency, they can do it very well. If it's not, they're pretty much shit out of luck. The Ebon Dragon, for example, functionally would have scores of 0 in all of his Attributes and Abilities if he wanted to act altruistically; he literally can't even conceive of doing it. Devil-Tigers don't appear to have that problem; they can bolster their actions with their own First Excellencies, but they still have Attributes and Abilities they can fall back on. They're not as blinkered as the Primordials/Yozis.

2) Primordials/Yozis have Fetich souls and Devil-Tigers don't. This is a big deal. Killing the Fetich soul of a Primordial/Yozi invariably alters the parent being, oftentimes making them a lesser version of their former self (the Holy Tyrant was actually the ur-king, and that was reflected in his Charmset; Malfeas...not so much). Devil-Tigers still have their own souls. They can make third-circle demons out of themselves, but they are not Fetiches and killing them doesn't affect the Devil-Tiger.

3) As you pointed out, Devil-Tigers, rather than becoming landscapes, create worlds within themselves. I'm sure Devil-Tigers can create or learn Charms to become landscape-like, but that doesn't appear to be their default. Creating a soul-world that only you can interact with may seem a little pointless (although I think it grants some measure of protection to your third-circle demons who get killed), but I think the Broken-Winged Crane suggests that Devil-Tigers can learn further Charms that impose their soul-worlds on reality, either piece-meal or wholesale. This, again, may be preferable to the Primordial/Yozi method of actually becoming a living landscape. If Kimbery is a giant ocean and you can figure out how to attack that ocean, you're attacking Kimbery directly.
 

Ark

OrangeBlue
Validated User
Imo at the end of the day a Devil-Tiger is the only, unique exalt of a Primordial that does not exist yet.
An exaltation can just attach to a human soul and learning (or creating) a Cosmic Principle charm alters the makeup of a beings soul enough that it becomes a Primordial and the exaltation searches a new host. Pradoxically because the Devil-Tiger and the not-yet-existing Primordial are identical, the Devil-Tiger cannot become the principle of himself, so he will never turn into himself-Primordial. If he dies and the exaltation goes to a different host, this new guy - which is different from the Devil-Tiger - can decide to become the principle of the Devil-Tiger, and therefore "birthing" the Primordial. I think because the Exalted are still basically human, the Devil-Tiger himself can just conceptualize worldbodies and other primary primordial traits and also manifest them for a time as charm-effect but cannot make them the default status of being.

Of course that allows for genius-level planning for the Devil-Tiger. Can he hack fate so that after his death a) his reincarnated soul gets the same heretical exaltation and b) it is different enough from him that he can learn Principle and c) is similar enough to him that can be his Primordial-self and his Exalted-Self at the same time? And how often do you have to destroy the Loom for that?
 

Kajata

Forever King
Validated User
Imo at the end of the day a Devil-Tiger is the only, unique exalt of a Primordial that does not exist yet.
An exaltation can just attach to a human soul and learning (or creating) a Cosmic Principle charm alters the makeup of a beings soul enough that it becomes a Primordial and the exaltation searches a new host. Pradoxically because the Devil-Tiger and the not-yet-existing Primordial are identical, the Devil-Tiger cannot become the principle of himself, so he will never turn into himself-Primordial. If he dies and the exaltation goes to a different host, this new guy - which is different from the Devil-Tiger - can decide to become the principle of the Devil-Tiger, and therefore "birthing" the Primordial. I think because the Exalted are still basically human, the Devil-Tiger himself can just conceptualize worldbodies and other primary primordial traits and also manifest them for a time as charm-effect but cannot make them the default status of being.
I guess that makes sense, but somehow I just feel it falls short of what was promised by GSPs, in that they may be becoming something more than they are. It seems odd that the conclusion to the whole process is that you should wait until you die and your exaltation releases and hope the new guy decides to learn (Old-Incarnation) Cosmic Principle. I would have thought that the Devil-Tiger process is in some-way a catalyst to create a new yozi/primordial, even if that process does end with you shedding your Exaltation, now free to go create a new GSP bound to your new Primordial self, and blossoming into something new.

I mean, if that isn't the end result, what exactly are the yozis so freaked out by, when it comes to Devil-Tigers?
 

Brian888

Registered User
Validated User
I guess that makes sense, but somehow I just feel it falls short of what was promised by GSPs, in that they may be becoming something more than they are. It seems odd that the conclusion to the whole process is that you should wait until you die and your exaltation releases and hope the new guy decides to learn (Old-Incarnation) Cosmic Principle. I would have thought that the Devil-Tiger process is in some-way a catalyst to create a new yozi/primordial, even if that process does end with you shedding your Exaltation, now free to go create a new GSP bound to your new Primordial self, and blossoming into something new.

I mean, if that isn't the end result, what exactly are the yozis so freaked out by, when it comes to Devil-Tigers?

For one thing, Devil-Tigers can inflict Limit on the Yozis themselves, which isn't fun for the Yozis.

As for becoming more than you are, IMHO Cosmic Principle is actually a trap Charm. You don't really want to be a Primordial, for the reasons I described above. You're effectively neutering your free will to a large extent for dubious gain, given that Devil-Tigers largely get the same kinds of toys that Primordials can have, only better. Primordials do get the kilomote, which is nice, but I don't think it's really worth it in the end. As a Devil-Tiger, you still get to be "you" at the end of the day, but you also get soul-worlds, your own personal third-circle demons, tailor-made Charms to reinforce the kind of person you want to be, etc.
 

Ark

OrangeBlue
Validated User
I guess it's a mix of hate, fear and jealousy.

The Yozis hate the Green Sun Princes, because they are still Solars, the ones that brought down the Primordials and undid their time of glory.

The Yozis know that Solars have still limits (i.e. being human), but the Green Sun Princes found a way to leave these limits behind - that is not primarily about power level. It's about identity. Malfeas might be broken and humilated, but in the end he is still unique, the Demon City and not just one of a billion mortals who got lucky and exalted. So they might overshadow the Primordials by having a greater mythos, and for the Dreamers, which basically run on a way of storytelling, this means they might become second fiddle or even totally boring and useless and fall to despair, their old enemy.

The Yozis are jealous that the Green Sun Princes are able to grow, change and - most importantly - have a say in that. The Primordials are what they are since they stepped into existance, they can have change (fetich: death) or the freedom to act (fetich: alive), but not both, so they are limited to their Excellency and Principle and nothing else. They are incapable of understanding the worth and reason of different Excellencies and Principles, but they are capable of seeing them. I assume that they know that this is a limit built into the primordial state, one that the Green Sun princes do not have: The Devil-Tigers become exactly who they want to be.

create a new GSP bound to your new Primordial self, and blossoming into something new
Technically the Primordial is bound to the Green Sin Prince, not the other way round: Primordials cannot act beyond their Excellency and Principle, they just can get changed by the Green Sun Prince creating a new charm "from the outside". So they also cannot blossom into something new, because the process of Primordial-creation should be finished by the moment a Principle is created.

Of course, you can change that in your game. You could become something that has both the structure and benefits of a principle-having Primordial AND the self-agenda of a soul-having being - including the ability to change your principle to what you need. This would be a completely new class of entity though and you should talk to your storyteller about how the details work (honestly, I wouldn't use standard Exalted charms for such a being. Perhaps more like raksha charms with the "it's wyld" weakness removed).
 

molikai

Crazy Scot - 1st Grade
Validated User
The important bit of the text for 'The spirit of the living world' is the final two lines. specifically, 'The Infernal cannot yet travel physically into this world, bring anything from the outer world into it, or anything from the inner world out. These feats require additional Charms.'
Emphasis mine.
I imagine the tree is very high essence, but I'd imagine it goes:
I can enter/leave my world physically (Exiting/reappearing at the same point) - probably branches off a tree to let you /pick/ where you appear in your inner landscape.
Branch 1: I can move things from inside to outside
Branch 2: I can move things outside inside
Branch 3: I can reappear at the location of my 3rd circles/worshipers// other places than where I vanished.
Branch 4: Enhancing what I can create in my inner world, such as magical materials, demesnes, manses, almost certainly ending in one where you can grant your creations souls, almost certainly at the essence 8-10 level, so you /can/ gain essence/WP from the worship of entities inside you, if certain conditions are met.
Both Branch 1 and 2 probably start with 'things', then 'People/monsters' then 'Landscapes'
though I suspect it might go initial charms: I can move things, resources like.'
Separate tree, requiring either branch 1 or 2, enhances this capability for people/monsters/terrain/manses...
But yes. There's a lot of directions you could go in this set. Not to mention the custom charms you could create as part of 'your' charmset.
I tend to think of GSP's as Primordials 2.0
Parenthetically, Where the Devil tiger charms appeared in my last campaign:
The solar mate of one of the lunar players was a GSP, and the lunar was a social monster who made said infernal fall in love with him.
Said lunar was then killed in a fashion that wasn't, but /looked like/, to have been an attack by the Yozi's. (I did not plan this, It's just the way the story went.)
Which turned the infernal against the Yozi's, and led to her developing these charms and being the parties infernal contact - she spread knowledge of the devil tiger charms amongst every other GSP she could convince to learn them, and thus giving the party the opening they needed to bust all the infernals free from the Yozi's.
 
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