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How to depict superhuman ability in Exalted

Accelerator

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So basically, I'm working as a clerk within the army for now. And so I was wondering. If, say, I had a Solar with intelligence 5, Bureaucracy 5, and then threw in a full powered excellency, what would it look like in:

A. An office.

B. A small shop selling cakes

C. Online trading.
 

Imbrium

New member
I'm not 100% on what you are looking for but I'll give one a shot.

A) That office would probably be completely re-organized from the bottom-up. Printers, storage bins, even waste baskets re-arranged to maximize efficiency. Dead weight would be fired or re-assigned. In a month that office might go from having 100 clients to 300 clients, without any strain on the employees and minimal hiring.

You mean like that?
 

Asklepios

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Massive success within an accelerated timeframe, basically.

Look at something like Tiger Warrior Training Technique, basically letting an Exalted create an army of elite veterans in no time at all.

So with a small shop selling cakes, it'd be something like a period of three weeks during which ingenious advertising, financial wizardry, diversification and clever management turns it into a chain of international bakeries that is poised to buy out Walmart by the end of the month.

Obviously GMing this you don't need to describe the interim steps, but the player could certainly earn some stunt dice by doing so. Just skip to "one month later you are stood in the boardroom on the 45th floor of Fancy Cakes Tower, as the Directors report to you that the Walmart takeover has just been completed."
 
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TheMouse

garmonbozia
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Bureaucracy is basically the skill of organization. It's how to set up people and the stuff they need to use so that they're most able to output the results you want. So when I think of superhuman displays of competence within that general area, I tend to think of workplaces that are a wonder to work within. Employees are scheduled well, stock is never allowed to run uncomfortably low, morale is high, productivity is high, and basically the total opposite of how a lot of real world businesses are run.

As for how it looks? Probably not at all amazing. It's mostly normal people doing normal things and somehow not running into problems.

Think of a kitchen. You've got an expo who tells people what to do and when, and then who makes sure that everything is up to standards and that it goes to the right table at the right time. When it's done really well, it looks like nothing at all special. Food is just suddenly up all at the same time, it's up to standards, and it goes out in an organized way. An expo's job, when done with amazing skill, looks effortless and boring and like they're barely doing anything at all. Because their job is to avoid problems, and problems are the things that stand out.

So how would bureaucracy at a superhuman skill level looks? Boring. Bland. It's a bunch of people doing their jobs and not running into problems. New projects and orders arrive in the proper way, on time, spaced out in a reasonable way. They get done, and the resources needed to do that don't run out. Then the finished item goes out to the right place. People chat a little around the water cooler and are basically happy. The manager comes through, says hello to everyone, but doesn't need to do all that much beyond manage projects. Everything is seamless and nothing really stands out. Yet productivity is consistently high.
 

Zeea

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Not sure about the others, but...

A. People discover and fix problems with cursory glances, fill out forms with a handful of quick easy slashes across the page that somehow get everything right, instinctively and absent-mindedly organize everything perfectly, and probably get to go home early everyday. It's clearly impossible efficiency, but with no individual tasks that couldn't have come from luck; it's just ridiculous that people can consistently do things so easily and casually and not make mistakes.
 

Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
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Not an Exalted master, but...the easy way to describe this is "you know how everything is choreographed and looks awesome in kung fum movies? That."
 

Mercurial Sea

Smart Went Crazy
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A. An office running supernaturally smoothly isn't notable for what it is, but what it isn't. Everything that's bad about bureaucracy? All the red tape and runaround? Not here. Or at least greatly reduced. Unnecessary steps have been removed. It's easy to find out exactly where you need to be, who you need to talk to, and what you need to do in order to get what you want. If there's a holdup anywhere in the process, it's an intentional one. The vast majority of people who interact with the office get what they're after quickly and painlessly; the ones who don't were asking for something unreasonable or simply not allowed.

Much of this is due to a superior system of organization, but it can't be overstated how different the employees will be from what you expect. The petty tyrant whose need to control and micromanage creates bottlenecks? The slacker whose only goal is foisting work off on someone else? The malcontent who manages to be slow, sloppy, and surly all at once? Yeah, they don't work here. They've either been fired, or whatever makes them that way has been alleviated so they're actually decent workers.

B. What this looks like depends on how busy it is. If it's not busy, then there's probably more downtime for employees and the books are immaculate, but not a lot else would be notable. It's probably profitable because securing a good supply chain would, I think, fall under Bureaucracy. If it's busy, I think about those really busy restaurants (like the pizza place downstairs from me, which regularly has a line out the door) that somehow keep the whole process moving. The employees move quickly and crisply, but are still friendly. Everyone knows just where they need to be without getting in anyone else's way. Most people can do multiple jobs. It's probably loud, but it's a cheerful, lively kind of loudness that says "we're getting work done." Customers are probably in, out, and happy with their purchase in half the time they expected.

C. I don't have a lot of insight here, but I'd think the notable thing here is the sheer volume of trading that can be done using a good system and knowledgeable/skilled people (and I think getting the right people into the right positions is a big part of Bureaucracy).

In all cases...

- Most employees are happy or at least content. The ones that aren't are that very rare breed of person who can channel their negativity into productivity without bringing down everyone around them.

- The efficiency is not invisible to people who interact with the organization simply because other organizations still have all the problems that the Exalt weeded out of theirs. If someone has literally no expectations, then yes, it's invisible (or if it's an organization that really works behind the scenes). But it always takes less time and hassle to navigate or work with the bureaucracy than one expects and is usually a more pleasant experience.

- The organization responds to catastrophes with startling efficiency and effectiveness. When something goes wrong, their response will be exactly the right one and it will be enacted immediately. A supernaturally effective bureaucracy can recover not only from unforeseen problems, but out-of-context problems.
 

Accelerator

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Um, so who here actually knows something about internet trading? Because, to be honest, all I've seen it was in those chinese dramas where they lose everything, and it just looks like a string of numbers. What is it?
 

Jürgen Hubert

aka "Herr Doktor Hubert"
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For a stunt, you could incorporate a movie-style Sing-and-Dance routine where all the members of the organization express how they believe in their work and do their best for it.

Perhaps something like "Everything is Awesome" from the LEGO Movie.
 
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