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My Exalted Collection is Finally Complete

DeusExBiotica

Obsessed
Validated User
Not particularly. Everyone uses certain abilities a bunch so they remember their excellency riders quickly, and aura is only relevant when a player is angling to use an aura-required or aura-boosted charm, which are both relatively few (compared to the whole set) and tend towards effects you plan around anyway.
To be clear: my question wasn't so much about PCs (Aura strikes me as a very cool PC-facing mechanic), but about a GM trying to wrangle 5-10 DBs at once.
 

Tricksy and False

Social Justice Murderhobo
RPGnet Member
Validated User
To be clear: my question wasn't so much about PCs (Aura strikes me as a very cool PC-facing mechanic), but about a GM trying to wrangle 5-10 DBs at once.
STs are encouraged to use QCs for NPC DBs, and so you can just ignore auras.

I have picked a few DB charms to give QCs I was running. To make things easier for myself, I just picked one element to choose charms from. Yes, tracking auras for NPC DBs was a pain, and so I just stopped. If I like a charm from the book for a QC, I just assume the NPC is in the appropriate aura when they use the charm. Since I only picked charms from one element, it's a very safe bet. My players make pretty short work of NPCs anyway. It's not worth the trouble to waste time making these NPCs follow the same rules as PCs.
 

Blaque

Evil Neko
Validated User
Mnemon in 3e I note feels distinct from Berit in part since Mnemon in 3e has a lot more going on than wannabe mini Empress. Her being an architect, her relationships with her other extant siblings, and her depiction as Ultimate Grandma kind of lend a lot to this. Bert's reclusión, Aspect and relation to the Empress I think do a good way to distinguish them unless all you are interested in a sentence long description of each which ends up encapsulating them by design I guess. At least, again, in the 3e take on Mnemon.
 

Isator Levie

Registered User
Validated User
If you wrote Berit and Mnemon in one sentence each, the only way it would be the same is if it was deliberately curated to be so.
 

SrGrvsaLot

Digital Scribe
Validated User
Read the first two chapters of The Realm last night. The presentation of the Realm material is moving in the right direction, but it's still a little high-level. Too much of "the empire is the actor, its subjects the acted upon" for my tastes. Ideally, at some point in the future, I'd like to see a version of Realm history where the higher-ranking characters are always the most objectified. Give me a version of the Unbroken Rushes rebellion where all the named characters are rebels and the machinery of the empire is treated as a sort of abstract obstacle for the heroes to overcome.

Still, this version of the Realm is a bit easier to use in a game than versions prior. The Deliberative is still a joke, but at least it isn't explicitly an in-character joke any more. I suppose recent political events have humbled me when it comes to how debased and craven an authoritarian's followers will actually allow themselves to get - "yes your position is humiliating and powerless, yes your leader has a demonstrable history of turning on allies for provocations both picayune and totally imagined, yes, even the most cynical and self-serving of solidarity would be enough to show her you're a force to be reckoned with and win you real concessions, but . . . everyone knows the Empress is untouchable, so you might as well go along with her."

That said, they did leave out the slaughtering of the Deliberative, which always struck me as a bridge too far. And they did give it at least some powers which might explain why people would want to be a part of it. Not quite enough, in my opinion, but it's a start. I think "being appointed to the Deliberative is a back-handed punishment" is one of those ideas that sounds a lot better in your head.

Like The Sorcerers of the Scarlet Throne. Maybe it seems cute to have an organization of sorcerers the Empress doesn't really take seriously and winds up toying with and treating as a nuisance, but it seems to me that having a sorcerer with a parasocial fixation on you who mistakenly thinks they're your friend is probably the second-worst thing after having a sorcerer who believes you're their enemy. Sorcerers are supposed to be weird and scary in this edition - this particular detail feels like a rogue 2e-ism.

But then, there was a bit of that going on here. Sorcerers are called "mortal sorcerers," which I'd thought was a term in disfavor. And there is mention of thaumaturgy and other low-level magic that feels at odds with the core book's use of those terms.

Overall, I'm finding this book to be curiously conservative when it comes to the setting. Maybe that will change when I get to the Blessed Isle chapter, but very little of this so far would have felt out of place in 1e or 2e.

A couple of other notes:

Fokuf is a mortal, which I don't think is new canon, though I'm not remembering it prior to 3e (I think some mention in the Dragon-Blooded book?). It was never explicit that he was Exalted, even in the older editions. I think, however, that canon has come down on the wrong side of the controversy. For all that Realm Regent is a suicide position, best suited to someone expendable and unambitious, it is also, at least nominally, a position of great importance and distinction. Technically, Fokuf is the leader of the Dragon-Blooded host. It just strikes me as completely at odds with the Immaculate doctrine and the larger culture of the Realm. Yes, let him be a fuck-up for cynical political reasons, but he should probably be an Exalted fuck-up, at least for the sake of appearances.

Finally, this book straight-out states that the Empress sabotaged the Tepet legions. Previously this was only implied by a chapter comic. Not sure how I feel about this development either. It seems extraordinarily self-destructive, even for the thousand mazy paths. Plus it weakens the Bull unnecessarily. Not sure what the upside is.
 

Blaque

Evil Neko
Validated User
So a thing to remember on the Bull is that the Empress originally probably wanted to take them down a peg. The two biggest military houses were pretty chummy it looks like, and that couldn't do, so having something for Tepet to be mad about would have helped. Note it's also one of the last houses that's not as directly descended from her children, and it was also one that seemed to have a habit of militarizing the Threshold that to me implied it had a history of "going native" in a way dangerous to her long term interests as Prasad showed.

I also think that the sabotage wasn't meant to be the decimation they ended up getting. When she put the plans in action, there were a couple Solars in a faraway place, which would have stung but probably helped with her long term goals of where she wanted the house to go. Then the Tepet actually hit the Bull's forces a year after she's gone, facing down six Anathema, thier spirit allies, and whatever the hell else came that wya. It was suppoed to be, I think, a bloody nose, not an Alexander crossing the desert going West.
 

FrivYeti

Yeti On The Lam!
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Yeah, that was my understanding back in 2e. The Empress set up the first part of a move meant to humble Tepet a bit and rein them in, but then two things happened at once - she vanished and the number of Solars appearing skyrocketed. The rest of the Houses gleefully took advantage of the existing betrayal to really ramp it up, and the Tepet got slaughtered instead of being stubbed.
 

Blaque

Evil Neko
Validated User
On Fokuf, his being mortal is also purely a political thing. Him being only the regent and only mortal sends a very clear message (to me at least) that he's not the leader of the Scarlet Dynasty. He's a stub until the Empress comes back as she's the only one who has that clout...or someone who actulaly does matter gets there. He's to me pretty obviously meant to be ceremonial in that "Someone needs to be in that seat". A big thing is he is there as a mortal in part to even run on the Immaculate doctrine fo things. If you put a DB there, they might get ideas of them representing the Dynasty's Chosen. Putting a mortal there puts it pretty clearly he's a placeholder, and that no one should be worried that the regent gets bright ideas.

It should be noted they even picked him from the currently weakest Great House in part with that. The house no one thinks is going to make a move is all the better to put someone who will for sure not make any moves. He honestly feels like the pretty obvious example of a compromise candidate in politics. He's what everyone could tolerate, and that's someone who's seen pretty much as harmless.
 

Uqbarian

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Fokuf is a mortal, which I don't think is new canon, though I'm not remembering it prior to 3e (I think some mention in the Dragon-Blooded book?). It was never explicit that he was Exalted, even in the older editions. I think, however, that canon has come down on the wrong side of the controversy. For all that Realm Regent is a suicide position, best suited to someone expendable and unambitious, it is also, at least nominally, a position of great importance and distinction. Technically, Fokuf is the leader of the Dragon-Blooded host. It just strikes me as completely at odds with the Immaculate doctrine and the larger culture of the Realm. Yes, let him be a fuck-up for cynical political reasons, but he should probably be an Exalted fuck-up, at least for the sake of appearances.
I'm also in the camp of not liking it, but Fokuf being mortal goes back to 1e (corebook page 41). As I recall, it was left ambiguous in 2e core, but developer commentary leaned towards him being mortal.
 

AliasiSudonomo

Trying to be a bird
Validated User
I think Fokuf being mortal works very well with the aforementioned "If Big Red comes back, he is clearly just an administrative seat-warmer, we knew you'd be back Mom, honest!" factor.

A Dragon-blooded Dynast doing it is probably far too close to claiming the throne proper for anyone's comfort, certainly not the Dynast's sitting on the throne in the five years they'd been waiting. Remember: the Empress had taken extended leaves of absence before, although five years is longer than she ever had done previously.
 
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