I quickly realized that the rules update wasn't the whole thing. I don't know why I didn't realize that sooner, but I really hadn't looked at it so when I sat down to go through it, the go-through was a lot quicker than I initially anticipated. I finished this morning, but honestly I have to admit that I committed the grave sin of generally skimming through. Yeah, I read it, but it wasn't the deep read of a philosophy text where you actually hit each word. I did that with the core book, probably didn't need to, and it took just this side of forever to complete. There's no need. I'll bold the topics I wanna hit; we're doing this whole thing right now.

Last time, guys and gals. )
I dropped some projects I didn't particularly like or figured weren't particularly worthwhile, which really only left me with the ones that refused to die or ones I actually need to consider getting done. I really figured I'd drop WoD Exalted, but since I actually want to see it in existence and Onyx Path has gone pretty firmly on record as saying they're not going to approach Exalted from the WoD core angle, if I don't do it, I'm not sure anyone actually will. Not to mention Brent's variant WoD cosmology, which would probably use the same mechanical skeleton.

I'm fairly close to actually knocking out Charms, and I've got a lot of notes about what direction I want them to go in, but I'm keeping my eye on two things - base mechanics that get really unruly at higher levels and base mechanics that make mortals interesting and fun to play. The objective is a somewhat more modest Exalt and, really, a more modest world, mechanically speaking. If you have Yozis on one end of the power spectrum and mortals on the other, but want them represented in the same system, the overall curve is going to be more shallow, but it'll definitely be there. Charms and Merits are the core parts of that, I think, but it's still largely a base 1-5 system.

Mortals are built a lot like they are in WoD core, with the Attributes being the same.
The skills are listed as :
Archery, Brawl, Melee, Athletics, Awareness, Larceny, Expression, Presence, Drive,
Resistance, Survival, Bureaucracy, Socialize, Lore, Medicine, Thrown, Stealth,
Animal Ken,War, Dodge
Craft : Air, Earth, Wood, Fire, Water

Craft is an ability, but it's divided into 5. I wanted to just make it a scaling merit, but that's close enough to a merit in practical terms to make it a skill, plus, this makes it easier to roll.

Many of the base Merits from the WoD core book are directly applicable at their price rankings. My expectations are that mortal characters will rely heavily on Merit-based tricks and edges - they don't really make up ground on Charms, but they're readily available, and they'll shore them up with whatever occultism or martial arts skills they're able to accrue. My history in WoD, but new and classic, is that supernatural characters lean much more heavily on their innate powers and don't really feel the need to stack up on comparatively weak merits.

The exception is the super-specialist. Rather than branch out into other areas, the focused occultist or warrior tends to double down by purchasing whatever edge they can find that improves their abilities in their chosen field. In this way, you get a little bit of divergence from different super-focused characters.

Other than the normal merits, there's the Occultism Merit that allows access to Sorcery, Necromancy, and Astrology, various Martial Arts initiations and styles therein. Let's not forget specialty Crafting merits, of which there's a fairly sizable list at this point.

Exaltation is achieved mechanically by applying an Exaltation major template to an existing character. In terms of either/or abilities, it would overwrite minor templates like Wyld mutants, half-castes, and God-Blooded, rendering obsolete or otherwise shredding the flows of essence that made their powers work in the first place, replacing them with comparatively more potent Charms of the Exalt. Martial Arts and Sorcery initiations are otherwise unaffected  because Exalts tend to buy those up too.

The Player's Handbook for Exalted 1st Ed. had a number of Merits that you could purchase that mimicked baseline Exalted traits, like immunity to disease, healing, essence channeling, and other stuff. As my way of making things consistent  instead of making these unstated benefits, Exalts will just be gifted with them upon Exaltation. Like the exp. that's lost from being a minor template character that's suddenly gifted with a major template, it's up to the ST and playgroup to determine if the exp. spent on the merits that would have been provided for free to be refunded or simply lost, as neither the World of Darkness nor Creation are particularly fair.

A lot of this probably seems like it would be obvious in retrospect, but that's pretty much just the results of a few hours of consideration. The skill list, though, took a really long time to hash out. It probably wouldn't have taken so long if I had just made it up from scratch instead of trying to reprise as much of Exalted's as possible. I don't actually have a character sheet written up, but at least I know what's on it.
Christ, I know. And I intend to post again today, even. Like I said, I've had these thoughts floating around for a while and I haven't done anything with them, I'm not running a game, and Exalted is getting a new edition. So, you know, whatever, man. 

Also, my last mechanics post was pretty unhinged. Like, LJ got an idea dump and it wasn't exactly coherent. This is still going to be really long. This is everything I have on Martial Arts in Exalted right now from what I want to do to exactly why I'm proposing it as a hack. It's under the cut. 
Exalted Martial Arts Game Notes )




atolnon: (Default)
( Oct. 19th, 2009 10:28 pm)
http://dionaea-house.com/

Right there. I love that link, and I have for years. It's one of my favorite pieces of fiction, not because it's exquisite; it's pretty little rough around the edges. I love it because it's so engaging. And at the time, you could only assume it wasn't real. As it gets more outlandish, I like it less, but I think it's great inspiration for gaming horror. Horror in gaming is something I'm very taken with. I am on and off on thinking about it and running it, but it creates problems as a genre that action and whimsy do not (those create very different ones). Dionaea House is very early-release NWoD. Something like that is what I think about when I think about the weird, obscure World of Darkness.

So, what the hell am I up to? Your guess is about as good as mine. On a day to day basis, very little. Work makes me tired of dealing with people and very happy to just kind of bottle myself in the house reading or cooking or something. I haven't taken a lot of initiative to get out. During school, my 'work' periods were very academic and I wanted to get out more. When I work customer service, I want to stay in. That explains, to me, why when I have a standard-ish job, I'm much more of a homebody. I'll admit that makes the prospect of gaming daunting sometimes. When a game falls through, I rarely persue an alternative that isn't 'stick around and have a cup of coffee'. It's been a little worse then usual, because work is leaning on the helpdesk a little harder then it used to. We're being squeezed to produce value, but management fails to understand that's not how people actually work. It looks terrific in the short term, but it breeds resentment in the analyst population. I see this happen all the time, but I'm honestly a little disapointed, though I understand exactly how and why it's happening. It's stuff like this that makes me want to avoid business, management, and marketing forever and ever.

I've been playing a lot more FFXI lately. Between Andy and my social group, I've been able to break level caps (I can get up to level 70 of 75!) get my artifact equipment (next up, pants and awesome hat), and generally feel more involved. I really only do a little gaming every day. Large portions of my evening are cleaning, cooking, and often writing and reading. Sometimes I'll spend all day playing video games, but the rarity of that situation is such that me renewed interesting in FFXI means that I've put a hold on Kingdom Hearts II. KH 2 is a much better game then 1, but its story sounds like crossover self-insert fanfiction reads. I realized recently that it's probably like that on purpose.

I want to do some other stuff before bed, and I'm out of interesting things. Good night, everyone.

I was leafing through my copy of World of Darkness this morning thinking about how much I liked system and how, especially, how much I enjoyed the core book. For such a slim volume, it really is excellent, and I've never regretted purchasing it.  We're apt to wrap up the 'one shot' Mage game, which is actually more like three games because I've come to detest rushing things. It's always more fun to let the players come to the end at their own pace.

Anyhow, I was thinking, 'what is it I'd like to play?' when I came upon a quote in the book from an underground journalist.

Hunter S. Thompson is best known for being a drug aficionado and a representative of a weird, fundamentally proto-counter culture. But he engaged fully the political engines that roar across the United States, favored large firearms and ran with packs of wild Hell's Angels. He wrote sports editorials almost until he died or, rather, removed himself from play with so much debris across the table. 

He was then promptly fired out of a cannon, out of defiance of both air pollution laws and Nixon himself.

"Man." I thought. "I want to play underground gonzo journalists in the World of Darkness."
That would be far out. I'd even play it 'straight'. Sure, the world is a terrible place, but at least my life would be interesting.

Huh. It looks like I have already created and used a Hunter s. Thompson tag for something. You never know with me, I guess.
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