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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    My personal interest tier:

    Tier 1 (I like these, more should be done with them): Mortals, Godbloods (non-Lintha), Spirits, Dragonblooded, Raksha

    Tier 2 (Meh, they're alright): Lunars, Sidereals, Lintha, Jadeborn

    Tier 3 (I could easily ignore them into perpetuity): Abyssals, Dragon-Kings, Solars

    Tier 4 (They shouldn't even exist): Alchemicals, Infernals, Tyrant Lizards
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    Last edited by Kiero; 2012-11-01 at 05:16 AM.
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    For one, how do day and night work when sun, moon, and stars are things of Creation? And just being really far away doesn't stop a Celestial Exaltation from flitting out to find someone.
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    /delurk

    Speaking as someone who doesn't play Exalted but finds it interesting and might play once 3e comes out... this is a list of what I'd play.

    1) Mortals
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    Yes, really. I like playing underdogs surrounded by more powerful people, winning by guts, bravery and/or cleverness. Of course, in 2e mortals are so outclassed that there's not much point in bothering. Which is what got me interested in 3e, since the devs said that heroic mortal games will be more viable and the presentation of mortals won't be as much of "lawl, they lose". We'll see.


    2) Sidereals
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    Fate ninja-wizards. More seriously, they seem to fit the "unremembered hero" concept that I find interesting. They're the people who sacrifice much and perform great deeds noone knows about. They also seem to be a lot more subtle and weird than other Exalts, which I like.


    3) Lunars
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    The shapeshifting trickster heroes. They seem interesting, and I really like the Thousand Streams River. I'm aware of the problems hounding them in 2e, which gives me another reason to be interested in 3e.


    4) Abyssals
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    They have some interesting things going for them - like the fact that they're essentially people who'd rather see the world die than die themselves - so they rank veeeery slightly above Solars and DBs.


    5) Solars/Dragonblooded
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    I have my misgivings about both splats. Solars aren't the type of hero I enjoy; like I said when mentioning Lunars and Sidereals, I prefer more subtle types, while Solars are the glorious god-kings in the making. Dragonblooded are more down-to-earth and lower-powered than Celestials, but I don't really like playing people who were born with their powers. Celestials also get their power-up randomly, but at least they need to be badass to qualify.


    5) Infernals
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    I'm not interested in them. Not sure why.


    6) God-blooded, Fae, Dragon Kings et al
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    I don't know enough to say anything about them, really.
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  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    God-blooded, Fae, Dragon Kings et al
    If most of your problem with the exalts is the whole showyness thing, these are actually your best shot at magic people, as they don't have visible animas and spirit charms are subtler.
    That said, all splats can do subtle, except maybe infernals. "god-king" is a rather tiny subset of what solar power is. But I won't discuss this here and now.

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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    Dragonblooded are more down-to-earth and lower-powered than Celestials, but I don't really like playing people who were born with their powers. Celestials also get their power-up randomly, but at least they need to be badass to qualify.
    DBs aren't born with their powers; they have just as much need for badassness to qualify for Exaltation as their Celestial buddies - they just typically have it happen at a younger age.
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    For one, how do day and night work when sun, moon, and stars are things of Creation?
    Why do we need Creation's celestial bodies to have night and day?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    And just being really far away doesn't stop a Celestial Exaltation from flitting out to find someone.
    It's not simply far away, it's completely outside the awareness of the gods and anyone else.
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiero View Post
    It's not simply far away, it's completely outside the awareness of the gods and anyone else.
    The gods don't have total control nor do the exaltations need any control to wedge themselves between people's souls. Given how exaltations are the one true imperishable miracle of the setting it's very likely (if not outright stated, I don't remember) they can exalt just about anywhere. The sole stated exception so far is autochthonia, while the Seal of Eight Divinities last.
    Exaltations also are a metaphor to the awesomeness of humanity and its heroes, so where there is humanity, there are eaxlted.

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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    Quote Originally Posted by Andreaz View Post
    If most of your problem with the exalts is the whole showyness thing, these are actually your best shot at magic people, as they don't have visible animas and spirit charms are subtler.
    That said, all splats can do subtle, except maybe infernals. "god-king" is a rather tiny subset of what solar power is. But I won't discuss this here and now.
    Possibly. Like I said, I haven't actually played Exalted so my opinion isn't a terribly well-informed one. And it's not really "showyness" either. I just prefer the type of heroism Sidereals and Lunars seem to represent than the ones Solars stand for.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    DBs aren't born with their powers; they have just as much need for badassness to qualify for Exaltation as their Celestial buddies - they just typically have it happen at a younger age.
    Yet you need the Dragons' blood to qualify, and the more of it you have the more likely you are to Exalt as a Dragonblood.
    Last edited by Morty; 2012-10-31 at 02:33 PM.
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    Yet you need the Dragons' blood to qualify, and the more of it you have the more likely you are to Exalt as a Dragonblood.
    At one time, the blood was thick enough that there wasn't even a question, implying the awesome is required to make up for the lack.
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    Possibly. Like I said, I haven't actually played Exalted so my opinion isn't a terribly well-informed one. And it's not really "showyness" either. I just prefer the type of heroism Sidereals and Lunars seem to represent than the ones Solars stand for.
    There are traditionally (according to TVTropes) said to be two types of superman - the Fettered, who draws power from bonds; and the Unfettered, who is without such limitations. Sids, DBs, Alchies, and (ironically) Lunars tend to be Fettered in greater numbers, whereas the Solaroids, especially Solars themselves, are the Kings and as such are typically Unfettered. I'm guessing you prefer the former?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    Yet you need the Dragons' blood to qualify, and the more of it you have the more likely you are to Exalt as a Dragonblood.
    Remember that Exaltations are weapons of epic war. They need to catch but a single glimpse of true heroism to grant their power. Celestial shards are limited in number, and as such, each Exaltation seems grand. Terrestrial shards still require heroism, but must take time to coalesce in the blood. The stronger your blood, the sooner it will take notice of your heroism. But if your blood is weak, an Exaltation might not form at all, and you are simply as unlucky as any of the would-be Celestials who simply did not have a shard nearby at the time.

    Alchemicals are the most heroic Exalts.
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    Quote Originally Posted by Gensh View Post
    Alchemicals are the most heroic Exalts.
    Not necessarily. While they do have the longest track record that only means they have performed the most heroism at the time of Exaltation. I do notice this opinion among strong fans of alchemicals. I wonder why.

    Consider, they keep track of souls very closely in autochthonia. They put the souls with potential into positions designed to encourage the appropriate heroism. Given that there is some degree of continuity between lives but not of memory this essentially means that alchemical souls are conditioned to be heroic in the same way that dogs are conditioned to wait in front of the door when their owner comes home.

    In that light, they are among the least heroic. They are handed opportunities to be heroic on a platter of the appropriate magical material. Other Exalts regularly perform deeds which would get them exaltation again if that was possible. So that fact that alchemicals do it across lives only means that they just didn't get the magic mega mote the first time. (I know the hate for the term.)
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    Quote Originally Posted by Gensh View Post
    There are traditionally (according to TVTropes) said to be two types of superman - the Fettered, who draws power from bonds; and the Unfettered, who is without such limitations. Sids, DBs, Alchies, and (ironically) Lunars tend to be Fettered in greater numbers, whereas the Solaroids, especially Solars themselves, are the Kings and as such are typically Unfettered. I'm guessing you prefer the former?
    Possibly. I don't treat TVTropes seriously enough to use its definitions.
    As for the Dragonblooded... the way I see it, Exaltation is a matter of luck first and foremost. That's obvious. But anyone can potentially get a Celestial exaltation whereas you need to have the Dragon blood to Exalt as a Terrestrial, even if you do heroic things every weekend. And the more of that blood you have, the more likely you are to Exalt as a Terrestrial. I really didn't expect to start a debate, though. It's not like I think they're worse for it either. Just different. And, like I said, my favourite "splat" are Heroic Mortals anyway.
    Last edited by Morty; 2012-10-31 at 04:13 PM.
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    Possibly. I don't treat TVTropes seriously enough to use its definitions.
    As for the Dragonblooded... the way I see it, Exaltation is a matter of luck first and foremost. That's obvious. But anyone can potentially get a Celestial exaltation but you need to have the Dragon blood to Exalt as a Terrestrial, even if you do heroic things every weekend. I really didn't expect to start a debate, though. It's not like I think they're worse for it either. Just different. And, like I said, my favourite "splat" are Heroic Mortals anyway.
    Well, you are in for a treat then. 3E is apparently balanced around heroic mortals as the baseline.
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    Quote Originally Posted by Exthalion View Post
    Not necessarily. While they do have the longest track record that only means they have performed the most heroism at the time of Exaltation. I do notice this opinion among strong fans of alchemicals. I wonder why.
    It also ensures that each and every Alchemical is likely to continue acting in a heroic fashion for the duration of their service ('til death or city-ascension). Compare the significant number of Celestials who survived the War, built entire societies, then proceeded to diddle around for the next several hundred years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Exthalion View Post
    Consider, they keep track of souls very closely in autochthonia. They put the souls with potential into positions designed to encourage the appropriate heroism. Given that there is some degree of continuity between lives but not of memory this essentially means that alchemical souls are conditioned to be heroic in the same way that dogs are conditioned to wait in front of the door when their owner comes home.

    In that light, they are among the least heroic. They are handed opportunities to be heroic on a platter of the appropriate magical material. Other Exalts regularly perform deeds which would get them exaltation again if that was possible. So that fact that alchemicals do it across lives only means that they just didn't get the magic mega mote the first time. (I know the hate for the term.)
    Certainly they're trained to a degree DBs only pretend to be and are groomed to Exalt across multiple lifetimes, but there still exists the option to not rise to the challenge in one of those human lifetimes. For each Champion, how many souls were turned aside for failing to succeed? Alchemicals are indeed carefully-cultivated Exalts, but they are still the best of the best across all of Autochthonian society, who were heroic again and again even when others who had equal opportunity failed.

    An Exalt of Creation merely has to be heroic once and possess downright stupid luck (or a powerful destiny) to Exalt. Sidereals are even fated to be heroic without first proving themselves. A Prince of Creation might become as such in a fit of fury and yet be cowed in the next fight. When he dies for whatever reason, he might reincarnate as a simple dirt farmer and never aspire to be anything more. A Champion might reincarnate as a simple factory worker, but he will fight for factory reform and might even be Exalted in his next life for it.
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    Or, if Heaven doesn't screw up the paper work, that celestial would likely get reincarnated as a king or terrestrial to be of some description.

    The problem with Exalted reincarnation is that it destroys your memories. Meaning that the new person is essentially just someone who looks a lot like you from a spiritual point of view and has similar personality traits. You as such are dead (assuming you even existed in the first place, see Parfit.).

    The alchemical is not someone who has been consistently heroic over several lifetimes. The alchemical is someone who has an essentially arbitrary connection to a group of people who were similar to them and who were individually heroic. They can't actually claim any of that heroism as their own except as the source of their conditioning to heroism.

    It would be like if you took ten angry people, removed all context for that anger, transferred it to someone else who is now really angry, and the angry person smashed a table. You cannot say the reasons the first ten people were angry are the angry person's reason for smashing the table.

    Alchemicals require possible more luck then celestials. Instead of having to roll a natural 100 on a d100 they had to roll ten natural twenties in a row. In every prior life there were a significant number of factors that could have sabotaged the soul's chance of Alchemical exaltation. Perhaps they were shot first before they could lead the desperate defense. Perhaps that incarnation was too stupid or too gullible to challenge the corrupt overseer. These are not moral choices in the control of the potential alchemical, they are quirks of fate.

    So: Celestials: Got lucky once
    Alchemicals: A lot of other people got lucky once.

    I don't see how that makes them innately more heroic.
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    I think the point is that whilst a reincarnation cannot meaningfully be considered to be the same person, the Hun is still predisposed to certain traits.

    Therefore, a solid track record across multiple incarnations indicates good raw materials. Pretty much what you'd expect as a selection criteria from an analytical craftsman.

    Autocthon doesn't care if he's selecting the right person for the job so much as whether he's picking the correct materials to create the finished product.

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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    Quote Originally Posted by omegalith View Post
    I think the point is that whilst a reincarnation cannot meaningfully be considered to be the same person, the Hun is still predisposed to certain traits.

    Therefore, a solid track record across multiple incarnations indicates good raw materials. Pretty much what you'd expect as a selection criteria from an analytical craftsman.

    Autocthon doesn't care if he's selecting the right person for the job so much as whether he's picking the correct materials to create the finished product.
    Which brings an interesting metaphore to mind. Terrestrials are like amber, arising from a living thing under certain conditions. Alchemicals are like Pearls, now more or exclusively cultivated. Celestials are like gems found by accident.

    That the Hun has certain proclivities is true, (though both souls go together in Autocthonia). However, can it really said to be the heroic quality native to the Hun, good raw materials, or is it due to the extensive refining process? Also, the process does seem terribly dehumanizing since it exaggerates certain "heroic" characteristics extensively. In a sense, it is like breeding people to be better slaves. (Note, I like Alchemicals, but that doesn't mean there shouldn't be some inhuman horror endemic to the Great Maker.)
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    There is more to gaining a Celestial Exaltation than a single moment of Heroism, and more to an Alchemical Exaltation than heroism in past lives.

    It is explicitly notes for Alchemicals that anything less than a heroic soul - not just one that was heroic that one time, but one which is heroic as a true property, perhaps learned, perhaps conditioned, perhaps innate - will fail to animate an Alchemical, leaving an extremely expensive failure.
    Besides that, how can you claim in the context of Alchemicals that the memories are permanently gone? Alchemicals can remember important events from their Past Lives, minus only previous time spent as an Alchemical.

    For Celestials, similarly: Someone who is not heroic will fail to bond with their Exaltation. This, sadly, is only very very heavily implied, not stated explicitly to my knowledge. Perhaps a DB with good breeding would Exalt with only minimal heroism... But that has no bearing on Celestials anyway.

    And an additional note - Sidereal heroism is not somehow belittled for the fact that it gives warning in advance. We can still admire the hero who we know will make the choice to stand up to evil when it comes, even though we know they will. The fact that there's a pattern of heroism, or that it's predictable, doesn't make it unheroic. It is that man's fate to oppose the evil tyrant, not because he is a puppet on strings, but because he will find that he wishes to do good when it arrives.
    Last edited by aetherialDawn; 2012-10-31 at 06:02 PM.
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    Quote Originally Posted by aetherialDawn View Post
    There is more to gaining a Celestial Exaltation than a single moment of Heroism, and more to an Alchemical Exaltation than heroism in past lives.

    It is explicitly notes for Alchemicals that anything less than a heroic soul - not just one that was heroic that one time, but one which is heroic as a true property, perhaps learned, perhaps conditioned, perhaps innate - will fail to animate an Alchemical, leaving an extremely expensive failure.
    Besides that, how can you claim in the context of Alchemicals that the memories are permanently gone? Alchemicals can remember important events from their Past Lives, minus only previous time spent as an Alchemical.

    For Celestials, similarly: Someone who is not heroic will fail to bond with their Exaltation. This, sadly, is only very very heavily implied, not stated explicitly to my knowledge. Perhaps a DB with good breeding would Exalt with only minimal heroism... But that has no bearing on Celestials anyway.

    And an additional note - Sidereal heroism is not somehow belittled for the fact that it gives warning in advance. We can still admire the hero who we know will make the choice to stand up to evil when it comes, even though we know they will. The fact that there's a pattern of heroism, or that it's predictable, doesn't make it unheroic. It is that man's fate to oppose the evil tyrant, not because he is a puppet on strings, but because he will find that he wishes to do good when it arrives.
    Regarding Alchemical Past Lives: It is explicitly stated. The Alchemical is not a continuation of their prior lives, they are an amalgamation of them. There are missing parts. If I took your memory of graduating kindergarten, my memory of my 7th birthday, and Gensh's memory of watching a basketball game the result would not be any of us, it would be a separate being assembled from our memories. The proper continuity is no longer present. The issue is not that memories are gone, it is that it is no longer the same person with memory as one of the big reasons.

    An unheroic soul is NOT the same thing as unable to bond to a celestial exaltation. That is the entire point of the other Solaroids. Infernals explicitly failed, by their own choice or circumstance, and Abyssals bargained away the entire world so they could keep on living, often out of fear.

    The point of distinction between Alchemical heroism and celestial heroism is that Alchemicals cannot claim that the heroism that catalyzed them is their own. It was cultivated over generated by maneuvering other people in positions where they would perform the proper activities. It would be like saying you are rich because of hard work (Exalted because of heroism) when a bunch of other people who did actually work hard died and left it to you. This doesn't mean you can't continue the trend, but you didn't personally earn it.

    Also, the process of cultivation seems to be designed to reduce uncertainty in Champions. The result being that their proclivities make it more difficult for them to make independent choices contrary to their past life conditioning. As I said, like breeding submissive people together to make better slaves.

    Finally, terrestrials. Given that there was a time in which they all Exalted, it seems likely that they also don't have a choice in the matter. Every single offspring, regardless of environment, will exhibit certain behaviors. This implies that they will never have a choice in the matter, the inbuilt programming with force them to behave "heroically". However, this implies that it isn't actually heroism in the same way courage is impossible without fear.
    Last edited by Exthalion; 2012-10-31 at 06:22 PM.
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    Quote Originally Posted by Exthalion View Post
    Regarding Alchemical Past Lives: It is explicitly stated. The Alchemical is not a continuation of their prior lives, they are an amalgamation of them. There are missing parts. If I took your memory of graduating kindergarten, my memory of my 7th birthday, and Gensh's memory of watching a basketball game the result would not be any of us, it would be a separate being assembled from our memories. The proper continuity is no longer present. The issue is not that memories are gone, it is that it is no longer the same person with memory as one of the big reasons.

    An unheroic soul is NOT the same thing as unable to bond to a celestial exaltation. That is the entire point of the other Solaroids. Infernals explicitly failed, by their own choice or circumstance, and Abyssals bargained away the entire world so they could keep on living, often out of fear.

    The point of distinction between Alchemical heroism and celestial heroism is that Alchemicals cannot claim that the heroism that catalyzed them is their own. It was cultivated over generated by maneuvering other people in positions where they would perform the proper activities. It would be like saying you are rich because of hard work (Exalted because of heroism) when a bunch of other people who did actually work hard died and left it to you. This doesn't mean you can't continue the trend, but you didn't personally earn it.

    Also, the process of cultivation seems to be designed to reduce uncertainty in Champions. The result being that their proclivities make it more difficult for them to make independent choices contrary to their past life conditioning. As I said, like breeding submissive people together to make better slaves.

    Finally, terrestrials. Given that there was a time in which they all Exalted, it seems likely that they also don't have a choice in the matter. Every single offspring, regardless of environment, will exhibit certain behaviors. This implies that they will never have a choice in the matter, the inbuilt programming with force them to behave "heroically". However, this implies that it isn't actually heroism in the same way courage is impossible without fear.
    For Alchemicals: If that is true, then anytime you've ever forgotten something you appear to be dead temporarily, looking at it in hindsight. Alchemicals, via the Eidolon background, can go deeper into memories which they previously were not accessing; this is then equivalent to the 'resurrection' effect of remembering something you had not previously paid attention to.
    CLARIFYING EDIT: I think I can better express what I mean to say this way: Alchemicals express only some of their total memories, but that does not mean that the others do not exist. I can choose, as a continuous being, to reject past choices I've made in similar situations because I have found a better way/realized my mistake/etc. For Alchemicals, I suspect a lot of it is that they only get the most astounding memories from their thousand-plus years of human life (Eidolon allowing you some measure of finer focus if desired.)

    Infernals cannot be exalted from anyone - the person needs to have nearly-qualified for a Solar Exaltation (A canon Infernal Defiler - the one who oversees the Althing - actually had a Solar Exaltation ready to Exalt him) but did not receive it through a manner of failure not involving dying.

    Terrestrial Exaltation doesn't force one to be heroic, and the data of 'non-legendary breeding results in imperfect Exaltation rates' only instead opens up the possibility that only the heroic ones can activate the Dragon's Blood sufficiently to Exalt. This has more evidence than a blanket mind-control imposed by Exaltation that forces one to act heroically.



    Abyssals you are spot-on in that they don't need to be heroic at all, if a Deathlord is forcing Exaltation... Except that they need to be able to stare Oblivion in the Eye without fleeing, and the Deathlords don't force Exaltation, they offer it. The fact that the Abyssal might stare at Oblivion out of fear of death-right-now, well, still a hero, just not a Good Guy. Exalted never claimed that you had to be a Good Guy to exalt. If Odysseus wants to slaughter the suitors instead of forcing them to become better people... Well, it's still the stuff of legend.


    Where are you pulling this information? Mine is primarily from the MoEP for each splat, except DBs, and Ink Monkeys/writer quotes. I'm least informed about DBs - but I feel I would have noticed a splat-wide UMI imposing heroism. Unless you're referring to the Great Curse in very oblique terms, I suspect it's more that heroic people are more able to Exalt, or even perhaps that given power (and usually a society that declares you Prince of the Earth and larger than life) maybe everyone can be a little heroic.


    Exaltation is not some horrible outgrowth of Cecelyne's laws, where the strong who submit to the law of the jungle grow stronger so they can crush more of the weak (And I understand that's not what you're saying, but I want to make this point clear because the argument is starting to tend that way.)
    It's true, Exaltations were built because the gods and Autochthon needed a weapon, but the Exalted don't have to be weapons (though it is easy, with that much power and the setting they enter into!)
    They are power which can only be expressed with heroism, however bright/dark, selfless/selfish, and which have a Great Curse and thousands of years of being used as weapons and being good at it.
    (Except possibly DBs. I knew I should have read up more on them, darn it...)
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    Actually, I was trying to make a point about how Alchemicals don't have blanket "Most Heroic" status.

    The fact that there is a loss of continuity of person hood, extensive spiritual conditioning, in built indoctrination (they Exalt knowing their purpose which is where their name comes from), and manifest mental alterations of clarity means that Alchemicals are some of the least mentally free of the Exalted. It does not make them robots, but it means that you must evaluate their action in a different light. Most of what they do is not because they are heroic, but it is because it is what they do. We think that it is good not to cheat, but if you can't actually see other people's tests then your not cheating means less than someone who can see the A students answers perfectly.

    My point about terrestrials was not that there is some kind of blood born UMI, it is that heroism cannot actually be the thing that is required. Because there is legendary breeding it is easy for cowardly people to Exalt as Terrestrials. There are also exceptionally heroic people with lower breeding who do not exalt. My point was that heroism is not a necessary and sufficient condition for anyone with the blood of the dragons to Exalt. To some extent, they get lucky.

    So I have two ultimate points. The dehumanizing tragedy (and spot on inhumanity of Authochthon ) of Alchemicals should not be mistaken for the same quality as individual heroism. Alchemicals CAN be heroic, they are not innately even if they act more in line with what in humans might be considered heroic.

    Second, heroism is not the necessary and sufficient condition for Exaltation in any form. Being willing to grasp and use power is closer to the mark.
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    I still refuse your reasoning for Alchemicals, on these grounds:
    One, I say that choosing to be heroic is still heroic, even if you are not provided the tools to do otherwise so easily. The question of whether it is better to overcome temptation or avoid it is a deeper philosophical issue (Rasputin and Plato seemed to think it is better to find evil and overcome it; Hobbes is of the opinion that avoiding the evils inherent in 'natural' existence is the only reasonable option. There are other opinions, as well.)

    Two, Clarity is clearly controlled more by the Alchemical than by their society; an Alchemical who doesn't pay attention can accumulate Clarity, but there is absolutely no requirement to. Clarity is an OPTION, and having options does not make one less free. They have to socialize and pay attention to their memories; well, so do normal, mortal people. Alchemicals just have a ruleset for what happens. They can choose, willingly, to give up immediate concerns in a search for efficiency, in a way most Exalted can't easily do without Cosmic Transcendence of (Virtue) charms.

    Three, Alchemicals can see the answers if they want. Some Alchemicals, if you really must demand villains for a contrast, go against their society, cheat, take undue influence.
    This is why they need an entire sixth caste to be in charge of preventing such actions from getting out of hand. An Alchemical has the opportunity to accumulate enormous amounts of power, even if they aren't allowed to have an 'official status', and it is their choice how they apply it. They don't know that there are secret police in case they go too far.
    The fact that so many Alchemicals choose to be Champions of their people rather than over their people does not somehow dirty their moral choice and make it lesser, even disregarding the fact that it IS easy for them to cheat if they truly want to. They're told their society's values, they remember it, but they ultimately choose how much and when to follow them. The Champions are given freedom to go against the values of the Eight Nations, if they think it right, and sometimes they do (sometimes for the wrong reasons instead.)

    I can't argue about DBs, because my knowledge is lacking.


    Alchemical heroism is that of a soul that chooses, over and over, to be heroic. They don't remember that they have the potential to be a hero - and they act heroic anyway. If they are then chosen* to become an Alchemical, then they remember hundreds of lifetimes of choosing to be heroic, and those lifetimes form a part of their gestalt entity which contains the memories of every life they've had. They instinctively know why they were made - not all Alchemicals obey that, although they feel a debt of honorable responsibility to serve as best they can. They instinctively know a name, which is assigned by them, not to them.

    Also, I am sad to see you make the mistake that is called out so many times: Heroism, in Exalted terms, as I've already said, is not 'being a good guy'. Heroism is being willing to grasp and use power; it is the drive to do and to change the world. There is no 'closer to the mark' because the two things (heroism and grasp/use power) are the same thing.

    The Abyssal who stares into Oblivion and decides that he would rather live and take the power to leave a mark on the entire world, rather than flee that infinite horror of non-being - he is far, far more heroic than the Solar who decides that the best use of his world-shaking power is to make a single village happy. If a Solar is given the power of a God-King, and can't think of a picture bigger than the fifty farmers around him - he doesn't deserve to be a Solar, and probably never actually Exalted, because he lacks that drive, the willingness to use power. He stands up to the mean DB in a fit of Valor, and he is cut down. Far, far more mortals stand up to impossible odds than actually Exalt, and it doesn't have to be a case of luck, because of all I've just said.


    ... And then DBs might well just be luck, augh. So annoying. I'll need to go see what I can learn about that.

    *EDIT: And no, they are not chosen by luck, or fate, or bias. The description of the bare minimum for Alchemical Exaltation as each caste demands that the Alchemical-to-be EARN it many, many times over. There are plenty of small heroes, but only the largest are chosen for this.
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    Point of contention: Alchemicals aren't "conditioned" in the way you're implying. It's true that good workers get promoted life to life within the eight nations, and that proclivities in one life are taken into account when assigning the next. But there isn't some way of magically forcing people to be heroic. Many alchemicals spent much time in the populat, for example (orichalcum castes being called out explicitly as a common exception). The vast majority of the populat are, and always will be, lever pullers and factory workers. A kid who fails the aptitude test in his creche to qualify to help Conductors engage in reaches mining will be assigned to one of these lever pulling jobs, regardless of past lives, because actual ability isn't dependent on the soul (part of why the reincarnation of an alchemical is an entirely different exalt). The difference is that when a potential exaltation candidate sees something heroic that needs to be done, they'll do it in spite of the fact they're just a lever puller, whether that means taking on extra shifts to cover a problem or bungee jumping to within inches of the gears to stop a catastrophic meltdown of the machines. They're the ones who consistently go out of their way to go above and beyond regardless of social engineering or other factors across dozens of generations. It's the kind of thing that no amount of cultivation can reproduce.

    As for terrestrials and Heroism, my personal take remains that there's something in the Mandala Accords about tagging heroes for reincarnation into terrestrial bloodlines. That way, like with alchemicals, you have a heroic soul waiting to go when the body and mind are ready to embrace the exaltation.

    Because I believe the Core Book. The Exaltation Demands Heroes. Nobody is exalted who hasn't earned their power by the (admittedly sometimes twisted) standards of the exaltation, whether in this life or the last.

    And Alchemicals totally own their memories. The body may not have physically performed the action, but the action was directed by the same soul and the memory is a part of who the alchemical IS.
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    I am sad you seem to assume I hadn't noticed anywhere in the books, forums, developer quotes, etc. that heroism in exalted is not the same thing as being nice. You see, I have actually read the source material, though not in Greek to be sure, from which the Exalted definition is derived. You see, the Greeks didn't give a hoot about your intentions. They cared about what you did. You also had to be dead to qualify as a hero. The point, is that you do these amazing things worthy of remembrance. That is the heroism exalted uses, you are the kind of person who is going to be remembered. Mostly this takes the form of combat in major wars or monsters. Though you do have the occasional odd man out like Orpheus.

    An alchemical soul is heroic in that the individuals who have held it previously did things worthy of remembrance and usually died in the process. The alchemical themselves is not heroic until they actually do something worth remembering. Being powerful and even well known is not enough. Our current RL leaders have a lot of political power and are well known, yet almost no one would call them heroes.

    The alchemicals are thus conditioned to act in very flashy and in some cases stupid ways This does come back to bite the nations in the behind: case in point Excessively Righteous Blossom. Right before his write up it even says explicitly,
    Whether a celebrated exemplar or notorious embarrassment, every Alchemical is a noteworthy individual.
    They cannot help themselves the same way an junkie can't. The sort of attention seeking behavior has been drilled into them again and again and again. More to the point, it is easy to condition people in this way. We do it to ourselves with endorphins. As all Alchemicals have this new glory seeking baseline the real 'heroes' among them must be viewed as those who get beyond their natural inclinations and do something actually worthy of remembrance even without considering the propaganda and the fact that they are more impressive than mortals.

    This kind of heroism is not a priori desirable except for alchemicals who need it to catalyze. However it reinforces my point: Alchemicals don't get to claim the heroism of their prior incarnations. Those are other people's accomplishments. If the Tripartite makes a point of linking them together they might perhaps gain some kleos back. At other times a lot of those heroic past lives were from other nations and you don't want it getting around that your new Militat commander used to be the leader of the armies of your great enemy. Thus the lines of kleos are cut and often so old that linking them doesn't mean anything anymore. Most people in Yugash don't know or care about some Claslat Lector who made doctrinal reforms. Thus the heroic accomplishments are not attributed to the Alchemical and thus the champion does not inherit the heroism of their past lives.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exthalion View Post
    They cannot help themselves the same way an junkie can't.
    You seem to be categorizing all Alchemicals as being cut from the same cloth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonberrian View Post
    You seem to be categorizing all Alchemicals as being cut from the same cloth.
    If I said "all Lunars are survivors." would that mean I was categorizing them all as being cut from the same cloth? Even the people who don't agree with me have a point of stating that Alchemicals have a "heroic soul". By the definition of heroism exalted uses that means they are going to be driven to go out and do things that will accumulate kleos.

    Achilles had the choice of going home or dying and being remembered. How many Alchemicals have that sort of choice? How many of them are heroic by choice as opposed to heroic because they are made to be?
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    Quote Originally Posted by tonberrian View Post
    You seem to be categorizing all Alchemicals as being cut from the same cloth.
    The same way all Abyssals are emo-goth-vampires, all Lunars are baby raping cannibal savages, all Solars are ALWAYS LOUD ALL THE TIME EVEN WHEN SNEAKING LOUD LOUD LOUD SHINY, all Sidereal are secretly planning to stab you in the back, et cetera, et cetera.

    Exalted is a world where the stereotype and the expected are broken all the time. Thinking otherwise is foolish.
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalisj View Post
    Exalted is a world where the stereotype and the expected are broken all the time. Thinking otherwise is foolish.
    There are certain exceptions. Abyssals in Creation will almost to a man surround themselves with the trappings of death. Sidereals will have issues forming lasting relationships with mortals. There are certain expectations that do hold up provided there is a mechanical reason for it.
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    Default Re: General Exalted Discussion XII: One More and Get a Free Deathlord

    Quote Originally Posted by Exthalion View Post
    If I said "all Lunars are survivors." would that mean I was categorizing them all as being cut from the same cloth? Even the people who don't agree with me have a point of stating that Alchemicals have a "heroic soul". By the definition of heroism exalted uses that means they are going to be driven to go out and do things that will accumulate kleos.

    Achilles had the choice of going home or dying and being remembered. How many Alchemicals have that sort of choice? How many of them are heroic by choice as opposed to heroic because they are made to be?
    Let us not discuss the ENTIRE CASTE of Alchemicals for which that is not the case, simply because Adamants are so different they might as well be a different splat.

    Leaving aside that, you would still have a very diverse lot. There are certainly some Alchemicals who are heroes because that's what they have to be. There are others, however, that go above and beyond even what they were called to do. They are not heroes because they were made to be - they have a choice, and they chose to go above and beyond the exceptionally high standards they are held to. That heroism should never be discounted.
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