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    Default [Exalted] A low-magic "pocket Creation" out in the Wyld?

    I've got a vague idea about a sort of sub-setting involving the Fae. It's designed to be a low magic, Exalted-free sword-and-sorcery premise. Essentially, we have a miniature "pocket Creation" out in the Wyld made by some Raksha Lords to entertain themselves. Perhaps it was created at the time of the Balorian Crusade, maybe from stolen pieces of Creation itself. Maybe some Unshaped dreamed the whole thing into being.

    It's the size of a continent, with landmasses and seas. It has standard day and night cycles, seasons and so forth. It has breathable air (for mortals) and the usual life cycles. In most respects it functions as Creation does.

    However, there are no spirits there (not even elementals), and no iron anywhere. There is a human population - survivors taken during the Balorian Crusade and the occasional extras taken from Creation and brought here from time to time.

    There are no Exalts of any kind; perhaps they were careful to take those with little of the Blood of the Dragons in their veins. Perhaps this place is so far outside the skeins of Fate that Lytek isn't aware of the people living here. Who knows, either way, no Exalts. Mortal magic does not work here (ie no thaumaturgy; undecided whether Terrestrial Martial Arts still do).

    To the Fae themselves, it is home - they can use Shaping, can take on and cast off physical forms at will, regain Essence as though in the Wyld. Some of them might have set themselves up as "gods" or the like, receiving worship, veneration or at least placation from the mortals trapped here.

    They have all the magic, the only non-Raksha who have anything else are their half-blooded offspring (who have what are minor talents with glamours compared to their Fae parent).

    That's about as far as I've got. It's otherwise Exalted as usual. I wonder if there should only be one city as a sole "point of light" in the place, otherwise surrounded by barbarism, or if it should be a more regular collection of vying city-states with vast tracts of wild lands around them.

    Thoughts?
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    Default Re: [Exalted] A low-magic "pocket Creation" out in the Wyld?

    Sounds to me like the Raksha found some remnants of Zen-Mu.

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    Default Re: [Exalted] A low-magic "pocket Creation" out in the Wyld?

    So the area drains excess mana save for the Fey since they've been attuned out?

    So you could have Exalted but the area effectively strips them of their exaltedness as long as they remain inside this pocket realm could even have legends that have become myths since those abilities don't work here.

    Interesting idea nonetheless.

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    Default Re: [Exalted] A low-magic "pocket Creation" out in the Wyld?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vael View Post
    Sounds to me like the Raksha found some remnants of Zen-Mu.
    What's Zen-Mu?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hopeless View Post
    So the area drains excess mana save for the Fey since they've been attuned out?

    So you could have Exalted but the area effectively strips them of their exaltedness as long as they remain inside this pocket realm could even have legends that have become myths since those abilities don't work here.

    Interesting idea nonetheless.
    No, there's no Exalts in the first place, but I'm wondering if perhaps Terrestrial Martial Arts do function, so that being an Enlightened Mortal still means something.

    Alternatively, no human applications of Essence work at all, then we really do ground things (especially since no iron anywhere to be had).
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    Default Re: [Exalted] A low-magic "pocket Creation" out in the Wyld?

    Zen-Mu is basically the predecessor to Creation, and is the first world the primordials made. What little information there is about it can be found in the Legend of the Titans, which is some writing done by the Ink Monkeys.

    You can find it in full here.

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    Default Re: [Exalted] A low-magic "pocket Creation" out in the Wyld?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiero View Post
    What's Zen-Mu?



    No, there's no Exalts in the first place, but I'm wondering if perhaps Terrestrial Martial Arts do function, so that being an Enlightened Mortal still means something.

    Alternatively, no human applications of Essence work at all, then we really do ground things (especially since no iron anywhere to be had).
    The martial arts are independent from the exalted. Every essence user can learn some of it and sorcery/necromancy. (Sorcery is primordial-stuff)

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    Default Re: [Exalted] A low-magic "pocket Creation" out in the Wyld?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andreaz View Post
    The martial arts are independent from the exalted. Every essence user can learn some of it and sorcery/necromancy. (Sorcery is primordial-stuff)
    I'm well aware of that, the point is that they're applications of Essence. Magic is out, but I was wondering whether to leave TMA (as the only thing anyone in-setting might be able to do, since there's no Exalts to do CMA/SMA) in or not.
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    Default Re: [Exalted] A low-magic "pocket Creation" out in the Wyld?

    TMA is magic.

    Of course, making a setting where mortals can't ever learn magic makes no sense anyway - they're made of magic, just like everyone else.

    Especially if they can awaken their essence - how exactly do they achieve that without being able to do magic?
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    Default Re: [Exalted] A low-magic "pocket Creation" out in the Wyld?

    Couple things: Terrestrial Martial Arts ARE magic, and there is nothing the Fae can do short of killing everyone who enlightens their essence to stop people from learning them. Essence is the law of exalted, charms will always function to "overwrite" reality in the immediate vicinity, and all essence users can master the universal charms which make up terrestrial martial arts. Preventing iron from forming, and preventing there from being any gods, both these are child's play compared to the sort of cosmological hoops you'd have to jump through to rewrite reality to the point that magic simply doesn't work. Sorcery is similarly written into the fabric of the Shinma through the use of Miracle Shells: any being that is "of creation" and can channel essence can learn it.

    Also, exaltation (as mentioned when you brought this up earlier) is independent of the gods. Lytek gets no say in who exalts, his knowledge or consent isn't required. All it takes is a human soul, an act of heroism, and a free exaltation. The only force known to the setting capable of blocking a celestial exaltation is the Seal of Eight Divinities, constructed by the inventor of exaltation specifically to keep Exalts out. Anywhere else, an exaltation can find its hero: whether in creation, the wyld (including all the way in pure chaos should a mortal somehow survive to reach it), malfeas, the underworld, yu-shan.

    You can get around both these by saying that the people there aren't actually Human. It makes sense: The Fae tend to hate creation with the pretense of a fiery passion, so it seems unlikely that they'd create a pocket world. And humans are tasty, but apart from that they're of creation. But an unshaped rewriting a portion of the world to look like creation, not metaphysically fixed in place in the same abhorrent way, with soulless actors who look human... That could work. Since they wouldn't have souls, they wouldn't exalt and they could be fixed such that they can't work essence and can't use magic (because, essentially, they'd be animate objects).

    But in general, this is a pretty bad idea. What makes exalted Exalted is the way that the magic and the divine pervade the world. By stripping out the magic, you're fundamentally changing the character of the setting. At that point, it's better to use a different system, because while I don't think Exalted is as bad as memetics would have it, it's certainly not the best system and absolutely not good for low fantasy (there are far better systems I can recommend for that).
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    Default Re: [Exalted] A low-magic "pocket Creation" out in the Wyld?

    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    The Fae tend to hate creation with the pretense of a fiery passion, so it seems unlikely that they'd create a pocket world.
    I actually want to disagree strongly with this assertion. Yes, the Fae hate Creation, but to then assume that means they wouldn't duplicate it... in short, I agree with the premise (hard not to, after all), but I disagree with the conclusion.

    Part of the theme I see running behind the Fae is that, as much as they hate Creation, they cannot help but to be drawn to it and defined by it. They can resist, the mightiest can deny themselves even a look into Creation, but even that denial snares them. No matter how they view it and react to it- hate, addiction, curiosity, contempt, they nonetheless begin an orbit around it.

    It's like a zit, or sore. Even if they hate it or want it gone, they'll pick at it and focus on it, even if they know or feel they shouldn't. It is the one real thing in their unreal world, and so they can't avoid it. All their pretend and play is obvious for what it is around it. But they've tried getting rid of it. They've tried ignoring it. They've tried entering it, and done so many things about it that interacting with it becomes a festering obsession that they can't get rid of, no matter how transient and changing they are.

    Once you get to that level of obsession, and combine it with the mind of a Fae... well, that kind of demented outlook can drive you to do really strange things. If anything, I think it makes a ton of sense for a Fae to make their own little version of Creation which they can have control over and enact out their whims upon, as they cannot with the real Creation. Oh, they might not keep it forever, it might be a fancy that they tear apart in a fit of pretend rage- but I can definitely see them making it. It fits their general reaction to Creation, if you ask me.
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    Default Re: [Exalted] A low-magic "pocket Creation" out in the Wyld?

    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    But in general, this is a pretty bad idea. What makes exalted Exalted is the way that the magic and the divine pervade the world. By stripping out the magic, you're fundamentally changing the character of the setting.
    Ah Exalted Legalism strikes again!

    No, what makes Exalted Exalted is Creation and the cosmology. The presence or absence of magic is just a flavour on top of those things as far as I'm concerned.

    Yes I'm changing the nature of the setting...by placing this premise in a place that is already divergent from the assumptions about Creation itself. It's the Wyld, the place where the Raksha are masters of all they survey, the place where anything they can imagine is possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by golentan View Post
    At that point, it's better to use a different system, because while I don't think Exalted is as bad as memetics would have it, it's certainly not the best system and absolutely not good for low fantasy (there are far better systems I can recommend for that).
    Uh, it's a given that I'd never use the crappy Storyteller system for anything anyway. I'm only interested in Exalted's setting, I have no time whatsoever for its mechanics.

    But that said, the mortal scale is about the only one at which the native system actually functions. I played a brief mortals PbP game, and the mechanics were passable.

    Furthermore, if you're not focused on the Exalts themselves, Exalted is a low fantasy setting. Where does D&D have rules for disease and infection at the level of detail the Exalted corebook does?
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    Default Re: [Exalted] A low-magic "pocket Creation" out in the Wyld?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiero View Post
    Uh, it's a given that I'd never use the crappy Storyteller system for anything anyway. I'm only interested in Exalted's setting, I have no time whatsoever for its mechanics.

    But that said, the mortal scale is about the only one at which the native system actually functions. I played a brief mortals PbP game, and the mechanics were passable.

    Furthermore, if you're not focused on the Exalts themselves, Exalted is a low fantasy setting. Where does D&D have rules for disease and infection at the level of detail the Exalted corebook does?
    So, you're not going to use the Exalted game mechanics, or the Exalted fluff, and since you're pulling it into an area that is outside the actual setting, you're not actually using the Exalted setting.

    Here, let me refluff this for you.

    DnD modern, set in a more 1400s time. There you go.
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    Default Re: [Exalted] A low-magic "pocket Creation" out in the Wyld?

    I can see what you're going for with this concept, but I'm not sure why you're trying to tie this to the Exalted setting. I hate to say anything like "you can't play Exalted that way," because that is a silly sentiment... but as you point out, Creation and the surrounding cosmology are pretty central to Exalted, and you aren't using either. Nor are you using the Exalted themselves, or sorcery, or gods and elementals, or... anything except the Fair Folk and the Wyld, in fact.

    So why not just use those? Take a regular magic-less setting, as big or small as you like; surround it with the stuff of Chaos; insert faerie chaos-things. Don't worry about shinma, or how causality works without Fate to oversee things, or why nobody has self-initiated into sorcery. Include something like Terrestrial Martial Arts if you want mortals to have some quasi-magical kung fu abilities, but don't feel obliged to do so. It seems easier this way, unless you have some other reason for wanting this to fit into Exalted's setting.
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    Default Re: [Exalted] A low-magic "pocket Creation" out in the Wyld?

    Quite easy to pull off, really.

    It's called Wyld Assimilation, it's a mutation, and it guarantees that your pet mortals will never, ever, Exalt. Apply it via Behemoth Forging Meditation at birth, and you're set.

    Of course, there is a flaw to the process - namely that your pets get locked into specific roles and are therefore not much more interesting (or tasty) than easily disposable Awakened Dreams.

    Which means, naturally, that any sensible Raksha will seek to make things exciting again!

    Felidae's Home

    Creation is vast, and infested with Exalts. These have a distressing habit of successfully arguing with the workings of Fate and the laws that define how matter and energy operate. This behavior creates stresses in the Loom, and thus threaten all that Is.

    Fortunately, a gathering of Sidereals (who were totally not Raksha) had a highly productive meeting and derived a method for diverting excess stresses harmlessly. Somewhere in the Wyld, they deduced, there must be a perfect copy of Creation, where neither gods nor men lived. By relocating the neighborhood of extreme disruptions to this location, breaks in the stuff of Fate would occur outside Fate, with none being the wiser.

    The plan was a brilliant success, as all such plans must be. There were just a few minor flaws, but those were, of course, inconsequential. First, the destination used was inhabited by feline Fair Folk, who'd be damaged by the sudden erruption of Creation-stuff in their midst. This was viewed as a plus. Second, the Loom might lose track of a few insignificant extras, who'd be lost in the Deep Wyld when the important Exalts finished their daring feats. Since the extras were only mortals, and mortals the Exalts were not thinking about to boot, they didn't matter either.

    Felidae's Home, the destination used as the primary dumping ground for massive reality violations, soon adapted to the influx of destructive Creation-born forces and intruding mortals. Though the mortality rates remained high, its underlying sentience (which was definitely not a Primordial, and catergorically not served by Infernals) managed to isolate a section of the realm, a mere continent in size, where traumatized Raksha might adjust to the curse of Shape, and experiment with ruling over mortals.

    Because the Creation-born are so dangerous, the Home was imbued with a suitably feline presence, ensuring that intruders would behave properly and refrain from behaviors that could damage the fundamental laws of space, matter, and energy (however the Raksha chose to interpret them). Because purring, buxom, maidens will come into season, the spell cast upon the Home does not take immediate effect on newcomers, allowing them some time to enjoy the petting, grooming, and drinking milk from the source before joining the ranks of the Felidae.

    4-dot Oneiromancy
    Assumption of the Lving Kingdom - the Home affects a truly enormous number of people, and multiple copies may be used if required.
    Mad God Mien - even though counter magic does not occur, it is still ineffective
    Cat Transformation - Creation-born visiting the Home will at some point gain feline features (ears and tail to begin with) as well as become female if they were not before. As a final step, Wyld Assimilation will ensure that they joyfully fall into their role. This transformation is potentially triggered each day at dawn, unless the newcomer has managed to fully satisfy one more of the Home's residents than the previous day. It can even be reversed for those who best entertain their gracious Raksha overlords.
    Ordinary Object Conjuration - each time an egregious violation of the workings of Creation is relocated into the Home, an anvil is created above one of its residents.

    Yes, every time an Exalt invokes real world physics in Creation, Sidereals kill a catgirl. Fortunately, they also make sure to increase the supply.

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