Hotfixing the Lunars
This is my attempt at a quick patch on the rules to stop Lunars being so behind the eight-ball in terms of advancement and their options in general. I think that the Lunars are basically okay, they just need a little oomph to be able to compete with the Sidereals and Solars (like so much of Exalted's fluff says they should). Some credit should go to DariusSolluman, who's ideas about Lunars I've used as a bit of a base/inspiration.
Charms Cost Too MuchDeadManSeven/B>
- Therefore, Charm costs are dropped to 11xp (9xp for Favoured).
<B>Charms At Character Creation Are A NightmareDeadManSeven/B>
- Lunars receive one selectable Favoured Attribute, that works in the same way as a Favoured Ability does for all other Exalts. This should ease the pressure on needing at least four Favoured Charms to begin with, and make concepts like thieves (Social and Dexterity), war leaders (Physical and Intelligence), and those with heavy interation with spirits (Mental and Manipulation or Charisma) easier to create.
<B>Deadly Beastman Transformation Is Practically Required To SurviveDeadManSeven/B>
- So let's make it required. DBT is removed from the list of Charms. Anything that has it as a prerequisite uses Finding The Spirit's Shape instead. Characters gain a level of DBT for each point of Essence they have. It functions just the same as if it were a Charm (5 motes, reflexive use, counts as a true form, must be included into combos to use other Charms during the turn), except everyone gets it.
<B>But That Nerfs Changing Moons!DeadManSeven/B>
- Masking The Brilliant Form now costs 3 motes per Tell level dropped, and 1 Willpower. For every three motes, you can ignore one level of DBT for the purposes of the Tell. Possibly create a third Charm in this progression - Essence 2-3, called Luna's Masterful Beguilement, or something - that is a flat cost for masking Tell and tattoos for a full day.
<B>But I Don't Want A Crinos Warform!DeadManSeven/B>
- All Attributes should be purchasable for DBT. Dexterity and Perception cost 2 points, Strength, Charisma, Manipulation, Intelligence, and Wits cost 1 point, and Appearance and Stamina cost 1/2 a point (or 2 for 1 point, if you like that better). No Attribute can be increased with Deadly Beastman Transformation above its limit in the character's human form. There's a table at the bottom show the progression of the various attribute caps, and such.
- Also, port over more non-combat Charms and effects for DBT Gifts. Stuff like stealth effects, inspiration/leadership effects, spirit interaction stuff, crafting, tracking, whatever. DBT is now the best combination of man and animal possible, and should draw on all the associates of that animal, not just the ones that allow for righteous beatdown.
<B>The Silver Pact Still SucksDeadManSeven/B>
- Create a Merit. Let's call it Fixed Caste, or Tattooed. It's worth two points, and it allows a formerly casteless Lunar to have been tattooed by a wandering No Moon (or whatever story you care to dream up), without having to buy into the Silver Pact. Your character doesn't need to meet the Ability minimums for being part of the Silver Pact, or pay any attention to it at all. This Merit can be combined with the Enemy Flaw to represent characters who have had jack of the Silver Pact, left in in a huff, and irritated someone when they did so.
- However, being a part of the Silver Pact - or, at least, being recognised by it - should have some appeal. Give Lunars two extra Backgrounds: Tribe (as Abyssal Command; assume barbarians are equal to zombies or soldiers, depending on how well they've been outfitted and trained, and that beastmen are equal to hungy ghosts) and Sorcery (levels 4 and 5 for No Moons only). These Backgrounds cannot be more than the character's Rank at character creation (with the standard Exalted caveat of "unless it's cool to do otherwise, of course").
<B>Something Else I'm Not Too Sure AboutDeadManSeven/B>
- Raise the limit of Favoured Attributes up to 5 + (Essence/2, rounded down). This is possibly very overpowering at lower Essence levels (other Exalted start to catch up at Essence 6+, and are equal at Essence 9 and 10). Use with caution.
|| Essence || Favoured
Attributes || Other
Attributes || F. Attribute
Maximum (DBT) || O. Attribute
Maximum (DBT) || || 1 || 5 || 5 || 10 || 10 || || 2 || 6 || 5 || 12 || 10 || || 3 || 6 || 5 || 12 || 10 || || 4 || 7 || 5 || 14 || 10 || || 5 || 7 || 5 || 14 || 10 || || 6 || 8 || 6 || 16 || 12 || || 7 || 8 || 7 || 16 || 14 || || 8 || 9 || 8 || 18 || 16 || || 9 || 9 || 9 || 18 || 18 || || 10 || 10 || 10 || 20 || 20 ||
So, let's take a Full Moon favouring Charisma with Essence 5. He can have Strength, Dexterity, Stamina, and Charisma rated at 7 in his human form, and all his other Attributes still only at 5. Using Deadly Beastman Transformation, he can raise his favoured Attributes by 7, and others by 5 (regardless of what their rating is in human form).
I like these ideas, particularly the DBT and favoured attribute changes. You could easily introduce the option to ignore the 'required' DBT if it was really a problem, also. Now, I've never run Lunars, but I would take a good look at what happens when every single Lunar has at least two levels of DBT for free. I'm curious as whether the inclusion of all the other attributes makes people shift away from the combat beast build...because if not, then you might end up with Lunars getting the problems associated with Crinos in oWoD...but I imagine it requires some playing with. Lunars are meant to have less magical aids in certain tasks (leadership, etc.), but that doesn't mean they shouldn't have any. Making DBT fixed as you've done, adding the other attributes and other types of gifts, and the extra favoured abiltiy, make Lunars more able to compete in those 'restricted' areas without actually making them the same as other Exalts who can boost their rolls with Charms. They become more like Fair Folk. When I get around to running Lunars, someday, I think I'll use some of these ideas. Nice work. -- Quilone
- The idea with the DBT changes was to try and put all character types on an equal footing. The warrior gets this totally awesome, reflexive, cheap Charm of effectively unlimited duration to kick ass and take names with. Socially- and mentally-focused characters don't get anything like that. So, I want to be able to have Lunars who become amazingly beautiful and silver-tongued, or all-seeing and all-knowing in their man/animal hybrid form. You can do it with the current version of Deadly Beastman Transformation - sort of - but the focus is still on being a death engine, and I'd like the Lunars to be a bit more than that. I'm glad you liked my ideas. - DeadManSeven
That's a good series of fixes there - not too complicated and badly needed. I concur completely on the charm XP cost, favoured attribute, and 'the Silver Pact sucks' (although I deal with this last one a different way - more on that when I can be bothered to write it up). I'm not so sure about the 'one DBT per Essence'... I mean, my Lunars generally top out at two DBT then get other charms. So maybe just give starting Lunars 0-2 free DBT (player's choice) and leave it at that, or possibly just up their starting charms to 10 + Finding the Thingy Shape so they can have a passable combat form and do something else.
Also, I think someone else on this site was playing with the idea of Arcane Beastman Transformation and Smiley Beastman Transformation (or something) to complement DBT for the other attributes. I think that DBT should be a war shape, so I'll probably leave it as is, but yours is a workable idea. Finally, I think increasing the attribute limits is probably unnecessary, because DBT allows for mega-honking attributes anyway - especially if you get one for free with every point of Essence. Anyway, nice work. - Falcon
- I don't know if all these ideas will work together. With some second thoughts, the mandatory DBT andDeadManSeven/I> increased Favoured Attributes is a bit much. I did a little fiddling (and made a table!) to try and get a bit of balance. I don't think it's too upsetting now using all the changes, as compared to the things DBT can do normally.
- With the three separate (Attribute Set) Beastman Transformation, it's a workable idea, but I'll stick with the one Swiss Army knife DBT. I think, otherwise, you'd straightjacket characters into being either only Physical, Social, or Mental at any given time, assuming the other Transformations are also True Forms and can't be used together. Too much of a headache to work into something that I'm trying to have be a simple quick-fix. - DeadManSeven
Just a note, having been tattooed by the Silver Pact does not imply membership in said Pact at all. I also think that 2 points of Stamina for 1 point is probably too generous, given that it would allow make it much easier to attain very high natural soak. Finally, I question why Perception costs more than Wits. _Ikselam
- I'm aware that being tattooed doesn't mean being involved in any of the Silver Pact's politics, but that doesn't really come through in ... no, wait, I may have just been reading the character creation process incorrectly. So, feel free to disregard the Merit, if you wish. Or, I dunno, just state very loudly that being outside of the Silver Pact isn't anything as dehabilitating as being a renegade Abyssal or Ronin Sidereal.
- With Stamina, I was a little apprehensive about making it cheaper, by I figured that Stamina, unlike Strength and Dexterity, is a more passive Attribute. Strength is for damage, lifting stuff, and jumping. Dexterity is useful for practically everything under the sun. Stamina is... good for soak, and the very few fire/poision/whatever-breathing things out there. It also seems a lot easier to be able to gain extra soak if you have poor Stamina, as opposed to more damage/accuracy if you're lacking in Strength or Dexterity. I was thinking along the whole 'defence is easier to get than offense, Lunars should always be the last one standing' line of thinking, but it still could be unbalancing, even with the Attribute caps for DBT. Maybe take away the armour Gifts, or change them to stuff that doesn't actually add any natural soak (soak Lethal with full Stamina, reduce minimum damage, things like that).
- Finally, I had sorcery in mind with making Perception the expensive one, with a large number of spells using Perception as a base stat. Wits didn't seem enough to warrent being more expensive; however, if there's something I'm missing about Wits other than it being involved in initiative, I'm all ears. Never really understood why it was the more valuable stat, when it varies so much with weapons, reflexive Charms, initiative-fiddling Charms, and persistant Charms that make initiative less of a worry.
- Also, whee, a comment from one of Exalted's big names! :) - DeadManSeven