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A persistant refrain I've heard about Exalted- hell, one that helped sell me on the game -is that the whole setting is accessible content. With effort and work, the PCs are capable of doing anything.

However, this has translated at times to people making Charms or Artifacts that can casually change or challenge the setting in radical fashion. Super Perfect Attacks, Great Curse Manipulation, Solar Spell Shattering...

There should never be, IMO, a single Charm to prevent an Exalted Shard from reincarnating. There should never be a single Charm to create a new Exalted Shard. There should never be a single Charm that stablizes the entire Wyld, destroys the Games of Divinity, or wipes out the Deathlords forever. Ditto, there should never be a single Charm that directly screws with the Great Curse.

That's not to say that these aspects of the setting shouldn't be mucked with- but mucking with them should be the focus of a campaign, rather than something casually approached- and I do, in fact, consider Sidereal MA Charms to be 'casually approaching'. Reducing something so grand as resolving such massive problems to 'mere' Charms, no matter how difficult and inaccesible, cheapens the setting. It turns Charms into D&D magic items, and makes them about as wonderous.

- DariusSolluman

It is my opinion that anything exposed to the mechanical system of the game can and should be casually approached, tinkered with, and so on. There almost has to be a Charm that smacks down sorcery, simply because that's such a narrow and obvious effect that it doesn't make sense that no one's devised a Charm to do so. Similarly, it doesn't make sense that there is no Charm that makes Exalts crazy, because that's an obvious weakness that Exalts would take advantage of when infighting.

This isn't to say that I think there should be an Adamant Spell-Shattering Palm; I do think that that crosses a boundary. But that boundary's fuzzy, and often it's a matter of degree rather than a matter of anything-at-all; I think you should be able to give people points of Limit, but I don't think you should be able to 'bleed off' Limit like it were Resonance, and so on. I believe that HGD is not the be-all, end-all of Solar defense; the simple fact that their Abilities can get numerically better means that there should be a way to break HGD, and by the same token, a defense that breaks the HGD-breaking attack.

What I'd like to know is how you draw your line, because it seems to me that you like to have a nice 'buffer' between the Explicit Laws of the Setting and the stuff you're willing to do to it, while I'm looking for places that the wall of Law buckles and I can sneak inside, without really breaking any rules. - FourWillowsWeeping

HGD is obviously not the end-all, be-all. Even if you are wrong, and it can't be eventually trumped, there are already ways to trump it. It costs one willpower point for every single attack you want to defend against. If you know your foe has HGD, the game isn't beating the perfect defense - you can't do that. Instead, the game is getting an attack past the defense.

In a sense, I don't see your perspectives as being all that different.  :-) Here, Darius claims no single Charm should do something or other. And over here, FWW says Exalts would logically orchestrate abilities to trump one another somehow.

It's been a longtime belief of mine that Charms work a lot like Unix programs. Each individual Charm is just a tool, and is paltry alone - but can be used in many different ways, or combined with other Charms to create greater effects as the magics bounce facets of reality about betwixt one another.

I had more points! But my boss is coming, so it'll have to wait... - Balthasar

See Balth, that's where FWW and I do disagree. He thinks that a single Charm should be able to trump HGD. I don't. An orchestred trumping of HGD by either wearing the Exalt down, catching them by suprise, or otherwise hitting a weak point- sure. But it should never be simply trumped by an attack Charm that is Better Than Perfect.

To FWW: I don't have a simple criteria, but my rough guidelines go something like this.

  • Any Perfect Defense deserves protection.
  • Anything which is a part of a given Exalted type's schtik deserve special protection. This includes Abyssal Necromancy, Lunar Shapechanging, Sidereal Astrology and Martial Arts, and Solar Everything-else.
  • Anything dealing directly with the Yozis, Malfeans, Deathlords, Incarna or beings of similiar power deserves protection.
  • Anything which fundamentally impacts the setting (such as Creation being flat or surrounded by the Wyld) deserves protection.
  • Anything which fundamentally alters the nature of Exlatation deserves protection.

No single Charm, Artifact or Sorcery should 'simply' manipulate or destroy these aspects of the setting, in my book.

- DariusSolluman

We've already established that I believe "if you can do something with tactics or a combination of Charms, you can do it with a Charm given the right conditions." I won't bother arguing that again; I'm happy agreeing to disagree. It's illuminating to see exactly what you define as important or not. Thanks. - FourWillowsWeeping

It's nice to protect a schtik, and I agree with it in a general way, but there is overlap. Heck, WW has done it themselves with some of the Sorcery and some of the Necromancy (like Bone Lion). Abyssals have alot of overlap with others, they have limited shapeshifting, they have limited ability to affect fate (and it's implicit in the Abyssal book that their curses are just that, and that they do have divination ability). They don't have the breadth that Lunars or Sidereal have, but they do tramp on their domains. It's just different dressing. The question should be if the flavor is right, not if it's similar to what someone else already has. But simply my opinion, and it's nothing all that new. :) - haren

Actually, the Abyssals use of both shapeshifting and divination is perfect, imo, because it defines a good boundary. When they shapeshift, it's almost always to help support the idea that they are Creepy Dead Things rather than Shapeshifting Badasses. Likewise their divinatory capacity.

Although that's not really what I'm talking about. I'm more on about protecting those schticks from one another. Things like 'The highest counter-magic sorcery doesn't affect the highest degree of Necromancy, and the the highest counter-Necromancy doesn't affect the highest degree of Sorcery.' That was good- it protected both the Solar's and the Abyssals niches from one another. - DariusSolluman

Have to say I agree with Darius on this. There are some lines that shouldn't be crossed. Attacks built to defeat a perfect defense are easy enough, but they cannot just beat it flat out. For example, you could have an attack that let you make 3 (or 4 or more) attack rolls and each one had to be defended against, with the attacker choosing which set of results they like most (meaning persistant defenses are great against it, but you'd need to use HGD 3 times, kinda expensive). The thing is, HGD will still work if you use it. A good high essence counter to that would be a turn long HGD (think Bottomless Depths Defense, but better - although I'd expect that to be hideously expensive - multiple WP or Health levels). Similarly, a fellow player of Garden's Solar game suggested that Solar circle sorcery should let you remove a Lunar's Tattoos. I might allow it, but with very stringent restrictions, and there's no way I'd ever have it work on an unwilling Lunar. One thing I would allow is a (probably celestial) spell that forced your anima to flare, forcing the Lunar into true form, but that would be the limit - CorlanDashiva

Flaring intruder's animas would, I'd've thought, have been a standard security precaution in the First Age... -- Senji

Mebe. But A) That's the First Age. Toys dealing with the First Age can break the rules- including the stuff about Accessible Content. The Eye of the Autobot can do things that are flat out impossible. It has plot devise powers. And so on. B) I'm not convinced that the Lunar anima flaring locking them into their true shape isn't a new thing- another byproduct of their Wyld twisted Exaltations.

Lytek really needs to straighten them out ;) - DariusSolluman

I quite like the idea that you are locked into your true shape when your anima is blazing away - it's like you can't help but show what you are so you have to show a part of who you are as well. I love the idea of flaring people's animas as a defense method. You could imagine it would be standard for anyone who wished to address the Solar Deliberative to have to flare first so they could see you are who you say you are. It would make an anima flare the ultimate badge of authority, in a way. I'm forced to disagree a little with your generic statement that first age thingies can break the rules though. I'm sure they had plenty of such things in the first age, but I'd also say that most of them died with it. If I were to introduce such a device it would only be because the plot demanded it, and at the end of the day the plot comes first and all rules are superceded by it. In other words, i would not let any artifact possessed by the players have such far reaching powers unless it was necessary for the story, and even then I'd try and keep it brief - CorlanDashiva

The debate that Dave and Darius were having on Charm Balance has been moved to CharmCreationGuide/DaveAndDariusArgueCharmBalance

~~Since I am relatively new to Exalted, I will admit that I am not as knowledgable as the rest of you seem to be, but I *am* an avid gamer, so I do have some experience with how mechanics ought to function. I concur with the first post that the GoD shouldn't be just casually destroyed or the gods just killed because you *can*. That kind of thing should be the essence of a long-running campaign that requires a whole lot of work on behalf of the players. Not to mention a very valid reason for doing something so dramatic and earth-shattering. Now, I am aware that Exalted, at it's core, is supposed to be over the top and so on, just like an anime- but at the same time... an Anime runs a good long time before something like that is done by the characters. Either that, or it's done straight off and they spend the rest of the series trying to a) fix it or, b) live with what they've done. Which, might I hasten to add, is not a bad premise for a game. But nonetheless, such things ought not be done lightly or without great deliberation by the ST ahead of time.

    ~~ Kesai