Discussions/CasteAnimas

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It's a fairly common opinion that the Dawn Caste anima ability in 2nd Ed is rather poo, especially compared to the Twilight anima, which is far better to take if you want to fight. Over the course of a longish thread on rpg.net discussing this issue, various solutions were suggested. This page lists the 'final' version, but if you want to see all the intermediate ideas and other suggestions, the original thread is here: http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=320258 All credit for the ideas below belong to the people in the thread, and not me - I'm just the one writing it up.


    • Dawn Caste

The Dawn Caste automatically knows all valid combos that he can legally construct with his Dawn Abilities. He may spend 10 motes to recieve 1/2 Essence as a bonus to his DV against opponents who can feel fear for the remainder of the scene. This ability imposes a +1 difficulty to enemy Rout checks in Mass Combat, and activates automatically when his anima reaches the bonfire stage.

    • Zenith Caste

The Zenith Caste is automatically considered a priest of the Unconquered Sun. He may sanctify his touch for 1 mote, cremating any corpse he touches and sending its soul to Lethe. This ability may also add the Holy keyword to any attack he uses. He may spend 5 motes to roll Essence in response to incoming damage, with one success on the roll negating one health level of damage. Both caste abilities trigger automatically when his anima reaches the bonfire stage.

The reasoning behind this was that with Ingegrity & Resistance, the Zenith are already the 'hard man' archetype, and so the former Twilight anima fits here. But making it rolled though, you allow the possibility of damage getting through, weakening it somewhat.

    • Twilight Caste

There was no clear consensus on what to give the Twilight's, now that the Zenith's have a weakened version of their old ability. A previous Discussion about this is available here, and is a good place to go if you don't think the Twilight anima is broken in the first place. Various suggestions:

  • Let Twilight's boost mental attributes to Essence + 1 or 6, whichever is higher.
  • Let Twilight's add 1/2 Essence to their mental attributes
  • Allow Twilight's to substitute their highest mental attribute for any other mental attribute
  • Lower the difficulty of all mental rolls by 1 (or some other number)
  • Shape sorcery takes one less action per circle (Terrestrial is reflexive, Celestial takes 1, and Solar takes two)
  • May burn a point of willpower for ten motes of essence
  • Some kind of reflexive essence sense which grants automatic awareness of Essence activity and some kind of roll to find out more
  • While the Twilight's anima is at the 11+ stage, anything that she crafting, healing, casting, or in any other way physically creating or fixing cannot be destroyed or damaged. Spellcasting cannot be disrupted. A person who is being healed cannot be damaged. An object which is being built cannot be damaged, etc. That is unless the anima goes out when the twilight is killed. Presumably that would work fine with a 5 mote instant effect also. - Morpheus

If anyone can come up with a coherant & balanced replacement, then please post it up!

    • Night Caste

Generally considered to be fine, though someone did suggest making all of a Night's essence personal.

    • Eclipse Caste

As written in the core, because it's already really good.


Comments

Everybody keeps saying the Dawn caste ability is bad, but I don't agree. For one thing, it makes mortals flee - and guess what 90% of the complementary units you'll be facing in mass combat are made up of? Yup, mortal soldiers. Don't care if he's in Gunzosha armor, if his Valor is less than or equal to your Essence, he pisses himself and runs. At Essence 5, that means you might get a handful of paragons still sticking around, but the point remains: the battlefield has just been reduced to you and the people who really matter, no pesky wave upon wave of men to throw at you. On top of that, you get +2 DV ignoring all caps against those who stick around. How core is that? Pretty core, if you ask me. Now, I will admit, it would be nice if this scaled - I'd make it half Essence round down. That'd leave the same thing at Essence 5 though - because I think 2 attack successes canceled is worth just as much as 5 damage successes canceled. Nor would I change the Zenith or Twilight powers - they're fine the way they are. Zenith become utter badasses against unholy creatures, with their charms handling the "hard man" archetype. Twilight are encouraged to focus on the things their Caste abilities let them do without having to worry about combat charms nearly so much.

The solution to players who try to use the Twilight anima power to create a combat monster isn't to change the power. In my opinion, the solution is to either flat-out say "no," or kill the ridiculous character off. A Dawn with the same XP should be able to do it, rather easily, since he has his combat abilities in Caste and can supplement (Athletics, Resistance, Dodge, Awareness) with favored - whereas the Twilight has to choose only from favored abilities. - IanPrice

I hear the "just say no" option come up alot in regards to situations with player choices. I agree it's an effective tactic, but I see a great number of people who are unsatisfied with that as an answer. I found (YCMV) a core theme of Exalted to be "don't say no with a period; say yes with a comma" or put simply, never just deny. - Vaegrim
I think that's a core theme of good leadership, not Exalted. A Storyteller for an Exalted game ought to be a good leader, or else the game won't be very well organized. That said, a good leader also needs to know how and when to say no with a period. Some people need to hear it, and will have more fun if they are restrained. There are also times to say no with a comma. Frankly, a person who wants to play a combat Twilight because of the combat power of their anima isn't thinking right for Exalted. They're thinking dungeon crawl, beer & pretzels, kill 'em and take their stuff roleplaying. That can be fun, but it isn't Exalted. Thus, it's a time to just say no.
Isn't thinking right? I guess people have different opinions about the "right" way to play. Nevertheless, no matter what Apple says, "Think Different!" is not going to be an appealing answer to some people, myself included. Further, I reject the notion that any mechanistic approach to gaming is inherently light and therefore "dungeon crawl, beer & pretzels" play. -Vaegrim
Agreed. Ian, stop being a dickhole. Your idealized mental playstyle is not the only right playstyle that other playstyles "ought" to be. The premise of this page is obviously to find a new anima to fit with these other new animas, not to discuss whether a new anima should exist at all. I can only help by pointing out that the animas at PassengerPigeon/SolarAnimas (or some such subpage of pigeon's) have served the SI group extremely well. - willows
Another word on Twilights: taking away their protection will encourage what I refer to as "ivory tower syndrome." The scholar will sit back in his ivory tower and pursue philosophy and other scholarly things. He's fragile and weak, so venturing out into the world is his last resort. A Twilight shouldn't be like this, because Exalted cannot be boring. - IanPrice
What? How can you possibly contest that any Solar so weak he has to sit back in his ivory tower? If anyone makes a Solar that weak, it's because they were TRYING to and they WANT the Ivory Tower syndrome.
~ Shataina
PS, whoever started this, it should be indexed in Discussions if you want it findable by later newcomers.
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