Discussions/DragonKings

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Right. So I look around the wiki, and I saw a couple custom evil paths, but I'm not really finding much attention at all paid to the DKs. Personally, I find them fascinating. They're OLDER than the Exalted. They don't suffer the Great Curse. They're not human at all. They worship the Unconquered Sun and are righteous like Solars. They're animalistic like Lunars (and can even take shapechanging powers). Their past lives give them a connection with all of Creation reaching back millennia before there even were Exalted in a way that any Sidereal would envy. (To say nothing of the Orrery of Arainthu.) They're elementally aspected like Terrestrials (Immolation anybody? How about sprinting through solid rock?). They can dematerialize like gods. Are they lamer than I think? Am I missing something? Has anyone run a DK campaign? Has anybody even played a DK PC? --Tardach


What I thought was cool is, not only do they do all that stuff, but they breed true. They are ALL essence wielders, once you train them. Pretty much the only think they lack is MA access. (Which is odd, as pretty much every other type of essence user can use MA.). I like they they fit into the setting, but are small part that can be ignored. They are cool however. -FlowsLikeBits


They can do Terrestial MA, it's on page 235 of the Player Guide. What they can't do is learn human martial arts, though I imagine you could adapt rules. I quite fancy writing some styles, maybe one for each direction and a unifiying 'god style'.

The lack of appeal I think comes from that they aren't human, at all, and are a bit weird. Modern DK's are about low level terrestial level, and Ancientas in a Solar game can tip the balance horribly, especially if they take Savant. - Edward_Fortune


Strange that this should just have come up - I just posted four directional styles for DKs yesterday. They're in UnusualMartialArts if anyone wants to take a look.

Dragon Kings are endlessly fascinating to me, but I can understand the general ambivalence toward them as PCs. This is not their Age - they fit unevenly into most campaigns simply because the world, and thus the setting, has passed them by. Campaigns that can logically include a DK in some fashion or another tend to be fairly limited - while justifications exist for nearly any other kind of splat to go in Random Exalted Game #753, DKs stand out so far that they require extraordinary measures to include them.

That said, I am planning to run one of those very campaigns, and should a replacement PC be needed once we get about halfway through the storyline, DKs will be on the "available character type" list. First, though, we need to get to Rathess. -- Hapushet


Have just linked your MA to DragonKings, hope you don't mind. Will start adding some more content tommorrow. Edward_Fortune


No problem at all, and thanks to Tardach for the kind words on the front page too. I'm currently (and rather optimistically) planning to include full write-ups of various NPCs for my about-to-begin Lookshy-based game, The Fallen Shadows War. Part of that will include a significant detour into Rathess, at which point I will (hopefully) be adding some notable DK NPCs to the site. Is anyone else running a campaign that includes them, even as NPCs? -- Hapushet


Got one so far in a campaign I'm running that's on pause but about to be resumed. Ixythraaka, an ancient Anklok High Priest of the Unconquered Sun. I know where his full stats are, but they're in another city currently. Basically, full Blazing Fire, some Flickering, some Shimmering Water, some Flowing Water. Planning on having him take my Abiding Sun path(which could use some more outside feedback). Assumed human barbarian form, left the Bull of the North's horde to join the PCs (specifically the hot Zenith chick) and will keep up the human facade until he's sure they're cool enough to tell about Rathess. If anybody wants to know more about him, I might be able to post his full stats after this weekend. Might have a Clutch of other Ancients who were awakened by a Solar Exaltation seek out Rathess after being unable to save the Solar from the Wyld Hunt show up once the party is there. BTW, how do you guys read the ancients in Rathess? All Raptok? -Tardach


Was musing about Hapushet's MA, and something occurred to me. How the hell do you even buy the charms with XP? I mean, I guess a strict reading of the rules as written ("Other than those listed on the above table, Dragon Kings increase at the same cost as those of other characters. See Exalted, pages 269-272 for details.") implies that they buy MA at the same cost as Solars. Or, perhaps, DK MA is supposed to follow paths? It seems somewhat strange, but then, much of the DK stuff is strange. What does everybody think? Paths or Charms? I tend to think Paths... Which brings up another question. How do Eclipses buy Paths? - Tardach


Well, for my games, DKs buy MA as Charms. We don't have rules specifically for MA purchasing, but we do know how much they pay for Sorcery (7 bp or 12 xp), so - since all Exalts pay for Sorcery and spells as though they were ordinary Charms - I decided that was the cost for DK MA as well. I also allow Ancient DKs to sacrifice starting Path dots for MA Charms in the same fashion that DKs can trade Path dots for spells. That's just me, though.

As for Eclipses, I don't think they have any special ability to buy Paths. Eclipses get a cool ability to buy Charms - but Paths aren't Charms, so I don't think they have any more access to Paths than anyone else. Of course, there is already a canonical Path accessible even to ordinary mortals, so I'm not saying that Eclipses can't buy Paths at all... -- Hapushet


I recall reading that Eclipse/Moonshadow CAN in fact learn paths. I'm not sure what book it was in though, but obviously there aren't that many books you'd need to search to find it.
--DarkWolff



they main thing I do not understand about dragon kings from the players guide, is the lack of a fith element. they even mention there were ten paths to prehuman mastery(strange name by the way, as they were invented prior to humans existing), then they went and only put eight paths in the book. that is strange to me, and why are there no fire aspected DKs? did there used to be, and they were wiped out? or maybe the devs just could not figure out a dinosaur to base them off of. also it was a depressingly small chapter in a huge book. I just wish that the Dragon Kings had been given a bit more fleshing out. any thoughts on this?


-- Gtroc

I thought there were no earth-aspected ones personally, and would put Anklok as fire, they come from the south after all. I also remember seeing 10 paths, I'll just go check.
-- Darloth

You're absolutely right, Darloth. There are no earth-oriented [carefully avoiding the word "aspected"] Dragon Kings, because when they were created the Center Direction was occupied by the gods, so a competing powerful, sentient, Essence-using species probably wasn't appreciated. And there are two paths for each of the Five Elements, typically (though not exclusively) describing a way to manipulate the element directly and a way to manipulate some of its metaphysical associations. - Hapushet

I appreciate the response, I could have swore that anklok were earth-oriented, but I bow to your knolledge. I know that there were two paths for each element, my main problem is that the book is missing two paths, with no explinations. a whole element with no paths, and no explenation as to what it was focused around, so I have no idea what to fashion them around. also, in a book dealing with both martial arts and dragon kings, why did they not introduce a dragon king martial art? they actually put more effort into dragon king sorcery than martial arts. freekin' annoying, that's all I say about it. -- Gtroc

Which two paths would that be, exactly...? - Hapushet

Which -element- would that be as well? I mean, there are even paths for death if you check out the rathess book, so after all five terrestrial elements, and the weird evil ones, what else do you need? Plus, there's not exactly much to do for dragonking sorcery, they just, uh, can learn it. There's more fluff about the martial arts, check out the pterok descriptions, I think it was, for hints on a flying style. But no canon, admittedly. Still, a fair few good fan-written MAs here... Hapushet's elemental styles are really very nice indeed, and if you check out MartialArtsRelay, there's a sun/song style there which is also extremely cool in my opinion. Although I helped write it, so I may be a little biased ^_^
-- Darloth

[beams] -- Hapushet, who is off to check out the Relay, 'cause he apparently missed that one


hmm...well now, I feel retarded. I miscounted the number of paths in the book, I am quite sorry about the confusion. I am still a bit upset about there being no canon Dragon King Martial Arts, but what are you going to do, maybe in second edition they will add them.

-- Gtroc


Does anyone have any ideas about Excellencies for DKs in 2E? Since they're being given to spirits as well as every type of Exalt, they appear to be something pretty universal to Essence wielders. DKs have always been at the far end of funky when it comes to their powerset, but I'm beginning to think they should have something too.

At the moment I'm kind of playing around with placing an "Essence Replendent" power at the base of each Path that would grant some version of one Excellency to two or three Abilities related to the Path, possibly with the option to spend bps or xps to buy the other versions in a modular fashion. Another idea I had was making the Excellencies inherent to the Path - buy the Path, get the Excellencies. That seemed rather powerful, though. (Now that I think about it, though, maybe not, given the incredibly low dice caps for DKs. Also, perhaps they could be staggered? Get the Third Excellency at 1 dot, the First at 3 dots and the Second at 5? Hmm... Or, oooh, what about tying them to Permanent Essence?) The last option seems by far the worst, which would be to make separate Excellency Paths. Given the low level of DK caps and the high price of Paths, I can't imagine spending the xps on such a thing. - Hapushet


Definetly make them similar to DK paths. I'd say the first Excellency might do well to tie into the virtues and elarning is some way. As high essence = civilised it makes sense for the excellencies to be all about focusing the DK's mind, possibly requring reflecting on the past... Edward_Fortune

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