Solar Power ^_^ as compared to that of Other Exalts
Mailanka - 09/17/2003 07:33:59
<<See, this is the kind of thing that makes me think Solars need to be re-worked. I think there's been a bit more power-creep than GCG et al. initially expected with the release of each fatsplat (except, debatably, Lunars and Abyssals, for different reasons), and now the Solars aren't really all that impressive anymore - they're just kinda... generic.>>
Right, lets take this one point at a time...
Power Creep? You're basically saying that DBs are overpowered, as Lunars and Abyssals aren't creeping on the Solars. Fine. It's ok to think that. Alot of people do. But if you're suggesting that they're MORE powerful than Solars, I'll think you'll have a hard time making your case...
Whether Solars are impressive or not is really up to each individual player, I suppose. I still see them as Impressive. You, aparantly, don't.
Let's look at a few things that make Solars unique.
First, Solars are talented Generalists. They get the MOST favored/Caste abilities of all the Exalted. Result? They have the easiest time buying charms from out of caste. Further, Dragon Blooded and Lunars have limitations on purchasing out of caste (will Siderial? Waits to be seen). Dragon Blooded get hit with an elemental surcharge (which doesn't seem a big deal until you have to play a character that is hemorraghing essence every turn...) and Lunars get hit with a +3 exp charge on all out of caste expenses.
Not to mention the Eclipse anima ability.
Solar charms also work very differently than the Lunars and the Dragon Blooded. DB charms are typically arranged around "nifty tricks." In general, the most commonly used charm is the first charm, meaning that most DBs will use similar tricks. For example, just about all DB melee/dodgers will have Flickering Candle and Stoking Bonfire. The remainder of the charms that come after tend to be rather specialized "tricks."
Further, DB charms are very different from Aspect to Aspect.
Lunars, on the other hand, are very specialized. While, like DBs, most will have the same early charms (They have the LEAST entry level charms of ALL the exalted), their best tricks are farther up and require more specialization. The result enhances their animalistic style: like animals, most Lunars have the same basic tricks (claws, for example) but develop different modifications and techniques with those tools (poison, speed, bigger claws, etc) that further define them.
Solars, by contrast, simply go "Good, better, best." Once you have Dipping Swallow, you won't use GEB much. Once you have Five Fold Bulwark Stance, you won't bother with Dipping Swallow much any more. One could say that Solars refine themselves, coming closer and closer to perfection, with each purchase. And for those that think this was a mistake, the well designed Abyssals follow the SAME progressions...
Dragon Blooded Charms represent increasing flexibilty.
Lunar charms represent increasing specialization.
Solar charms represent increasing perfection, or refinement, if you will.
Further, Solars have the CHEAPEST charm costs BY FAR. To the point where an Eclipse learning a Lunar charm pays a mere 1 xp more than an actual Lunar learning it out of caste. This results in, by far, the fastest growth of the Exalted.
And, of course, Solars are the most "human." They don't spout flame or grow fangs. They look and FEEL human, ESPECIALLY now, in an age where they AREN'T raised to believe they are gods. They offer an important change to the more exotic natures of the other Exalted. If this human element is what you mean by "generic" then I'll shrug at your complaint. I see this as an important element in the game.
Are the Solars pretty unique from the rest of the Exalted? Without a doubt. If you mean to suggest that the other Exalted are just Solars with their power reduced and different, nifty tricks tacked on, I'd say you're missing the point.
If you played the game, like most of us, with Solars first, its easy to see them as the "base" of all the exalted, and to compare all Exalted to them, and to see them as "generic."
But if you've been playing with OTHER Exalted for a while, (I've been running a DB game for a year now), then Solars start to look REALLY strange. Obscenely powerful (it's easy to forget the ease with which Solars take down armies until you watch a battle focused Dragon Blooded struggle with a few extras...), burningly virtous, strangely insane, the Solars are as different from Dragon Blooded or Lunars as night and... well, day.
Perhaps sometimes I come across as a gushing fan boy. But I'm quite critical of roleplaying systems. Many WoD systems do not meet my expectations, and there are a great number of systems that I have dismissed in my years. I am not some kid blinded by the glitter of the glorious White- wolf as some are.
And I tell you, with full honesty, that the Exalted system has dazzled me. Not only have the managed to make each Exalted type VERY unique, but they've done it all with the SAME SYSTEM. From a guy who regularly plays GURPS, color me impressed. I KNOW how hard it is to make things feel different while using the same basic mechanics. It's too easy to get something like Warcraft II, where the only difference between races is a few numbers and a couple of abilities...
To be frank, what I really expected was that each Exalted type would basically be like Solars with slightly different charms, with the Solars being the toughest. I am delighted to see that this STILL hasn't happened...
There isn't a power creep, and Exalted has stayed remarkably true to its intentions for a game developing at the clip that it has.
I agree with everything you said. :)
Except for this:
"To the point where an Eclipse learning a Lunar charm pays a mere 1 xp more than an actual Lunar learning it out of caste."
Eclipses always pay 20 xp for Lunar Charms, as they cannot ever favour the Attributes that Lunar Charms stem from.
This is a finely crafted argument, and I like it a lot. My favorite point is that about Solars being the most human. Brilliant! Of course! Animalistic Lunars, Elemental DBs, Undeadish Abyssals, and Almost-not-real Sidereal. That shit's all weird and tainted, but the Solars are... pure. Even their human fallibility is enhanced and focused on (via the Great Curse). Superb point! --UncleChu
- The group that I game with currently has a mixed Solar game (2 solar, a lunar and a sidereal) and a DB game - I run the DB game. ALL of the players agree that the difference in power level between the 2 games is huge, the general scope is massive in our Solar game, my now dead twighlight even used sorcery to destroy a shadowland while the others protected me and killed the various bad guys that the Death lord sent our way, we escaped barely alive and all of us iconic, but we were successfull. In my DB game the characters (all with reasonable exp) struggle to take down a blood ape one on one. Solars are fantastic at what they do, a dawn cast that is maxed out for combat against a similar exp opponent of another type of exalt is going to pretty much wipe the floor with them. The DB's advantages are not in personal strength of arms but in collective efforts and in the massive amount of resources available to them. Sidereals, whilst can be as hard as nails and beat a dawn cast in terms of raw skill and ability are limited by much lower essence pools and by the fact that they will face a celestial audit if they use some of their biggest charms without permission. And of course the Lunars are limited in that they can not have any real influence within civilisation, only in the countryside or with barbarian tribes, you would never see a Luna full moon fighting as a leader of a lookshy legion. Eldmar