FixTheLunars

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This page is for the posting of ideas on how to rework Lunars in general (and why you think they should be reworked).

Contents

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Deadly Beastman Transformation is Necessary

DBT is basically mandatory for an effective Lunar character, who will be hampered by high experience costs all around, so a quick-and-dirty fix is to give it to them for free. All Lunars automatically receive levels of DBT equal to their Essence, and when their Essence goes up, so does their DBT.

Deadly Beastman Transformation is Wrong

DBT is not a charm. It is an entire separate mechanic that has been badly shoehorned into a charm. Had the Lunar book been produced lated in the line, DBT would likely have had its own mechanics, not unlike Sidereal Astrology. Thus, I think DBT should be re-implemented as an independent, a-la-carte mechanic, something along the lines of:

Lunar Exalted may purchase additional dots of attributes that are only accessible in their Beastman form. Dots of Strength and Stamina cost 4 XP each. Dots of Perception cost 6 XP. Dots of Dexterity cost 8 XP. A Lunar may not purchase more dots of Strength or Stamina than twice her Essence each, and may not purchase more dots of Dexterity or Perception than her Essence each. The total number of dots she has purchased in all four Attributes may not exceed three times her Essence.

Lunars may also purchase Gifts that are only accessible in their Beastman form. Each gift costs 10 XP, and a Lunar may not have more Gifts than her permanent Essence. Gifts that replace a prerequisite Gift do not count against this limit. Gifts that just provide Attribute points may not be purchased under this system.

Lunars have a Tell rating equal to their permanent Essence. You may purchase a Gift to reduce this Tell rating by one; each purchase of this gift counts against the total number of Gifts you can purchase. Higher Tell ratings make you easier to identify in some mechanically-rigorous way I have yet to work out. Appearance may work to reduce the Tell, to compensate for the fact that there are no Appearance charms. (Plus, it helps the Changing Moons be sneaky infiltrators, which is their schtick.)

All other Lunar charms are still in place, but their purchase price is reduced to something like Sidereal-level rates, or maybe even Solar-level (for an all-Lunar game).

Deadly Beastman Transformation is Obvious

People whine about having to take DBT to not die, and then being unable to shapechange for non-combat purposes due to having a blatant Tell. Change things so your Tell is not based on how many times you've taken DBT, but how long it's been since you last used it. Now, you can be both a raging ass-beater and a face-stealing skindancer, just not at the same time.

Or, maybe just make the Tell based on how long it's been since you last shapeshifted in any way. That way, if you wear a form for a long while, it becomes perfectly natural and undetectable. If you're constantly shifting, then your true self shows through.

-- Mapache


I see two basic ways to approach the DBT issue (that is, the issue of Lunars being dependent on it). One is to make Lunars no longer dependent on DBT, and the other is to make DBT a "standard feature", instead of something that must be bought. Taking the first route, in my opinion, is dreadfully boring. That route would make Lunars a fourth ISP splat, and I don't think the game needs that at all. With regards to the second route, I toyed with giving Lunars a free level of DBT for every point of permanent Essence the character has. The Tell was handled in the way the book describes - that is, based on how many levels of DBT the character has. Tell-hiding Charms would have a base mote cost, then a mote surcharge equal to the Lunar's Essence rating. Under this system, Casted Lunars started with a total of eight Charms, but weren't "given" Finding the Spirit's Shape. Casteless Lunars still started with six.

That's a stopgap measure at best, though. I would prefer that Lunars did actually pay for DBT with XP, though at a greatly reduced cost compared to buying other Charms. It wouldn't be associated with any Attributes - it seems silly to me to give one Caste an advantage at something that all Castes really need (I can see that argument being applied to Sidereals with regards to Martial Arts, but that's another matter altogether).

- David. just ran out of time, and will return later to complete his thoughts

My current plans for the Reverse Vasectomy of Lunars and DBT involve getting rid of Gifts. Instead, there are Gift Charms. These cost 5 Essence or so to activate normally and are all scene-long. When the Lunar goes Beast, though, they get to choose their Essence in Gift Charms to activate, for free. -- Xeriar

---

Silly people. DBT is neither neccessary for an effective Lunar character nor a handicap on roleplaying options.

Really, now, you're playing shapeshifters. If you stop trying to approach them like Solars (a mistake people make with all splats, but especially Lunars) they become much easier to envision, play, and use in a cool fashion. -TheMyriadOfShades

Agreed. I've made some very effective Lunar characters. They chose to be good at ONE THING - in other words, to fill a niche the way any animal would - and it worked. The only Lunar generalist is the No Moon sorcerer, this is by design, and people who don't like it are welcome to their opinion. I just wish that "Lunars are broken" wasn't used when someone meant "the game makes an Exalt type that I don't play as intended". -- BillGarrett

The page is called FixTheLunars. If you've read the comments by those who posted here before you, you probably noticed that this is a page created by and created for people who don't think Lunars as printed are fine, and want to make changes. It's perfectly fine for you to have and express your opinion, but I fail to see any value in expressing it here, where your comments are unlikely to change any minds.

Here: LunarsAreFine

There you go. A little page just for you. Talk up a storm there, I'm sure it'll be pretty informative. I know I'd actually like to read an organized series of comments about how Lunars are just fine. - David.

You miss the point. Part of "fixing" something is understanding how to use it to begin with. If I suggest an alternate methodology for approaching character creation, instead of (for example) writing up sweeping changes in the form of all-new Charms, I am offering a way for people to mesh better with the Lunar concept. However, this is unacceptable to many people, who prefer not to change their own thinking. "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" could be alternately phrased as "when all you think of is Solars, every splat starts to be used as an alternate type of Solar", and this is an attitude in need of correction just as badly as any poorly-written Charm. -- BillGarrett
People don't like to change their own thinking, thus it is better to show both sides of the arguement and let each make up their own minds. Handily we now have two pages with which to talk about these different view points. On LunarsAreFine people can discuss the foolishness of comparing Lunars to Solars, while perhaps explaining good ways to combine them in a mixed circle without either side feeling left out. On this page people should be talking about ways of fixing Lunars, beyond saying 'your wrong, think differently'. The advantage of poorly-written charms is that their flaws can be pointed out since they need to be logical, people's minds on the other hand... - Talion
I think you miss my point, BillGarrett. This page is for "how to rework Lunars", rather than how to rework the way people approach them. LunarsAreFine was created for the purpose of addressing how to approach canon Lunars, and why the fix must be applied to players and Storytellers and not to the source material. That you want to offer a different approach is wonderful, but I think it's better placed on a page intended for people who are more concerned with the approach of the players and Storytellers than with the material those players and STs work from. - David.
You guys are right-- I should have started a new page. Sorry. Anyway, yeah, taking it to LunarsAreFine ... -TheMyriadOfShades
So I flew off the handle. I do telephone tech support for software, which means I deal with people who really can't use product the proper way at all, so I tend to be a little short of patience. Moving my agitation activities to LunarsAreFine, thanks for the dope-slap. -- BillGarrett

I thought I would throw something in here. I know this discussion has been long dead (at least on this particular page) but it seemed the best place to put in for further discussion. Like many, I agree that the Lunars need modification. Maybe not a lot, but some. I've spent years reworking various systems and the Lunars have been something of a pet project of mine the last several months. I've noticed something interesting. Many people have set up reworkings of the Lunars based around giving them 5 Castes back. After agonizing over this over and over again, I'm calling B.S. on the fluff. If Luna knew what was up, there was no was in @#$@ that there were ever 5 Castes for Lunars. Ever. It just doesn't work out worth a dang mechanically. When I can be whatever I feel like at any given moment, where does the ability specialization matter? What would that specialization do that a Lunar can't already do? People come across three archetypes for Lunars because that's what there is to work with. The Physical, the Mental, the Social. That's it. That's all they need. From there, there's simply a mixing of abilities. That's why it seems like there's only the Raging Assbeater, The Trickster, and The Shamanic Sorceror. That's what shapeshifters are predisposed to. Once you get into those positions, you customize like mad into whatever you feel like being.

I've not changed my view that the Lunars need "fixing" but I'm far less inclined to believe that anything will be solved by 5 Caste'ing them. Thought I'd throw that out there for posterity and for any new people coming on to look over. - EwindaleMoss

Here frickin' here. The 5-castes bit is clearly a compromise by White Wolf between the individual strengths of the Lunar concept and the need to fit it in neatly with the rest of the fluff, with its fixation on the number 5. - Han'ya
Really, I think some of their fixations are the only things that really give me problems. The come up with mechanics to suit the fluff, not rework the fluff to suit the mechanics. The number of little references to WoD mechanics for the sake of provoking discussion gets annoying when they could've possibly streamlined the rules and just made some cleaner decision making. Just my game designing 2 cents. - EwindaleMoss
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