GoldenCat/Lunars

From Exalted - Unofficial Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search

Contents

Children of the Shifting Moon

(Evolved to SilverMasks)

My little attempt at fixing Lunars, one among many, but one I am very proud of. It started really small, with a panoply of changes to canon Charms. I continued to change them for use on my games until I noticed the changes were outweighting the normal charms... and it was around that time that it derailed completely and I decided upon changing the very basics of the Lunars. And so far, it has worked really well.

They now possess Five castes, and still work with only Three left, if one really likes that. They now favor Attributes. The Totem is now a background, and the difference between weak and strong totems vast. They can now splice the totem's traits into their form to become a Beastman, or create an 'Ascension' form out of an order of Charms, a new hybrid form which turns one into all sorts of mystical, inhuman things. They can now make Beastmen by all manners of ways. They now possess illusions, and the Half-Moon's tactics, which are different from Solar Leadership, or Sidereal well-rehearsed battle formations. They now possess many charms relating to serving, becoming great defenders of a nation, of a person, invincible silver-clad samurais and protector-knights.

All that I thought their place on the cosmology of Exalted deserved.

Well, then... please read on!

Also, the evolution of Lunars to middle-essence - the levels around 4 and 5 - are made to compare with those in Sol Invictus, as well as their Animas - a twofold symmetry to the Solar's threefold symmetry, as the second step on the Terrestrial, Celestial and Solar hierarchies. Although Sol Invictus is not needed, it is heartily recommended ^^

Luna's Beloved

The Children of the Silver Lady. The Exalted of Luna.

Lunars are many things. Strange beasts. Supreme Predators. Illusionist Tricksters. Lords of the Night, of the time of dreams. Protective Leaders. Divine Beasts. Bestial Protectors. Chaotic Asssassins. Masters of Tactics. Insane Sorcerers. Inscrutable Shamans. Creatures of change, they are not as animalistic and savage as those you would expect, and mostly strange, ephemeral... changing, divine beasts as opposed to earthly ones. Changing their shapes on a whim, more versatile than the other Exalted can ever hope to be. They are change, always ready for any and all situations. The first line of defense of Creation, they both fight the chaos and take it within themselves - where it finds home - and use the chaos in wondrous ways.

There, their half forms are not just a mixture between animal and a man, but rather a celestial form that combines both traits. A snake man may only be a taller man, lean as a serpent, eyes, fangs and tongue of a snake, its weapon a huge viper coming out of its mouth. It may be a man with the eyes of a hawk, feathered arms and legs ending in silver claws, great wings framing his back, feathers as hair. A crow man with skin all black, the same wings, eyes shining an enigmatic, macabre yellow as silver runes glisten on their bodies... or great scorpion men covered in natural armor that burns with the heat of the desert, with a panoply of arms and a great sting at their backs, shining like magical materials. One may be a Beastman, but even then, the nature of divinity shows, even in a small way. This is called the Ascension Form, only as Deadly as the Lunar wishes it to be. But always, always inhuman.

The nature of the Tell, the mystical piece of their identity that remains in all shapes to remind them of their own self, does not need to be animal features either - although it is always tied in some ways to it, if not physically, metaphorically. Blood dripping from their hands. Scars suffered during their Exaltation. Those things might be Tells.

Their Totem is also of great importance - it shapes who they are, most of their Tells, their nature and personality - that, and the other way around. The Totem is an expression of self - who the Lunar is to have Chosen it, who the Totem is to have chosen him. It gets the Lunar's own spin on it - the Alpha Wolf, or the Lone Wolf. This essence is distilled in their powers, and the Lunars even go so far as to pour their Divine Essence on their totems... becoming Behemoths based on their Totem, and yet, unique. Losing much of their ability to blend in, but receiving great power in exchange.

Their power is on their inhumanity, to the Solar's humanity. Their power is natural, protean and chaotic to the Sidereal's ordered ways and fixed essence patterns. And while the Raksha play at being humans, the Lunars play at being inhuman, held tightly by a fragment of their identity as they give themselves to Change...

Mechanics

Character Creation
The way to create a Lunar Exalted. It includes the description of the Five Castes, and rules to still play with three.

Mechanics and Systems
The Tell, Attribute against Ability Charms, Natural Shapeshifting, an Overview of True Forms, of the use of Tell, and more - all the miscellaneous systems and information concerning the powers, weakness and general state of being of the most inhuman of all Exalted.

Backgrounds!
Totem is now a Background. The Totem Shape is actually a set of modifiers to the Lunar's Human Shape.

Charms will interact with this background in more esoteric ways - but I needed a base for it. It also covers new rules for the Lunar Shapeshifting, the Blood Library background, which gives the Lunar a pre-made Library of made shapes, and an expanded Artifact Background.

Charms

As Natural Shapeshifters, Lunars also have quite a protean nature on charms. They are personal things, modified according to their whims. A Lunar may pick a Charm that gives a striking appearance as a peacock's plumage, great butterfly or moth wings, a resplendent mane or stripes. May use a charm that creates a scorpion's tail to simulate a wasp's stinger or even a natural lance. A single Lunar may do all that, changing imagery and style to the moment.

This entirely replaces the Charmset on Exalted:The Lunars.

True Forms
The ability to Ascend in great and terrible shapes, to walk as a behemoth or join with your soul-kin...

Totem
The power to call on your totem's might, to call on its soul, to change its nature, and to breed great and terrible Children...

Shapeshifting
The ability to shift their own shape a thousand different ways...

Shapecrafting
The ability to shift the shape of others in a thousand different ways...

Physical Enhancement
Using Shapeshifting to increase physical prowess. Where the Attribute-Enhancing Charms lie.

Close Combat
Shapechanging Combat Tactics at close quarters, with all possible weapons they can wield or create...

Natural Weapons
The ability to wield flesh as the greatest of all weapons.

Ranged Combat
The ability to hunt and kill from afar.

Defensive
Their new panoply of defensive options...

Resilience
The ability to heal, adapt, regenerate, and resist the pain...

Perception
The ability to have any sense possessed by any beast, and beyond...

Misdirection
The power of the Waning and Waxing Moons, the ability to hide flawlessly and to weave crafty illusions...

Interaction
The abilities of paragons of shape, of beauty and dance, of manipulative tricksters.

Society
The ability to defend their society, to shape it, to be the bodyguards, the hands of the King.

War
Purview of the Full and Half Moons, the ability to be intimidating, glorious, and to have deadly battle tactics...

Animalism
The Majesty of the Totem above mere animals, and the ability to make terrifying armies of beasts...

Mysticism
Common purview of the No Moons, the ability to work with their tatoos, the flows of the Wyld, and Sorcery...

Dreams
The power of the Wyld, hopes and dreams, illusions and divinity. The shifting moon.

Tarnished Silver

The Chimera
Twisted by Chaos, the Dark Side of Lunars, their Darkest Secret.

An Aside : Lunar Elders and Five Castes

Lilith is a Waning Moon, certainly. Stealthy and Crafty, a master Martial Artist with her White Reaper Style!
Ma-Ha Suchi is a Waxing Moon - a fanatic of Luna, fighting with feverish devotion!
Tamuz is a Half-Moon - calm and rational under all circumstances.

Thanks to

DarkheartOne, who gave me the names for the Attribute Charms.
FiatVictrix and Kraken, whom I endlessly bug about mechanics.
TheMyriadOfShades, whose Shapeshifting Charms inspired me to create a couple of mine.
FourWillowsWeeping who let me use a couple of his awesome Lunar Charms(Yes, Shreyas. Bizarre, huh? LIGHTING ESSENCE INFUSION~) ^^
UncleChu, who helped with many questions, insights, spotting mistakes and giving ideas!
And for all those who playtested them, pointing out flaws, working out bugs, and making them work~!



Comments & Questions

For the Attributes - is the 9 / 7 / 5 split between Mental / Social / Physical or between Caste / Favored / Nonfavored? Also, what's their 'dice cap' - the relevant attribute, yes? --Kukla

Silly me! Well, it probably should be Caste / Favored / Neglected, but I forgot to mark that down. Now I notice that people made them with a Mental / Social / Physical spread... hmmmm. I suppose it should be Caste / Favored / Neglected yes! And their dice cap is their attributes! It is written up there, always was, but I have put it in italics there to make it stand out more! --GoldenCat

Mentioned before, love your stuff. You've made lots of mechanical changes. I wonder how you feel about the Silver Pact, and much of the fluff in the core? Do you agree that Lunars have devolved into more savage, primitive roles, fallen from their original glory? How do you feel about Renown? Shall we assume that, under your system, everything is the same as it is in the 1st ed. book unless you have specifically changed it? --UncleChu

Ah, hmmmm.... the Silver Pact. That is a very good question. And one that is hard for me to approach. Honestly, I am not very much into the Pact. At *all*. Those Lunars end up very Social, they end up great second in commands, samurais, protectors... the Pact does not protect, they destroy. They appear to be very much a council of Full Moons, sometimes! I loathe them, really. They do have the coolest elders around, but aside from such coolest elders... blah. But they are part of the setting... that could be changed, but why? That is something my Lunars can be... too.

I almost made a 'Silver Society' which actually protects the world, fighting as protectors and servants of many places, shaping them from such position to their whims, and keeping those places safe... or one of infiltrators that fight the Sidereals in the shadows... but ah well. I may or may not write them. But overall, hmm... under my system, assume many are in freeholds fighting against the Raksha, infiltrating the Realm, protecting a regime, city, region or soreveign of their choice, and the like. And some are on the Silver Pact raping and pillaging and serving way-cool Elders in genocide *Nods*

My, I spent a long time to say basically nothing, didn't I? -- GoldenCat (Who, by the way, will kill anyone who uses Renown. Dumbest mechanic ever...)
Ah, you answered something I didn't specifically ask... in-canon, if I recall correctly, it says half the Lunars are in the 'monstrous' Silver Pact. I guess was wondering what you figured the other half were doing, and you answered that. I think the Society would be unnecessary, I like the idea of the social-minded Lunars joining the Pact, whereas the others eschew it, preferring a more independent lifestyle, maybe having no more than a few Lunar allies, and otherwise focusing on their turf..

And I definitely appreciate that although you loathe the Pact, you acknowledge their existence. Its clear you feel they are far more antagonistic than the book indicates. I myself don't love them, but I can't say I revile them, they are just another group. And as weird and burdensome as Renown is, I think it still represents a tangible force within the Silver Pact, and helpful to lend insight into their social perspectives. Ah, but perhaps this is all stuff for another discussion. In any case, thanks for the input! Let me know if I can help with anything, this project RAWKS. --UncleChu
I might have been a little too hard on the Pact when it comes to 'loathing'... of course I admit their existence - I love their elders, and I see them as an extension of it. I don't feel they are much fun for PCs to be a part of, but I definetly love them as antagonists! Fighting hordes of Beastmen, Amalgams, Lunars, Barbarians and things all the way to Ma-Ha Suchi before he crushes the East underfoot is all. But even then, and even if a PC felt well in it, Renown is still unnessessary, IMO^^;;

And thank you, thank you ^^ If anything, read the charms, tell me if there is something hard to understand or weird, right? -- GoldenCat
Started reading from the top of the charmsets. Fixed a couple misspellings or strange wordings (visible in the minor edits). One thing I got confused on, and probably because of too long spent away from the book, is the difference between the War Shape and the Totemic Beastman shape. After reading both charmsets, I understood the overall thematic difference, but I think it'd be useful to have a more explicit explanation on why they're not just merged into one big supa-category. Also, I think I need to copy and paste all of this... what if the Wiki crashes and all this is gone forever?! As the japanese would say... YABAI! --UncleChu
Well, the differences? I suppose I could go deeper into it... Ascension is just more... mystical, transcendent, while going Beastman can just be picking ears and tail of your totem. I used the name from the original Lunars, but it is more to say I had an intermediary form that could benefit from some of the totemic charms(though going down the totemic cascade does give more benefits for when you are in your totem form). I will try to elaborate on it, right

... and if that happens, I cry. I actually don't have most of that on my HD, as I write ALOT on the wikiwindow...^^; --GoldenCat
Its interesting that you say Ascension is more mystical than the Totemic Beastman. I actually got the reverse impression. Your Ascension seems more like the warform, the Incarnate power of Luna swelling the Exalt into a mighty creature or beast. The Totemic cascade has a potent spiritual feel about it, especially in the higher charms: The learning of animal tongues, the incredibly described Celestial Behemoth Ascension, the splitting a consciousness between many smaller forms. This seems mystical, connecting to the spiritual Totem, becoming closer and closer to it. Your Shape of War Ascension seems the more savage, physical improvement, or the releasing of restrictions on the form, developing a more limitless form. I'd almost suggest changing the Charm name to something like Luna's Liberation for the Warshape, because it seems the Lunar is not so much rising to a specific height, but instead letting his or her form become unleashed, unbound, overwhelming in its power. Leave Ascension in the Totemic Cascade's apex, the Celestial Behemoth Ascension. Based on what I can see, anyhow. Curious as to what your more in-depth ideas on the separation are. --UncleChu

Oh, the Totemic cascade does, yes. However, up to Celestial Behemoth, their effects are mostly spiritual, and their outward effects, natural. Many animals that still look like the normal animal... a Beastman that is a man with wings, or tail and ears... it looks natural. The Totemic Cascade is more internal. The difference is that, when one uses Ascension, he has wings that look godly, unnatural. He has no claws, he has artifact weapons on his fingertips. The obviousness of it - that it always looks inhuman - is specifically so you can have things like a Final Fantasy boss, even... it has bestial traits, but one can be a six-armed lion of gold, or a night-black creature with golden runes burning on its skin, and great black wings... going as far as weird shivas with moons orbiting around her. Remember it is not just a War Form - one can become a beautiful goddess with translucid butterfly wings for social situations... it is an external shiny. Externally, there is no doubt which is more spiritual - the one who grew wings or fur, or the one who become a shining, inhuman god with an artifact panoply and impossible features? Internally, however... well, I hope this explained it... however, I liked the idea of renaming it to Luna's Liberation. I will talk to the poor playtesters who already made their sheets, and see about changing it, pehaps! -- GoldenCat

Ah, yes, I see what you mean. The Liberation causes Real Ultimate Power, and is reflected in the appearance as being blatantly "oh-shits-that-is-bad-news-for-us" with the boss music playing. The naturality of aligning with your totem reflects the spiritual honing nicely, for we all know the spiritual is just as real and natural as anything else in Creation, and it is reflected internally and externally. Ack, getting wordy there. In any case, I finally got the difference.

Oh, and I'll e-mail you the .doc when I get home from work. I posted a few more questions deeper into the charmsets, but I've finally read them all and like them a lot. --UncleChu

I was wondering how the Lunars are able to learn Fair Folk Charms. Is it something that comes natural once they Exalt, or is it something that needs to be done through other sources. I guess what I am really asking is do Lunars automatically gain the Graces upon being Exalted or does something have to happen for them to get it. By the way, great job with this alternate Lunar version. I have decided that I am using this rather than the official version cause this is, in my opinion, way better. - Heru

It does not come naturally, no. And they do not. I will have to clarify that! They need Graces Forged for them, and they do not favor Fae charms, so they need to be taught. The Mysticism Wyld-Cascade has a few shortcuts to circumvent that, however. -- GoldenCat

Have you considered how 2nd edition will change this in terms of charm structures and such? I too have been thinking over ways to shape lunars into something more to match the setting instead of the mechanics they were given but with the new edition I have been holding back. Good stuff though. - BogMod

I have, and it hurts and makes me wince to think so. On one hand, it would help - I could make Keywords like 'Natural Weapon' and dance - it is kinda Keyworded as-is, but just as a bunch of connected charms and concepts. Would work even better in 2e! The speed would have me reworking the point-buy for said weapons, however... and then, we go into Social Combat. It alone would need me to rework the Social there almost entirely, I am sure. The keywords would help into poison and disease charms too, however... so, I think it would actually /improve/ my work alot. Exalted calls for keywords and Social Combat. DVs and Ticks might need me to rework some base system assumptions there, however...

But if I did a throughout conversion... it would take awhile. And require me to be careful.

Or else I'd end up with something like DB 2e and the converted 1e MAs in Scroll of the Monk, and unlike the new Solar Charmset... and then, it'd have been better if I didn't even try. -- GoldenCat

I just wanted to mention that I'm putting together a setting that uses your lunar rules set over at ExaltedAscendent, so I hope you approve. No rules yet, but the background for the lunars is in LunarsAscendant. -- CharlesGray

One other question-- do you have any ideas for what high level charms (essence 6+) might look like for this conception of the lunars? -- CharlesGray
Seems nice ^_^ Hmmm, no idea, really. Looking over, it has nice fluff, but no grand idea came to me... although, you gotta find a nice name for your 'Terrestrial Lunars'. Exalted Beastman just... don't cut it. Well, one Charm around Ess6 would be a Sorcery-ish one to make them, though very rare/costly. But... yes, you need some nifty name! -- GoldenCat
how about this: Resplendent Celestial Children? They are children of the Celestial Lunars, after all. -- CharlesGray

I have a question about some of the Acension charms-- in some cases you can get dots over 10, especially if you have Greatness of Luna. How would you handle that? Should points beyond 10 just add auto successes to the lunars abilities? Also, the stat adder acension charms are restricted to being taken a number of times equal to the lunars permanent essence-- is this cumulative for all charms, or only for ech individual charm? (I.E., an essence four lunar wants Wisdom of luna and Force of luna for his acension form. Can he take them both four times one per dot of permanent essence or is it that he can take any combination of them, so long as the they dn't exceed, his permanent essence, E.g., 2 of each, or 3 of one and 1 of the otehr, so long as in combination, he hasn't taken more charms than his permanent essence.) --CharlesGray

I would handle that the same way as Octavian having Strength 13 - that is to say, you have Strength 13. There is no need for further rules - characters in canon have some statistics above 10, especially spirits and fae - it just happens. It is just more dice. There is no cap at 10 for attributes. In fact, I would /expect/ a, say, Mammoth Lunar to go higher than in Strength and Stamina - heck, a Tyrant Lizard has both at 14, a Giant Squid has that at 12... do you expect a God-Beast to be /weaker/? And as for the Charms, they can /each/ be taken a number of times equal to your Essence. It says so - the Charms say 'This Change' not 'These attribute-enhancing changes, together...' thus referring explicitly to the one you are purchasing(either one of the three) --GoldenCat

Ah, thanks! I was playing with the essence 8 lunar that moved into Rathess for a possible upcoming campaign...and I hope you realize just how transcendently ugly A high essence lunar using these charms can be. :) I love it-- not even half way done (and to be honest, I may leave a lot of it vague and spend more time on her essence 3-4 allies), and she definately merits the term "God Beast". I've also, started playing around with a "clever trickster type" and the charms work great for that to. I really want to mention again that these charms just really capture the spirit of the lunars so much better than the official ones. Thanks! - Charles Gray

Essence 8... ouch. Yes, I do realise how bad things get, there. It *does* require 23 Charms sunk on attribute-boosting alone, at just Essence 5... and it is *so* much I do not see many doing it - it is such a commitment, I think few people would ever do... especially since it leaves you wide open. Honestly, much like for big Sidereals, I'd tell you to just give a good low-power base and a handful of mismatched high-ess tricks - trying to twink with high-ess gets just silly with anything other than DBs... also, myah ^_^ Tricksters ARE fun... I've still got to know if my Illusion Charms work well, though. -- GoldenCat

I just wanted to say that this project is ridiculously awesome. There are a few changes (mostly in the removal of the mechanically flavorful restrictions on several canon combat charms; a few charm costs) I'm not so sure about... but this is still probably my favorite Exalted anything. You present a very, very strong alternative to canon Lunars. ~Capric

Yay, thank you! But... which are the limitations tht you felt flavorful? And why? -- GoldenCat
Hm, how to put this. In the close combat and defensive trees in particular, there were timing restrictions. The relative initiative values were really pretty important as for deciding what the Lunar would do that turn. I liked that aspect of the charmset, as it mimiced a sort of "situational awareness" that seemed in-theme for Lunars. They couldn't just sort of spam common combos or charms. They had to be paying a little more attention.
A lot of your versions of these charms have removed a lot of those little limitations. This ups the power of them (and thusly Lunars) which is, IMO, a good thing! It's just... I would kinda like to see that old situational awareness still be in there somewhere. I'm afraid I don't have any good suggestions now on how to integrate that theme into the bazillion other (awesome!) themes you have running here, but I'll think about it. Hm. ~Capric
I know that I'm not Col, and stuff, so I can't necessarily speak to his logic, but I think trying to handle thematics by levying penalties that shove a character into thematic behavior is bad design philosophy. While I kind of agree that it was neat how the Lunars were intensely reactive to themselves and their environments, there has to be a better way to implement that than adding lots of restrictions to half of everything they can do. - David.
Personal tools