Thus Spake Zaraborgstrom/HeavenWontSave

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On why heaven won't always save the day

Rebecca Borgstrom 10-27-2003 06:34 PM

For a Storyteller running a different kind of Exalted game, the Sidereals are kind of neat. Despite their power and organization, there are two established factors that choke back their efficiency to a Storyteller-determined degree: folly, driven entirely by the Great Curse, and bureaucratic infighting, driven by a mix of the Great Curse and the natural inclinations of people in world-dominating bureaucracies.

Between these two factors, there's no real reason to ever assume that the Sidereals on a given case have more resources than you want them to. Do you want a heroic Sidereal NPC struggling practically alone against all of the Deathlords, getting killed just after giving the PCs information they need? Fine. Heroism clearly didn't make this gal any friends. Do you want a massive Heavenly hit squad, mounted on dragons and wielding First Age weaponry, to zoom up, kill a cat that's stuck in a tree a mile downroad from the PCs, and zoom away? Sure. *Someone* with real influence was worried that that cat would mess up their plans tomorrow. Do you want a Sidereal mentor for the PCs? Well, how much support do you *want* them to have?

Pretty much, the only thing you don't want to do is give Heaven available resources overshadowing the PCs on the tasks the PCs are involving themselves in.

Other Exalted and other movers and shakers are allowed and expected to be heroic and glorious, but they're all going to cancel out in the end in a lot of glorious deeds that mean diddly-squat. You've probably worked with a bureaucracy now and again. It's not easy, and, even for the best of us, getting a response is not reliable. The Sidereals can't make up new Charms, so they're not going to be using the World is on the Brink of Destruction Attention-Getting Memo Methodology any time soon. Even if they could, frankly, there'd probably be Chejop and his boys doing the Reassuring Everyone It's All Under Control Prana.

The PCs, on the other hand, can save the world.

It's not hopeless, for a Sidereal. They have the ability to do this. It's just that getting the minimum necessary cooperation is possible for a PC, but unreliable enough that NPCs fail by fiat. If your PCs aren't Sidereals, the Chosen of the Maidens are doomed to wander around playing games with one another's heads, sneering at the gods, and arranging for messengers to lose their shoelaces at just the right time until one day they look up and there's the shadow of every creature ever born hovering there, coughing gently, "Ahem."

It's like the book says. Feel free to assume that the Sidereal manipulations are already accounted for---that they're behind some random assortment of stuff that's already happening in your game, including, reasonably importantly, the fact that time is still passing and the world hasn't randomly dissolved. These are things the PCs will depend upon but probably won't actively be grateful for. Let Sidereal NPCs keep the world from dissolving by making sure that people burn to death after the fire starts rather than before, while the PCs (whether Sidereal or Solar) keep the world from dissolving by fighting back the armies of Oblivion. All will be in balance. :)



Raindoll gives a description of World is on the Brink of Destruction Attention-Getting Memo Methodology at the linking page. ^_^

<rant>You know what? I think that's bloody ridiculous. That kind of attitude is entirely counter to the purpose of Wiki. The whole point is that all the wiki users are working together to produce a highly interlinked, interactive, immediately useful object; when you start saying things like, "I don't feel it's a good idea to have comments on this page because of my aesthetic preferences, and because I made the page so it's mine!" you sound like a petulant child. I don't care what you do on your personal pages (I observe that you adhere to the same policy there), but on effectively public-resource pages like this one, your belief that "pages shouldn't be edited or commented on" cuts out a large portion of their useability. </rant>
But splitting off comments pages when they get too long is another matter, and a good policy to boot. - willows
I just don't necessarily agree that static page content is orginizationally superior, nor do I agree that comments are generally better placed away from what they are commenting on; it separates them from their context. It's early, though, and my prior post was more acerbic than it needed to be. Sorry. - willows