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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    I am going about to embark on a game of Exalted, but rather than the standard setting, I am going to be using Lovecraft's Cruel Empire of Tsan-Chan.

    My only really stumbling block for conversions of the antagonists. In short, does anyone know of any conversions (fan or official) for turning Mythos entities into Storyteller system mechanics? Or have any ideas for Exalted antagonists that could be easily reskinned into various Mythos creatures?

    Anyone have any experience running World of Darkness / Call of Cthulhu crossovers?


    Thanks!

    And stay tuned, I am sure I will be updating this with the spectacular train-wreck that will inevitably result when my players get their hands on Exalted!
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    Do you have the old Chaosium PDF about the Empire?
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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    Quote Originally Posted by thorr-kan View Post
    Do you have the old Chaosium PDF about the Empire?
    Yes indeed.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    The Terror From the Deep

    Strange things exist in the ocean - things that may not truly be living, but neither are they dead. Most are not aware enough of mankind to care about the doings of surface dwellers, but some dream of ages when the waters will consume the world, and, insofar as can be understood, hope.

    The physical manifestation of the Terror is painful to even gaze upon, with survivors babbling madly about expanses vaster than the world can hold, tentacles, and utter indifference to weapons and their wielders. Still, it has been repulsed before, and is rumored to have weaknesses - but as the stars draw ever closer to alignment, the world of physics matters less and less - and more and more find the Terror haunting their dreams.

    Mechanics
    5 dot Behemoth
    Assumption of Terror: the Terror is, well, terrifying
    Bastion of the Sword: the Terror cannot be harmed by mortal weapons - its flaw of invulnerability (besides Charms and Stunts) is ships
    Knife Hand Dream: the Terror's limbs can cut through most things
    Opalescent Gossamer Raiment: even Charms that can harm the Terror will find it difficult to do so
    Various aesthetic mutations: six points worth

    This is the very basic form of the Terror: nigh invulnerable, hitting very hard when it connects, and that's essentially it. It can be augmented by bringing a few Oneiromancies into play, which will affect targets nearby: Heart Stealing Kiss and Devouring Revelation of the Wyld to consume the souls and essence of those who see it, Unwanted Obsession Provocation Technique to make its blows more accurate, etc. Since it's a Behemoth, it can be repaired if killed, so slaughtering it will just slow it down.

    If a true Raksha chooses to participate instead, it'll be a bit more fragile (unless it cheats), but affect souls a lot more. All Consuming God Monster Stance has options, and Essence Disrobing Passion is useful too. Shiftless Untamed Beauty and the follow up Charms let it haunt the dreams of those who saw it once, slowly driving them mad...


    Barren Desert's Cursed Bloodline

    Life needs water - go far enough into the barren lands where neither rain nor rivers go, and even deserts die. But there are treasures there, where none should go, and natives.

    A few of those who venture into the barrens return, and even fewer do so with fortunes and servants at their beck and call. What bargains did they strike? None will tell, but the families of these successful venturers grow prominent, often joining the nobility by dint of wealth and other - less savory - resources. And if they do not have quite as many children as might be expected, it is no matter. If their elders vanish rather than age, it is an affectation. If they set forth into the barrens with many hangers on and return with renewed fortunes and fewer companions? It is nothing of note.

    Still, there are a few of their descendants who refuse to leave the coast, of better yet their ships, and will not say why.

    Mechanics
    1-dot Adjuration
    Assumption of Fire Form: those with the Bloodline cannot be harmed by mundane heat
    Ordinary Object Conjuration: gemstones seem to always be on hand for those who are of the Bloodline and follow the proper rites.

    It could also be done as an Oneiromancy, granting wealth for a year or generation at a time so long as suitable rituals are followed. Or a 1-dot Behemoth with Assumption of the Person's Heart, whispering in the mind of a chosen heir in each generation, granting them power so long as they obey and offer up the proper gifts.


    The Eater of Names

    There are those who go too far in their exploration of the arcane. I knew one such, but his name - and so much more - are now lost. Heed my warning, and do not seek to learn more of the arts and ways of the Folk of the Air!

    Do not open this chest I entrust to you, or your fate will be worse than you can imagine. And if you should succumb to temptation, use the cup and ring within as you see fit, but never touch the dagger!

    It is too late now, but your doom can perhaps be alleviated, or delayed - the voices will cease when the one they name is no more. For a time, at least...

    Do you see now why I would not tell you my name? How yours begins to escape you, even as they grow louder? As the blood is drunk ever more deeply?

    Mechanics
    1-dot Oneiromancy
    Assumption of the Person's Heart: the Eater manifests as a dagger which is only real to the person it is bonded to - and its victims.
    Manacles of Virtue: the victim of the Eater will driven to mad feats of valor by its voice
    Heart Stealing Kiss: the Eater's whispers drive its victim until they no longer care for other living beings, except those with a hated name.
    Fall of Night Shadows the Truth: unless the Eater is satisfied, it will consume the memory of the name of its victim, so that those speaking to the victim will not remember it from one word to the next.


    And much, much more!

    That said, Fair Folk are very good at tone and flavor, but relatively fragile in terms of raw numbers (unless they cheat, which can be seen as the stars aligning), so some themes may be challenging to pull off.

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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    The Ebon Dragon is basically Nyarlathotep and he has official stats in Return of the Scarlet Empress. They're almost impossible to make sense of though as they depart pretty heavily from the game's usual format. You will go mad trying to decipher them.
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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    The Primordials are basically Lovecraftian Elder Gods already--unspeakably powerful, utterly alien, and essentially incompatible with human life. Lesser critters like shoggoths and mi-go map neatly onto demons of one Circle or another, depending on their power and which Elder God they serve.

    As far as statblocks go, though...unless you go with 2e (not recommended), you're kind of on your own. Not just with your Lovecrafting entities, but with everything. Exalted isn't much of a system for monster manuals--besides the short antagonists section in the core book, you're basically stuck with the Hundred Devils Night Parade and Adversaries of the Righteous pdf series. Which are good, don't get me wrong, but once I started running actual campaigns they quickly proved insufficient.

    The bad news when it comes to building your own NPCs is that there aren't really rules for what their numbers should be or how their charms should work. You're entirely on your own; a "balanced encounter" is a nigh-impossible task. All you can really do is look at your players' sheets and start off with lowball encounters until you get a feel for what they can handle.

    I also highly, highly recommend cutting NPC statblocks down to the bare minimum. I wound up ignoring motes altogether, and limiting charms to a handful of big, splashy effects (often with a willpower cost). Low-level number boosting stuff, including excellencies, would be folded into the base stats. Whenever I could, I replaced die pools with flat DCs, and I almost always wound up combining skills. Whatever you can do to make your life easier; I love Exalted but running the actual system is a nightmare.

    Check out the spoiler for what my NPC stat sheets wound up looking like by the end.

    Spoiler: Example: Dragonblooded General
    Show


    Note: I also wound up using a players-roll-all-the-dice approach--when they'd attack, they'd roll [Dex+Melee] against Evasion, and when they'd defend, they'd roll [Dex+Dodge] against a flat DC, that sort of thing.
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2024-05-24 at 12:14 PM.
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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Yes indeed.
    That's a disturbing read. But I can't look away from it as fodder for the imagination.
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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    The Primordials are basically Lovecraftian Elder Gods already--unspeakably powerful, utterly alien, and essentially incompatible with human life. Lesser critters like shoggoths and mi-go map neatly onto demons of one Circle or another, depending on their power and which Elder God they serve.

    As far as statblocks go, though...unless you go with 2e (not recommended), you're kind of on your own. Not just with your Lovecrafting entities, but with everything. Exalted isn't much of a system for monster manuals--besides the short antagonists section in the core book, you're basically stuck with the Hundred Devils Night Parade and Adversaries of the Righteous pdf series. Which are good, don't get me wrong, but once I started running actual campaigns they quickly proved insufficient.

    The bad news when it comes to building your own NPCs is that there aren't really rules for what their numbers should be or how their charms should work. You're entirely on your own; a "balanced encounter" is a nigh-impossible task. All you can really do is look at your players' sheets and start off with lowball encounters until you get a feel for what they can handle.

    I also highly, highly recommend cutting NPC statblocks down to the bare minimum. I wound up ignoring motes altogether, and limiting charms to a handful of big, splashy effects (often with a willpower cost). Low-level number boosting stuff, including excellencies, would be folded into the base stats. Whenever I could, I replaced die pools with flat DCs, and I almost always wound up combining skills. Whatever you can do to make your life easier; I love Exalted but running the actual system is a nightmare.

    Check out the spoiler for what my NPC stat sheets wound up looking like by the end.

    Spoiler: Example: Dragonblooded General
    Show


    Note: I also wound up using a players-roll-all-the-dice approach--when they'd attack, they'd roll [Dex+Melee] against Evasion, and when they'd defend, they'd roll [Dex+Dodge] against a flat DC, that sort of thing.
    Good advice. I will try my best to emulate it.

    So, a little more explanation on what I am doing mechanically.

    I have been a long time World of Darkness player, and recently I used some crossover for Exalted using the Exalted vs. World of Darkness book, and now that I think I have a handle on how it runs mechanically, I am going to be using those mechanics for a pure Exalted game; in essence I am running Exalted vs. World of Darkness but replacing the World of Darkness with Call of Cthulhu.

    Quote Originally Posted by meschlum View Post
    snip
    These are all really cool conceptually, but its really more the hard mechanics I am struggling with.

    I really need reskinnable statblocks, or at the very least some system for converting Call of Cthulhu statb locks into Storyteller system statblocks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    The Ebon Dragon is basically Nyarlathotep and he has official stats in Return of the Scarlet Empress. They're almost impossible to make sense of though as they depart pretty heavily from the game's usual format. You will go mad trying to decipher them.
    Wow. That guys stat block takes up the better part of a chapter.

    Fortunately, while there is a good chance the game will end with someone punching out Cthulhu, I probably won't need to stat out Nyralthrohotep or his ilk.

    Quote Originally Posted by thorr-kan View Post
    That's a disturbing read. But I can't look away from it as fodder for the imagination.
    Its a really good read, but yeah, disturbing.

    During the pandemic I tried to get a Delta Green campaign off the ground, but nobody in my gaming group was much interested in the system and it fell through. Still, as part of my research, I read the Tsan Chan book (as part of an adventure involving time travel) and it struck me as a great alternate campaign setting for Exalted.

    You have en empire beset on all sides by world ending threats, and ruled over from within by a class a demigods against whom the common man is helpless to stand up, but unlike the core Exalted setting, it actually realizes that is is cosmic horror.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Good advice. I will try my best to emulate it.
    One more very important thing to keep in mind about combat in Exalted 3e (the current system)-- it really, really has it in for an outnumbered creature, and there's no easy way to fix that. If the single combatant wants to make a Decisive attack and actually knock someone out, she's going to need to build up a good head of Initiative. But between turn one (where they make a Withering attack) and turn two (the Decisive), all of her foes get to take turns chipping away at the Initiative she just gained. The only way to stop it is to avoid all incoming attacks--but repeated wiffs do not make for fun combat.

    So being outnumbered is Bad. Not necessarily a problem; given the power of a Solar, you'd expect most combats to be against more-numerous but less-powerful foes. But the system is also just kind of a slow, crunchy slog at its base, and adding more combatants gives you even more to keep track of and makes turn order even harder to deal with.

    So... be aware. I love Exalted, and I refuse to touch the system for anything other than a solo game. The books are full of amazing ideas and fascinating worldbuilding, but GOD is it a ***** to play.

    (Sidenote: this is probably the point where I pitch my d20 Exalted hack, which essentially rebuilds the entire experience inside Mutants and Masterminds and then rewrite everything to maximize ease-of-use . I've run a couple short games and one ongoing campaign with it, and it's been solid even for players who aren't the best with mechanics.
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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    The Ebon Dragon is basically Nyarlathotep and he has official stats in Return of the Scarlet Empress. They're almost impossible to make sense of though as they depart pretty heavily from the game's usual format. You will go mad trying to decipher them.
    Knowledge man was not meant to know!
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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    These are all really cool conceptually, but its really more the hard mechanics I am struggling with.

    I really need reskinnable statblocks, or at the very least some system for converting Call of Cthulhu statb locks into Storyteller system statblocks.
    2e Fair Folk are my go to, perhaps because I'm over invested in them. Still, that's fairly easy to deal with!

    Numbers!: these are always fun. Ahem.

    Attributes
    Average human BRP stats are 10-11, I think, and average mortal stats in Exalted are 2. So do something like 1 dot: BRP 3-7, 2 dots: BRP 8-13, 3 dots: BRP 14-18.

    Dice Pools
    Number-wise, a dice pool of 1 (average extra, untrained) has a 40% chance of rolling a success - which can be higher than what BRP characters get.
    A dice pool of 3 (average extra, basic training) has a 78.4% chance of rolling a success
    A dice pool of 6 (capable extra with good training) has a 95.3% chance of rolling a success
    This is for unopposed checks - lore, profession, and the like. Opposed rolls (with DVs) are more difficult but outside of combat this should help establish what dice pools to assign to NPCs and critters.

    Combat
    If there are opposed rolls, the required number of successes goes up, and the odds of success go down. I'll focus on extras (who do not get 2 successes on rolling a 10), as it makes the math easier.

    A dice pool of 3 has a 35.2% chance of rolling 2 or more successes - trying to get past a basic obstacle (or hitting someone with low skill and a shield or defensive weapon)
    A dice pool of 6 has a 76.7% chance of rolling 2 or more successes
    A dice pool of 10 (maximum human ability and skill, barring specialization) has a 95.4% chance of rolling 2 or more successes and a 36.7% chance of rolling 5 or more (target number to hit someone equally overskilled).

    So more dice are better, and equal dice pools mean that opposed actions have about 1/3 chance of success (hence the value of dice adders and extra actions).


    Mundanes: use Extras. Adjust them by +/- one dot in areas where they might matter, possibly go higher if they're experts. I think BRP has attributes of 10-11 as average, so 2 dots.

    Give them a dice pool of 4-5 dice in their focus areas (maybe more if they're skilled and specialized), 3 dice in associated skills, and 1 otherwise.

    Combatants: still use Extras, but equipment and training mean they have better dice pools (add 2-3 dice, possibly focused on attack or defense) and may have extra health levels (damage is terrifyingly effective in Exalted, as damage pools can be a lot bigger than wound totals).

    This also applies to Mythos grunts and basic combat minions - though they might have extra powers

    Faceless Minion of the Week: these are combat things with special abilities. Give them stuff like the Cursed Bloodline or other minor boosts and abilities, and get them to exploit their environment. From Fair Folk, you can use Manikins (extras with the ability to steal soul bits with a touch - inflicting, blindness, paralysis, etc.). Expect them to die a lot, but hopefully their special ability will make them initially threatening (and a danger to mundanes).

    Treat as combatants (i.e. dice pool 6-8) with extra dice when they have the advantage, or other similar quirks.

    Minion of the Week: these are the things that don't (necessarily) try to fight, and rely on their powers rather than dice and numbers to inflict mayhem. Build them as commoner Raksha (or heroic commoners), with only Adjurations as Grace Magic (personal powers that fail under specific conditions - invulnerable while standing in salt water, for instance).

    Dice pool is a bit higher (7-9), but thematic abilities are a much bigger part of the critter and combat. They can also have more wounds, letting them not be swept aside quite as easily.

    Dragons: these are killing machines. Work from the Terror and adjust flavor and powers as needed.

    Dice pool is 9-12, wounds are high, soak is significant, and they should have a few nasty combat powers. The nice thing about using Fair Folk is that they come with inbuilt weaknesses (which you can customize), so knowing the lore is very useful (but not absolutely needed, if your players are combat maniacs).

    Build with heroic commoners (or low Artifact Sword focused Nobles) and expect them to die anyway, but take a while to drop (or to just die when hit by an alpha strike combo). Use Oneiromancy to shift dice pools to your advantage (so everyone who isn't literally on fire has a massive penalty to combat skills, for instance).

    Horrors: these have power comparable to Dragons, but don't try to fight. Instead, they will insinuate themselves in the environment and slowly drive everything nearby to madness and dissolution.

    Rely on powers a lot more, look at the potential of the more esoteric Assumption forms (become a madness infused landscape, become a warped bit of the soul of your victim, become a perfect copy of everyone's True Love...). Cup charms are often in theme for madness and corruption, Ring can alter the landscape, Staff will turn mundanes into critters...

    Dice pool is still in the 9-12 range, but just like Dragons have things to boost their combat potential, active dice pools for the key tricks could be 12-16 or more. Unlike Exalts, a lot of these pools can be maintained in the long run...

    Creatures From Beyond: these are the things that spawn Dragons and Horrors. If built from Fair Folk, their dice pools are in the low 20s (which is solid but not extreme for Exalts) and they have a tendency to not die if killed, repeatedly. Plus, time spent fighting them means that other parts of them are free to expand into the world and eat it instead.

    A tanky big bad with a doom clock, essentially. Start from a Noble Raksha, add artifacts, and pick a theme and a few cheaty Charms to taste.


    If you've got a specific theme or concept you want to use, I can probably whip something up...

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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    Quote Originally Posted by meschlum View Post
    2e Fair Folk are my go to, perhaps because I'm over invested in them. Still, that's fairly easy to deal with!

    Numbers!: these are always fun. Ahem.

    Attributes
    Average human BRP stats are 10-11, I think, and average mortal stats in Exalted are 2. So do something like 1 dot: BRP 3-7, 2 dots: BRP 8-13, 3 dots: BRP 14-18.

    Dice Pools
    Number-wise, a dice pool of 1 (average extra, untrained) has a 40% chance of rolling a success - which can be higher than what BRP characters get.
    A dice pool of 3 (average extra, basic training) has a 78.4% chance of rolling a success
    A dice pool of 6 (capable extra with good training) has a 95.3% chance of rolling a success
    This is for unopposed checks - lore, profession, and the like. Opposed rolls (with DVs) are more difficult but outside of combat this should help establish what dice pools to assign to NPCs and critters.

    Combat
    If there are opposed rolls, the required number of successes goes up, and the odds of success go down. I'll focus on extras (who do not get 2 successes on rolling a 10), as it makes the math easier.

    A dice pool of 3 has a 35.2% chance of rolling 2 or more successes - trying to get past a basic obstacle (or hitting someone with low skill and a shield or defensive weapon)
    A dice pool of 6 has a 76.7% chance of rolling 2 or more successes
    A dice pool of 10 (maximum human ability and skill, barring specialization) has a 95.4% chance of rolling 2 or more successes and a 36.7% chance of rolling 5 or more (target number to hit someone equally overskilled).

    So more dice are better, and equal dice pools mean that opposed actions have about 1/3 chance of success (hence the value of dice adders and extra actions).


    Mundanes: use Extras. Adjust them by +/- one dot in areas where they might matter, possibly go higher if they're experts. I think BRP has attributes of 10-11 as average, so 2 dots.

    Give them a dice pool of 4-5 dice in their focus areas (maybe more if they're skilled and specialized), 3 dice in associated skills, and 1 otherwise.

    Combatants: still use Extras, but equipment and training mean they have better dice pools (add 2-3 dice, possibly focused on attack or defense) and may have extra health levels (damage is terrifyingly effective in Exalted, as damage pools can be a lot bigger than wound totals).

    This also applies to Mythos grunts and basic combat minions - though they might have extra powers

    Faceless Minion of the Week: these are combat things with special abilities. Give them stuff like the Cursed Bloodline or other minor boosts and abilities, and get them to exploit their environment. From Fair Folk, you can use Manikins (extras with the ability to steal soul bits with a touch - inflicting, blindness, paralysis, etc.). Expect them to die a lot, but hopefully their special ability will make them initially threatening (and a danger to mundanes).

    Treat as combatants (i.e. dice pool 6-8) with extra dice when they have the advantage, or other similar quirks.

    Minion of the Week: these are the things that don't (necessarily) try to fight, and rely on their powers rather than dice and numbers to inflict mayhem. Build them as commoner Raksha (or heroic commoners), with only Adjurations as Grace Magic (personal powers that fail under specific conditions - invulnerable while standing in salt water, for instance).

    Dice pool is a bit higher (7-9), but thematic abilities are a much bigger part of the critter and combat. They can also have more wounds, letting them not be swept aside quite as easily.

    Dragons: these are killing machines. Work from the Terror and adjust flavor and powers as needed.

    Dice pool is 9-12, wounds are high, soak is significant, and they should have a few nasty combat powers. The nice thing about using Fair Folk is that they come with inbuilt weaknesses (which you can customize), so knowing the lore is very useful (but not absolutely needed, if your players are combat maniacs).

    Build with heroic commoners (or low Artifact Sword focused Nobles) and expect them to die anyway, but take a while to drop (or to just die when hit by an alpha strike combo). Use Oneiromancy to shift dice pools to your advantage (so everyone who isn't literally on fire has a massive penalty to combat skills, for instance).

    Horrors: these have power comparable to Dragons, but don't try to fight. Instead, they will insinuate themselves in the environment and slowly drive everything nearby to madness and dissolution.

    Rely on powers a lot more, look at the potential of the more esoteric Assumption forms (become a madness infused landscape, become a warped bit of the soul of your victim, become a perfect copy of everyone's True Love...). Cup charms are often in theme for madness and corruption, Ring can alter the landscape, Staff will turn mundanes into critters...

    Dice pool is still in the 9-12 range, but just like Dragons have things to boost their combat potential, active dice pools for the key tricks could be 12-16 or more. Unlike Exalts, a lot of these pools can be maintained in the long run...

    Creatures From Beyond: these are the things that spawn Dragons and Horrors. If built from Fair Folk, their dice pools are in the low 20s (which is solid but not extreme for Exalts) and they have a tendency to not die if killed, repeatedly. Plus, time spent fighting them means that other parts of them are free to expand into the world and eat it instead.

    A tanky big bad with a doom clock, essentially. Start from a Noble Raksha, add artifacts, and pick a theme and a few cheaty Charms to taste.


    If you've got a specific theme or concept you want to use, I can probably whip something up...
    Thank you so much! This is great stuff.

    Currently I am in the process of working through creatures of the wyld and monstrous mallorium to get a feel for the two systems to see how the interact.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Thank you so much! This is great stuff.

    Currently I am in the process of working through creatures of the wyld and monstrous mallorium to get a feel for the two systems to see how the interact.
    Creatures of the Wyld is not necessarily representative of what can be done with Raksha, because Charms and Grace Magic allow a lot more creativity than just some specific monster stat blocks (and Staff charms let you create Wyld creatures, expanding your options).

    Emergent Combat

    Exalted are extremely lethal one on one, but have a hard time against large numbers (because they need to spend motes on each 'important' opponent, so a swarm is dangerous). Until you get to very large numbers and War charms, but that's a distinct subsystem.

    BRP characters also has risk escalate when facing many opponents, because characters typically can't afford to take many hits and multiple enemies get multiple attacks. They're not necessarily as overwhelming one on one, in part because human limits are a lot lower than BRP monster limits.

    If you ignore Charms, the systems are relatively similar (BRP has more granular wounds, Exalted has rules for combat that go beyond 'roll to hit, roll to dodge') - and Exalts mostly become good at fighting single powerful foes rather than large groups. So a Shoggoth makes for a suitable final foe (wrecking the landscape and surrounding army while you defeat it) while a tribe of Deep Ones does not (burn motes to parry and dodge missile attacks until you're out, then you die).

    Fair Folk can be built to (almost) Exalted levels, but with a flatter curve - they're not as good at solo combat as an Exalt, but can take on teams of skilled opponents easily (unless they cheat). Which makes them excellent final opponents too, since they can conclusively demonstrate that 'normal' people have no chance against them, while failing against the Exalts (unless they cheat).

    Spooky Powers

    You're planning a horror game, so you need your antagonists to have suitable traits. Fair Folk are obligate soul eaters (unless they cheat), which is an easy way to go. They do this by consuming virtues, so their victims can be drained in different ways - losing all self control, becoming increasingly cruel, simply fading away...

    But that's just them. Let's see what other tropes we have to work with!

    - Corrupt the land, and turn the animals inside (or people) into twisted beasts.
    - Make their victims forget things, from their past to their names.
    - Exist in the dreams of their targets, driving them to madness and despair.
    - Come back from the dead, intent on even more revenge
    - Poltergeists? Poltergeists.
    - Almost every cursed trinket and evil magic shop you can imagine.
    - Inescapable log cabins full of bloodthirsty maniacs (optionally pretending to be ordinary folk)
    - Slowly warp their targets until they lose their humanity (Exalts are largely immune)
    - Mad cultists out to sacrifice others for real power
    ...

    And that's without using any specific creatures or mutations (though a wider selection of mutations can allow you to assign numbers to more things).

    The Color Out Of the Wyld

    Read the story.

    Mechanics
    1 dot Outward Facing Oneiromancy
    Assumption of the Land's Heart - the vicinity of the Color is slowly warped by its unnatural hues.
    Assumption of Earth Shape - Until it reaches its destination, the Color appears to be an ordinary meteor
    Behemoth Forging Meditation - sleeping within range of the Color will drive people and animals slowly mad, withering their bodies and driving them to madness
    Shiftless Untamed Beauty - the Color is addictive, and drives its victims to remain close to it until they become a part of it...

    This can be augmented by adding more dots, increasing the size of the area affected or performing more precise mental edits - the basic Color can be undone if strong willed mortals manage to break it before it's too late, but more advanced forms would be harder to find and far more effective at converting those witnessing it...

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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    Quote Originally Posted by meschlum View Post
    2e Fair Folk are my go to, perhaps because I'm over invested in them. Still, that's fairly easy to deal with!
    Itís off topic from the Lovecraftian Horror In Exalted thread, but it needs to be said:

    WE LOVE YOU, MESCHLUM!

    Your mastery of Raksha in 2e (pre and past errata) is a joy to behold, and those of us who like the Raksha are always waiting with baited breath for what new demented lunacy you feel like unleashing upon the tattered sanity of us mortals.

    Also, you somehow churn out evocative magic items and stories to go with your system exploits, with prose to match. Itís like watching Emperor Tippy work while drinking the Norse mead of poetry, possibly while looking through the Shining Trapezohedron. So, you know, our minds are hooked as our virtues tumble into your feeding maws.

    Thank you for making a way to turn random fairies into Luna. That was beautiful.

    And now, I see youíre making the Color Out of Space! In Exalted!

    *Excitement Intensifies*
    Last edited by Boo600; 2024-06-09 at 02:48 AM. Reason: Noticed additional post

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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    Well, now that I'd had a chance to look at the blurb for Tsan-Chan... as ever, Raksha work out nigh perfectly with it!

    Dreamer's Curse

    Only dreams exist Outside.

    This is a lie.

    The gates of horn and ivory have been rent asunder.

    This, too, is a lie.

    Great Celephais is barren, blasted ruin, while Dylath-Leen still burns with the death pyres of its famed ships.

    This must be a lie.

    Sleep, now, among the pleasant hills and valley near Ulthar, in the arms of the Enchanted Wood, resting on the treasures of Hlanith. And if your slumber leads you to the alien land called Earth, know that you are free to do as you will there, for it is but a fancy of the Gods.

    This, then, shall be the truth.

    Mechanics

    5-dot Outward facing Oneiromancy
    Assumption of the Living Kingdom - when set, the Curse will affect entire nations from the sacrificial altars upon which it is fed
    Heart Stealing Kiss - anyone failing to pray to the Great Old Ones in Cursed grounds will seek only to satisfy their urges at every moment, losing any Temperance that might restrain them. Since prayers to the Gods often consist of indulging in one's darkest desires anyway...
    Unparalleled Terror Technique - mortal wilfulness feeds the Curse, or at least amuses its creator. Any mortal who dares disobey their superiors will find strange nightmares ripping their way out of their flesh as they sleep.
    Devouring Revelation of the Wyld - Cursed lands are no longer entirely real, and this fundamentally alien nature means that those who reject the Dreams are impeded by what could be, as their souls slowly erode into madness to feed the Curse

    To call the Curse down upon a nation requires a ritual sacrifice upon an altar made from dream-stone, with the souls and gossamer of three heroic mortals being offered to the Things Beyond. Once cast upon the land, it will remain until the starts turn, or at least a century.

    Numbers
    The Curse is commonly used by Cataphracts and Strategoi, who can perform it from Essence 3 with support, or Essence 5 on their own.
    Heart Stealing Kiss will roll (Ring) dice to consume Temperance every scene of anyone who does not pray to the Great Old Ones while in range of the Curse (Typically 4-5 dice, more if they have support)
    Unparalleled Terror Technique is a Sword Shaping attack against a DV of (Willpower + Essence) - a noble will easily have a pool of 12-14 dice for this (also useful in combat), but minions may be weaker. The DC is higher against Exalts.
    Devouring Revelation of the Wyld inflicts a 1 die external penalty (-1 success) to all Creation-born rolls, and consumes virtues on botched rolls (which the external penalty might help happen).

    So in the area where the Curse applies, mortals lose 2-3 Temperance per day, meaning they're constantly at Temperance 0 (living in the current second, having forgotten the past and not caring for the future), indulging in their impulses of lust and violence on the dream that is Earth as they pray to Cthulhu. Those who try to refuse the orders of Deep Ones or other favored entities will be consumed by their nightmares (taking wounds instead of recovering willpower), and intruders will be afflicted by the warping of reality, making them less capable of acting and slowly eroding their souls.

    For an epic battle, note that sustaining the Curse requires 15 committed motes, so you can have a nice multi-stage boss battle.

    Stage 1: fight the Cataphract while it's sustaining the Curse - with 15 committed motes, it's less deadly than it could be.
    Stage 2: the Cataphract falls, and uses a Charm to return to life - but is no longer sustaining the Curse so its mote pool is much higher. Dreamers begin to wake as the Curse unravels.
    Stage 2.5: at the altar, a Lorekeeper tries to maintain the Curse, calling on the unspeakable power it has consumed over the years - but cannot hope to control it. Will the party leave the reborn Cataphract while it is susceptible to being truly killed, or hope that the Curse will dissipate harmlessly?
    Stage 3: If the Cataphract survived, it has managed to grab a piece of the Curse and now has effectively infinite Essence while becoming the kingdom, making for a much more lethal foe and one that is harder to attack. If the Curse was allowed to break loose, a breakthrough occurs and a section of Earth simply ceases to exist, perhaps releasing an Unshaped. Either way, epic combat ensues with lots of collateral damage!

    (Also, incidentally, )
    Last edited by meschlum; 2024-06-11 at 03:01 AM.

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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    My players made their characters last night. One of them is going to be playing an abyssal, and a couple of questions came up.

    Incomparable Phantom Form says only magic explicitly capable of harming spirits can hurt her. What exactly is "magic" in this case? Like can other spirits harm her naturally? How about a solar charm that allows their attacks to strike spirits? On the flip side, what, if anything, does being incorporeal prevent the abyssal from doing? By RAW I can't see anything stopping them from just walking around and stabbing everyone with a daiklaive and laughing as nobody except sorcerers can fight back.

    Also, are Abyssal intended to have infinite essence? Does anything stop them from just keeping another exalt who can rapidly heal lethal damage in the party through whatever means, and then just drinking that exalts blood to keep their essence pool constantly topped off? Can they then use charms to give those motes of Essence away, essentially providing the entire circle with infinite essence?




    (Again, we are using the Exalted vs. World of Darkness rules, but any advice from the main line is appreciated)
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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Incomparable Phantom Form says only magic explicitly capable of harming spirits can hurt her. What exactly is "magic" in this case? Like can other spirits harm her naturally? How about a solar charm that allows their attacks to strike spirits?
    Anything that says "you can affect immaterial spirits?" Exalted doesn't draw a line between magic and not-magic in the way that, say 3e d&& does.

    As for spirits, I'd assume that another immaterial spirit could hurt you while you're being ghostly.

    On the flip side, what, if anything, does being incorporeal prevent the abyssal from doing? By RAW I can't see anything stopping them from just walking around and stabbing everyone with a daiklaive and laughing as nobody except sorcerers can fight back.
    I believe the "you can't harm incorporeal spirits" thing goes both ways--their attacks phase through your body, and theirs phase through yours. And I *think* you're also undetectable by normal senses while immaterial, which would make social influence hard to use.

    Also, are Abyssal intended to have infinite essence? Does anything stop them from just keeping another exalt who can rapidly heal lethal damage in the party through whatever means, and then just drinking that exalts blood to keep their essence pool constantly topped off? Can they then use charms to give those motes of Essence away, essentially providing the entire circle with infinite essence?
    That doesn't sound like the intended outcome, but it's a reasonable deduction using in-game knowledge, and definitely can fit with the themes and lore of Abyssals.

    Of course, it DOES rely on keeping a powerful Exalt around to use as a bloodbag, which is much easier said than done. The phrase "playing with fire" comes to mind.
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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    So we had our first session.

    We had five characters; a Fire and a Wood DB, A Moonshadow Abyssal, a Full moon Lunar, and a Chosen of Battles Sidereal.

    Everyone more or less built their character for ranged damage dealing with four or five dots in dexterity or firearms and most every charm devoted to either giving them ranged attacks or pumping their accuracy and damage in ranged combat.

    For a starter combat, I put them up against a dozen regular humans with guns. Not elite soldiers or anything like that, just regular militia guys with low caliber rifles.

    The Exalted got their asses handed to them twelve ways from Sunday.

    Basically, by the time they had all activated their combat charms, they were already badly wounded.

    Then the actual combat started, and every time one of the exalted made an attack, they one-shot their foe, but they were already so badly injured and outnumbered that they only made a handful of attacks before the entire party was incapacitated. Fortunately, the Abyssal was activated Incomparable Phantom Form as discussed in the previous post, so they weren't able to kill him, and I decided that their attackers retreated from the ghost firing crypt bolts rather than finishing off the wounded or stealing their stuff.


    The rest of the session went ok, but I could tell my players were kind of demoralized by their first defeat, and were afraid to get into a combat again, so the rest of the session was handled through stealth and diplomacy, but it was pretty frustrating because everyone was built for ranged damage dealing and so they didn't really have the abilities or attributes (let alone charms) for anything else.


    So what happened here? Are a dozen regular guys really an overwhelming challenge for five starting Exalts? Did their lack of defensive charms or melee combat ability screw them over that badly? Are we playing this wrong? What the heck happened?

    I was expecting kung-fu demigods, but these guys folded way faster than the vampires and werewolves or even mages that I am used to.


    [To remind you, I am using the Exalted vs. World of Darkness rule set. As a house rule, everyone is considered to be a Solar for the purposes of Essence limits).
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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    I'm not familiar with the Exalted vs World of Darkness rules specifically, but "by the time they had all activated their combat charms." Most combat charms I remember from Exalted proper were reflexive or miscellaneous actions, but here it sounds like your players spent their first round or two casting buffs? Not having defensive charms is definitely a weakness but it shouldn't have been that crippling.

    Were they just getting hit really easily? Did they struggle to soak the damage? Was it an action economy, too-many-enemies-per-PC thing? (I remember 3e Exalted was prone to that). Was there any specific rule or step that felt particularly punishing?
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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    I'm not familiar with the Exalted vs World of Darkness rules specifically, but "by the time they had all activated their combat charms." Most combat charms I remember from Exalted proper were reflexive or miscellaneous actions, but here it sounds like your players spent their first round or two casting buffs? Not having defensive charms is definitely a weakness but it shouldn't have been that crippling.

    Were they just getting hit really easily? Did they struggle to soak the damage? Was it an action economy, too-many-enemies-per-PC thing? (I remember 3e Exalted was prone to that). Was there any specific rule or step that felt particularly punishing?
    The charms they used for buffs were all "Simple" charms, none of them were reflexive.

    Yes, they were getting hit really easily, as without charms to boost it dodging takes an action (and I still don't know if you can dodge firearms by default without charms, that's been debated since the 90s iirc).

    They soaked ok, most of them even had five bonus dice of armor from their transport, but nobody had high stamina or wore armor (let alone had any soak boosting charms).

    Within three rounds, the sheer volume of fire just took them down, when you only have seven health levels, and you have twelve guys shooting at you for 7 dice of damage (plus additional successes) a shot, you are going to go down pretty fast.
    Last edited by Talakeal; 2024-06-30 at 09:36 PM.
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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    Exalted vs. World of Darkness is a fan-product produced solely by Holden Shearer after he got fired from White Wolf/Onyx Path for failing to meet the (extremely generous) deadlines he was given to produce material for Exalted 3e. A look at his White-Wolf Wiki page is not something that inspires confidence - this is the mind behind the abomination that was Return of the Scarlet Empress, an Exalted book even the Exalted fandom hated. As such, this 'system' needs to be approached with extreme skepticism and diligence.

    Additionally, a quick look at it suggests that it's nothing more than a bunch of character creation mechanics to produce 'exalted' using V20/W20/M20 rules and that these Exalted aren't given significantly more dots than any other oWoD splat, and in most cases exactly the same. So, unless the charms in the book are significantly more powerful than Disciplines or Sphere magic, Exalted aren't going to be more powerful than anything else in the WoD, at least not at start.

    And, knowing this, 12v5 is a recipe for a slaughter of the 5 unless those characters are quite well optimized in any iteration of the Storyteller system, which has always had an extremely unforgiving action economy unless characters have access to extra actions.
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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    Additionally, a quick look at it suggests that it's nothing more than a bunch of character creation mechanics to produce 'exalted' using V20/W20/M20 rules and that these Exalted aren't given significantly more dots than any other oWoD splat, and in most cases exactly the same. So, unless the charms in the book are significantly more powerful than Disciplines or Sphere magic, Exalted aren't going to be more powerful than anything else in the WoD, at least not at start.
    So, I actually went and looked through the standard Exalted book to compare, and its basically a 1 to 1 translation. In both systems Exalted receive 8/6/4 attributes compared to the World of Darkness 7/5/3 spread.

    The only real differences I can find are:

    1: Exalted in WoD can soak Aggravated damage, they can't in Exalted.
    2: The Essence numbers (both maximum and regain rate) have been nerfed, but charms also require much less Essence to activate so it's more or less a draw.
    3: In WoD, Charms can be purchased ad hoc without worrying about trees or Essence / Ability prerequisites. But the actual effect of most of the charms are, for the most part, exactly the same.

    There are a few minor differences in the game engines of course, but nothing that is going to put an Exalted character specifically at a disadvantage AFAICT.


    I did, however, find a side bar that reinforces my belief called "Your character has to survive" which goes on to explain that the game assumes you will have Ox Body Charm at the very least, and that if you don't balance out your offensive charms with defensive charms you aren't going to survive to make use of all your cool abilities.

    So I guess that answers that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    And, knowing this, 12v5 is a recipe for a slaughter of the 5 unless those characters are quite well optimized in any iteration of the Storyteller system, which has always had an extremely unforgiving action economy unless characters have access to extra actions.
    Bwah?

    A pack of starting werewolves is going to absolutely laugh at a group twelve mortals. They don't even need the Delirium, or the Umbra, or Gifts to do it; the attribute bonuses from Crinos form, regeneration, and the ability to deal / soak aggravated damage should be more than enough; and spending a little bit of rage for extra actions is going to guarantee it is an absolute slaughter.

    Vampires can vary a bit more based on their build, but assuming they are even slightly combat focused, the simple fact that they can soak and take half damage from bullets as well as heal and boost their stats with blood should be more than enough to defeat two and a third regular mortals they should have no problem regardless of which disciplines they picked.


    (Of course, you could have super optimized monster hunter kill squad mortals vs. a group of pacifist scholar and diplomat supernaturals and things get a bit more interesting; but that wasn't what happened here, we had five exalted optimized for combat against 12 generic militia members out of the book, not even full rank and file soldiers.)
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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    You've been hit by emergent Exalted combat, and by Storyteller mechanics together! It's a very deep rabbit hole, so I'll be focusing more on ways to improve the experience (and how they fit into the ruleset).

    Issues

    System Expectations: Per the rules, an Exalt is a slightly above average human who recovers from damage faster (weeks or days instead of months, not useful in combat), is harder to mind control, and can very weakly alter reality to make things slightly easier. That is it. Everything else depends on Charms, Artifacts, and the like (such as Raksha). If you want the characters to be kung-fu demigods, they had better have the requisite charms (or artifacts, hearthstones, or Raksha).

    Healing: Exalts do not heal in combat speed (unlike Werewolves or Vampires) unless they are Lunars or cheat (such as having a Raksha's support)

    Multiple Actions: Exalted is rather stingy on this, allowing you to instead sacrifice dice for more actions - making them less effective without Charm support (and expensive either way).

    Action Abuse: The Storyteller mechanics (and BRP) rely on opposed rolls and have fragile characters. So much like low level D&D is very susceptible to hiring a hundred archers to shoot at your enemies (some twenties will be rolled, damage will happen), a large number of opponents can absolutely wreck your character's day. There are a number of ways to ameliorate this, from rules changes to Raksha.

    2e Dodge Mechanics: as of 2e Exalted, Dodge is no longer an action but a target number to be hit. This target number is reduced if the target does things (like attack, ask to be hit, or try to do too many things at once), but having access to (effectively) your base dodge pool can help. Even then, an attacker with 4 dice can hit at target with a dodge DV of 3 (5-6 dice Dodge + Dex) close to 20% of the time, so many hits can still happen.

    Turtle Game: put enough Charms into defense and you're just spending a few motes per attack to avoid it, which is much better than taking wounds. This does not make for an enjoyable game in the long run, because an epic fight of missing until one side is out of motes is tedious (but might be more interesting than an epic fight of one side scoring an alpha strike and the session being over). This is entirely within the rules, though!

    Five minute workday: put enough Charms into acting first and having lots of accurate actions and you'll wipe out the opposition before they can wipe you out. Then you're out of motes for a while and the second wave kills you. The 'anti-Turtle' approach, with essentially the same flaws (namely, you don't want the opposition to do it to you). It has the benefit of making for much faster combat scenes, though (and being rules legal).

    Not Dying: there are lots of minor patches and ways to avoid being killed (or horribly maimed), from rules features to charms to Raksha. Getting some of these is recommended if combat is going to be a significant issue.

    God Stat: Thou Shalt Raise Thy Dexterity To Maximum. That is all. High Wits (for initiative) are good too.

    Stunts: a Stunt lets you change reality somewhat, from noticing a rifle pointed your way to getting a handhold on a sheer glass wall. These definitely allow you to dodge bullets (and give bonus dice!), so should be kept in mind.

    Rules: a core premise of Exalted is that anything can be blocked or dodged unless it explicitly says otherwise (and some Exalts can remove that 'otherwise' caveat). Combine that with stunts and figuring out where the attackers are to avoid or predict their lines of fire and you've got justification for dealing with firearms.

    Combos: as of 2e Errata, combos are free for all to use. Do so - meaning as long as you've just got a single Simple Charm involved, you can apply Reflexives and Supplementals as you need them.

    Charms: Dodge Excellencies let you avoid being hit, Block lets you parry attacks, and Soak boosting charms let you ignore the blows that do hit. These can cost a lot of motes to use, but mean you live (see Turtle Strategy). Mix in extra Health levels and you're a bit harder to kill once you're out of motes...

    Armor: not necessarily as great as it seems, besides inflated weapon damage - mainly because successful attacks inflict a minimum amount of damage (can be 1, can be weapon dependent, can be Essence, depending on the vintage of the rules), so death by papercuts is still a concern. Hardness is more difficult to get but can no-sell attacks, so it's worth checking.

    Equipment: items that boost your defenses or can heal you are definitely worth collecting, there are a few hidden here and there in the rules.


    Raksha Sampler

    A few useful artifacts follow, which could be employed to give your characters more survivability. There are a lot more options, of course, with stronger, weaker, and intermediate effects. It's all in how the costs are presented... Let me know!


    Nightmare Veil

    What few dreamers remain on earth undergo unsettling dreams at best. And when their slumbering minds drift furthest from Earth, into the realms that are untouched by Awakening, and return bearing the scars of what lies Beyond, the Great Undying Ones will take those alien fragments of unspeakable vistas, and forge them into something that can act in the world, though Creation will reject it.

    For those who have been favored by the masters of Leng, the Veils are, if not common, at least known enough to be recognized. Woven from threads that have no color when stared at directly, yet suggest iridescent scales and ancient bruises when glimpsed out of the corner of the eye, Veils alter the substance of space itself. A blow that should strike a Veil wearer likely will connect, but after much of its strength has been stolen by unfathomable distances. With the better made Veils - those fed on blood and other, dearer, substances - the distance can be such that strikes completely fail instead.

    Mechanics
    Gossamer Full Plate (requires Gossamer 5 background, or suitable crafting Charms and gossamer supplies)
    Grants the soak you'd get from Full Plate, looks like a Veil or other piece of fabric that cannot be overly effective, has no Fatigue or Mobility penalties.
    An advanced Veil will be higher quality (so have more Soak) and benefit from Translucent Dream Sheathing Technology, making it extremely difficult to actually hit the Veil wearer.


    Nightgaunt Sinew Implant
    Through sorceries best left unconsidered, some Nightgaunts have been kept captive in the labs of the Mi-Go, and the results of their experiments traded to Earth with worrisome enthusiasm. The Sinews first appear egg-shaped, with half a dozen or so odd, pustulent, growths emerging at seemingly random locations. In this form, they seem to be harmless aside from a tendency to drift imperceptibly closer to the nearest dreamer within reach if left unobserved.

    When activated, a Sinew will warp outside of the dimensions known to man, but not quite into any others, and ride this alien current into the bodies of their hosts. There, melded with goodly mortal flesh and nerve, a Sinew confers preternatural awareness of incoming threats, and the unnatural material can replace any harm, leaving lines of quivering black substance wormed throughout the body.

    A single Mi-Go servitor can maintain the proper function of up to three active Sinews, ensuring they continue to function without unduly harming the host with regular sessions - rather unpleasant at first, but soon deemed essential by the users. Rumors of uncontrolled Sinews often circulate and are perhaps not utterly false as the Mi-Go treat them with utmost ferocity, but those rumors also state that any who succumb to such eldritch intrusions are then and forevermore other than fully human.

    Perhaps this is how the Nightgaunts find new singers in their weird chorus?

    Mechanics
    1-dot Behemoth
    Assumption of the Person's Heart - a Sinew only works when merged with a bearer, typically human.
    Swift Wings of Song - the Sinew grants a (potentially significant) number of automatic successes on Join Battle rolls, ensuring its host acts first in conflict
    Bastion of the Heart - wounds inflicted on the Sinew's host will heal nigh instantly, leaving unnatural scar tissue in their wake. Mi-Go operators warn against the risks of sorcery, as it causes wounds in dimensions more than those we know, and advise that the touch of gold or ink can wake a Sinew. They do not discuss what may happen in this eventuality.
    As a mechanical side-note, a character starting with a Sword Grace (1 bp) can attune to a Sinew on their own, for 3 committed motes. This removes the dependency on the Mi-Go, for a minor cost in humanity... Consider using Surpassing Excellence on such Sinews as their Exalted owners may not have a Cup Grace to fuel Swift Wings of Song... yet.
    Last edited by meschlum; 2024-07-01 at 07:48 PM.

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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    The charms they used for buffs were all "Simple" charms, none of them were reflexive.

    Yes, they were getting hit really easily, as without charms to boost it dodging takes an action (and I still don't know if you can dodge firearms by default without charms, that's been debated since the 90s iirc).

    They soaked ok, most of them even had five bonus dice of armor from their transport, but nobody had high stamina or wore armor (let alone had any soak boosting charms).
    It sounds like there were both character-building issues (no-one bothered with defenses) and poor tactical choices (trying to activate a bunch of buffs while twelve people shoot at you), but... could you elaborate more on the second point? It sounds like by default there's no way to avoid attacks?

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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    It sounds like there were both character-building issues (no-one bothered with defenses) and poor tactical choices (trying to activate a bunch of buffs while twelve people shoot at you), but... could you elaborate more on the second point? It sounds like by default there's no way to avoid attacks?
    Exalted vs. World of Darkness uses what are essentially V20 rules, just with characters who are different splat than Vampires (note that because this is a fan-product, it's available for free and you can find the pdf by just googling). Under a standard strict reading of the oWoD rules, there is in fact no way to avoid attacks without spending your only action in the round on dodging, which means you don't get to attack (house ruling one free dodge is common), and firearms attacks are not allowed to be dodged without supernatural powers or at least cover to roll toward (the rules are not consistent on this point, but WW rules are not consistent on much of anything).

    Since an attacker needs only one success - on a dice pool of probably 4+ - to hit, this makes characters exceedingly vulnerable to mass fire. 12 people shooting at one character will kill basically anything in the oWoD. Talakeal seems to have had the attackers spread their fire across multiple rounds, I would have had them concentrate fire following one round in which opponents shrugged off attacks, pretty much guaranteeing the death of at least a couple of characters regardless of what they were, which is why I would never stage 12v5 as a 'starter combat' in the storyteller system (perhaps this is doable in Werewolf, I never ran Werewolf, because it is terrible).

    It is significant that this system was almost certainly created without any playtesting whatsoever, because, again, it's just something one guy cooked up on his computer after being fired. As such, it is beholden upon the GM to be extremely cautious when using it to figure out where the points of failure will be (and there will be a lot, Holden Shearer is not a TTRPG designer known for robust mechanics), and what sort of encounters it can functionally run.
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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    Werewolf is terrible? Ouch.

    It's actually my favorite WW game and the one that got me into the system, although I probably spent a lot more time actually playing Mage (although the rules for sphere magic are so terrible I play a Sorcerer when the ST allows it).



    Yeah, focusing fire would have been a lot more deadly, I admit. But, aside from not being really fun / fair, it didn't make a whole lot of sense in this situation. It was a night time ambush with the PCs camping in and around their transport vehicle; it just wouldn't make sense for the enemies to have the coordination / lines of sight to pull that off, so I ruled they were just kind of firing at the campsite more or less randomly and split fire equally between the PCs.


    Out of curiosity, are stunts PC only?
    Last edited by Talakeal; 2024-07-02 at 06:39 AM.
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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    Under a standard strict reading of the oWoD rules, there is in fact no way to avoid attacks without spending your only action in the round on dodging, which means you don't get to attack (house ruling one free dodge is common), and firearms attacks are not allowed to be dodged without supernatural powers or at least cover to roll toward (the rules are not consistent on this point, but WW rules are not consistent on much of anything).
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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    Thanks Meschlum!

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    My inner game designer just started crying.
    Yeah. I want to add in reflexive dodge as a house rule, but both one of my player's and some of the folks on the Onyx Path forum are adamant that the games are designed as they are meant to be played and that any house rules added can only make them worse.
    Last edited by Talakeal; 2024-07-02 at 01:51 PM.
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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Werewolf is terrible? Ouch.

    It's actually my favorite WW game and the one that got me into the system, although I probably spent a lot more time actually playing Mage (although the rules for sphere magic are so terrible I play a Sorcerer when the ST allows it).
    There are no good White-Wolf games, there are only gradations of bad depending on the interactions of the always bad mechanics and the sometimes interesting but usually quite mind-bendingly bizarre fluff. Of the three 'big' oWoD games: Vampire has a great pitch and fluff that mostly works if you trim back the excesses wedded to mechanics that only fail some of the time; Mage has the best fluff (though the Technocracy are the actual good guys and that reality needs to be internalized when reading the material) but the mechanics are a trainwreck; Werewolf has fluff that is awful and tries to be a combat-focused game in a system that fundamentally was not designed to handle combat properly. So yeah, terrible.

    Exalted, for what it's worth, is mostly like Mage. It has some truly impressive, if often unnecessarily gonzo and absolutely grimdark, fluff, wrapped around a mechanical system that just kind of explodes when trying to be used effectively. Considering this is exactly what you'd expect from trying to adapt a series of Tanith Lee fantasy horror vignettes (the Tales from the Flat Earth series) into a TTRPG, it's almost admirable that it was made that way, despite the fact the no one should have ever approved the thing.
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    Default Re: Exalted vs. Chthulhu

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    There are no good White-Wolf games, there are only gradations of bad depending on the interactions of the always bad mechanics and the sometimes interesting but usually quite mind-bendingly bizarre fluff. Of the three 'big' oWoD games: Vampire has a great pitch and fluff that mostly works if you trim back the excesses wedded to mechanics that only fail some of the time; Mage has the best fluff (though the Technocracy are the actual good guys and that reality needs to be internalized when reading the material) but the mechanics are a trainwreck; Werewolf has fluff that is awful and tries to be a combat-focused game in a system that fundamentally was not designed to handle combat properly. So yeah, terrible.

    Exalted, for what it's worth, is mostly like Mage. It has some truly impressive, if often unnecessarily gonzo and absolutely grimdark, fluff, wrapped around a mechanical system that just kind of explodes when trying to be used effectively. Considering this is exactly what you'd expect from trying to adapt a series of Tanith Lee fantasy horror vignettes (the Tales from the Flat Earth series) into a TTRPG, it's almost admirable that it was made that way, despite the fact the no one should have ever approved the thing.
    Tell us and the millions (Audience: "...and millions!") of the WoDs fans how you really feel.

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    Sorry, digressed there. Yeah, broadly disagree...but only have played WtA and VtM in native form, CtD as part of a GURPS x-over. Simple and mostly consistent rules, excellent setting/tropes (that are only cliche now because the iconoclast became the icon, and hipster edgelords had to move on).

    Pretty interesting take on the Technocracy - felt the same way about most of it, thought there weren't too many of us that did!

    Linked to your earlier comments though:
    VtM certainly allowed dodging firearms at all times, while WtA modified the difficulty based on the range/type of weapon/cover, and in both you can always declare multiple actions (without Celerity or spending Rage) to attack and defend at reduced efficacy.

    WoD certainly ushered in the mass market "story" games, and did it with a relatively simple, easy to understand system.

    How that translates to Exalted, though, I have nary a clue.

    And how that helps run a C'thulhu tie-in, I have even less!

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