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Kitsunemimi-Maiden
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Confrontation over the Daystar - An Alternate Event

15 Apr 2011, 10:37

A problem I've had with some of the Exalted material as of late is that every time something new and shiny comes out, there has to be a reason for why the Sidereal Exalted don't get to have it. This would be okay if the explanation were good, but in too many cases, it feels weak, forced, and assumes the Sidereals are incapable of doing anything - "the Maidens quietly advised the Sidereals to give up their case". "(a blood ape possessing) a starmetal smashfist taken from a careless summoner". When this happens too much, in such a boring fashion, it makes the Sidereals appear more and more incompetent. So here's an alternate take on the "From Then 'Til Now" of the Daystar writeup.

After the Usurpation, in order to ensure the Bureau of Destiny had as many tools as possible for defense of Creation in the void left by the Solars and the absence of the Unconquered Sun's activity, the Sidereals requested an injunction from the Bureau of Heaven, demanding that Nysela permit the Bureau of Destiny to dispatch a Sidereal crew in the event of a major threat to Creation. Nysela fought bitterly against this injunction, outraged at the impudence of the Bureau's de facto leader, Chejop Kejak, but eventually the Bureau of Heaven ruled in his favor. Angered at the 'travesty of justice' on display, Nysela railed against Kejak and 'his cronies' before slapping him across the cheek, leaving a stinging mark.

However, in her zealous and righteous anger, she forgot: That is assault, and the Celestial Lions are nothing if not incorruptible in their defense of heavenly law. Despite their own feelings on the matter, the Lions entered and forced her to stand down. Kejak commented that under the strictest interpretation of the law, her angered comments could be interpreted as rebellious dissent and treason against the Bureau of Heaven. While the words hung in the air, a messenger arrived. The Maidens had convened on their own and agreed - while the Bureau of Destiny's missives regarding threats to Creation should be recognized as legitimate and either complied with or answered for, they had decided that Nysela's position aboard the Daystar was critical to a future event. Kejak listened to the messenger and nodded, pardoning her words and assault.

Nysela, thrilled at the intervention, looked up to see the expression of confusion or outrage on the Chosen of Secrets' face. What she saw was neither; he was smiling, as if his plan had come together. Nysela returned to her post, sullen over having to file reports to the Bureau of Destiny; while the final decision on the use of the Daystar's arsenal remained hers, she had to answer to the Bureau if she refused an order, which sat poorly with her.

In the weeks following the confrontation, rumors spread of a bobbleheaded doll of Chejop Kejak [mentioned later in the Daystar entry] supposedly appearing on her dashboard. While she claims it came from an assassin, and posted the standing offer, even Nysela herself is uncertain of its' true origins. She has attempted to dispose of it five times, casting it to such places as the deepest western oceans, the hottest southern volcanoes, beneath avalanche in the north and even into the Wyld. It has reappeared on the dashboard within days. Kejak claims no responsibility or awareness of it.

Sidebar: Is Kejak That Petty?
It's plausible the doll is a last taunting shot from Chejop Kejak, should the ST seek to make him appear petty for reasons of their own, but more interesting may be alternate explanations. Is the Gold Faction hoping to usurp his authority over the Daystar, using the destined doll to drive a wedge further between the two? Perhaps a Sidereal Akuma hoped to create friction between the Bureaus, posing as an assassin and leaving that to frustrate her. Perhaps it's merely a joke played on her from one of Kejak's subordinates. Or maybe it's merely another rumor that she plays along with. Whatever the explanation, there can be more interesting answers than 'a serious assassin dropped it'.
Last edited by Kitsunemimi-Maiden on 15 Apr 2011, 11:51, edited 1 time in total.
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(4:22:49 PM) Nekomimi Maiden: I fell in love with the bad guy and twisted his spine into a pretzel
 
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Re: Confrontation over the Daystar - An Alternate Event

15 Apr 2011, 10:44

Or maybe it's an EXPERIMENT by a crazy artificer who wants to see if something's as indestructible as they think, and reckons giving it insultingly to the Charioteer of the Daystar is a good way to get increasingly inventive attempts to destroy it...
 
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Re: Confrontation over the Daystar - An Alternate Event

15 Apr 2011, 13:33

MorkaisChosen wrote:
Or maybe it's an EXPERIMENT by a crazy artificer who wants to see if something's as indestructible as they think, and reckons giving it insultingly to the Charioteer of the Daystar is a good way to get increasingly inventive attempts to destroy it...


solar dickery - never dismiss the option of solar dickery


but that sounds like an ok writeup

...if i may ask, what was the original 'excuse'??
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Re: Confrontation over the Daystar - An Alternate Event

15 Apr 2011, 14:41

Maidens tell Sids to stop pretending to be big boys, they're not fooling anyone. No, seriously.
After the Usurpation, the Sidereals tried to get an injunction from the Bureau of Heaven ordering Nysela to turn over the key to the Daystar to the Bureau of Destiny, citing the dire need for its power in the era to come. Nysela fought this injunction bitterly, and when it became clear that her recriminations would soon bring a response from the Unconquered Sun, the Maidens quietly advised the Sidereals to give up their case.

I just changed the one paragraph into that, to make it less condescending towards the Sidereals. Too tired of constant "Sids can't do anything unless Solars let them" - the Usurpation, being mechanically impossible under the current system [and not looking much better given Ink Monkey attitudes towards nonSolar splats -- "Anything you can do I can trump and outdo"] doesn't count, in my opinion, since the mechanical impossibility makes it a handwave, A Wizard Did It.
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(4:22:38 PM) Nekomimi Maiden: So I did the only logical thing.
(4:22:49 PM) Nekomimi Maiden: I fell in love with the bad guy and twisted his spine into a pretzel
 
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Re: Confrontation over the Daystar - An Alternate Event

26 Apr 2011, 14:44

I always saw Siddies as more strictly controlled than other exalts. Their ascension is always known before it happens, and they know the extent of their lifespans. They also have some of the most broken charms in the game, which tells me the Maidens knew their Chosen were getting a raw deal and gave them powers unmatched by even Solars to make up for it. And they have to be very careful, or their role in the Usurpation might become officially known and then they're ousted from their seats of power.
 
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Re: Confrontation over the Daystar - An Alternate Event

26 Apr 2011, 16:39

true

plus i really do think that high first age solars - being the dicks that they were - made a lot of their fun epic stuff to work ONLY with solar essence...
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Re: Confrontation over the Daystar - An Alternate Event

26 Apr 2011, 20:10

Rhyvurg wrote:
I always saw Siddies as more strictly controlled than other exalts. Their ascension is always known before it happens,


It depends. Sometimes things don't happen like they should. That's where ronin come from. ;)

They also have some of the most broken charms in the game, which tells me the Maidens knew their Chosen were getting a raw deal and gave them powers unmatched by even Solars to make up for it.


....I'm just going to slowly back away right now from my horrifically nerfed 2e Sidereals book and hope you were being facetious. ;P
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Re: Confrontation over the Daystar - An Alternate Event

26 Apr 2011, 20:16

Yyyyyyyyyeah... That may have been somewhat true back in 1e, where a Sidereal charm could do things undreamed of by Solar charms, there were no ways to resist the influences of said charms, and in general they were powerful but constrained only by the limitations preventing them from making new areas of expertise to be competent in... but 2e Sidereals, until we actually get a functioning rewrite, are 'broken' in a manner analogous to a clock with its' face smashed in, rather than, say, Void Avatar Prana's intent.

And then one has to ask how that is relevant? "The Maidens know their chosen are constrained, so they should constrain them more by telling them 'don't even try to do anything big'"?. Not sure what your intent was with that statement.
On Infernal logic:
(4:22:38 PM) Nekomimi Maiden: So I did the only logical thing.
(4:22:49 PM) Nekomimi Maiden: I fell in love with the bad guy and twisted his spine into a pretzel
 
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Re: Confrontation over the Daystar - An Alternate Event

27 Apr 2011, 02:00

IMO I would actually think that the sids being so constrained fits their fluff

they have 5 gods lording - more or less- over them. of all the exalted, they're the ones most directly controled.

the question then becomes both why, and if it can be changed, which again relates to why

one answer to why could be that the maidens, who are also addicted to the xbox of divinity, know that their chosen could potentially figure out how to get rid of them and use those god-promoting charms they so carefully hid away to replace them

its essentially as they learnt the lesson from seeing what happened to the UCS with the solars: the cracked down on the sids instead, limiting them, to prevent them from doing anything too stupid (too bad that the great curse ensures that anyway)
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Re: Confrontation over the Daystar - An Alternate Event

27 Apr 2011, 07:25

On the other hand, the Maidens have an intimacy of "exasperated affection" rather than "paranoid obsessive wariness" towards the sidereals... They know said charm is only accessible if one of them makes it so, not by any act of the sidereals. They watched the usurpation with tacit approval. This is just tremendously arbitrary.
Also, replying to an earlier point: officially proving sidereal involvement in the usurpation requires fixing the arcane fate. No lack of solar lackey gods tried to charge the sidereals with treason, but the destinies that broke the mask rendered it impossible; essentially, everyone in Heaven "knows" that the Sidereals plotted it... just like everyone "knows" that mob boss is behind a massive crime family. But without conclusive proof, punishing them is not justice, it's a lynch mob -- and the clusterfuck of destinies that broke the Mask ensured all evidence would be eliminated.
On Infernal logic:
(4:22:38 PM) Nekomimi Maiden: So I did the only logical thing.
(4:22:49 PM) Nekomimi Maiden: I fell in love with the bad guy and twisted his spine into a pretzel
 
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Re: Confrontation over the Daystar - An Alternate Event

28 Apr 2011, 15:35

Kailan wrote:
Rhyvurg wrote:
I always saw Siddies as more strictly controlled than other exalts. Their ascension is always known before it happens,


It depends. Sometimes things don't happen like they should. That's where ronin come from. ;)

They also have some of the most broken charms in the game, which tells me the Maidens knew their Chosen were getting a raw deal and gave them powers unmatched by even Solars to make up for it.


....I'm just going to slowly back away right now from my horrifically nerfed 2e Sidereals book and hope you were being facetious. ;P

If you stick to the Sidereals book, you'd be right. But there are other books with other Charms. Like Scroll of the Monk.
 
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Re: Confrontation over the Daystar - An Alternate Event

28 Apr 2011, 15:49

...You're relying on Monkbook to support your argument? The one 2e book that's even *worse* than Sidbook? Really?
 
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Re: Confrontation over the Daystar - An Alternate Event

28 Apr 2011, 19:11

Rhyvurg wrote:
If you stick to the Sidereals book, you'd be right. But there are other books with other Charms. Like Scroll of the Monk.


Dude. By that logic, Solars and Abyssals would be totally broken because Zeal and Void Avatar Prana exist. XD And no offense but I've actually tried to play Sidereals as written and I am really not sure where you're getting this idea that they're overpowered, assuming you've done the same. Honestly, they're barely playable unless you really like going through their charmset AND their martial arts with a fine-toothed comb to houserule the things that don't work. There are a couple of exceptions to that rule, but they are exceptions.

The only meme I can think that you might be talking about is the infamous Blade of the Battle Maiden, and that's a Celestial martial arts charm, meaning anyone can take it (discounting the idiotically ham-handed attempt to make it a Sidereal hero style without actually making it a hero style at all). And 2e VBoS is bad and whoever wrote it should feel bad; they just took the 1e brawl charms and the old 1e art and slapped them together to see what stuck. Even if you're referencing Sidereal Martial Arts, it's not like other Celestials can't use them.
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Re: Confrontation over the Daystar - An Alternate Event

28 Apr 2011, 19:13

Er... welcome to the fandom? I presume you're fairly new, otherwise you'd be aware that Scroll of the Monk is basically one of the mechanically worst books in the game. Claiming anything in it can be used to balance Sidereals is a rather poorly defensible stance; the Sidereal Martial Arts are 90% poorly copied from 1e and missing or possessing superfluous keywords left and right, not to mention that several of the charms break basic design conceits; the Celestial Martial Arts are rather scattershot but generally on the low end - hardly a decent substitute for a proper Celestial Exalted charmset, especially since CMA are written with the intent of being "at the bottom of the Celestial power scale" - to say nothing of the fact that they are still designed to be about 90%-95% HURT MANS, and there are 21 abilities in the game - 84% of all abilities - that have nothing to do with HURT MANS.
On Infernal logic:
(4:22:38 PM) Nekomimi Maiden: So I did the only logical thing.
(4:22:49 PM) Nekomimi Maiden: I fell in love with the bad guy and twisted his spine into a pretzel
 
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Re: Confrontation over the Daystar - An Alternate Event

28 Apr 2011, 20:06

I find it interesting that most peoples' experiences palying with the Sidereal charmset have been so disappointing. I've never really encountered that many problems, especially with the errata assigning Willpower costs to resist their charms, which was the biggest problem with their rules. Granted, a good few of the charms (to say nothing of the astrology) are extremely disappointing, in terms of clarity of writing and in-game functionality, but out-right terrible charms seem to be few. Many of their charms are quite good (again, to say nothing of astrology - I'm looking at you, House of Endings) and do some very fun, indirect things.

Likewise with the Scroll of the Monk. I've recently started to use it in my games, and a good portion of the Martial Arts therein are at least mechanically functional and not too terrible. Certainly Laughing Wounds, Ebon Shadow and Mantis are okay, as are most of the Terrestrial arts, and even Prismatic Arrangement of Creation and Quicksilver Hand of Dreams (though those do have some problems). Granted, most of the other Sidereal MAs and some of the Celestials appear to have serious problems based on my read over, but over half the book is fine, trending towards good.

Then again, maybe my experience is colored by what I do with my characters. As a PC I've only ever really used Serenity charms, Crane Style and Sorcery (another unfairly criticised set of charms, in my opinon) and as GM I've stuck to Athletics, combat, and a few social charms, so maybe I'm missing something. Certainly lots of the War tree looks bad, as do a fair few Journey's charms, and perhaps that ruins the Sidereals for some people, not being able to fight wars or run fast or whatever is important for your character concept.

Sidereals do need help, but they're far from being totally broken.
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Re: Confrontation over the Daystar - An Alternate Event

28 Apr 2011, 22:00

Henry: Whoever was in charge of editing that chapter of 2e Sids just... dropped the ball in a big way.

They either incorrectly keyworded the charms or simply couldn't be bothered to keyword them at all, in probably three-fourths of cases. There are willpower costs for perfect defenses when that was stricken from the mechanical rules in 2e, and while you could say "just don't pay the WP cost," it's not quite that simple - usually it came with a low mote cost so you'd have to commensurately raise the mote cost to compensate. There are charms that before the errata might have been hideously broken if not for the fact that they fell under the rules for natural mental influence and took only a single point of willpower to overcome, making them laughable in the face of any Exalt that one might encounter. (Though I will be fair: if you're running 2e Sids with an all-Sidereal cast and a good GM, it's generally not that noticeable because there's a weird kind of balance involved when all the rules are broken - but it's a lot of work for the GM, more so than normal, and it's awful if you're trying to run a mixed game.)

To be honest, I don't think it's your player character, I think it's the fact that you've had the benefit of playing with some of the later additions made to the game and the errata. Crane Style is actually a pretty solid CMA; however, it was also written in the latter end of the edition's run by someone who knew what he was doing, so it doesn't really compare to what's in Monkbook. Most of the games I've tried to play were pre-errata and oh god I loved my characters but seriously, when you can get punked by a DB as a Celestial Exalt and half your charms have to be handwaved or houseruled, there is just something wrong.

Also I hate the Maiden keyword because it's basically in-game justification for those types of GMs who love to railroad their players, among other things, but that's neither here nor there.
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