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What is it about Abyssals that you don't like?

Deathlords
5 (31%)
Redemption arcs/options
2 (13%)
Solar mirroring (with respect to charms)
2 (13%)
General fluff
1 (6%)
Soulsteel
No votes
Resonance
1 (6%)
Limited character concepts
3 (19%)
Other
2 (13%)
 
Total votes: 16
 
Mei Yu Lian
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Re: The Neverborn would like your input!

15 Apr 2012, 04:39

Henry wrote:
That's a perfectly reasonable opinion to have, since nihilism is an uncomfortable thing, even the cartoon nihilism of Abyssals. To change that would make them into something that is no longer an Abyssal; but you know that, so run with it if it makes your game better. However, it does feel, to me, like taking strange Fate magic away from Sidereals, or trying to lock Solars into a narrative box (being locked into an narrative box is an Abyssal thing, damnit!).

My knowledge of philosophy is very thin (I took a few classes as an undergrad!) but the philosophical problem of the Abyssals seems very similar to the problem confronting the atheists of the 20th century: if life is pointless, what do I live for? You can accept it uneasily, like Nietzsche, mock it, like Sarte, or recognize it as something that makes man heroic, like Camus. It doesn't have to manifest itself as pure destructive nihilism or angst and suffering - there are other options. The Abyssal NPCs I've introduced into my games have all had different attitudes towards Oblivion, which has added some real depth to their personalities.


as an atheist and (former?) nihilst i reject these statements.

the second part confuses atheism with nihilism which is a classical theist mistake - whch rather scares me
the world must be so empty and hollow for theists

you can have morals and or ethics without a god (as demonstrated by some of the mentioned athors above) => atheism != nihlism

the basic approach to the problem of most 20th - 21st century atheists i know is simply "why the f*** do you care so much?"

second even nihilsm doesn't have to bed destructive or in anyway bad - nihilism has mostly lead me to laughter in times where i had precious little else to laugh at

please dont confuse nihilism with being a teenager
which is largely a biochemically unstable state
 
Mei Yu Lian
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Re: The Neverborn would like your input!

15 Apr 2012, 04:42

Obscaenus wrote:
Psst, atheism has remarkably little to do with nihilism. I'm also pretty sure Neitzsche's main issues were on another map entirely, but then I haven't read most of his stuff.

so true

what little nietzsche ive read lead me to the believe that if hed gone into math instead of linguistics hed have been much happier if less famous
 
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Henry
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Re: The Neverborn would like your input!

15 Apr 2012, 09:29

I think my point has been misunderstood. I was not calling all atheists nihilists (which is not true): I was stating that nihilism is one of the various forms that atheism can take (which is true). I also do not want to imply that nihilism is a philosophy of violence, which it is not. In my opinion, part of the Abyssal condition is the knowledge, the absolute, certain knowledge, that everything is going to die and disappear, and that all of life is ultimately without higher purpose, since death is inevitable for everything. Really, a Solar or a Lunar or a mortal could have the same realization, but an Abyssal can't run from it. In fact, due to his black exaltation, he has embraced it.

It is the fundamental problem of all Abyssals (and atheists) to decide what to live for and whether life is even worth living. Nietzsche is absolutely brilliant and absolutely correct in identifying and analyzing this problem, stating how the presumption of the existence of God is the intellectual keystone that props up everything we believe - without Him, the whole edifice falls apart and the only truth is personal will, especially the personal will to power. This isn't to say that it is impossible to have a solid moral or philosophical belief system if one is an atheist, only that such a system has to be rebuilt from the ground up. This is where the existentialist philosophers enter the fray (and, unfortunately, doctrines like communism and fascism) and a lot of the work in this vein continues to this day, much of it disappointing because it ignores or tries to ignore Nietzsche's analysis. But there is some very good philosophy out there in addition to the existentialists, including some by the English fellow who's name escapes me (arrgh! work, brain!).

But, bringing it back to Exalted, Abyssals ultimately face this dilemma - what I do, what anyone does, is ultimately going to be rendered meaningless. Given this truth, does anything hold moral authority over me? Does it matter, at all, what I do? Does it matter what anyone else does? Do other people have any intrinsic moral value, or can I just splatter them all over the landscape and feel fine about it? Is there a certain grandeur to Oblivion, and heroism in meeting it bravely (ala Camus)? Or is sound and fury, signifying nothing (ala Macbeth)? Etc.

It's an interesting philosophical conflict which, because this is Exalted, has been summarized as a landscape feature.
You can dare to do anything and succeed in anything, provided you never forget that two and two do not make four; in clumsy hands, they often make three or even less; but they can make five or six. - Louis-Herbert Lyautey
 
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Re: The Neverborn would like your input!

15 Apr 2012, 10:36

just keep in mind the theme of Exalted Henry - of doing the impossible

so the abyssals might perceive a very grim truth

but then a shiny solar comes up and kicks him in the butt and says "I reject your reality and substitute my own!"
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Henry
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Re: The Neverborn would like your input!

15 Apr 2012, 11:46

webkilla wrote:
just keep in mind the theme of Exalted Henry - of doing the impossible

so the abyssals might perceive a very grim truth

but then a shiny solar comes up and kicks him in the butt and says "I reject your reality and substitute my own!"


Absolutely right. There are no insoluble problems in Creation, and even though Exalted is very much a critique of the human condition you can use or ignore as much of that as you like, and you can outright change reality if you so choose.

Exalted is wonderful in that it allows you to solve all of these complicated philosophical issues by applying daiklave to face. Just like Hamlet and Macbeth. Or Star Wars.
You can dare to do anything and succeed in anything, provided you never forget that two and two do not make four; in clumsy hands, they often make three or even less; but they can make five or six. - Louis-Herbert Lyautey
 
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Re: The Neverborn would like your input!

15 Apr 2012, 13:22

or even 'fix' the situation by undoing the neverborn - either by finding a faster way to end their suffering, or remaking them somehow
I have a webcomic: http://psitech.comicgen.com - Its kinda like exalted, except more furry, more fanservice, more fun, more sci-fi.
- may contain people being called "bob"
 
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Re: The Neverborn would like your input!

15 Apr 2012, 22:01

Henry wrote:
It's an interesting philosophical conflict which, because this is Exalted, has been summarized as a landscape feature.


...Mind if I sig that?
we can sever all our useless ties
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Mei Yu Lian
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Re: The Neverborn would like your input!

16 Apr 2012, 15:10

Obscaenus wrote:
Henry wrote:
It's an interesting philosophical conflict which, because this is Exalted, has been summarized as a landscape feature.


...Mind if I sig that?

how did i miss that?!? :confused: :shock: :perv: :^_^;:

henry: that's all kndas of awesome!
 
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Re: The Neverborn would like your input!

16 Apr 2012, 15:29

I don't see how nihilism and apathetic slaughter can be seen as a landscape feature

I get how nihilism and apathy from the terrible insights that oblivion afford can make for a very casual relationship with death - but not how that becomes a landscape feature
I have a webcomic: http://psitech.comicgen.com - Its kinda like exalted, except more furry, more fanservice, more fun, more sci-fi.
- may contain people being called "bob"
 
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Henry
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Re: The Neverborn would like your input!

16 Apr 2012, 16:01

Obscaenus - Feel free to do as you like with the quote.

Webkilla - the landscape feature in question is the Mouth of the Void (or whatever it's called), at the heart of the Underworld.
You can dare to do anything and succeed in anything, provided you never forget that two and two do not make four; in clumsy hands, they often make three or even less; but they can make five or six. - Louis-Herbert Lyautey
 
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Re: The Neverborn would like your input!

16 Apr 2012, 16:56

I guess that's a matter of opinion then - because I don't think the mouth of the void has any philosophical implications like that...

its a thing - an opening into oblivion, to unmaking, the impossibility in reality that the primordials never planned for, and thus can't fully realize now that some of them are dead
I have a webcomic: http://psitech.comicgen.com - Its kinda like exalted, except more furry, more fanservice, more fun, more sci-fi.
- may contain people being called "bob"
 
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Re: The Neverborn would like your input!

16 Apr 2012, 17:04

webkilla wrote:
just keep in mind the theme of Exalted Henry - of doing the impossible

so the abyssals might perceive a very grim truth

but then a shiny solar comes up and kicks him in the butt and says "I reject your reality and substitute my own!"


And then the Solar renders himself no better than the Abyssal.

Also, qualify such a statement: It "sounds cool" to say that Exalts are supposed to "do the impossible", but in practice, any given Exalt is limited to what is possible for their Essence rating and charmset. So no, Exalts can't do the impossible, merely what is possible for an Exalt. They can do what's impossible from a mortal's perspective, I suppose. [/YouCouldBeLess]
 
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Re: The Neverborn would like your input!

17 Apr 2012, 02:28

well I did mean impossible from a mortal point of view

I mean, we have to start somewhere

and with things like wyld shaping technique I'd argue that the 'starting' point bar doing the impossible is set quite high
I have a webcomic: http://psitech.comicgen.com - Its kinda like exalted, except more furry, more fanservice, more fun, more sci-fi.
- may contain people being called "bob"
 
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Re: The Neverborn would like your input!

21 Apr 2012, 19:16

The main thing that's always rubbed me the wrong way when it comes to Abyssals is that 'most' everyone (not necessarily anyone on this board) thinks that Abyssals are limited in concept or all Emo because their defining mission is the Death of Everything. Henry brought up a bunch of points that I like and can get behind. Being an Abyssal, whether your a Loyalist, Renegade or Repentant is about bringing about the end of the world - that is your purpose for which you were exalted whether you like it or not, willing or unwilling (Resonance is a bitch).

I think playing an Abyssal is all about being a true tragic Hero/Heroine in a world thats grim and has from a certain point of view, gone to shit and the only to fix it is to press the reset button (the Void). Whereas others see it as something entirely different and that is their choice. I also think that playing an Abyssal isnt all about "Herp Derp Rape & Kill" - thats what the Infernals are for, I'm much more refined and classy thank you very much. But rather something that can go deeper. I find it perfectly in theme for a Loyalist, Renegade or even a Repentant to question why they kill everything while doing it - I think it's something that would come up and has in the few games I played.

eh...TL;DR - being an Abyssal is as much a philosophy as it is an Exalted type.

the resident Deathlord and Abyssal lover has spoken - not sure how much this helps.

:mow: DPM
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
 
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Re: The Neverborn would like your input!

21 Apr 2012, 21:48

Deaths Pale Mistress wrote:
The main thing that's always rubbed me the wrong way when it comes to Abyssals is that 'most' everyone (not necessarily anyone on this board) thinks that Abyssals are limited in concept or all Emo because their defining mission is the Death of Everything. Henry brought up a bunch of points that I like and can get behind. Being an Abyssal, whether your a Loyalist, Renegade or Repentant is about bringing about the end of the world - that is your purpose for which you were exalted whether you like it or not, willing or unwilling (Resonance is a bitch).


Good thing about Scribing the Old Laws and Hang High the Gallows, then. They let you do grim things to vent Resonance so it doesn't explode all over you.

I think playing an Abyssal is all about being a true tragic Hero/Heroine in a world thats grim and has from a certain point of view, gone to shit and the only to fix it is to press the reset button (the Void). Whereas others see it as something entirely different and that is their choice. I also think that playing an Abyssal isnt all about "Herp Derp Rape & Kill" - thats what the Infernals are for, I'm much more refined and classy thank you very much. But rather something that can go deeper.


Pot, kettle, black. And not because it's too deep for you, either. ^VVVVVVV^

I find it perfectly in theme for a Loyalist, Renegade or even a Repentant to question why they kill everything while doing it - I think it's something that would come up and has in the few games I played.

eh...TL;DR - being an Abyssal is as much a philosophy as it is an Exalted type.

the resident Deathlord and Abyssal lover has spoken - not sure how much this helps.

:mow: DPM


The problem is that a game should be fun, and fun being an elusive thing that different people find in different places, it may not be best to make everyone approach playing as a philosophy.
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Re: The Neverborn would like your input!

22 Apr 2012, 21:08

The problem is that a game should be fun, and fun being an elusive thing that different people find in different places, it may not be best to make everyone approach playing as a philosophy.


Of course not Dinobot. I wouldnt force anything like that on anyone - my point was; I've always viewed playing Abyssals as a philosophy as well as an Exalt. That doesnt mean everyone else has too as well.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
 
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Henry
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Re: The Neverborn would like your input!

23 Apr 2012, 08:50

Deaths Pale Mistress wrote:
The problem is that a game should be fun, and fun being an elusive thing that different people find in different places, it may not be best to make everyone approach playing as a philosophy.


Of course not Dinobot. I wouldnt force anything like that on anyone - my point was; I've always viewed playing Abyssals as a philosophy as well as an Exalt. That doesnt mean everyone else has too as well.


Don't back down!

Sometimes we get too caught up in relativism, reluctant to criticize other people's choices. Well, I am jerk so I won't heed common sense in this instance.

DPM is spot on, identifying Abyssals as being as much a philosophy as they are an Exalt type. Sure, you can have fun with them if you play them as killing machines and nothing more, or in a slapstick game where the point is to tell the next joke. Those styles are good for a lark, for the short-term, and there's is certainly a time and a place for them, but they do not give the same sort of long-term satisfaction that proper roleplaying does.

Exploring character's personalities, really trying to understand what make them people is what makes roleplaying games great. The same can be said of virtually any media. After all, what's the best part of Raiders of the Lost Arc? When Indiana Jones dodges a trap? Or the terrified expression on his face when something goes wrong?

To avoid the 'Abyssals as a philosophy' approach is to ignore what makes them special and distinct from the other Exalt types. If you ignore that, there is almost literally no reason to play them, no reason why any given Abyssal character couldn't just be a Solar Exalt with a lot of eye-liner. If you ignore that, you're cheating yourself out of all kinds of fun.
You can dare to do anything and succeed in anything, provided you never forget that two and two do not make four; in clumsy hands, they often make three or even less; but they can make five or six. - Louis-Herbert Lyautey
 
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Re: The Neverborn would like your input!

24 Apr 2012, 18:14

That doesn't seem any more involved as a philosophy than playing any other kind of character.
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Re: The Neverborn would like your input!

25 Apr 2012, 08:58

Dinosaur wrote:
That doesn't seem any more involved as a philosophy than playing any other kind of character.


Most kinds of Exalts are defined by internal factors - how awesome they are. For some (Alchemicals, Sidereals, and to a much lesser extent Dragon-bloods and Infernals) they are also defined by the society they are a part of, though ultimately it is the Exalt's individual characteristics that determines the nature of his interaction with his society.

However, an Abyssal is defined, in part, by a malevolent force that is antithetical to life and is also part of his soul. He can never get away from it, ever, unless he stops being an Abyssal. That's the philosophy aspect of playing an Abyssal - dealing with that external force that you cannot escape.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing for the Abyssal, but it's an important thing. The only Abyssal PC I've ever seen (I am the storyteller for her) is perfectly happy with being an agent of death, and waltzes around killing stuff in perfect moral freedom. In contrast, most of the thoughtful Abyssal NPCs I've used in my game are tortured by their condition. Both of these reactions are fun and interesting to the game, but the characters had to choose what their reaction would be, and it colors everything else they do.
You can dare to do anything and succeed in anything, provided you never forget that two and two do not make four; in clumsy hands, they often make three or even less; but they can make five or six. - Louis-Herbert Lyautey
 
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Re: The Neverborn would like your input!

25 Apr 2012, 10:06

Henry wrote:
Dinosaur wrote:
That doesn't seem any more involved as a philosophy than playing any other kind of character.


Most kinds of Exalts are defined by internal factors - how awesome they are. For some (Alchemicals, Sidereals, and to a much lesser extent Dragon-bloods and Infernals) they are also defined by the society they are a part of, though ultimately it is the Exalt's individual characteristics that determines the nature of his interaction with his society.

However, an Abyssal is defined, in part, by a malevolent force that is antithetical to life and is also part of his soul. He can never get away from it, ever, unless he stops being an Abyssal. That's the philosophy aspect of playing an Abyssal - dealing with that external force that you cannot escape.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing for the Abyssal, but it's an important thing. The only Abyssal PC I've ever seen (I am the storyteller for her) is perfectly happy with being an agent of death, and waltzes around killing stuff in perfect moral freedom. In contrast, most of the thoughtful Abyssal NPCs I've used in my game are tortured by their condition. Both of these reactions are fun and interesting to the game, but the characters had to choose what their reaction would be, and it colors everything else they do.


Or, you know, if the rules change under the new blood in charge of the game's direction. Which is something that's apparently slated for the future - it already has some manifestations and hints for things to come in the Ink Monkeys, with the Geist-like inspiration of Keeper of the Old Laws. The task of accomplishing this just needs more material support.
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