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Headscratchers: Exalted
  • What on earth do Dragon-Blooded map to in The World of Darkness? Every other Exalted faction has a WoD equivalent (Alchemicals didn't until nWoD Introduced Prometheans), and The Fair Folk/Raksha line up with oWoD Changelings or nWoD True Fae... but Dragon-Blooded... don't seem to match anything.
    • They map to the Kuei-Jin/Kindred of the East (ten thousand immortals, references to the empress and the dragon).
      • So they now have the opposite problem of Alchemicals, what with nWoD dropping the concept of Western/Eastern supernaturals in favor of an assumption that they work more or less the same everywhere, with only minor variations compared to the previous East/West gulf.
      • Well, the Dragon-blooded are sort of minor Exalted in comparison to the big boys. You could make an admittedly shaky argument that the minor splats(ghouls, sleepwalkers, ensorcelled etc.) are the Dragon-blooded equivalent. They certainly have the same role socially, being a back-up/servant/helper/etc. caste. The only problem with that theory is that minor splats in N Wo D are far, far less powerful than major splats, whereas Dragon-blooded are at least competitive with Celestial Exalted.
      • MageTheAscension's Iteration X is (prior to Revised) based in Autochthonia and has robots and cyborgs. There are also WerewolfTheApocalypse's drones, which are like fomori, but possessed by weaver spirits instead of wyrm spirits.
      • They don't map to anything in nWoD because it was oWoD that had connections to Exalted. They mapped to the legendary uncorrupted form of the Kuei-Jin.
      • Word of God is that Alchemical Exalted don't correspond to Prometheans... but Liminal Exalted do.

  • What was the purpose for the Dawn Solution? It seemed to come out of left field.
    • The primary intent of the Dawn Solution was to make Dawns the best Solar caste at combat. Prior to it, Nights (because they had a much better Ability spread and a somewhat useful caste ability), Zeniths (decent ability spread) and Twilights (best caste ability) were much better than Dawns at combat, even though Dawns were meant to be the world's ultimate swordsmen and such. The main problem was that there wasn't really any advantage to having all five combat abilities; the main thing the Dawn solution did was provide was to let you use all of them at once in a fight. Solars as a whole weren't really buffed; they were just given alternate builds, so Dawn swordsmen and martial artists could compete with Night archery + dodge + athletics + stealth snipers.
      • Whether or not it met that intention, especially alternate builds, is a matter of opinion.

  • Why does everything Infernals-related flip flop on what the Yozi's are and their characterization?
    • Basically, writers forgot the original vision of the Yozis from Rebecca Borgstrom and Geoff Grabowski and rewrote large sections. This has resulted in authors trying to correct other authors, then having to correct themselves.
    • The two halves of Manual of Exalted Power: Infernals were written by different authors with radically different takes on the Yozis, resulting in parts even in the same book that don't match up.
      • Yeah... Infernals is where things seemed to go all askew. A definite YMMV, but they don't quite seem to have settled back down or really gotten back to the essence of what the Yozi's were. That said, the general consensus is still that Infernals was worth it.
      • In fact, this was the motive for rebooting the setting with the third edition-the lore had become too confusing, bloated, and boring.

  • Why do some of Autochthon's blight zones have Meat Moss? How does that fit into his themes?
    • They don't; they fit into Voidtech's theme of the Scale of Scientific Sins, and Organic Technology is high on the Great Maker's list.
    • They pretty much need to fit into his themes. Primordials are largely defined by their charms, and their charms are restricted by their themes. Blight zones are a manifestation of Autochthon's intrinsic illness, and Autochthon's illness is part of his thematics.
    • Yes, and Voidtech is defined as not fitting in Autocthon's other themes, and as something to be strived against. Probably in his Charmset, too.
    • It doesn't fit into Autochthon's themes, but then, blight zones are areas that aren't plugged into Autochthon's themes - they're connected, at least on some level, to the Engine of Extinction's.

  • The Lumina or Blessed Dead. Why do they exist, in the setting? They seem out of place with the rest of the established world and especially out of place with the mechanics of the Underworld and Reincarnation.

  • Time Travel is possible for the Yozis in Malfeas only. Why?
    • As in why isn't everyone else capable? Or as in why are they capable of violating the 3 laws (which they probably wrote)?
      • Word of God says that part is baffling to them to, and that they personally disregard it.
      • There might be an explanation for it: Since the primordial of time was killed, thus creating a linear time line for Creation, However, Hell is made up of the body of Malfeas, meaning it might exist out of the normal space-time of creation; hence, time travel is possible in Malfeas. Granted, I could be pretty wrong, but it's the only answer I can think of.
    • Primordials built causality, permanent death, etc. Prior to those inventions, when something died it could resurrect itself, same for injuries, and, given how one can create mortals using shaping, presumably it was also possible to shape history into whatever was necessary. I mean, imagine somewhere in the Wyld, there's a version of lookshy that never had dragon blooded. Everything about it is perfectly consistent otherwise. Stabilize it, and you get a copy of Lookshy with internally consistent history that never had dragon blooded. With the right charms, you could probably replace it with Lookshy-actual. The point here is that in the Wyld, history is shapable because history is only narrative, and narratives can change. Primordials are like (colonies of unshaped) raksha, something like Ishvara whose legends turn in on themselves instead of out on the world. The point being that Primordials distort fate, need no protection against the Wyld (and indeed, need it to some poorly defined extent). Going back to the past in areas without external causality would be as simple as creating that version of Lookshy: make all the conditions necessary for the "past" to be "now" and you have travelled to the past. Time does not exist in Exalted the way it does in our world. Things change, but without something ensuring permanence, all change flows in every direction.

  • Why do all of the official character sheets max out the Attributes at five dots? If you're playing Exalted and you don't push at least one Attribute to six dots at some point, you're doing it wrong. This is especially frustrating with the character sheet provided for Graceful Wicked Masques. A Raksha noble character will start play with multiple Attributes at six dots (and probably at least one at seven), even before bonus points. And yet the character sheet provided only goes to five.
    • White Wolf seems to have an allergic reaction to character sheets which include everything required to play.

  • How does Nara-O know about the Great Curse? Did Lytek simply tell him, or does his power as god of secrets only one person knows let him in on it?
    • Since keeping something secret instantly causes Nara-O to know it, I'm not convinced telling him would accomplish anything.
      • Nara-O automatically knows anything that is known to only one entity — however, as the existence of the Great Curse was even at its most secret still known to all the Neverborn (as they had created it), Nara-O would never have had a chance to pick up knowledge about it via his godly power. So even he'd have to be told the normal way.
      • Except the Neverborn are outside of fate, and thus don't count. Of course, Jupiter still knows...
      • Based on the Yu-Shan book, it would seem the Maidens don't count for Nara-O's talent. After all, Nara-O has to withstand his temptation to raid Jupiter's library, even though there is no doubt a lot of information in there known only to Jupiter.
      • Although Nara-O would know that Lytek's working on fixing it as that's something Lytek's kept to himself.

  • And for that matter, why hasn't Lytek bothered to tell anybody else about the Great Curse? Considering that solving it is necessary to the long-term survival of Creation, knowing about it could have prevented the Usurpation, mentioning it could help convince the Sun to stop ignoring Creation, and despite knowing for a long time Lytek clearly hasn't solved it on his own, why the secrecy? Why are there only one Exalt and one or two gods in all Creation working to fix this?
    • He probably wants to find out as much about it as possible before telling anyone. It's a dumb decision, but the Exalted backstory contains a lot of people making dumb decisions, so it's hardly unique.
    • You're also assuming that telling everyone means that things will get better, which isn't necessarily the case. Telling the Celestial Incarnae that their Exaltations have been tampered with by the enemy could lead to the Incarnae attempting to destroy the Exaltations altogether. Lytek definitely wouldn't want that.
      • He could tell some Exalted. It might actually get fixed if there were more people working on it. What if Solar Circle Sorcery is a necessary part of the solution? Keeping it a secret from anyone who might help virtually guarantees it will never, ever get fixed. Lytek obviously can't fix it himself.
      • Lytek hasn't been able to fix it himself so far. He hasn't yet decided its impossible for him to ever solve, so he hasn't asked for help yet. And, where could he find an Exalt that is A. capable of solving the Great Curse, B. capable of keeping their mouth shut about it, and C. not going to flip out at the insinuation that their Exaltation is driving them insane? Most of the time, you'd either have young Exalts too weak and inexperienced to help, or older Exalts too proud and crazy to trust with information like that. And if there was a Solar who met all three criteria, that Solar would have gotten wiped out in the Usurpation before Lytek had a chance to ask.
      • If he told someone there would be a huge accounting scandal in Yu-Shan and questions about who knows what, ultimately leading to the Unconquered Sun passing a Sunshine act of some sort... what?
      • His superior, not much that she is one, is also implied to be more than a little insane. More than once has a Freelancer said that if he revealed that "Hey I've known something's wrong for thousands of years but JUST CAN'T FIX IT" that he'd be destroyed. So he messed up by trying to fix it himself instead of telling someone, and now he kind of has to either fix it himself or wait to find an Exalt he could trust to do it, else he gets destroyed and his purview as the god of Exaltations is handed off to another.
      • So he could have told them when he first noticed, but now it's too late if he doesn't want to get forged into starmetal? Wonderful.

  • Linguistics. One dot gives you one extra language group, two dots gives you two extra language groups, three dots gives you three, etc. Since higher dots cost more experience, this means learning a second language makes it harder to learn your third or fourth, while pretty much any linguist will tell you the second language is always the hardest, not the easiest. Neither Old or New World of Darkness has this problem, so why does Exalted?
    • Also, how the hell did the Blessed Isle end up with two languages divided by social strata?
      • It's actually an incredibly common thing, IRL. During eras when education and literacy were uncommon there would be a wildly spoken (low) language, and a courtly (high) language spoken by the literate elite. There tended to be an illiterate, purely oral language spoken by the masses that developed naturally whereas the written language would be kept in a forced state of stability, since conventions and grammar that were hundreds of years old could be faithfully recorded and taught to younger generations. Think how latin split into the various romance languages or how ancient chinese calligraphy is still intelligible.
      • I'm actually pretty sure that was deliberate.
      • DotFA retcons and explains. Low Realm is not a bastard High Realm anymore, it's now one of the many languages that were created by the Exalted as part of the Creation-stabilizing magic (like all other directional languages). High Realm is a later bastard version of Old Realm (similar to Vulgar Latin in the Dark Ages).

  • If a high-level Sidereal uses Meditative Battlefield Escalation, essentially creating a pocket dimension, to create a battlefield in the shape of a Dodecahedron made entirely of reflective surfaces and then uses Vanished Within The Glass to draw them into one of those reflective surfaces, leaves their mind and leaves the essence committed, what happens?

  • Am I the only one who finds it weird that, in the core book, all the Socialize Charms deal with swaying the views or emotions of entire groups or societies, while almost all of the Charms that deal with mentally influencing individuals are filed under Performance or Presence? The Zenith Solars are supposed to be the great leaders of nations and the Eclipse Solars are supposed to be the silver-tongued persuaders, so why does each get easy access to the powers that thematically fit the other better?
    • Socialize is more of an agressive skill, it comes up when you debate or attempt to overturn an opponent in social combat, so rallying a crowd or society to help overturn a ruler or something similar fits that purview. As for Mental influence coming up in Performance or Presence, frequently performances seek to invoke some form of mental or emotional reaction, as can Presence. for example, that movie that made you cry, or that person that terrifies people just by being there invoke a mental influence through one of those two skills.
  • Why Can't Infernals learn Sideral Martial arts? Solars can learn them with a tutor, Abyssals can learn them with a tutor, so why can't Infernals learn them with a tutor?
    • Word of God is that Solars and Abyssals can learn them because their thing is (in part) excellence though Abilities, and since SMA is based on Martial Arts, it's part of their purview. Infernals, on the other hand, emulates the Yozi, and are unconnected to abilities. The only reason they can practice normal styles when the Yozi can't even do that is because the sheer power of their exaltation.
      • Okay, that make sense.(Note to self, make expensive essence 8 or higher homebrew charm to let infernal exalts learn SMA with tutor.)
      • Manual of Exalted Power: Infernals says that the reason GS Ps can't use SMA is because SMA requires a connection to Creation that GS Ps just don't have. (it gets burned away by the vitriolic power of the tainted Exaltation, or something) A GSP using Black Mirror Shintai on a Sidereal gets to use SMA, though.

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