skyknyt: (oh shit there's god)
In visiting the local tiny comic shop, I picked up a copy of Return of the Scarlet Empress, the Time of Judgment-esque book for Exalted 2nd Edition.

I'd avoided picking it up, because, to be frank, the Time of Judgment was stupid. Every scenario was basically boiled down to this: No matter what you did or how cool your group is, you die, she dies, everybody dies. That's not a good way to end a campaign, or a campaign setting. The thought of that being a canonical way to end Exalted struck me as antithetical to the design philosophy of the rest of the setting.

Then I actually leafed through the book.

What really struck me, as I looked through it, was how much the design invites players to participate in it. While the book is full of apocalyptic events like Time of Judgment, each one has all kinds of levers for the players to press to delay/interfere/stop them from happening. Assassination attempt on Sol Invictus? You can be there to stop it, or participate in it, or choose the replacement for him, which they explicitly suggest be a player character.

What I liked most about this was how much it was both reminiscent of the big world events of oWoD without being tyrranical and excluding. The focus was still top down, rather than the kind of mushy, uninspiring from-the-ground focus of the nWoD books. But it's explicitly an inclusive top down view, putting full control for events in the hands of players, no matter what character types they are playing. I think more tabletop games could stand to learn from that example.
skyknyt: (Default)
In visiting the local tiny comic shop, I picked up a copy of Return of the Scarlet Empress, the Time of Judgment-esque book for Exalted 2nd Edition.

I'd avoided picking it up, because, to be frank, the Time of Judgment was stupid. Every scenario was basically boiled down to this: No matter what you did or how cool your group is, you die, she dies, everybody dies. That's not a good way to end a campaign, or a campaign setting. The thought of that being a canonical way to end Exalted struck me as antithetical to the design philosophy of the rest of the setting.

Then I actually leafed through the book.

What really struck me, as I looked through it, was how much the design invites players to participate in it. While the book is full of apocalyptic events like Time of Judgment, each one has all kinds of levers for the players to press to delay/interfere/stop them from happening. Assassination attempt on Sol Invictus? You can be there to stop it, or participate in it, or choose the replacement for him, which they explicitly suggest be a player character.

What I liked most about this was how much it was both reminiscent of the big world events of oWoD without being tyrranical and excluding. The focus was still top down, rather than the kind of mushy, uninspiring from-the-ground focus of the nWoD books. But it's explicitly an inclusive top down view, putting full control for events in the hands of players, no matter what character types they are playing. I think more tabletop games could stand to learn from that example.
skyknyt: (oh shit there's god)
In visiting the local tiny comic shop, I picked up a copy of Return of the Scarlet Empress, the Time of Judgment-esque book for Exalted 2nd Edition.

I'd avoided picking it up, because, to be frank, the Time of Judgment was stupid. Every scenario was basically boiled down to this: No matter what you did or how cool your group is, you die, she dies, everybody dies. That's not a good way to end a campaign, or a campaign setting. The thought of that being a canonical way to end Exalted struck me as antithetical to the design philosophy of the rest of the setting.

Then I actually leafed through the book.

What really struck me, as I looked through it, was how much the design invites players to participate in it. While the book is full of apocalyptic events like Time of Judgment, each one has all kinds of levers for the players to press to delay/interfere/stop them from happening. Assassination attempt on Sol Invictus? You can be there to stop it, or participate in it, or choose the replacement for him, which they explicitly suggest be a player character.

What I liked most about this was how much it was both reminiscent of the big world events of oWoD without being tyrranical and excluding. The focus was still top down, rather than the kind of mushy, uninspiring from-the-ground focus of the nWoD books. But it's explicitly an inclusive top down view, putting full control for events in the hands of players, no matter what character types they are playing. I think more tabletop games could stand to learn from that example.

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