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03 November 2014 @ 11:32 am
Dragon-Blooded mountain pirates  
I've had the thread called Ollantijaya, the Land Spread Out As Wings (cached because the real link doesn't work for some reason. Good thing I copied all the info down yesterday!) open for literally months on my computer, because I'm one of the people who has dozens and dozens of tabs open at a time for months until I get around to reading them, and I finally read it last weekend and was immediately seized with the urge to run a Dragon-Blooded game.

I've been thinking about it for a while, admittedly, so this isn't really a new thing, but it has a lot of what I was looking for. It's a kingdom of outcaste Dragon-Blooded, so the PCs wouldn't need to know a ton of complex social relations to properly portray their characters. It's set far enough away from the Realm that it can be isolated without being totally cut off--if you look at the giant map of Creation, it's in the far southwest, just off the Violet Coast and just south of the "Island Tribes" label--and has the Lintha in between to further limit the opening scale. The Dragon-Blooded of the island have a very close relationship with the local spirit courts, so I can properly integrate the super-active spiritual dynamics of the default Exalted setting that set it apart from standard D&D fantasy where "spirits" is a synonym for incorporeal undead.

The described setting is pretty unified and harmonious, but there's an offhand mention of a "Five Kingdoms" period in the history section, where instead of being one government under a Senate in consultation with the Mountain and Forest Courts of Ollantijaya's spirits, various mountain valleys containing individual Dragon-Blooded dynasties warred with each other to determine who would come out on top. I was already planning on setting the game in the past to avoid the Ten Thousand Dooms from even being a consideration, and the Five Kingdoms period gives me a perfect place to do that. The on-par opposition is mostly other Dragon-Blooded and spirits, with heroic mortals as lieutenants and the Lintha always working on the edges, and an Anathema showing up is both a major threat and so unlikely that I can totally ignore it and it's still believable.

It keeps politics local so there's no huge info-dump at the beginning, lets the PCs start out with smaller concerns and expand the scope of their operations if they want to, provides an obvious reason to go looking elsewhere (resources or aid for their warring state) and a foil to that effort (the Lintha). The setting says that there are no Wyld zones or shadowlands on the island, and that might be true in the default RY 768 setting...but when there's tons of war between Dragon-Blooded dynasties, I suspect the status quo doesn't apply. I actually like the idea of residual Wyld zones from the Balorian Crusade here and there, with a watchful eye kept on them by the Dragon-Blooded and their spirit allies. Or maybe that sentence should be the other way around?

This is a bit annoying after all the effort I put into Warlords of the Mushroom Kingdom, but fortunately there's a preparation issue stopping me. The Dragon-Blooded Charmset is notoriously badly-written, being done before the rules were finalized and containing little use of Keywords and lots of copy-pasta from first edition. This was fixed in The Thousand Correct Actions of the Upright Soldier, and later again in the Scroll of Errata, but there's no way I'm flipping through multiple books to figure out how the Charms work. As such, I want to build a master Charm document with all errata applied and extra Charms included. And since I copied the raw text of the DB 2e Charms over and it turned out it's 76 pages, that'll take a while.  photo emot-stare.gif

Since I've already done all that Warlords work, I should run the test game of that first. But after being out of Exalted for years, I've come back around to it now in a big way. I'm even thinking of an Exalted Space Opera game using Heaven's Reach from Shards of the Exalted Dream. More on that if it ever goes beyond the "wouldn't it be neat if..." stage.
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