Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Random 1st Age Flashback Generator!

One of the defining elements of Exalted roleplay is that your Exaltation carries with it the memories of it's prior possessors. This means you as a Storyteller and Player get to roleplay cool flashback scenes, and there usually is a merit to reflect a more powerful connection to these memories via Past Lives.

I don't want to admit the number of times I wrote, rewrote and then scrapped this post until I finally came up with a workable model. Part of the weirdness of flashbacks from the 1st Age is they can be disconnected from your character. While your caste may be Eclipse (diplomat) the current incarnation may be a military advisory to a king where as before you were a beloved celebrity.

The key issue was how to frame the tables in a not-quite a mad lib style so Storytellers can take the results and come up with a playful roleplaying story. After much going back and forth I finally settled on a Caste based system. 5 Castes, 5 primary roles for Solars, and 2  tasks for each. War vs Peace. The big elements in Solar life. But Solars being the multifaceted beings they are I don't specific which is which. Each ST can either roll below, or pick the one relating to the activity the Solar is doing.

First we roll up the driving action. What was the Solar doing?
  1. Sought
  2. Examined
  3. Taught
  4. Altered
  5. Defeated
  6. Retreated
  7. Spoke
  8. Slaughtered
  9. Enjoyed
  10. Humbled
Next we qualify that action:
  1. Training
  2. Battle
  3. Religious
  4. Purification
  5. Discovery
  6. Destruction
  7. Investigation
  8. Spying
  9. Exploration
  10. Negotiation
Then each one has a antagonist/conflict source:
  1. Mortals
  2. Gods
  3. Elementals
  4. Fair Folk
  5. Demons
  6. Ghosts
  7. Exalted
  8. Outsiders
  9. Family
  10. Unknown
Now we roll up an important element, the impact of the curse on your actions:

1-7: While in control of themselves.
8-10: While under the control of the curse!

Now there is the final element of resolution or lesson and it comes in 2 categories. The first is rolled if you got 1-7 on last roll:

  1. Successfully and with additional benefit to themselves.
  2. Successfully and with additional benefit to the Exalted Host.
  3. Successfully but with help of others.
  4. Successfully but with a great personal cost.
  5. Successfully but with unknown future results.
  6. Successfully but with new complications.
  7. Unsuccessfully but with personal growth out the experience.
  8. Unsuccessfully but with a potential to turn it around later.
  9. Unsuccessfully but with a successful alternative task.
  10. With no clear outcome...the memory grows murky.
This one is rolled if you got a 8-10 on the curse roll:
  1. Unsuccessfully but with little to no cost to yourself.
  2. Unsuccessfully and with great cost to your reputation.
  3. Unsuccessfully but with a great cost to your friends and family.
  4. Unsuccessfully and at the risk of the Exalted Host.
  5. Unsuccessfully but with mysteriously no reaction.
  6. Successfully but due to a sacrifice of people or resources.
  7. Successfully but with the help of those you rather not ask for aid.
  8. Successfully but at a cost of your soul or sanity.
  9. Successfully but only because a great betrayal.
  10. With no clear outcome...the memory grows murky.
So let's take it for a spin a few times. (NOTE: The trick is to supply your own link words. Some results may seem weird but if you get something like Defeated + Destruction it could mean you stopped aka. Defeated an attempted Destruction. So the mad-libs happens between the key words.)

Slaughtered (during) Exploration (of) Outsiders, While in control of themselves, And was successful with additional benefit to the Exalted Host. - Hmm, sounds like my Solar was out exploring something like the elsewhere when strange creations beyond creation attacked. I slaughtered them and gained rewards that helped the host in future battles against them.

Enjoyed Discovery (with) Family, While under the control of the curse!, But only through a great betrayal. - Oh dear, looks like I was researching with my family but had to betray one of them to succeeded. The curse drove me to care more about my success than my family! I dread to think what I did....

And so it goes. Give it a try and see what you think! Have fun!