Exalted: Modern – Ride vs. SailFebruary 27, 2012
There’s always been some controversy in Exalted about when to apply the Ride Ability vs. when to apply the Sail Ability. Obviously, Sail applies to boats and Ride applies to horses. But what about First Age flying vehicles? What about living boats? It’s not a land-based vs. water-based controversy either, because sand-boats and ice-boats exist. In a modern setting, this becomes even more confusing and, problematically, much more relevant. What Ability do you use to drive a car? A tank? A helicarrier?
For that reason, I have split the Abilities along the following lines: any vehicle or mount that requires a crew of more than one person uses the Sail Ability. Any vehicle or mount that requires only one person to pilot it uses the Ride Ability. This works especially well when considering the Solar Charms of both Abilities: Salty Dog Method seems unusual in a car, but could easily apply to a tank or helicarrier. Horse Skids Trick is just silly when applied to a submarine, but is amazing in a Ferrari. I hope the differences split nicely through the other splats as well, though I haven’t compared them yet. Additional input is welcome.
Additional Charms are still required to apply Ride Charms to sentient, consenting mounts, though as a House Rule, I feel that should not apply to either the Familiar Background or the Solar’s Lunar Mate. Yes, this makes Solar/Lunar pairs exceptionally powerful. No, I don’t have a problem with that, especially when they have to content with some jackass driving a Mad Max tankcar. However, this does come with a caveat. Any existing Ride or Sail Charms that allow inanimate objects (such as cars or motorcycles) to act without a driver present (such as one of the uses of Master Horseman’s Techniques) gains the Obvious Keyword while it is doing so. Thus, using that Charm to call a horse to your side would not be Obvious, but using it to make your unpiloted car drive to you would be. This occurs even if you use tinted windows or some other bullshit to try to sneak around it. It’s magic, and everyone can tell.
Personally, I hope this lends itself to making the Eclipse Caste more like international superspies and less like a useless appendage with an awesome Anima power. Imagine the guy leaning out the door of his car, skidding it into a four-wheel drift using his foot to steer, while he fires both pistols at an oncoming semi’s wheels/driver, the pavement screeching past just millimeters from his head. Imagine the admiral aboard his naval carrier, guiding it supernaturally unseen through waves of enemy sensors and patrol boats. Imagine the spy dashing from the cocktail party on the heels of an international war criminal, jumping into a speedboat and rocketing after his quarry with his vessel responding like a living thing beneath his touch. Imagine the tank commander, grimly leading his men as his vehicle is pounded by enemy fire that never quite seems to penetrate its armor, no matter how horrific the bombardment.
What stunts will you perform?