Balancing The Solar Splats

Quite aside from appropriateness/inappropriateness, "narrower but better" doesn't work very well in practice for two simple reasons that most people don't understand.

1) Solars don't just win because they can do their thing for a mote less than you, it's because they're comprehensively good at everything. They have no weak points. They're not like Sidereals where if you ambush them they're in all kinds of trouble because their magic is on dial-up. Now, there are plenty of things that other guys do better than a Solar. This generally doesn't matter. A 1e Lunar (and to a lesser extent, a 2e Lunar) can get a significantly larger Dex + Melee pool to hit you than a Solar could. It doesn't matter because of the huge number of important things he can't do or is bad at doing. You can't beat a Solar by just dice burning harder or having more soak, or they'd never have been able to take out war gods. What I mean is, you can't make something "Solar-level" and then chop off most of its ancillary competencies because then it isn't Solar level.

2) If you ramp the guy up 'narrowly' so that he is outpacing the Solar at vital competencies (like, say, defense economy or total crafting capability) than the whole game goes donkeyfuck on you and the Solar is suddenly controlled by context, which he's not supposed to be. That or you lock every encounter into an identical binary resolution set, which is what we had with Abyssals when their book came out: they job in Creation and win in the Underworld. Thus, their logical course of action is to camp out in a shadowland building cruise missiles. This is not fun, it's not what you're supposed to do with Abyssals, and this is why that paradigm simply doesn't work.

Infernals are a better example. They've got preconstructed biases and they're quite strong within them. Adorjan is an amazing turbo killfiend. You can create a Solar that can compete with Adorjan for being a mobile speedster but you have to be intentionally trying to do that; every Scourge slots into it naturally and is very very good at it. But at the end of the day, you notice that Infernals keep drawing even with Solars where it counts: they can't rip off extra action rampages significantly larger than Iron Whirlwind + IFOD, their perfects are comparable, etcetera. They can't and don't just smack Solars down when doing their thing, unless the Solar is personally unsuited to deal with their thing, because it would force the game to another binary place; and moreover, Infernals can mix and match competencies. They can go become good at Adorjan and Malfeas, or whatever. If they were emphatically better in vital-but-narrow ways, then on a long enough XP curve they'd eventually dominate Solars completely. That's unacceptable.

Now, the current end result is that Infernals are a hair weaker because they have to take such meandering routes to power, so they maybe could stand a bit more buffing up, but overall they work pretty well. Abyssals are a far more extreme example of monotheme pigeon-power-holing and it's done very poorly by them. Necromancy is our most extreme example and it was terrible for necromancy. (Hey, guess what, sorcery was never good because it was REAL ULTIMATE POWER, unless you're a DB; it was good because it did an enormous array of diverse, useful things.)

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