Exalted Campaign (Inactive)

Game Master EltonJ

Adventures in Creation. Can a circle of solars create a new Deliberative?


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Checking to see if anyone is up to a game of Exalted. For those that don't know, Exalted places you in a different place than PF2 (or even PF1). You are given power, you decide how to use it.

Yes, you start out to be very powerful. So I'm curious if anyone is up to the epic power of Exalted. If you are interested in playing an Exalted, all you need is:

EXALTED 2ND EDITION. That is, if you are going to play a solar Exalt. I'm still thinking of the setting. It's a storyteller game by White Wolf, but it's the best Storyteller game they made.


Oh man. Oh man. Exalted? This would be great to see if it would actually work on PbP. I am for trying it out.

If we need a place in Creation to start, the East or West are always great spots.


I would love to play Exalted. I have played and GMed the game tabletop and am all for trying it online.

The setting is so very, very good.


Yeah, they put some good thought into the setting.


Alright--I'll admit I'm interested in it. I've only read the books--I have never played it or GMed it before.

If anything, I'm mostly concerned about how combat and initiative will work in a PbP environment...


Oh, *absolutely*. I have an Exacted character concept I came up with very late in 2e's lifetime that was invalidated by the mechanical and flavor shifts from 2e to 3e, and I'd love to give them a chance to live and breathe again.


So, that's about 4 people interested.


Not enough for a full circle.


We don't need a full circle and, with the limitations of PbP already, it may not be needed. NPCs could fill those other parts if necessary.


Yeah, I agree that five isn't a necessity- especially because someone always wants to play a Lunar or an Infernal or a Legendary-Breeding Dragonblood or something.


Toptomcat wrote:
Yeah, I agree that five isn't a necessity- especially because someone always wants to play a Lunar or an Infernal or a Legendary-Breeding Dragonblood or something.

Yeah, because Lunars are best fuzzy boys/girls/other.


I actually still have my 2E exalted solar and lunar books... right here... in my hands.


Oops, I realized just now that this is for 2E and not 3E. I've basically had to forfeit all that system's knowledge to gain 3E's knowledge and have not looked back since. I'll be dropping out of the interest but I'll be very interested to see how it goes. Good luck folks!


I can make 5 if you will have me.
Well, 4 now that I notice HT dropped.


Yeah he dropped out.


I'll keep an eye open then.


Nice. Okay, anyone else?


Ya know, I just happen to haz access to the 2nd edition version of Exalted pdf myself; admittedly, I know very little about the gameplay or the setting but I can always give it the ol' college try. Hopefully it'll be enuff for a circle to form. :)


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There we go.


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Poke.


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Hi there.


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Hello, I think we made 5 finally as long as everyone is still here.


By my count, there should be six of us interested; Joynt Jezebel, Dragoncat, Toptomcat, ScorchedOne, Havocprince, and myself. ;)

PS. Dragoncat and I would be novices to the actual game mechanics too.


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Some more information about what the game is going to be would be nice.

•Where in Creation is it set?

•Are you just looking for a Perfect Circle of Solars, or would you be willing to permit one exception in the party, or would you be happy with a party consisting of a Full Moon, a Twilight, a Malefactor, a Xia, a Starmetal, a Chosen of Journeys, a Dragon King and the world's strongest mortal?

•Is it going to be a 'sandbox' style game where we start in a given area and pursue our own agendas from there, or will there be a focus on thwarting the plans of some particular antagonist, or what?

•Are we assumed to start the game having met each other already and earned each others' trust, or is the first adventure our 'origin story'?

•Are we starting as pretty much standard freshly-Exalted straight-from-the-rulebook characters, or do we have a bit of history behind us and extra BP or XP?

•Any house rules?


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Toptomcat wrote:

Some more information about what the game is going to be would be nice.

•Where in Creation is it set?

A. It's set in the East of Creation.

Quote:
•Are you just looking for a Perfect Circle of Solars, or would you be willing to permit one exception in the party, or would you be happy with a party consisting of a Full Moon, a Twilight, a Malefactor, a Xia, a Starmetal, a Chosen of Journeys, a Dragon King and the world's strongest mortal?

A. I would prefer a solar circle. However, other people playing may have other ideas for characters. I got the Infernal book for instance, in case someone would like to play an infernal.

Quote:
•Is it going to be a 'sandbox' style game where we start in a given area and pursue our own agendas from there, or will there be a focus on thwarting the plans of some particular antagonist, or what?

A. Given that one can run an Exalted campaign as a T.V. series (with multiple seasons) because Exalted is a Storyteller based game instead of a level based one -- I can set up a T.V. series campaign. With one big bad to take out each season.

Quote:
•Are we assumed to start the game having met each other already and earned each others' trust, or is the first adventure our 'origin story'?

A. The first adventure is the origin story.

Quote:
•Are we starting as pretty much standard freshly-Exalted straight-from-the-rulebook characters, or do we have a bit of history behind us and extra BP or XP?

A. You're starting out as freshly Exalted. Spend your points wisely.

Quote:
•Any house rules?

A. Not yet.


Dreams of the First Age has a Charm accessible to all Celestial Exalts that halves BP and XP costs for Terrestrial Martial Arts Charms, since they're a 'tier' below the power of Celestial Martial Arts, but ordinarily cost just as much to take.

Similarly, thaumaturgy is kind of 'magic for schmucks' in the setting, being accessible to mortals and reasonably fairly priced for them...but a comically inefficient use of resources for a Solar to take. But I have a character concept that involves being a thaumaturge, and I'd like not to be tremendously gimped.

So I request the following custom Charm:

Root of the Ink Lotus

Cost: --; Mins: Occult 5, Essence 2
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permament
Prerequisite Charms: None
The Lawgivers' mastery of the occult is such that mortal magics are no great challenge for them. The experience cost of thaumaturgical Degrees is reduced to 4xp, or 5xp if Occult is not a Caste or Favored Ability (or if the character has no Favored Abilities, as in the case of Alchemicals), and their training time is halved. During character creation, Terrestrial Martial Arts Charms cost half as much as normal, meaning that each starting Degree (or Degree purchased with bonus points) allocated to a thaumaturgical Art provides two Degrees instead. As a final benefit, the character may spend two motes of Essence while performing a thaumaturgical Procedure to reduce the Resources cost of the occult ingredients required by 1. In the case of Procedures with Resource costs of 0 to 1, this permits the Exalt to perform the Procedure with no ritual ingredients whatsoever- although Arts which require non-consumable laboratories or workshops are not released from that requirement. Should a character who already knows thaumaturgy learn this Charm, the experience cost of those Degrees is retroactively lowered and the character is refunded the difference.

This is a universal Occult Charm, which may be learned by any Celestial Exalt as well as akuma. Alchemical Exalted achieve an identical effect through the use of a Man-Machine Weaving Engine submodule called Theological Analysis Engrams (Essence 2; 6xp).

Does that look like something that'd work?


Fine with playing a full solar and taking up whichever slot no one else wants.


My concept would work best with Twilight, Zenith, or Eclipse, if that helps guide everyone else's choices.


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Toptomcat wrote:

Dreams of the First Age has a Charm accessible to all Celestial Exalts that halves BP and XP costs for Terrestrial Martial Arts Charms, since they're a 'tier' below the power of Celestial Martial Arts, but ordinarily cost just as much to take.

Similarly, thaumaturgy is kind of 'magic for schmucks' in the setting, being accessible to mortals and reasonably fairly priced for them...but a comically inefficient use of resources for a Solar to take. But I have a character concept that involves being a thaumaturge, and I'd like not to be tremendously gimped.

So I request the following custom Charm:

Root of the Ink Lotus

Cost: --; Mins: Occult 5, Essence 2
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permament
Prerequisite Charms: None
The Lawgivers' mastery of the occult is such that mortal magics are no great challenge for them. The experience cost of thaumaturgical Degrees is reduced to 4xp, or 5xp if Occult is not a Caste or Favored Ability (or if the character has no Favored Abilities, as in the case of Alchemicals), and their training time is halved. During character creation, Terrestrial Martial Arts Charms cost half as much as normal, meaning that each starting Degree (or Degree purchased with bonus points) allocated to a thaumaturgical Art provides two Degrees instead. As a final benefit, the character may spend two motes of Essence while performing a thaumaturgical Procedure to reduce the Resources cost of the occult ingredients required by 1. In the case of Procedures with Resource costs of 0 to 1, this permits the Exalt to perform the Procedure with no ritual ingredients whatsoever- although Arts which require non-consumable laboratories or workshops are not released from that requirement. Should a character who already knows thaumaturgy learn this Charm, the experience cost of those Degrees is retroactively lowered and the character is refunded the difference.

This is a universal Occult Charm, which may be learned by any Celestial Exalt as well as akuma. Alchemical Exalted achieve an identical effect through the use of a Man-Machine Weaving Engine submodule called Theological Analysis Engrams (Essence 2; 6xp).

Does that look like something that'd work?

I think so. We'll try it out.


Whatever the group decides. I am happy to run an alchemical or green sun if it ends up we play a mixed group.


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EltonJ wrote:
I think so. We'll try it out.

All right!

For the benefit of Dragoncat, Mr. Halp, and any other newcomers to Exalted that this game may attract: Exalted is not like 3.5 or Pathfinder where most key system details are available for free at some online repository: it is a system that requires the core book in order to do chargen and play. You will have to obtain that yourselves: make sure not to accidentally get the older 1e core book or the newer 3e one.

It also received a really substantial set of errata near the end of its lifespan in 2012, collectively referred to as 'Exalted 2.5'. This will be essential reading for everyone, since among its changes were revamps to the basic process of character generation. That is freely available online in a number of places, among them here.

Also, this isn't a bad introduction to the system's mechanics and the setting's 'feel'. This is also a useful tool- yeah, I know it's a sketchy Google Drive download, but the site of the original developer seems semi-down and the file scans clear of viruses with an up-to-date version of Microsoft Defender.


Thank you the links, Toptomcat; they've been very helpful, especially that last one [still trying to wrap my head around some of the more mechanical aspects but those dice pool concepts were greatly illustrated in the tutorial]. :)

I've only got access to the core/Solar pdf myself so there's no preference on which solar caste to take.


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Today is a good day to... halp wrote:

Thank you the links, Toptomcat; they've been very helpful, especially that last one [still trying to wrap my head around some of the more mechanical aspects but those dice pool concepts were greatly illustrated in the tutorial]. :)

I've only got access to the core/Solar pdf myself so there's no preference on which solar caste to take.

Do you need any help?


I prefer Lunars, but if we want to go full Solar I can deal.


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If we are going full Solar just let me know what caste everyone is taking, I can build whatever.


I am similarly fine with most of them. I suppose I'd prefer to leave the Dawn to someone that likes that sort of thing.


Nauru Simon/Manosque Simon, the Polymath of Nexus

Concept: Solar *really* committed to disguising himself as an enlightened mortal and using every trick in the book to function at an Exalted level despite almost wholly using means at least theoretically within the reach of mortals- eventually aiming to become the greatest teacher in Creation

Motivation: Find a way for humans to stand as equals with Exalts

Caste: Twilight

Anima: Almost always, the faint anima of white light processed by an enlightened mortal, due to being disguised as one with Disguise of the New Face.

On the rare occasions when this *isn't* true, strong, clear sunlight that elevates the humble things it illuminates: a muddy peasant looks attractively disheveled, a pebble shines like a gem.

Intimacies:
Other PCs #1-n (Contextually unreasonable instant trust for purposes of keeping the game running smoothly)
Sorcery and thaumaturgy (respect and care)
Martial arts (enthusiasm)
Institutions, nations, authority figures, hierarchies, and Big Ideas (skepticism)
Self-improvement (Obsessive devotion)
His students (loyalty)
My own Exaltation (Ambivalence)

Attributes:
Strength •••
Dexterity •••••
Stamina •••

Intelligence ••••
Perception ••
Wits •••

Charisma •••
Appearance •••
Manipulation •

Conviction ••
Compassion ••
Temperance ••••• [2 bp] (Flaw: Ascetic Drive with workaholism and a retreat from current plans and priorities to train, study and otherwise 'self-improve' to a self-destructive extent without an instant's rest, food, etc.)
Valor ••••• [3 bp]

Willpower: •••••••• [3 bp]
Essence ••• [7 bp]

Personal Essence: 18
Peripheral Essence: 44

Combat statblocks under various circumstances:
'Naked', with no magical effects or equipment:
Dodge MDV: 6
Parry MDV: 3

Dodge DV: 4
Parry DV: 7, 8 vs. opponents with higher Parry DV than Dodge DV

Attacks:
Punch: Speed 5, Accuracy 12, Damage 3B, Defense 13, Rate 3
Kick: Speed 5, Accuracy 11, Damage 5B, Defense 9, Rate 2
Clinch: Speed 6, Accuracy 11, Damage 3B, Defense --, Rate 1

Soak: 1L/3B

With Invulnerable Skin of Bronze up, shield in hand, and my concealable armor on:
20m, 1wp expended late night to keep Unbreakable Skin up

Dodge MDV: 6
Parry MDV: 3

Dodge DV: 4
Parry DV: 8, 9 vs. opponents with higher Parry DV than Dodge DV

Attacks:
Punch: Speed 5, Accuracy 12, Damage 5B, Defense 13, Rate 3
Kick: Speed 5, Accuracy 11, Damage 7B, Defense 9, Rate 2
Clinch: Speed 6, Accuracy 11, Damage 5B, Defense --, Rate 1
Shield: Speed 6, Accuracy 11, Damage 4B, Defense 15, Rate 1, Tags M, Sh0

Soak: 11L/17B (6L/12B Hardness) (Exceptional chain shirt, +4L/2B)

With my spell up, Path of the Arbiter Form, Forging the Soul-Born Sword, and Forging the Armor of Integrity up, and shield in hand:
20m, 1wp expended late night to keep Unbreakable Skin up
15m, 1wp expended

Dodge MDV: 9
Parry MDV: 5

Dodge DV: 3
Parry DV: 8, 9 vs. opponents with higher Parry DV than Dodge DV

Attacks:
Punch: Speed 5, Accuracy 12, Damage 5B, Defense 13, Rate 3
Kick: Speed 5, Accuracy 11, Damage 7B, Defense 9, Rate 2
Clinch: Speed 6, Accuracy 11, Damage 5B, Defense --, Rate 1
Shield: Speed 6, Accuracy 11, Damage 4B, Defense 15, Rate 1, Tags M, Sh0
'Jade' mist razor reaper daiklaive: Speed 3, Accuracy 18, Damage 8L/2, Defense 13, Rate 4, Tags O

Soak: 22L/30B (10L/12B Hardness) ('Jade' superheavy plate, 15L/15B: no fatigue, -2 mobility)

ABILITIES
Caste: Craft, Investigation, Lore, Medicine, Occult
Favored: Martial Arts, Presence, War, Integrity, Resistance

Occult ••••• (Magic that Mortals can Use •) (Master Degree in the Arts of Geomancy and Alchemy, Initiate Degree in the Arts of Astrology and Warding/Exorcism) [0.5 bp]
Martial Arts ••••• (Numbing Force/vs. Opponents with higher Parry DV than Dodge DV •••) [1.5 bp]
Lore ••••
Presence ••••
War •••
Integrity •
Athletics •
Resistance •
Larceny •
Medicine ••• [2 bp]
Craft (Water) ••• [3 bp]

BACKGROUNDS
Manse ••••

Blazing Heart Dojo: Water Manse ••••:
Drawback: Maintenance •••
Drawback: Habitability •

Power: Archive (Martial Arts [Numbing Force/vs. Opponents with higher Parry DV than Dodge DV] 3x, Meditation on the Enemy, Meditation on the Heart, The Path of the Arbiter Form, Secret of Bright-Burning Passion, Study of Deepest Devotion)
Power: Archive (Forging the Bond of Fellowship, Forging the Armor of Integrity, Forging the Soul-Born Sword, Meditation on Judgement, Five-Dragon Claw, Five-Dragon Fortitude, Five-Dragon Blocking Technique, Five-Dragon-Force Blow, Five-Dragon Form, Five-Dragon Invulnerability, Five-Dragon Fist, Five-Dragon Wrath, Alehouse Memory Stance, Birdsong over Blades, Owl Clutches at the Night, White Veil Form, The Dragon Dies in Bed, The Dragon Dies Screaming, Blinded by Laughter, The Dragon Succumbs)
Power: Ability Enlightenment (Martial Arts, Athletics, Resistance, Integrity)
Power: Mela's Sweet Whisper
Power: Password Activations
Power: Magical Conveniences

The Blazing Heart Dojo lies in the heart of Nexus, sandwiched between the busy commercial center of Nexus District and the quieter, elegant cultural neighborhood of Cinnabar District. Some say that the legendary founder of the Path of the Arbiter style, Tarim himself, built it at the end of his life three centuries ago, to pass on his ideals and his knowledge of martial arts- but, in fact, it has stood there since the Shogunate, and Tarim is merely the most famous of its masters. It's an extraordinary well-equipped place, with enormous training mats, wooden and bamboo training weapons of the highest quality, gloves and pads and training dummies, and gorgeous, richly illustrated murals of fighting techniques, all enchanted never to need maintenance or repair. But it is a dojo through and through: unlike most manses, it has little provision for permanent habitation, and the master of the school must sleep elsewhere.

The dojo is divided into three chambers. The door to the White Chamber, the largest by far, will admit anyone not of grossly deficient character (no virtues at 1): its murals depict a style of mundane martial arts with emphasis on explosive bursts of strength. The Black Chamber's door will open only to those with enlightened Essence, and only those with some extraordinary strength of mind (at least one Virtue at 3 or higher): its murals depict mudras and postures of the Path of the Arbiter Style and Five-Dragon Style. The tiny Red Chamber is the hearthroom, and will admit only the hearthstone bearer and those expressly invited by him, all of whom must be great-souled and noble men (at least one Virtue at 5): its murals depict the subtle secrets of the White Veil Style. On request, its murals move and speak, teaching great martial secrets to those who have the talent and dedication to learn them.

Some manses need maintenance from chanting priests or canny magitech engineers- but the Blazing Heart has a more unusual requirement. The elementals surrounding the manse partake somewhat of the restless nature of water, and are prone to mischievous or idle misbehavior that can seriously disrupt the area's geomancy...unless they're kept properly entertained. For this, only one thing will do: a monthly prizefight, hosted by the dojo and well-attended by the locals. While not actually required by the spirits, it is traditional for a full tournament to be held on Calibration, with the winner receiving a public match with the dojo's master...and, once a decade, for the ownership of the dojo to hinge on the outcome of this match. Simon is the champion of these annual matches for five years running: having defeated hulking Wyld-mutated barbarians, mortal masters of various martial arts, outcaste Dragon-bloods, and even the odd Immaculate, he has developed a formidable reputation in and around Nexus.

It's unknown who constructed the Blazing Heart: they must have been an idealist of a rather unusual sort, to openly teach the powerful Five-Dragon and Path of the Arbiter styles while reserving instruction in an art of poisoning, ambush and assassination for the virtuous master of the school and their inner circle. Also unclear is whether Tarim restructured the manse to pass on the secrets of Path of the Arbiter during his tenure as the dojo's master, or if the style in fact predates its legendary founder. It produces a gem of masks.

Resources •••• [2 bp]
Face •
Followers • (Students) [1 bp]
Henchmen • (Mehela Kai, senior student and vice-master of the Blazing Heart. Enlightened, knows Path of the Arbiter through Meditation of the Heart, Initiate-level Geomancy and the Blessing procedure, and the Reactive Planning procedure from the Art of Astrology) [1 bp]

Merits and Flaws:
MERITS:
Prodigy (Martial Arts) [5 bp]
Danger Sense ••••• [5 bp]
Favored Weapon (Soul-born Sword) [2 bp]

FLAWS:
Sickly ••• (Double healing times): Simon has perfected his disguise as a heroic mortal to a very great extent- but there are always some tells. The Exalted resistance to poison and disease he can plausibly write off as the product of luck, a strong constitution and extensive medical knowledge...but the speed of Exalted healing can be difficult to similarly explain, and after one too many close calls, he came into the habit of continually poisoning himself with a medicine made from river dragon livers, slowing his healing to a speed that's more easily explained.
Dark Secret •••: Should the truth of his Exalted status become known, Simon's manse in the heart of Nexus will almost immediately come under an attack impossible for anyone but a centuries-old Exalt to repulse.
Enemy •: Rotating selection of martial-arts challengers, usually but not always making nonlethal challenges and usually but not always fighting fairly and honorably
Oath •••: Accept a duel offered by a fellow martial artist, and suffer no interference in it: bear no grudges from the outcome of such a duel. Accept such a duel at any time and in any place: refrain from abusing this code, and accept others' abuses of it without complaint except insofar as it endangers others.
Oath •••••: Master each level of martial arts utterly before moving on to the next: learn Terrestrial Martial Arts only with Martial Arts 5, a three-die martial-arts Specialty, and at least ten points of physical and combat Merits. Learn Celestial Martial Arts only after learning two complete Terrestrial arts and one of the three charms ordinarily required to enlighten Dragonblooded to CMA, learn Sidereal ones (once I learn they exist) only after learning two complete Celestial ones, Master's Hand Envisioned Anew, Drowning in Understanding Kata, and teaching at least one student a full Terrestrial art
Ward •••••: His students, collectively

Charms:
MARTIAL ARTS
Swallowing the Lotus Root

PATH OF THE ARBITER STYLE
Meditation on the Enemy
Meditation on the Heart
The Path of the Arbiter Form
Secret of Bright-Burning Passion
Study of Deepest Devotion
Forging the Armor of Integrity ('Jade' superheavy plate)
Forging the Soul-Born Sword ('Jade' mist-razor reaper daiklaive)
Forging the Bond of Fellowship ('Mote', Haltan san-cat)

OCCULT
Second Occult Excellency
Root of the Ink Lotus
TERRESTRIAL CIRCLE SORCERY
Invulnerable Skin of Bronze
Disguise of the New Face

Equipment:
Exceptional target shield (+1 Defense and Accuracy, -1 mobility)
Exceptional chain shirt (+1L/1B, -1 fatigue)
Exceptional tools for Craft (Water)
Exceptional doctor's kit

Adept-level thaumaturgical workshops and consumable ingredients for almost any thaumaturgical Art and Procedure known, and connections to those with Master-level workshops on a contract basis

2 doses Seven Bounties Paste (general panacea for sickness)
2 doses Sweet Cordial (mild narcotic healing)
2 doses Bright Morning (See and interact with spirits, while hallucinating)
2x Blood-Staunching Compress (Use them to pretend I can't stop bleeding on my own)
2 doses Draught of Blessed Respite (Sleeping potion)
2 doses Elixir of Immaculate Sobriety (Compress a hangover into one scene)
6 doses Hero's Recovery (Recover from injury as an Exalt)
1 dose each Venom-Allaying Draught for Alcohol, Arrow Frog Venom, Arsenic, Coral Snake Venom, Marijuana, and Yozi Venom
2 doses Wound-Cleansing Unguent (Bonuses vs. infection)
2 doses Final Vengeance (Ignore all wound penalties and become a near-mindless berserker: increases healing times)
2 doses Munificent Antivenin (General-purpose antivenom)
2 doses each of the Virtue-boosting potions
1 dose Valiant Warrior Formula (Useless for me, boosts mortals)
1 dose Deathlord's Breath (Blocks the dead from moving past a line: poisons the living slowly)
1 dose God-Strike Oil (Affect with attacks, but not *see*, immaterial spirits)
2x 3-die Eagle Eye Potion (+3 dice with vision)
3-die Bloodhound's Nose Potion (+3 dice with scent)
3-die Fox's Ear Potion (+3 dice with hearing)
1 dose Wind-Fire Potion (Bonuses to physical stuff, penalties to mental stuff and being nice)
Alchemical touchstones for all the magical materials, Wyld taint, poison, and magic
5 doses Maiden Tea (Contraceptive and abortifacient)
5 doses Age-Staving Cordial
5x sleep grenade
5x smoke grenade
5x vials Ardent Embrace Resin

BACKGROUND/PERSONALITY

"The Exalted are the chosen champions of the greatest of gods. Essence courses through their veins, ennobling them, making them stronger, faster, smarter, better than their fellow man. They hold the Mandate of Heaven: their natural place is to rule over weak, unvirtuous mortals and keep the gods in check as god-kings posessed of infinite, glorious excellence.

Screw that.

I wasn't the youngest son of my family, but I was the least: one of the unfortunate children of Manosque Nenya to fail to receive the blessing of the Dragons that was in her blood. The others were content to coast, to have their martial education conclude when it became clear that they had rendered it a waste of time by failing to Exalt. Some of them taught the mortal disciples: some of them drank themselves to death. Either way, no one cared: they weren't the important ones.

They accepted defeat by their betters as a foregone conclusion. I never could. There's only so much training that mortal muscles and tendons can take: past a certain point, they begin to break down rather than strengthen. So I learned alchemy and medicine to heal myself fast enough to keep up with my own training regimen. The prime of a martial artist is mayfly short compared with the seemingly eternal lives of the Exalted: they have centuries to refine their art, we have decades. So every day, I worked twice as hard and twice as long as any child of the Dragons, and I made elixirs and potions to stave off the inevitable and keep my body intact. Where we are fragile, they are resilient: injury is an inevitability when mortals fight the Exalted. So I deliberately fought sparring matches with broken bones, torn muscles and frayed tendons, and I learned to dull the pain. Finally, when all this was not enough, I sought the secrets of geomancy as well, and ripped enlightenment from the Wyld in a precarious but ultimately successful Essential River Channeling.

My first victory over a Dragonblood was sweet. Chungwa made excuses- said she was hung over, not fighting seriously. After my *second* victory, things turned ugly 'accidents' started to happen in training, and it became clear to me that my family would never accept an un-Exalted student as an inner disciple, enlightened Essence or no. I left, then, to seek the deeper secrets of magic- of Sorcery*. I returned ten years later wearing a different face, defeated every senior student who had ever ground me beneath their heel, revealed myself to my mother and issued my challenge.

With all my effort, all my sorcery, every alchemical drug I was doped to the gills with- even with all that, she broke more or less every bone in my body before I stood victorious over her, dripping with blood and scarcely able to see. And then, in one glorious moment, I took my Second Breath, felt an Exaltation that dwarfed any child of the Dragons...and instantly invalidated every scrap of torturous effort I'd ever put into proving that I didn't have to have a divine handout to be better than them.

That shook me up. It took me a while to figure out what to do with myself after that...but I kept learning, and I kept training, because it's who I am. And something I came across in a musty old tome got me thinking. I don't think it's just my family that's twisted up in knots about hierarchies. I think it's the whole world. A world organized on a principle of hierarchy- the powerful ruling over the powerless. That phrase ought to ring a bell to anyone familiar with the infernal. The Principle of Hierarchy isn't just an abstract idea: it's a person, a person of monumental power. A Yozi, to be exact. And just like all the rest of them, this person is completely deranged: horrible, alien, coldly unfeeling. If you've ever had to deal with a government or an enormous company, a really big church or cult, you know what I'm talking about- you've had a taste of her madness, a meticulous and careful and calculating madness which simply does...not...care.

I think this needs some shaking up. Now, I'm not the first one to come up with this idea: there are countless revolutionaries who've tried to abolish the rule of the powerful over the powerless by destroying the powerful. By making war against the princes, sorcerers, the priests and the hero-Chosen. If they fail, they are destroyed by the powerful. If they succeed, then they still fail, because the only way to win that war is to become powerful. They rule or they die, but they can't change the game.

I have a different idea. I want to destroy hierarchy by erasing the distinction between the powerful and the powerless, by making everyone strong and fast and smart and noble. What's Exaltation, after all? Might, talent, longevity, vitality. Through medicine and education, money and hard training, artifice and willpower, a mortal can have all that. Just give them the opportunity to do so, and every human being can forge a kind of Exaltation for themselves through their own effort.

Damned if I know how, though. I don't have a Big Crazy Plan. I'm not looking to found Herolandia from the ashes of the Realm, or steal and reforge the souls of the gods themselves to grant their power to mortals, or turn the Five-Metal Shrike into the Ultimate Education Machine. For now, I'm just out to find decent people, point them at the world's problems, and do my best to equip them to deal with them.

Some would call it a small, petty dream- but I think it can shake the pillars of Creation. Won't you join me?"

*Humility he already had, from getting his face beaten in by Dragon-Blooded multiple times per day for years. Tutelage he had from the same mysterious old man he learned Geomancy from, a scarred retiree from the geomancer-archetects of the Seventh Legion with striking violet eyes. For the Journey, he left his family and ceased to rely on them for support as he traveled in search of sorcerous knowledge: the Fear he confronted was the thought that he might never be accepted by his family no matter how strong he became, and to overcome it he Sacrificed any hope that they would ever do so.

Description: Simon is a grizzled warrior with the reddish-brown skin and straight green hair of an ethnic Haltan and more than a few scars. He has an athletic, lean physique, packed with lean muscle, and at five-foot-nine and an apparent hundred and seventy pounds, there are those who'd write him off as a lightweight. But he moves with the grace and alert readiness of a big cat, and speaks with intelligence and some measure of charm.

If you're sharp, and observe him for any length of time, you can probably tell that he's using magic to conceal a casting of Invulnerable Skin of Bronze, since his true weight is just under three hundred pounds, and even though this doesn't directly show in his movements, it does show in how he interacts with his environment: floors creak, shoes sink into loose earth, burly strangers run into him and react like they've just hit a wall.

Practically nothing short of a strip search followed by sorcerous countermagic will reveal that he's really a shade darker, an inch taller, with wider-set eyes, a nose with a different shape, and a firmer chin. There's no sense in making it easier on the Wyld Hunt to identify Nauru Simon, master of the Blazing Heart Dojo, with the dark tales of the Anathema who stole the soul of Manosque Simon and ruthlessly attacked the matriarch of some flyspeck Scavenger Kingdom.

Meta Notes: Our beginners should probably not look to this build for an example of How To Do It. It's a baroquely complex thing utilizing many optional subsystems (Merits and Flaws, custom Specialties and Virtue Flaws, thaumaturgical stuff from Oadenol's Codex, even the manse construction ruleset), breaks a lot of rules about how to make a starting character (heavy investment in four things generally held to be tough to make work for Solars- sorcery, Terrestrial martial arts, thaumaturgy, Merits- practically no Excellencies, combat-oriented character with no Perfect Defense). Its use of the Flaws system, in particular, is something that would represent irredeemable munchkinry if I had not been forced to it by a concept so ordinarily unviable. It is the rough equivalent of a 3.5 Truenamer that mercilessly abuses Item Familiar- a feat powerful enough that no GM in their right mind would allow under any other circumstances, coupled with a class that centrally depends on a mechanic so fundamentally broken that Item Familiar is the only way to salvage it.

A note on party roles: Most of my current Charm investment is in martial arts and sorcery. The sorcery, though, is mostly there in support of other character objectives- martial arts and disguise. I'm not planning on taking the role of the demon-summoning, countermagicking, Death of Obsidian Butterflies-ing capital-S Sorcerer if that's something someone else wants to do. My medium-term advancement goals include picking up Soul-Enlightening Beneficence, You Can Be More, Tiger Warrior Training Technique and Harmonious Academic Methodology.


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Now, that is a pretty build. We have our twighlight, still plenty of choices left.

Scorched has indicated he is fine with any other than dawn caste. If it comes down to the two of us I will grab the dawn.

Dragon at and the ever helpful one, what you feel like playing?


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Toptomcat wrote:

Nauru Simon/Manosque Simon, the Polymath of Nexus

Concept: Solar *really* committed to disguising himself as an enlightened mortal and using every trick in the book to function at an Exalted level despite almost wholly using means at least theoretically within the reach of mortals- eventually aiming to become the greatest teacher in Creation

Motivation: Find a way for humans to stand as equals with Exalts

Caste: Twilight

Snip . . . Snip . . .

Looks like a solid background there. I scanned your background, and I'm impressed. Thanks for being the brave one to start out a character.


EltonJ wrote:
Do you need any help?
Havocprince wrote:
Dragon at and the ever helpful one, what you feel like playing?

Sure thing, EltonJ and Havocprince; any suggested solar caste for somebody unfamiliar with the ruleset? [kinda like how everyone tends to give the more straightforward type classes to the newbies in a PF game?]

The setting, I'm reading as, there used to be Solars in charge but now the Dragon-blooded took over and are taking pains to destroy any Solars that might crop up?

Probably will try the tutorial again at one point; part of what threw me off a bit was that you ended up rolling for both your character and your enemies. ;p


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I mean Dawn Caste is your fighter type primarily, which is why I shy away from it but it tends to be slightly more straightforward.

That being said, Toptomcat kind of took the most difficult one. None of them are that hard and both they and I are absolutely happy to assist with anything you need.


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Yep, and you can always build around the expectations with favored abilities.


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I'd say settle on a concept and suitably heroic, epic Motivation for your character and let Caste go from there. A general, pitfighter, warlord, etc. might be Dawn, a priest, demagogue, or Determinator might be Zenith... the corebook p. 91-100 has, as its last entry for every Caste, a list of suggested concepts that might fit.

(Though as the others have said, the fact that you get to pick five Favored Abilities in addition to the five Caste Abilities means that a sneaky Zenith, diplomatic Night, subtle and manipulative Dawn, or a musclebound smashy Eclipse will all work just fine. Caste is secondary for a lot of concepts: the only really irreplaceable thing is the Anima power, and they're strong and useful but not character-definingly so in the vast majority of cases.)


Unfortunately, I think I'm going to withdraw. I need to get my current gameload under control.

Happy gaming to the rest of ya!


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Sorry to see you go cat. You ok with just 4 for now and pick up a fifth on the way Eltonj?


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Havocprince wrote:
Sorry to see you go cat. You ok with just 4 for now and pick up a fifth on the way Eltonj?

Yeah, I'm fine with that.


Y'know, I might just go with a Zenith caste Solar then; it might sound kinda silly, but their symbol kinda reminds me of Ultraman. ;p

Not sure if they can go all "laser-cleric" with just the core rulebook, but it'll be fun to find out. ;)

In terms of artifacts, each individual one has to be "purchased" separately?


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Hmmm. Okay, that's a valid inspiration. What about the Ultraman mythos attracts you?

A 'transformation sequence' is best accomplished with Whirlwind Armor-Donning Prana+Hauberk-Lightening Gesture, possibly in conjunction with a b%+$!in' set of artifact armor. The best of those for doing an 'anime' feel come from Oadenol's Codex, and if you don't have the book I'd be happy to work with you to work out which one would be best, perhaps on Discord.

Firing energy beams is a little tricky within Solar thematics, which are usually more 'my powers are supernatural extensions of mundane competencies: where others lift a heavy stone I lift a struggling elephant, where others' sword strokes are swift and sure mine can cut through my enemy's very soul, where others' archery can hit a man at five hundred paces I can take the wings off a fly at the same distance' than they are about more direct D&D mage expressions of power by tossing off energy bolts. That's more of a Dragonblood schtick. Still, Blazing Solar Bolt from melee could do it, so long as you don't mind on the power depending on a weapon in-hand: it's the 'send out an energy wave from swinging my sword' Charm more than 'firing a beam' Charm by default, but Stunts can change that. It also has the unusual virtue of allowing you some ranged combat ability based on the Melee skill, reducing the number of Charms you need to be effective both up-close and at range, though it *is* kind of short-ranged and actual archers will still be able to outrange you. It could either be an unusual way to flavor Immmaculate Golden Bow from Archery or Spirit Weapons from Thrown. If EltonJ is feeling really generous, he might let you take and reflavor Crypt Bolt Attack from the Abyssal Charmset, which is a more straightforward 'energy blast' Charm. Or you could retool your concept to an Eclipse and pick up Crypt Bolt directly, since they can Mega Man other Exalts' Charms, but that'd be...difficult from a number of perspectives.

Superhuman strength is very easy: that's Increasing Strength Exercise from Athletics. And fisticuffs of the unrefined, brute-strength sort favored by Ultraman would be Solar Hero Style- though keep in mind that Solar Hero and the investment in Thrown, Archery, or Melee for your beams will leave you few resources to do anything else.

Size-changing is also tricky within Solar thematics, because size-changing and physical transformation is solidly within the Lunar theme. The closest I can think of would be using the Celestial Circle Sorcery spell God-Forged Champion to summon a warstrider/giant mecha out of thin air or using Invincible Armor Invocation to be able to do the Whirlwind Armor-Donning Prana with a warstrider, but the former is only barely in reach for a starting character if you sink most of your starting resources into it, and the latter is the next thing to flat-out impossible. If you're really sold on size-changing being a central part of your mythos, I would consider playing a Lunar instead.

If you're interested in the 'I'm an unassuming mortal by day but gain lots of cool powers and channel a distant, benevolant alien being when I go through my power-up sequence, the Past Lives merit (representing an unusual connection to past bearers of your Solar Exaltation that allows you access to their memories and occasionally a full-on 'voice in your head', possibly in conjunction with the Throwback Flaw (which occasionally gets you 'overwhelmed' by a past life and forces you to carry out their plans and priorities for a scene) might be nice. Tie it to your 'transformation sequence' such that the Merit and Flaw are only effective when wearing your cool power armor (perhaps a past life had an unusual connection to that armor)- I'd say a single-point discount for the value of both the Merit and the Flaw for that would work fine.

Lastly, it's worth noting that a 'masked hero' concept is a very sensible one within the campaign setting, given that there are many NPC organizations with a mad-on for Solars and stuff that makes it harder to connect Ultrasolar with Shin Hayata is almost always a good thing.

You almost certainly will not be able to pack all these things into a single starting character, but if you're inclined to try, I can see if I can help you pack ten pounds of Ultraman into a five-pound bag.

And yes, artifacts are each purchased individually with separate Background dots, unless you have somehow managed to convince a powerful Dragon-blooded member of the houses of the Realm that you're one of their own and can finagle access to the Arsenal background from MOEP: Dragon-Blooded, normally locked to them. (There's a Hearthstone that lets you emulate a Fire Aspect pretty damned well, so that's not as difficult as it seems, but it will put you on a pretty precarious tightrope of constantly interacting with supernaturally perceptive family members who will, as a rule, be religious fanatics who want you dead for being a Solar.)


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Toptomcat is right. There are a lot of people who will want you dead for being a Solar.


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Zenith and twilight. What you thinking scorch?

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