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TheCountAlucard
2009-11-27, 08:01 PM
It wasn't too long ago now that a friend recommended Exalted to me. At the time, I knew very little about it, other than his disjointed explanations of the game and a collection of some rather epic-looking pics on his computer. From what I gathered, it was a rather high-powered game with an anime-esque feel to it, in which the players step into the roles of characters on par with Hercules and the like in terms of power.

Well, I started reading the book, and so far, my guesses don't seem to be too far from the truth. I just hope I have enough d10s...
The friend intends on being the ST for an upcoming Exalted game, and he said that if I was interested, I could join. He told me that the game would be taking place in the eastern part of the world, shortly after Thorns was sacked by Mask of Winters, and that we could play Solar or Lunar Exalted.

By the time I was done with the first chapter, I already had a character concept in mind: a refugee from Thorns who took his Second Breath while defending other refugees from a mass of zombies; a martial-minded Dawn Caste Solar who dual-wields orichalcum trench spikes (though I haven't seen evidence of them in the books just yet, hoping to get some help with that), and still doesn't fully understand what he's become.

As I started going through the character creation guidelines, here's what I came up with...

(No name yet)
Strength 4, Dexterity 4, Stamina 3
Perception 3, Intelligence 3, Wits 3
Charisma 3, Manipulation 2, Appearance 2

Not sure what to take for abilities yet; would the trench spikes be used with Melee or Martial Arts? Also wanna go with Athletics, Awareness, Dodge, Integrity, and Resistance.

Not sure what to do for background, either - since his home just got sacked, I doubt he'd have high Resources, for instance.

Gave him Compassion 1, Conviction 3, Temperance 1, and Valor 4. As for my Virtue Flaw, I went with Foolhardy Contempt. That gives me 7 Willpower and 1 Intimacy, Essence 2, Personal Essence 13, and Peripheral Essence of 30, if I did my math right.

I'm also not sure what Charms I want to go with, for that matter; any suggestions?

Tengu_temp
2009-11-27, 08:08 PM
Why would a Compassion 1 character defend anyone without seeing any gain in it or being ordered/forced to?

As for trench spikes, I think the best weapons to represent them are short swords. For artifacts, that'd be short daiklaves. The problem, though, is that dual wielding kinda sucks in Exalted - it pretty much means your Rate is increased and that's it.

TheCountAlucard
2009-11-27, 08:19 PM
Why would a Compassion 1 character defend anyone without seeing any gain in it or being ordered/forced to?Hmm, good point. Well, I was going to boost his Compassion with some bonus points; I haven't spent any of them just yet. Keep in mind, it's still kind of a work in progress.


As for trench spikes, I think the best weapons to represent them are short swords. For artifacts, that'd be short daiklaves. The problem, though, is that dual wielding kinda sucks in Exalted - it pretty much means your Rate is increased and that's it.So I'd be better off wielding just one, then?

Draxar
2009-11-27, 08:23 PM
dual-wields orichalcum trench spikes (though I haven't seen evidence of them in the books just yet, hoping to get some help with that),

What exactly are trench spikes? Daggers/knives/very shorts swords with possibly added brass knuckles?



Not sure what to take for abilities yet; would the trench spikes be used with Melee or Martial Arts?

Brass Knucles are Martial Arts or Melee, IIRC. Sword, dagger, knife is Melee.


I'm also not sure what Charms I want to go with, for that matter; any suggestions?

A perfect defense generally useful – it's essentialness will depend on how your ST runs stuff, but they are quite handy even when they're not a required feature.

Other than that, it depends on what type of combat style you want, and what type of non-combat stuff you want to do.

Tengu_temp
2009-11-27, 08:29 PM
Hmm, good point. Well, I was going to boost his Compassion with some bonus points; I haven't spent any of them just yet. Keep in mind, it's still kind of a work in progress.

Yeah. In general, starting with more than one virtue at 1 is not seen well by many STs, because it means you're min-maxing for easy willpower. Not to mention, 1 in a virtue means you basically lack it - 1 Compassion characters are heartless bastards, 1 Conviction have no determination and get discouraged easily, 1 Temperance are easily provoked hot-heads, 1 Valor are cowards.


So I'd be better off wielding just one, then?

It depends on your attack roll - the higher it is, the more chances you'll want to do more than 3 attacks in one flurry. But, more importantly, it depends on your character concept - if you think it's cooler to dual-wield them, go on! It's only 1 more dot in Artifact anyway, and even if you don't do many attacks usually there should be situations where having two swords is useful.



A perfect defense generally useful it's essentialness will depend on how your ST runs stuff, but they are quite handy even when they're not a required feature.


Perfect defenses become practically mandatory later on for any character that wants to participate in combat, but they're not really that necessary for a completely fresh character. Still nice to have, though.

TheCountAlucard
2009-11-27, 08:34 PM
What exactly are trench spikes? Daggers/knives/very shorts swords with possibly added brass knuckles?Yeah, basically picture a knife or dagger with brass knuckles built into the handle.


Brass Knucles are Martial Arts or Melee, IIRC.I can use either skill for them, then? Might save me points if I just put my points into Melee, if that's the case.


A perfect defense generally useful it's essentialness will depend on how your ST runs stuff, but they are quite handy even when they're not a required feature.Will keep that in mind.


Yeah. In general, starting with more than one virtue at 1 is not seen well by many STs, because it means you're min-maxing for easy willpower.I admit, the reason I got Valor 4 and not Compassion 2 was the dot of Willpower. :smallredface:


1 Temperance are easily provoked hot-heads...This one I don't mind so much. :smalltongue: Might give me an excuse to quote Kamina, even. :smallbiggrin: Who the hell do you think I am?


It's only 1 more dot in Artifact anyway, and even if you don't do many attacks usually there should be situations where having two swords is useful.On that note, any thoughts as to how I should distribute my Background points?

Tengu_temp
2009-11-27, 08:38 PM
As for martial arts and melee: You can use melee with any melee weapons. Which weapons you can use with martial arts depends on the school you're using - some of them even allow you to use swords, for example.

Weimann
2009-11-27, 08:39 PM
Hi, and welcome to Exalted :D

Now, I'm not entirely experienced either, but I'll try to answer some of your questions.
(No name yet)
Strength 4, Dexterity 4, Stamina 3
Perception 3, Intelligence 3, Wits 3
Charisma 3, Manipulation 2, Appearance 2Those look like fine stats for a physical character to me. They represent a grizzled warrior who has experience in life and can handle most situations.
Not sure what to take for abilities yet; would the trench spikes be used with Melee or Martial Arts?There is no weapon called a trench spike listed in the core book, and I'm not sure about other books. In fact, I'm not even sure what it is, being from a non-English country ^^;

However, it's pretty certain you'll wield it with Melee. Martial Art is almost exclusively for barehanded fighting, using particular Martial Arts weapons (such as nunchucks, clawed fists and the like) or certain weapons explicitly associated with they Martial Art style you are performing.
Also wanna go with Athletics, Awareness, Dodge, Integrity, and Resistance.Those look like good complementary abilities for a Dawn. One thing to note; both Dodge and Resistance is generally used for defense, and taking both of them might not be worth it. Dodge is about slipping away from attacks, while Resistance makes it able for you to, for example, harden your skin to resist a full on blow, summon or increase efficiency of armours, or regain motes or Willpower from taking damage.

No matter what you go with, consider putting at least one point in Resistance for the Ox-Body Concentration charm. It's almost the only way you can increase your amount of health levels, and taking it at least once is recommended unless you have a really good reason not to.
Not sure what to do for background, either - since his home just got sacked, I doubt he'd have high Resources, for instance.Probably not, but then again, he might have owned land somewhere else than Thorns, and the invasion reduced him to "only" 3 dots?

Of course, if he was a common soldier, that's probably not the case, but remember that you can fix your character up in almost anyway you like. As a fighter, you're likely to want some Artifact background, for your Orichalcum trench spikes, and maybe a suit of armour as well? Come up with a story about how you obtained them! Maybe you found the grave of your old incarnation where your equipment lay? Maybe you met a strange man who gave them to you with some omnious words about your future? The possibilities are endless.
Gave him Compassion 1, Conviction 3, Temperance 1, and Valor 4. As for my Virtue Flaw, I went with Foolhardy Contempt. That gives me 7 Willpower and 1 Intimacy, Essence 2, Personal Essence 13, and Peripheral Essence of 30, if I did my math right.Your maths seem to be in order :)

I notice you have two Virtues at 1. Virtues rated 1 is considered to be significantly below common standard, and would likely show on his behaviour. They can work as great hooks to build your character on! Consider how your Compassion 1 correspond with your Exaltation story, however. You might want to revise it slightly, or buy higher Compassion with Bonus Points.
I'm also not sure what Charms I want to go with, for that matter; any suggestions?Ah, picking charms. The eternal choice. I can only speak for myself, but I try to get a spread of charms within my chaste or favoured abilities.

Beyond that, it's hard to give and general advice, except that investing in a few defense charms is something of a requirement. If there is one thing the Exalted aren't overly badass at, it's taking pain. The damage slugged around from another Exalt can kill you in a few hits, so defense is a priority.

If you want, it's not even an overkill to get a perfect defense even at character creation. A perfect defense is a charm that allows you to not take damage, period. Denied. You are immune. It's probably not required in the first stages, but when your ST decides you've had enough warm up and starts to pit you against other battle-focused Exalt, you will likely want one of them.

I hope this helped, and good luck with your game! :D

Edit: I knew I'd get ninja'd, but ninja'd that hard? I need to type faster.

TheCountAlucard
2009-11-27, 08:50 PM
How powerful should my character's artifact weapons be?

I'd also like to point out that at this time, I'm still in the process of getting through the core book; I've only just gotten to page 250 (discussing the merits and flaws of armored and unarmored defense). And while we're on that subject, armor is still something I'm rather on the fence about; from the looks of things, armor isn't Strictly Necessary, but on the other hand, might be a nice thing to have, y'know?

Weimann
2009-11-27, 08:59 PM
How powerful should my character's artifact weapons be?I like to get them at Artifact 2 or 3. There are only very few Artifacts at 3+ in the core book, and having them would require a real good explanation.
I'd also like to point out that at this time, I'm still in the process of getting through the core book; I've only just gotten to page 250 (discussing the merits and flaws of armored and unarmored defense). And while we're on that subject, armor is still something I'm rather on the fence about; from the looks of things, armor isn't Strictly Necessary, but on the other hand, might be a nice thing to have, y'know?Much as you say, armour isn't strictly required. What it does is provide Soak (and to some extent Hardness) which reduces the damage taken from hit. It can never deplete it entirely, though, so at some point, you will want most likely a perfect defense anyway.

Whether to take it or not... It's really up to your taste. There are no game-breaking advantages with any approach. If you want the feel of a heavy melee slugger, go ahead; if not, don't.

Draxar
2009-11-27, 09:03 PM
Perfect defenses become practically mandatory later on for any character that wants to participate in combat, but they're not really that necessary for a completely fresh character. Still nice to have, though.

Depends – if it's a mixed Solar/Lunar game, then the Lunars have rather less access to perfects than Solars, so the ST will likely scale somewhat to the limitation of the Lunars.

TheCountAlucard
2009-11-29, 03:41 AM
Well, got a chance to talk to the ST again a few hours ago. Turns out that at the moment, there's only one other person who's decided to play, and he's also playing a Dawn Caste Solar. The ST gave me permission to invite a few players to the game, so I'll be giving that a try sooner or later, although they'll likely be just as fresh to the game as I am. :smalleek: Also, the ST told me I could use either Melee or Martial Arts for the trench spikes, though if I went the Martial Arts route, I'd have to justify it with my backstory.

He also wants the players to make "First Age counterparts" for their characters, representing past incarnations of our characters, who will be pretty much unrestricted, build-wise. :smalleek:

Still stumbling my way through the book, although the end is in sight! :smallbiggrin: Well, not really, but getting there.

TheCountAlucard
2009-12-02, 08:12 AM
So, checking in with you guys...

My character is finished. I fixed my Virtues, increased my Essence by one, bought my Charms, went over everything relevant with the ST, and came up with a name - not necessarily in that order, mind you - and now I'm as ready as I'll get.

I talked with that other player, who it turns out decided on playing a Zenith-caste instead, a real paladin-type with a permanent caste mark on his forehead and is known Anathema.

I also talked with friends and got them interested...

One has a history of playing supportive-type characters, typically with some healing capability; he told me he was going to build a Twilight-caste Solar who is being pursued by the Wyld hunt... at least he managed to realize that healing in Exalted is a little less useful than a paper bag full of hammers.

The other two had no chance to look at the books, but I talked to them about the game. One's interested in playing a sneaky-type character with the ambition of pulling off a truly epic heist; the other typically plays sneaky-types herself, so we'll probably have two such characters come game day (which is Saturday).

Of course, the ST's been talking to me about stuff, going on about how our First Age counterparts' actions will affect what happens to our characters, and how he suggests that we have an Eclipse caste character in the party, and that the South might have some importance despite the fact that we're starting in the East, and that we'll likely end up facing Mask of Winters if the game survives long enough; that last one's okay by me, considering it was on my character's agenda anyway...

Of course, a casual look at Mask of Winters' statblock was a little unsettling, considering that he has forty-five health levels, every Solar Charm ever, and three hundred motes of Essence to rock our faces off with. :smalleek: Kinda wondering how to overcome all that without sitting on a few hundred experience points.

Tengu_temp
2009-12-02, 08:39 AM
One has a history of playing supportive-type characters, typically with some healing capability; he told me he was going to build a Twilight-caste Solar who is being pursued by the Wyld hunt... at least he managed to realize that healing in Exalted is a little less useful than a paper bag full of hammers.


Healing is okay - it's not useful in actual combat, at least if you're a Solar, but if someone gets wounded it greatly speeds up recovery. And there are also Wound Mending Needles from Wonders of the Lost Age, these are awesome and totally worth the cost of a 3-dot artifact.



Of course, a casual look at Mask of Winters' statblock was a little unsettling, considering that he has forty-five health levels, every Solar Charm ever, and three hundred motes of Essence to rock our faces off with. :smalleek: Kinda wondering how to overcome all that without sitting on a few hundred experience points.

If you fight him on even ground, you pretty much need everyone to be Essence 5 to tackle him. If your ST plans for you to take him on earlier, however, I imagine he has something special prepared for you, like having to find a MacGuffin that will give you a serious advantage or him a serious disadvantage.

Draxar
2009-12-02, 08:59 AM
I think the keyword there is eventually. Plus, with the right approach you can take apart a deathlords extended infrastructure; you may face him by blowing up his toys then running away.

Kyeudo
2009-12-02, 12:27 PM
One has a history of playing supportive-type characters, typically with some healing capability; he told me he was going to build a Twilight-caste Solar who is being pursued by the Wyld hunt... at least he managed to realize that healing in Exalted is a little less useful than a paper bag full of hammers.


Actually, Solar Medicine Charms can get you up and running again much faster than even the rate at which the Exalted heal. Wound penalties suck, so the faster they go away, the better. They just aren't D&D heal spells.



Of course, a casual look at Mask of Winters' statblock was a little unsettling, considering that he has forty-five health levels, every Solar Charm ever, and three hundred motes of Essence to rock our faces off with. :smalleek: Kinda wondering how to overcome all that without sitting on a few hundred experience points.

Actually, the Mask of Winters has been overcome using a full circle of relatively young combat specced Solars. The major challenge is forcing him to use a perfect defense often enough to drain his Essence Pool dry without dying, which requires you be able to hit his ridiculous dodge DV, have a perfect of your own, and be able to stunt like crazy.

Once you have his Essence Pool gone, those health levels will disappear as fast as you can say "Grand Daiklave to the Face!"

TheCountAlucard
2009-12-02, 10:40 PM
They just aren't D&D heal spells.True dat. Actually, when we noticed those needles Tengu pointed out, he flipped and said, "I wants." :smalltongue:
Anyway, it's become clear to me that the only way to beat Mask of Winter is to go beyond the impossible and kick reason to the curb.