View Full Version : Exalted: Risus Edition (PEACH)

2010-07-07, 05:06 PM
Hello everyone! I have on many occasions tried to play Exalted, both over IM messengers and PbP (and once IRL), and I've always come to the same conclusion: the setting is a diamond, and I cannot get enough of it, but the supporting mechanics... need work. The mere size of the system doesn't do it much good either, in my eyes. Less is more.

So, I made an attempt to hack Exalted using the free Risus system (http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/risus.htm). This is very much a work in progress, but here are some of my baseline ideas.

This first entry relate to the consequences of an Exaltation and how it interacts with the system, with a focus on the Excellencies and Caste Abilities in particular, and touches on how Virtues, Virtue Channels and Virtue Flaws are handled.

This is an attempt to model the Exalted system, owned by White wolf, using a significantly less cumbersome one, namely Risus, written by S. John Ross (http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/risus.htm). The difference in system complexity will invariably mean that some facets of the original system is are lost, and I make no attempt to perfectly transfer the Exalted system. The intention is to create an adaptation that supports the Exalted setting without sacrificing too much of Risus' fluency and simplicity.

Tl;dr, shortcuts will be taken. Mechanical similarity to the mother system is not guaranteed.

Character Creation, Clichés and Exaltation
Baseline character creation
Character creation in the Risus system is simple. A character is defined by the Clichés it embodies and the rating assigned to each Cliché. The rating denotes how many six sided dice are rolled when attempting to do something relating to that Cliché. At character generation, a character is restricted to 10d6 to distribute between Clichés, and no Cliché may be rated at over 4d6 before the game starts, and can never be rated higher than 6d6.

For example, the starting character Bob the Pirate might use the Clichés Pirate (4), Gambler (1), Womanizer (2) and Anti-Ninja Lobbyist (3).

Becoming an Exalted
An Exalt will, in addition to what is mentioned above, gain a free Exaltation Cliché, rated at 2 from the start, that doesn’t count towards the normal 10 dice he may distribute. He may use his normal dice to raise it, but not above 4, as usual.

So, for example, Ocean Pearl the Pirate Queen might use the Clichés Pirate (4), Gambler (1), Womanizer (2), Anti-Ninja Lobbyist (3) and Eclipse Caste Solar Exalted (2).

The Exaltation Cliché grants a number of advantages over those who do not possess it.

Exalted Excellency
Firstly, the spark of Exaltation grants supreme puissance in every endeavour the Exalt attempts to undertake. At will, with an expenditure of Essence that make their anima manifest in a blazing bonfire, an Exalt may turn their measly d6 into Excellent dice, representing the usage of their Excellencies. The type of Excellent dice a character can use varies with Exaltation type according to the table below.

{TABLE]Exaltation type|Excellent dice
Solars, Abyssals, Infernals|d12
Lunars, Sidereals|d10
Terrestrials, Alchemicals|d8[/TABLE]

It is assumed that the Exalt has Excellencies in the skills relevant to their way of life, and this effect may therefore be applied to any and all dice rolls the Exalt makes. However, the Essence expenditure is blatantly visible for everyone to see, and that might not be worth it in every situation.

Caste Abilities
The second benefit of the Exaltation Cliché is that is grants further perfection in using a number of particular skills, the Caste Abilities. Whenever a character attempts an action that relates to using one of their Caste skills, they may add the rating of their Exaltation Cliché to the total dice pool. To explain, let’s look at the example of the Eclipse Caste Ocean Pearl, attempting to outrun the Realm’s fleet. Since Ocean Pearl is a Pirate (4), someone who is proficient at handling a ship, she has a 4d6 dice pool from this. Since she’s also an Eclipse Caste Solar Exalted (2), with Sail as a Caste ability, she may add another 2d6 to the dice pool, for a total of 6d6 (and, if she then chooses turn them Excellent, the pool becomes 6d12).

If the Eclipse Caste should happen to not at all be a pirate or sailor of any sort, but still find himself hunted by the Realm’s fleet, his Exaltation still grants him the skill required to intuitively navigate the vessel. The bureaucrat Golden Quill has never set foot on a ship before, but his Eclipse Caste Solar Exaltation (2) grants him a dice pool of 2d6 none the less. His Excellency may still be applied to this pool, though, so he could turn them into 2d12.

Note that the Eclipse Caste Solar Exaltation (2) would not help Ocean Pearl in fending her assailants off should they manage by some miracle to catch up with her. While Pirate (4) makes her a fencer to be reckoned with, the Melee ability is the purview of the Dawn Caste Solar Exaltation, and she therefore only uses 4d6 (or 4d12) for this.

Virtues, Virtue Channels, Virtue Flaws and Limit Breaks
Primary Virtue
Exalted Risus Edition requires all characters to pick one Virtue from Compassion, Conviction, Temperance and Valor that works as his or her primary Virtue. They then gain a Virtue Cliché rated 2 for free.

The Virtue Cliché
The Virtue Cliché is special in some ways compared to the regular Clichés. For one, it cannot be used to make rolls for any kind of conflict. Instead, the rating represents the number of times the character may channel her Virtue in a chapter of the storyline. It also gives an inkling on how strongly the Virtue in question is represented in the character.

In case a character wishes to take an action that goes significantly against the values of his or her Virtue, he or she must first succeed in a static conflict against his Virtue. This conflict is resolved by rolling a single, even-sided die. If it comes up odd, the Virtue wins out and the character must act according to it. If the die comes up even, the character successfully suppresses his or her Virtue, may take the intended action, and also gains a point of Limit.

Note that a high Virtue Cliché rating does not make is harder to act against the Virtue. The rating only represents the number of times the Virtue may be channelled. The primary Virtue is always considered to be rated "high", which means that it should always be taken into account. The other Virtues have no mechanical significance, so should Ocean Pearl have Conviction as her primary Virtue, she is free to also have a high or low Valor, but that is solely a role-playing distinction and she may turn her coat and flee unimportant battles without having to pass a dice roll.

The Great Curse
The degree to which the primary Virtue should be played out is regulated slightly different depending on what kind of character you play. A mortal can get away with not blatantly contradicting his primary Virtue; a Compassionate man who doesn’t beat his wife might have fulfilled the requirements placed on him, and still be able to channel his Compassion. This is because a mortal's primary Virtue need not actually be very strong. A primary Virtue rated at 2 according to the Exalted system is okay for a mortal.

Not so for an Exalt. The great Curse bestowed by the Neverborn upon all of Exalted-kind at the dawn of the First Age ensures that their primary virtue is rated at least 3 by Exalted's rating system. Therefore, Exalts should be judged stricter; a more active engagement in the values of their primary Virtue is requested. What this actually means is up to every individual ST, but the primary Virtue should be something that is a relevant concern for the Exalt in their everyday life and that can be played against to put the Exalt in interesting situations.

Virtue Channel
Every character may use Virtue Channels related to their primary Virtue. If a character takes an action that resonates strongly with the Virtue in question, that character may channel said Virtue to make sure that each dice rolled in the lower half of the dice range is always counted as if it was the lowest number in the upper half of the dice range. That sounds complicated, but it simply means this: if rolling a number of d6, any dice coming up as 1, 2 or 3 is counted as 4 instead. When rolling a number of d12, any dice coming up as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 counts as 7.

The Virtue Channel has a backside, however. When used, a Virtue Channel represents a character putting his or her all into something she cannot accept to let fail. Should the character still fail his roll, the Exalt will suffer a blow to his mental stability, which may be visible or purely unconscious. In excess of any roleplaying deemed appropriate, it is represented by the Exalt gaining a point of Limit. Note that characters not under the Great Curse, while lacking a Limit track, might still display signs of disappointment or despair.

Limit and Limit Break
Through the Great Curse, the virtuousness of the Exalts are twisted against them in ways too subtle to realise. When an Exalt denies or doubts his or her primary Virtue for long enough, the Curse overrides the Exalt's mind and compels him to act without regards for anything else.

Limit is the measure of how close to breakdown an Exalt is. Points of Limit are gained primarily in two ways: either by suppression the primary Virtue, or by failing at an action enhanced by a Virtue Channel. Whenever the Exalt has accumulated 5 points of Limit, he or she overheats and suffers Limit Break, in which he or she is forced to act out his or her Virtue Flaw.

Virtue Flaw
Exalts are the superiors of Mortals in every manner, but even the Sun has its spots. Through the Great Curse, The Exaltation Cliché makes it required for the Exalt to pick a Virtue Flaw associated with his or her primary Virtue. The Exalted Corebook and Manuals of Exalted Power contain examples of possible Virtue flaws, but anything that is a blatant disadvantage to the Exalt as well as relatively thematic in regards to the Virtue in question is acceptable.

Combat and Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution methods
The combat resolution system is very simple to use. The same principle is used whenever there’s a situation in which the character needs to overcome a hindrance which the GM doesn’t deem small enough to grant automatic success. There are three main kinds of situations:
Static conflict. The character attempts to overcome a static hindrance, such as leaping over a ravine, keeping balance on a slippery rope, forging a letter or similar. The difficulty lies passive in the nature of the endeavor; the letter isn’t actively attempting to not get written, nor is the ravine struggling to make you miss the other side (usually, at least; some magical stairs might actually fight your ascent willfully). The difficulty, represented by the Target Number, is determined by the GM (see Applicability of Clichés, Target Numbers and Bonuses for more details), and the character rolls his or her relevant dice pool. If the result comes out equal to or higher than the difficulty, the action succeeds. Otherwise, it fails, with consequences determined by the GM.

Extended conflict. The character attempts to overcome a dynamic hindrance. This occurs whenever there’s an extended conflict for anything between two opponents. The sword fight is the classical example, but a horse race, an argument or a singing contest are all good examples. The difficulty is presented mainly by the protagonist. Whenever there’s a conflict that takes more than one round, where there’s a jockeying for position and a multi-parted struggle to come out victorious, both opponents roll their relevant dice pools. Whoever rolls highest wins that round and comes ahead in the conflict. For more details, see Cliché Damage.

Momentous conflict. The character attempts to prevail in a momentary conflict. There are times when there’s only time or opportunity to attempt something once, when circumstances make a prolonged struggle impossible. Two people reaching for a gun on a table is a good example. The outcome is determined instantly: either you got the gun, or you didn’t. In these situations, the two opponents roll their relevant dice pools only once, the high roller succeeding with the action. There’s no Cliché Damage here, only straight win or lose.
When to pick what?
The choice of method is often dependant on the context of the game. The above exposition gives some guidelines, but there are blurry lines, particularly among Exalted, who are known for doing the impossible. A gun duel at high noon might be considered a good example of a momentous conflict, but Exalts being what they are, is it really fair to deny them the option to dodge the bullet, or just take a bullet to the chest and tough it out? In the end, it’s up to the GM in consultation with the players what they want to happen.

Who goes first?
That... is a very good question. The Risus system doesn't actually mention any kind of initiative mechanic, perhaps due to the fact that every attack made by a player is also automatically a counter-attack, wherefore it doesn't matter so much. The core document just tells you to "go around the table in rounds, and let each combatant make an attack in turn", which may suffice for Risus. However, since it's not always a table is present to determine turn order, here comes a mechanic to govern it.

When a conflict between two or more characters are about to be joined, roll the Cliché you are about to use. Otherwise inapplicable Clichés may be rolled without a stunt in this case.

Applicability of Clichés, Target Numbers, Bonuses and Penalties
When attempting to do anything, the character must declare what Cliché he or she intends to use. This might seem redundant, since you’d obviously pick the highest rated one, but it’s not that simple. A Cliché is something that represents who you are, and not everyone can do anything. Likewise, not every task can be performed by anyone, or at least equally good by anyone.

Determining conflict type
Of course, in order to know what Clichés are applicable, you need to know what type of conflict you are facing. The GM determines this at the start of battle. The conflict type can be made more or less detailed; in some cases, melee combat is as defined as it needs to get, while in some cases a more distinct distinction might need to be done. For example, in a fencing competition, being a Barbarian is not necessarily an advantage, even if it is of course a great boon in regular melee combat. This system allows a great possibility to challenge characters in varying ways.

Cliché applicability
In order to attempt an action, the Cliché you try to use must be applicable to the conflict at hand. If trying to swing in a rope, a Jungle Man is a perfect fit, a Gymnast is quite acceptable and a Frail Old Man will not be able to attempt it at all (without a stunt, more on them later).

Determining Target Numbers
The Target Number of the roll is the GMs call, and should be determined with things like appropriate narrative in mind. Is a hard challenge appropriate right now? Will it be better if the Target Number was set low so the players can move on quickly? Does the GM feel like being a bastard today?

Bonuses and penalties due to Cliché applicability
The GM should, however, take into account the Clichés used to meet it and award appropriate bonuses. The Jungle Man should, when attempting to swing in a rope, gain a significant bonus due to the great applicability of his Cliché, and may automatically succeed on simple actions that people of less applicability needs to make a roll for. A Gymnast is a totally acceptable Cliché to use, but it’s not such a perfect fit as a Jungle Man, and he therefore doesn’t receive any bonus. In cases where it’s debatable whether the Cliché presents appropriate applicability, or blatantly obvious that it doesn’t apply, the GM may decide if the action is easy enough to allow an attempt with a penalty, or outright state that an attempt will result in automatic failure.

In an extended or momentous conflict, bonuses may be given due to relative Cliché applicability. A Fighter and a Samurai in a swords duel would gain no bonuses against each other, but a Fighter would gain a bonus against a Gardener.

There still lacks concrete examples here. I'll get around to that, promise.

Bonuses and penalties due to other things
Other things than what Cliché a character uses can also affect his or her performance. Having high-quality or magical tools, a very well-trained crew or army or a particularly beneficial environment for the task (no wind and clear sight for archery, crudely carved footholds in the wall for climbing or a comfortable couch with passionate background music for seduction) can add a bonus, while similar things of lacking quality may inflict a penalty.

Cliché Damage and Winning a Conflict
What is Cliché Damage?
Only extended conflicts use the concept of Cliché Damage. Static and momentous conflicts instantly resolve the conflict in a single roll. While in an extended conflict, there will be a series of roll-offs between the opponents. Each time, one of them will lose, and he then suffers one die of Cliché Damage. This simply means that the dice pool he’s using is reduced by 1 die for the next roll-off. This represents wound penalties in Exalted, but note that Cliché Damage is taken in every kind of conflict, not just physical ones. When any one of your Clichés is reduced to 0 dice, the battle is lost.

Recovering Cliché Damage
Cliché Damage is recovered instantly at the end of the conflict unless the procedure of the battle prompts the GM to declare otherwise. The loser of a gentleman’s duel might, in spite of having lost all of his Cliché dice, have only suffered one direct hit, a scratch that just only drew blood, which isn’t enough to impede him significantly. The Cliché Damage represented only his loss of ground and balance advantages, which resulted in a direct hit as he lost. He therefore recovers all Cliché Damage he suffered and would fight with full dice pools even if he instantly got challenged again. However, a survivor from a grapple with a zombie might have sustained so serious injuries that he will not operate at full capacity until those are tended to. Often, the way a battle is roleplayed is the determining factor to if there are any remaining penalties to the character’s Clichés.

Winning a conflict
The winner of a conflict the winner has a say in what happens to the loser. He might be killed, or spared and forced into the character’s service, or publically humiliated in some way at the winner’s discretion. The reservation is that it must be at least tangentially related to the type of battle; a lost duel cannot result in getting trampled by 500 giraffes (unless, y’know, it can, but you’ll typically know in which games that would fly and in which it wouldn’t). Note that this only applies to conflicts in which there’s a definable opponent; when a static conflict is won, the result it determined solely by the GM.

Exalted and Risus both address the description of a characters actions directly in their rules. However, where Exalted awards bonuses for describing an action, Risus demands that every significant action, particularly during extended or momentous conflicts, is described. That is, I feel, much of the reason for the streamlined mechanics; to allow more focus to be placed on the narrative and cinematic effects of the game.

For the purposes of this system, I will make a comparison to the stunt rating system used in Exalted. Note that the names have nothing to do with the effects on this system, and is only for easy reference to the approximate level of complexity expected.

1-die stunts. This is the level on which the description of every action you take should lie. It’s not a high requirement; a line above and beyond the simple “I do this” usually suffices. It doesn’t have to be about how awesome or graceful or superior you are, it just needs to add something of entertainment value to the piece of text that declares your action. If your character is opposed to a battle, a short note on how your character mutters “this is pointless” to himself as he draws his blade and swings is totally sufficient.

2-dice stunts. Taking a leap from the basic level of 1-die stunts, these stunts are not something you are expected to do in every action. By making an action a 2-dice stunt, otherwise inapplicable Clichés may be used to attack with. A typical 2-dice stunt is a bit more elaborate than a 1-die stunt, and usually explains some ingenious way that makes an inappropriate Cliché save the day. While more taxing on the player’s imagination and not always possible to pull off at all, the 2-dice stunt places no draconian requirements on the character. Often, the same idea can be used several attacks in a row, possibly with slight variations, and one need not come up with completely unique themes every time. Depending on the seriousness of the game, 2-dice stunts may be harder or easier to pull off.

3-dice stunts. Three-dice stunts are the stuff of which legends are spawned. A 3-dice stunt always allows for inapplicable Clichés to be used, and may also have other effects determined by the GM. The 3-dice stunt is not something a player can usually pull off at will. Instead, the trick is to see the opportunity presented by the circumstances of the game’s plot and rise to the occasion. It is often elaborately described, sometimes spanning over several actions, but a long stunt doesn’t automatically make a 3-dice stunt. Sometimes, a strongly emotionally charged action from a character that may otherwise only have been a 1-die stunt can qualify. In any case, the 3-die stunt always represents a character making a strong and undeniable impression on the game.

Charms are first and foremost represented by stunts and fluff. The higher the result of a roll, the more impressive charms may be brought to bear. Higher dice rolls may also allow a character to inflict mechanical effects on the target as appropriate to the description of the attack. The GM judges what kinds of effects are appropriate for each individual situation.

In order to achieve any kind of mechanical effect, the character’s roll must surpass the opponents roll or the Target Number by at least 10. For every multiple of 10 the roll surpasses the requirement, the stronger the effect may be. For example, if a Solar Hero Style user punches the living daylights out of an opponent, that opponent might suffer a stunning effect or a strong knockback. In order to get back to the battlefield, he must beat a Target Number that grows with increasing dice results, representing a stronger stun effect or having been knocked further back (I assume we are talking several hundred yards here, small knockbacks are simply fluffed and vetoed by the GM if inappropriate).

So why did I do it this way?
The approach I’ve chose here is to allow maximum freedom while still allowing for mechanical effects to be possible. The system is very limited; it has no real room for defensive charms other than pure stunts, or other effects than supplemental ones. This is, unfortunately, a limitation of the system.

I was tempted to mimic Exalted’s approach at first, and produce a batch of charms for each type. That would have worked, I think, but it would have been overlooking the strengths of the Risus system, which is streamlined simplicity. The way I chose to handle it is the way I believe will give the most flexibility and ease of use, and I think the sacrifices are acceptable.

Current problems, advice and ideas are appreciated Motivate author.

This system is currently being play tested!

Update! The play-testing failed miserably! Author is grumpy! Might pick this up again at a later date!

2010-07-07, 05:31 PM
Do you still take cliche damage as per RISUS?

Can you "team up" as per RISUS?

2010-07-08, 02:53 AM
Do you still take cliche damage as per RISUS?Yes, I plan on keeping that. It represents wound penalties very readily.

Can you "team up" as per RISUS?That's less certain. If so, it'll probably represent coordinated attacks in some way.

Dairun Cates
2010-07-08, 12:04 PM
Yes, I plan on keeping that. It represents wound penalties very readily.

Heh. Never underestimate a Solar with a 5 in Hair Dresser.

2010-07-08, 04:36 PM
An update concerning the battle and conflict resolution system. It's basically repeating a lot of what is written in the Risus .pdf, but there's a few minor changes in it. It has more to do with the underlying system than with the Exalted conversion in particular, but it's still something that must be laid down.

I'm uncertain about the part about bonuses, it feels ill thought through. I will likely revise it later.

2010-07-09, 05:29 AM
Updated with a short explanation on Cliché Damage and the results of winning a conflict.

Also updated the Target Number and Bonuses chapter to hopefully read a bit clearer.

2010-07-09, 08:19 AM
Updated with a text on stunts and how they work in this system. The bonuses are weaker than in Exalted, but I might end up making charms to interact with stunting, or just buffing it further down the line.

2010-07-09, 08:30 AM
Virtue channel should be rephrased to: "...that character may channel said Virtue to make sure that each dice rolled in the lower half of the dice range is always counted as if it was the lowest number in the upper half of the dice range..." Alternately, you could reword to the more elegant "that character may channel said virtue to make sure that each dice rolled counts as at least half the die value plus one".

In general, this is awesome and I approve on principal, and a lot of it was done very brilliantly. I was half way through reading the intro paragraph, wondering why Exalteds had to use pansy d6 dice, only to find out they didn't, and this only kept exceeding expectations from there.

2010-07-09, 09:35 AM
Virtue channel should be rephrased to: "...that character may channel said Virtue to make sure that each dice rolled in the lower half of the dice range is always counted as if it was the lowest number in the upper half of the dice range..."Stolen!

In general, this is awesome and I approve on principal, and a lot of it was done very brilliantly. I was half way through reading the intro paragraph, wondering why Exalteds had to use pansy d6 dice, only to find out they didn't, and this only kept exceeding expectations from there.Aw, now you make me blush. Thanks a lot, I'm happy you like it :smallsmile:

2010-07-09, 09:50 AM
Seconded on "this is awesome, I approve, will be watching intently."

I may have to play a few games using this. Elegant, simple, yet still retaining most of the traits of the Exalted system.

EDIT: How are you going to do charms? Just leave them as Stunts?

2010-07-09, 10:45 AM
I get the feeling that falls under "stuff going to be cut". This is, after all, Risus based.

2010-07-09, 11:38 AM
That is the thing I'm thinking about at the moment, in fact. It's plain to see bringing the charms over as-is will just not work. The Risus system just doesn't have enough parts to hang them up on. I have a few different ideas in mind right now:

1) Call for a static conflict roll against a Target Number set by the GM to activate any thematic and GM-approved power. Advantage: less work for me and more flexibility. Disadvantage: little guidance for what Target Numbers are appropriate for what effects, might be overpowered.

2) Ditch the mother system's charms, creating a few very broad and utility-based ones in the new system. Advantage: easier to assess the capabilities and power levels of each character, kind of fun for me. Disadvantage: Almost completely disowns the mother system. Might have to add a resource mechanic.

3) A mix of the above. Each Exaltation type has a few general charms as per option 2, and the Ability- or Attribute-based charms from the original system is handled according to option 1. Advantages: uses the properties of the new system while retaining the thematics from the old one. Relatively easy workload. Disadvantages: Messy. Same problem with Target Numbers. Might also have to add a resource system.

Oh my God, I just realised I had totally forgotten about anima powers.

2010-07-09, 01:16 PM
I've decided I will go for a freeform style with charms, to preserve the design paradigms of Risus.

Will be busy tomorrow, but I hope to update something on Sunday.

2010-07-12, 05:53 PM
Updated with a section on charms, and also added a cap to Cliché ratings.

Please let me hear your opinions on the charm stuff in particular. It was a hard thing to decide, and I'd like to hear initial reactions. Not saying I'll change it right away, but it's still very useful.

2010-07-17, 03:41 PM
Updated with a revised Virtue mechanic, and added a note on initiative in the Combat and Conflict Resolution chapter.

This does, as far as I'm concerned, complete the basics of the system. There are still things left to do, such as giving examples on appropriate Target Numbers and charm effects for beating them, possibly add suggestions for anima banners or maybe some kind of permanent advantage for capping an Exaltation or Virtue Cliché. However, that feels more like shinies that can be added at leisure than backbones of the system.

Please please please disagree with me if you think the basics are still lacking.

2010-10-12, 09:45 AM
I was wondering how you were planning on doing the other exalts?
eg lunar castes don't have 'favoured' abilities
Perhaps looking at the role each exalt / caste role would be and then give each three broadish descriptions to take place of the abilities?
e.g Night caste Solar:
Getting out of the way
Noticing hidden things.
This could also be used as a way of lowering TNs as well, sneak into a castle, TN 30 for mortals, 20 for exalted, 15 for night caste

You could potentially reintroduce Motes, give each type of exalted a pool of points which can be used to add an extra d6 per point spent (keeping the highest rolled) points can be spent to increase a d6 up to the normal exalted cap (spend 1 per d6, spend 2 more to convert d6 into normal exalted dice)
introduce a way to recover them and hey presto instant way to give solars an edge, incase they needed it...


The Tygre
2010-10-13, 01:05 PM
This is really great. The mechanics are nice and simple, and let the Storyteller and player get back to focusing on the characters and world, not the mechanics. I really hope that this project keeps going.

2010-10-13, 01:14 PM
Well, the best thing one could say is that at least it's not moving backwards :smallbiggrin:

I did some playtesting with this and found two big flaws; the Cliché damage mechanic made it so that the character with even 1 dice more than you tended to win, and then continue to win since he now had two dice above you. Some would argue that Exalts are supposed to do that, but it's equally true for mortals. Also the charm system was crap.

I promptly got bored with the thing after that, but I have given thoughts to how it could be progressed (none of them acted upon as of yet). The ideas I have now include a more involved system, not a good thing given the premise, but I think it's required to keep the Exalted feeling.

That said, I promise nothing :smallsigh: Right now, I just don't feel like doing this thing. I might at a later point. Watch this space :smalltongue:

The Tygre
2010-10-13, 04:37 PM
Yeah, I'd have to say you're going to need another subsystem for the charms, at least. I'd suggest just a general Essence system, but that's just me.

2010-10-14, 08:25 AM
I did some playtesting with this and found two big flaws; the Cliché damage mechanic made it so that the character with even 1 dice more than you tended to win, and then continue to win since he now had two dice above you. Some would argue that Exalts are supposed to do that, but it's equally true for mortals. Also the charm system was crap.

Well, a death spiral works in some genres, but if it doesn't in Exalted, tweak the damage mechanic.

The Tygre
2010-10-14, 09:25 AM
I've been trying to think of a good essence subsystem. Maybe a point of essence for every two dice over six, plus virtue dice/2? That way most exalts will be starting out in the 2-3 essence range, like core.

2010-10-14, 03:46 PM
I've been trying to think of a good essence subsystem. Maybe a point of essence for every two dice over six, plus virtue dice/2? That way most exalts will be starting out in the 2-3 essence range, like core.My thoughts right now lean towards something like this:

Charms as a rule cost 1m. Motes effectively become "charm points". Very powerful charms may cost 2m or so.

There are two kinds of charms, combat charms and event charms.

A combat charm is a charm that's applicable to the resolution of some type of conflict. These are well defined, fluffed and crunched and static.

An event charm is a charm that aren't applicable to a conflict situation. These are freeform and subject to ST approval. I imagine them as an appropriate Cliché roll and a mote cost to produce a desired effect. Think Wyld-Shaping Technique for a Twilight, Glorious Solar Sabre for a Dawn or whatever that Stealth charm was called for a Night.

The definitions aren't 100% yet, but something along those lines.

2010-10-15, 02:27 AM
I did some playtesting with this and found two big flaws; the Cliché damage mechanic made it so that the character with even 1 dice more than you tended to win, and then continue to win since he now had two dice above you.

First of all, I'd like to compliment on the idea, I like it very much.
For this problem, I found a partial solution in this house rule:

- Overexertion: during a fight, a damaged character can fight with their complete dice pool, as if unwounded, at the price of overexerting all their resources. Every round, for each dice restored this way, you lose 1 point in another cliche. As usual, dropping a cliche to 0 means loss.

Another interesting correction on the basic rules is about "double pumpable" cliches. Instead of costing (x2), they should just cost (+1).

With these changes, you can add a little uncertanty and possibility for the underdog.

HTH, Pasko

PS: I like very much the "exalted dice" and the general definition of Exalted cliches. I look forward to see what you come up with for motes and charms :)

2010-10-15, 01:48 PM
First of all, I'd like to compliment on the idea, I like it very much.
PS: I like very much the "exalted dice" and the general definition of Exalted cliches. I look forward to see what you come up with for motes and charms :)Thank you!

For this problem, I found a partial solution in this house rule:

- Overexertion: during a fight, a damaged character can fight with their complete dice pool, as if unwounded, at the price of overexerting all their resources. Every round, for each dice restored this way, you lose 1 point in another cliche. As usual, dropping a cliche to 0 means loss.Hm... hm... *nods sagely* An interesting idea. I shall consider it.

Another interesting correction on the basic rules is about "double pumpable" cliches. Instead of costing (x2), they should just cost (+1).I'm currently not using double pumping, but it might be worth considering to use.

2010-10-17, 06:51 AM
Hi there,
I've been giving some of your comments and issues some thought, so what do you think of these suggestions? I think most of these fit in with existing optional Risus rules from the compendium.

Dice rule tweaks

Rolled not kept
Exalted always roll full cliche dice but as they get injured the number that they can keep goes down by one

Double pumping
An exalt may double pump their Exalt Cliche dice at the cost of reducing your Exalt cliche by one.
double pumping is the only way to reduce your Exalt cliche, if it reaches 0 it 'burns out' for a while (allowing bad things to happen, plot twists etc), the character falls unconcious as usual and you get a Consequence....
An Exalt may always roll and keep their full dice pool by taking a Consequence.

Temporary Cliches
These add to the Dice pool but aren't kept and reflect some temparary boost that can not be kept for more than a scene (and definately not over to the next session)

And what exactly is a Consequence when it's at home??
This is a turn for the worse that impacts on the characters world, it shouldn't lead to a permanent impairment but needs sorting out before the rot sets in. E.G.s the character has a manse? land slide distrupts it. Got a tributary who pays tribute with food? it gets hit by locust swarm. Got a ward? they've gotten someone / has become pregnant.

Charms & equipment
(Pro's extra dice
Con's Charms need to be Stunted. Equipment can be taken away/ damaged
only one piece of Equipment and one Charm can be used a round )

Give each player another 10 points to split between charms and equipment
Charms can pretty much do anything but need to be narrow in focus (use the charms list for ideas), when a charm is created it is assigned a Stunt Rating (i.e. how much effort has to go into describing how it happens) so instead of getting stunt dice you get Cliche dice instead (obviously you can't go above 4 at character creation)
You can create Charm Trees (CT) that allow two charms to activate together which add to their potence (and add extra dice), you wouldn't be able to use the second level charm on its own only if you invoked the two together. (with the way Risus xp works it is beneficial to do this as it gets harder to increase cliches as time goes on so having a second cliche that builds on the first but can't be used outside the combo might be cool)

Charms that reflect the type of exalt (Solar, being awesome, abyssal aiding the destruction of creation, Teresstial buffing the team) should get an extra dice rolled but not kept.

Give a description of what the kit looks like, how it works, what it does etc give it some cliche opints and away you go. Can be boosted later by adding more Hearthstones / adding jade etc. If you want to use an armour cliche you'd need to describe fighting in such a way that enphasises how th armour is used as you fight etc

Restrictions to Charms and Equipment

Each charm or equipment (CoE) can only benefit one area of action once, other Area's can be added by treating the charm as one level higher when it comes time to attempt to improve it$. eg a sword can't be used to give two ways of boosing Melee attack but you could add Defense to a Melee attack so piece of equipment can cover two areas.
GMs should either ban any CoE that goes this CoE does this and / or / whilst also, these are indicators that two CoE are being combined when they shouldn't

Attack, Melee
Attack, Ranged
Attack, Group (i.e more than the PCs)
Information gathering
Political gain
Social engineering

Adding areas after creation.
Additional Areas can be added by reducing the cliche by 1, eg you have a suit of armour (3) <Defense>. The player adds in a hearth stone that is Air aspected to give a small lightning attack against those who attack the character (Melee attack area), it is now Armour (2) <defense, Melee attack>

$ normal Risus rules have a mechanic of roll number of d6 equal to cliche level, if all even add one to your cliche, all odd add nothing other wise add +1 to the dice result, e.g. a cliche of 2+1 would mean roll two dice and add 1 to the total. Once you get to +3 if you roll another +1 result you get a full level instead (and loose the +3).
So if you have a CoE at 3 but it covers three Areas you'd have to roll 5 dice making a full level boost to Cliche more unlikely.

Sample Scary Solar

Who is leading an army against a deathlord - pretty Awesome, so charms get a +1 not kept)
> Master of the armies (3)
> Solar exalted (3)
> Voice that can not be ignored (2) Charm SR1 (Social engineering, Group attack)
> Perfect command (2) Charm SR2 (Group attack) tree'd to VtcbI
> The Unbeaten Warbanner (3) Equipment (group attack)
would roll 15k13 d12 when leading an army with Anima flaring and a measly 12k10 d6 without the Anima....

Add in a temporary Cliche to show the prowess of the army he's leading say andother 2 dice turns this army into a 16k13 d12 force, and people wonder why the Sidreal are worried about the Solars having time to get themselves organised and build up followers etc


Give each character an numer of motes equal to their Exalt Cliche, they can be spent to give a +1 dice. They can only be replenished by Stunting, the bonus dice go into the mote pool instead of immediate dice roll.

Target numbers

I'd lift the TN's for superheroes straight and give non exalts a +5 to all of them. They would need renaming though.
TN Difficulty
10 Easy
15 Challenging
20 Formidable
25 Heroic
30 Superhuman
45 Incredible
65 Mythical
85 Inconceivable
100 Cosmic
My Sample Scary Solar would be hitting 95 on average when given a full blown army to lead with full equipment.

Hmm perhaps charms and equipment should be capped at d6 rather than exalt dice type...