View Full Version : Exalted

Grizzled Gryphon
2007-07-08, 12:28 PM
Anyone play this game? It looks like a lot of fun. I hopefully will be playing on saturday.

Anyone have any good hints about the game? I know a little about it, but am very much a novice at it. So, any hints or ideas any veteran players have come across would be much appreciated.

And yes, this is the table top RPG that I am talking about.

Kurald Galain
2007-07-08, 12:41 PM
I did, and yes, it's fun.

Hints? Well gee, that depends entirely on the story, character concepts, etc.

2007-07-08, 12:47 PM
I won't answer the questions asked directly, I could go to such inane lengths doing so and I frankly don't have the time!

In lieu, I'll support you with a pair of links.
This one (http://www.geocities.com/blackhatmatt/htrexalted.htm), it teaches you about the exalted game.
And this one (http://forum2.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=252712), everything you need to know about Exalted Combat in a slightly more interesting package than the norm.

You are going for 2e... Right?
For 1e, this combat guide (http://wiki.rpg.net/index.php/Mnemon_Explains_Solar_Combat) is exceedingly well written.

Grizzled Gryphon
2007-07-08, 12:51 PM
I did, and yes, it's fun.

Hints? Well gee, that depends entirely on the story, character concepts, etc.

Of course it does, I should have mentioned it in the first post. My character (as well as the other two in thi game) are Solars. my character is a Dawn Caste. Adun was a slave for all of his life. He worked the slave mines until he was oblserved fighting off several other slaves by the guards. Soon after, he was fighting in the arena. On the eve of the Grand Championship fight, eh (and hi opponent) exalted.

Adun is all about stopping slavery throughout creation. He doesn't really care about the slaves, he wants to stick it to the man (slave owners).

Grizzled Gryphon
2007-07-08, 12:54 PM
That would be good info to have, wouldn't it?

My character is Adun. He is a Dawn Caste Solar that is going to end slavery in Creation.

He weilds a Grand Goremual. I am going to pick out a good 3 point artifact armor, too.

Anything else you need to know?

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-08, 12:58 PM
For a Dawn, well, you're a Combat Guy. As with everyone, you should have two kinds of defense (i.e. Melee parries plus Soak, or Dodge plus Soak), one of them eventually getting Perfect Defenses. You may want to invest in a Dodge charm or two so you can reflexively dodge, as well.

Efficiency of Essence-expenditure is important. Exalted fights tend to be won not with massive attacks, but by forcing them to spend Essence at a faster rate relative to their total than you are.

2007-07-08, 03:18 PM
One thing I recommend, especially for Dawn, is to take a feat or two in a useful non-combat abilities. It makes your char feel more well-rounded, and if its like Craft, Med, or something else like that, you can do some nice stuff during downtime that may pay off down the road. If the game's run Ninja Scroll style, however (And they can be unbelievably fun for a short campaign) Disreard what I just said =P.

2007-07-08, 03:44 PM
One of the most important things to remember about playing Solars is that you are gods walking among mortals, and your footsteps shake the cosmos in your wake. Play up the fact that you're an enormous badass, that you are of the Princes of the Earth, and the usurpers are simply keeping your throne warm for your return. Also remember, however, that you're Superheroes, and need to keep your "secret identity" secret, or else the Terrestrial Exalts (dragonblooded) will dogpile you and take you out with their superior numbers and resources. Also, the idea behind Solars is that they're hugely heroic, but also deeply flawed people, and have their own serious problems with self-control, or with a lack of compassion (or conversely, an overabundance of compassion.)

Exalted, to me, is more about an attitude than the mechanics, and that attitude is best attained I think through listening to Queen's "Princes of the Universe" off the Highlander soundtrack, and the Harry Potter movie parody "Wizard people, Dear reader" (http://www.illegal-art.org/video/wizard.html), which makes continuous references to Harry doing things like casting spells mountains could scarcely weather and so forth.

Also, watching John Woo gunfight movies and chinese wuxia sword epics will help you come up with fantastic stunts for you to do.

2007-07-08, 04:43 PM
First of all, two words: Persistent Defense. Makes your life sooooooo much easier, particularly if you're in a 1E game. Melee being a Caste ability for you, your best shot is probably Fivefold Bulwark.

I agree with the recommendations to take up something that isn't just battle-related; Occult's a nice all-around skill, for instance. Lore... does just about everything. Presence has uses both on and off the battlefield (oh, the fun that can be had with Terrifying Apparition of Glory). And Awareness. Awareness is your friend. Even if you don't favor it, buy up to three and make a two-Charm investment to get to Surprise Anticipation Method--cheapest way to do that is just using a couple of your initial slots at chargen.

I agree with the "Be heroic" crowd. This is a game in which even someone who doesn't have the Charms for it can occasionally get lucky enough to stop an army in its tracks by yelling at them or guilt-trip a behemoth, in which shouting at the gods is a relatively common occurrence (....little gods, usually, though I did see someone attempt to give the Unconquered Sun a dressing-down once), and where if you haven't done something tremendously flashy in battle at least once it's generally assumed you're not trying hard enough. Sky's the limit, really.

One thing you can do, if you want to see it in action, is mosey on over to Beta Subforum and check out the PBP "Chaya: The Happiest Place in Creation". Should still be somewhere in the first five pages. It's a bit less actiony than some games, but it gives a pretty good feel.

Oh, and one more thing: If you can possibly manage it, don't wear/carry your orichalcum goodies openly. We lose so many promising Exalts that way....

2007-07-08, 05:23 PM
What a coincidence... I am just about to run the sample adventure with some friends to test the system. Anybody has any advice about that?

Innis Cabal
2007-07-08, 05:49 PM
use 1st ed, ignore any exaltations past abyssal becuase......they make solars look like children. Thats all i can really say. 2nd ed is a perversion

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-08, 05:57 PM
use 1st ed, ignore any exaltations past abyssal becuase......they make solars look like children. Thats all i can really say. 2nd ed is a perversion

I'm sorry, but that's not true. Solars of any given essence are more powerful than any other kind of Exalt of the same Essence (yes, including Sidereals, who have less cost-effective charms, especially perfect charms--Scroll of the Monk has some ridiculousness, but we've yet to see Solar charms of the same Essence levels).

2E has a lot going for it--tick-based combat, for one thing, and Social Combat for another once you can get past a couple of stumbling blocks. It's an improvement.

2007-07-08, 05:59 PM
What a coincidence... I am just about to run the sample adventure with some friends to test the system. Anybody has any advice about that?First or second edition?
In this case, it makes all the difference...

2E has a lot going for it.Oh, absolutely...
But we are many that had still rather stay playing 1e, than go 2e!
The social combat system, mainly, is what feels sooo clunky...

And SotM? In part, it has helped spawn massive threads about the state of Exalted (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=341937) in other places...

2007-07-08, 06:14 PM
it's 2e; I got the manual as a present and downloaded the return to the tomb of fife corners online. I know nothing about 1e differencies and am actually trying to actively avoid them until I have a better grasp on the system.

2007-07-08, 06:26 PM
it's 2e; I got the manual as a present and downloaded the return to the tomb of fife corners online. I know nothing about 1e differencies and am actually trying to actively avoid them until I have a better grasp on the system.I say, don't bother with 1e at all!
But there's some distinct differences between the starting adventures of the two verisions.

Regardless, there's a couple of things you could do.
(1) Grab an effective Battle wheel (here (http://www.voidstate.com/rpg/voidstate_battlewheel_v1-1.pdf) or here (http://download.white-wolf.com/download/download.php?file_id=834)) to help tracking ticks.
(2) Read up on the rules, especially combat. The adventure is nearly 100% combat, keep this in mind when you prepare.
(3) Hand out plenty of stunting essence, the players should be encouraged to use their charms and as a new Story Teller... it's much easier to give too few than too many.

2007-07-08, 08:30 PM
A major tip for running an Exalted game: remember that Solars are potential god-killers. What I mean is that, given enough time, they can march over anything. However, everyone and their familiar wants to kill them before that happens, so they need to balance between using their awesomeness and being discreet. Yes, this was mentioned before quite eloquently before, but to the player, not the Storyteller, so the emphasis is different. You do need to reward outrageous acts of roleplaying; the stunt system rocks for that, though guard against abuse. However, recklessness needs to be punished by increasing the Wyld Hunt's pressure proportional to how (in)famous they are. And always remember, it's not just dragonB vs. Solar: interweave all the types and it keeps it interesting.

Or don't. Always remember: Your game, Your rules. Only absolute is have fun.

The Valiant Turtle
2007-07-08, 08:53 PM
Actually exalted is the primary game I play in (run by Smellie_Hippie who may well put in an appearance in this thread at some point).

It will definitely help to find out what kind of campaign it will be. Exalted can end up being anything from D&D scale melee, to massive army warfare, to just sitting and chatting with the local gods (with the possibility of social combat of course). If you know it's going to be almost entirely combat, you'll need less social charms and other types of charms.

Anyway, I'll throw out some general character building advice:

Always boost your Essence to 3!

Dex is the most important melee stat. Str and Fort are about equally important in most cases. Str can be boosted by the Strength Increasing Excercise charm in Athletics if you feel the need. It helps in melee but it's often fun outside of melee as well.

Try to get a perfect defense if you can. Depending on the campaign and character concept you may be able to skip it at character creation (especially if you are focusing on ranged attacks--but it doesn't sound like you are), but it should be an early grab.

Monkey Leap (Athletics Charm) is very, very good if you play it by the book (2E only)

Combo's can kill. Pick one up and make it strong, but you've got to know when to use it.

Don't forget to stunt. Especially for your first games, the Storyteller should probably be generous on the stunts.

Healing isn't easy to come by. I believe the self-heals are in the Resistance charms now. Try to pick that up. Having someone with Medicine chams in the party is good.

Unless your character concept demands you be poor, pick up a few dots in resources (I'd recommend 2-3).

For a combat character get a solid Artifact Weapon. I'd shoot for something costing 2-4 dots.

If you can't decide on a charm grab an excellency somewhere (2E only), they are the most flexible charms and are pre-reqs for just about everything.

Okay, I think I've rambled on long enough now.

2007-07-08, 09:13 PM
I'd just like to note that Essence is important: It's the closest thing the Exalted system comes to a "character level", ala D&D.

2007-07-08, 10:07 PM
Also, if you're ever running 2nd edition Dragonblooded, make a houserule to say multiple speed bonuses don't stack, or some smartass will opt to make a Dragonblooded who attacks every other tick with 4 hit flurries with paired Jade Short Daiklaives and Jade Hearthstone Bracers. It's a recipe for disaster (Oh, he uses a simple charm this round, you get to hit him three times before he acts again!) and they will whittle away anything but solars/abyssals with huge persistent defenses active or who are wearing improbable super-heavy plate armor. Coupled with a character with a high enough join battle action, these people can and will end fights before any other character acts. Moreso than the fact that they make it hard for other people to get chances to be awesome in combat, is the problem that they take 4 times as long as everyone else each time they act, and act twice as often, dominating the session time with their repeated attack rolls.

This is a problem I'm struggling to deal with in a game I'm running currently.

The Valiant Turtle
2007-07-08, 10:12 PM
On an unrelated note, my old avatar was based on my exalted character. Here he is:


He's a night caste using Gauntlets of the Distant claw from the 1E Night Caste book.

(Yes, my avatar making skills leave much to be desired)

2007-07-09, 02:28 AM
Thank you for the great advice :smallwink:
We are trying to keep things simple, so for this first session we are using the pre-made adventure "return to the tomb of five corners". This means that we are using the pre-made PCs, which I hope are balanced already.
On of my concerns is that this adventure looks 90% combat and that the cool setting, cosmology and feel of the world might not go through. It looks pretty much what you would expect from a D&D dungeon more than a WoD adventure and I'm a bit concerned that the potential of exalted might not come out. Also, as written, few encounters can be dealt with in ways other than combat.
Has anybody run that specific adventure? Any comments/suggestions about it?
Oh, and keep going with the general "how to run the game" tips, they are more than welcome :smallbiggrin:

MostlyAcumen, what is a battle wheel? :smalleek: is it some way to keep track of the ticks? Is the bullseye in the second one used for health levels? Thank you.

2007-07-09, 03:38 AM
I've played in three Exalted campaigns, though I've never wanted to play Solars... I find them relatively uninteresting. I mean, angsty antiheroes or world savers, movers, shakers. So far, I haven't seen any exalted game that doesn't run one or the other. Been that, done there.

I'd go with Lunars or Dragon-blooded any day, they've lived in the world for all the years Solars just dreamed on. Besides, they're not as horribly overpowered as Solars get to be.

Are you playing 1st ed or 2nd? There's a definite difference in ... well, everything. The 2nd ed is even more Solar-centered, all of the art is bad quality manga-ish and it didn't fix any of the balance issues, just introduced a million new ones. The new charms look good, though. Just that the charm trees (well, the art) are made of fail and sticks.

2007-07-09, 11:22 AM
MostlyAcumen, what is a battle wheel? :smalleek: is it some way to keep track of the ticks? Is the bullseye in the second one used for health levels? Thank you.Tracking Ticks? Excactly.
Each Character has a marker that's moved whenever the character acts.
when it's your turn to act, you are at 0. So when then the Dawn caste attacks with its daiklave (speed 5), it is moved to the 5 of the wheel.
When everyone who was on zero has hads their turn, all markers are moved towards 0 by an amount equal to what the marker(s) closest to zero is at.
Repeat ad nauseum.

The first wheel also helps you track DV penalties, the second one is simpler in that it only tracks ticks.

2007-07-09, 03:02 PM
Is it just me or is Exalted's initiative system a bit of a representation of jRPGs' ATB bar system? Because if it is... the game gets even hotter for me.

2007-07-09, 03:11 PM
Limit break!

Throw enemy into the sun!

2007-07-09, 03:27 PM
Throw enemy into the sun!
Nothing special (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/epic/feats.htm#distantShot), just add Fling Enemy.

2007-07-09, 03:29 PM
Limit break!

Throw enemy into the sun!

Unlike FF7, Limit breaks are not good in Exalted.

2007-07-09, 03:39 PM
Unlike FF7, Limit breaks are not good in Exalted.

Why? Because everyone around you figures out you're Exalted and starts to want to see you dead?

2007-07-09, 03:50 PM
Unlike FF7, Limit breaks are not good in Exalted.They aren't?
Not as if they don't give back willpower or anything useful like that, not at all.

Then a properly placed limit break could happen to tip social and combat situations into the Exalts Favor. Yeah!

Is it just me or is Exalted's initiative system a bit of a representation of jRPGs' ATB bar system? Because if it is... the game gets even hotter for me.Ahh, this was once my reaction too. Then I realized, "bu the only similarity is that both systems account for characters and actions of differing speed!". Well, yeah.

Ticks is a mighty pleasant system anyway... at least for us, when we all learnt how to use it.

Grizzled Gryphon
2007-07-09, 08:53 PM
Well, I have a character made up, so here are the important bits.

Essence 3.

Str 4
Dex 4
Sta 3
Cha 3
Man 1
App 3
Per 3
Int 3
Wits 3

Martial arts 3
Melee 5
Integrity 3
Resistance 5
Lore 1
Medicine 3
Athletics 5
Awareness 3
Dodge 3
Stealth 3

Willpower 6

Compassion 1
Conviction 3
Temperance 3
valor 2

And the all important Charms

First Melee Excellency
Thunderbolt Attack Prana
Durability of Oak
Iron Skin Concentration
Ox Body Technique
Ox Body Technique
Body Mending Meditation
Graceful Crane Stance
Second Athletics Excellency
Monkey Leap Technique


Resources 3
Artifact 3
artifact 3

I will be using a Grand Goremual for a weapon. Looks like a fun one. I origonally had one of his backgrounds as a Manse 3, but where would a slave have gotten that? So, I changed it to artifact, instead.

Note: I don't actually have the Goremaul or the artifact armor yet, but the story teller assures us we will get them soon.

As for the game, I know the Sory Teller doesn't care for Social Combat, so we will not be using that aspect of the game.

Anyway, what do you all think of my first attempt at making one of these guys? I tried to go with stats, abilities, and charms that made sense because of his past.

He has the strength and dex from toiling in the mines. In his world, the better you did, the more food you got. So, he worked as hard as he could, so he could eat well. The stealth comes in because it is usually in a slaves best interest to NOT be noticed. He got medicine from watching the medics (or whatever) work on him after gladiator fights. Note his awareness. While fighting in the arena, he soon found that being quick and nimble helped him to not be hurt. Thus he gained athletics, and worked on them a LOT. Big flashy weapons were a big hit with the crowds. So the goremual. Or rather, the tetsubo at the moment.

He has resources three as he and his opponent for the Grand Championship (or whatever it would be called, sort of like a title fight) exalted while being shown off the night before the match. They basically had had enough of being treated like property, so they went nuts. Unfortunately for those present, they had no guards to speak of, and thus were slaughtered. They were very rich, tough, and Adun and (my buddy hasn't named his guy yet) made off with all their goodies. So, they are both doing rather well.

Why did they have little to no guards, do you ask? Because neither Adun or (we will call him Bob, what the heck) had NEVER raised a hand to there masters. EVER. They always did as they were told, and did it as best they could. Imagine a really well trained attack dog. That is how they were. So, what would they need guards for? Besides, it makes them look good to their peers if they have these impressive slaves that they don't need guards for, as they have that degree of control over their slaves.

But, if any of his abilities or background sound odd, or out o place for a former slave, let me know. I will either explain it, or you found something I did not think of.

The Valiant Turtle
2007-07-09, 10:17 PM
It looks pretty good, but you're a little shy on Melee. I don't think I'd get Thunderbolt Attack Prana yet. It is a pretty good little charm, but it is limited to whatever signature move you choose. I would pick up a standard Melee charm first, probably Hungry Tiger tech. I would also consider dropping the second Ox Body for another Melee or other Resistance Charm (Essence Gathering Temper is a blast). You also don't gain that much from Graceful Crane Stance. It is a pre-req for some charms, but they don't seem like they would fit your character. I think I would drop that one.

Going resistance as your primary defense is fun and can be pretty effective, just be aware that there are nasty charms and other things that can affect you with a successful hit even if you soak all the damage. You should probably pick up a Resistance Excellency at some point. I believe you are allowed to use that to boost your soak.

Given how high your Melee is, you'll usually want to use your Parry DV instead of Dodge, so you could drop dodge a little bit for some more somewhere else. It might be worth it to add a point or two in throwing weapons or archery for some ranged capability (probably thrown for a gladiator type). I think I would drop dodge and Martial arts by 1 each and pick up 2 in thrown. Alternately you can grab Call the Blade and get Iron Raptor soon and rely on that for ranged combat.

By the way, I wouldn't worry about how many guards there were. 2 fresh Solar Exalts can easily take out a few dozen guards. As soon as the Dawn Caste Anima banner flares almost every one of them should be running away in terror anyway.

In any case, it's perfectly playable as you have it built, I just think you'll be wanting a bit more offensive punch. There's nothing quite like rolling attacks with 20+ dice.