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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    overduegalaxy's Avatar

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    Default Running Exalted for the first time. What do I need to know?

    I've never personally run anything using the White Wolf system, but I've had some experience playing it (and will have had more by the time the game starts), but none of our group has any experience whatsoever with Exalted specifically.

    So what do I, as the GM, need to know about the system? What do the players need to know about character creation? And what, in general, are things we should all keep in mind?

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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Running Exalted for the first time. What do I need to know?

    There is some diferences with the white wolf standard, with combat system for example, but you will not have problems. The hardest things is the powers of exalted and the combos. You should study the chapter about that.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Running Exalted for the first time. What do I need to know?

    Also remember that Awesome > Realism, especially when it comes to Solars (who are empowered by the God of Awesome).
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Running Exalted for the first time. What do I need to know?

    The most important thing? Expect the PCs to break your plots in unexpected ways. This is good, because Exalts are supposed to be able to shape the world around them with their actions - it just might come as a shock if you're used to GMing low-level D&D, say.

    (I usually start Exalted games with a situation, like "The Tri-Khan is holding a gathering of the tribes in Chiaroscuro; Lunars, Abyssals, spirits and Fair Folk are all pursuing their agendas in the area at the same time." and then let the characters get involved however they like.)

    Keep some guidelines in mind for stunts, so you don't end up going 'um' every time one comes up. I use Interesting Description = 1 die; Interacting With Environment = 2 dice; Making Everyone Go 'Ooh' = 3 dice.

    Make use of the full range of wackiness that the setting allows for.

    Don't be afraid to house rule as you see fit (and negotiate with your players while you're at it). Both editions of Exalted are a little cracked* straight out of the box and if you adjust things to suit your group you'll have a better experience.

    *As in, not broken but easily breakable with rough handling.

    When making characters, pick a concept first and build to meet that concept. Building to create 'the most awesome combat machine' is a) easy and b) destroys the game.

    That said, start with Solars. They're the most straightforward.

    The probability of the system isn't too difficult: you can expect to score about 50% successes on any roll.

    I could probably come up with more.
    Last edited by potatocubed; 2009-05-22 at 05:14 PM.
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    Default Re: Running Exalted for the first time. What do I need to know?

    The first important lesson I struggled to wrap my head around with Exalted was the idea that the difficulty of the battle isn't measured in Health Levels lost, but by Motes expended. I thought at first, if I wasn't hurting my PCs in every fight, then I wasn't challenging them in combat. This isn't the case. If your PCs are forced to use charms for defense or offense, it's probably right around the right difficulty.

    Don't let people tell you about advanced Exalted Tactics. Either figure them out for yourself or be happy not knowing them. Some people want to tell newbies that if they're not pulling insta-kill with surprise-negating-perfect defense combos by 15 experience in, they're doing it wrong. It's like saying you can't enjoy Guilty Gear XX without knowing how to False Roman Cancel or Jump Cancel. Let your players set your pace.

    Make sure you understand the combo rules before you let a player make a combo.

    Oh, here's something I do that isn't a rule or hard advice, but when I'm winging something, either because my players have gone completely outside my notes already, or because they've attacked someone I haven't stated up, I fall back on what I call the 9/7/5 rule for Exalts/Gods ect or the 7/5/3 rule for mortals. Those are the total pools they have for any specific action they are (Gifted /Professionally trained / Competent) at. With this rule I don't need to look up my notes to see a mortal Guard would have a 5 dicepool to find a hiding character, or that a Dragonblood Sorcerer would have a 9 die pool to identify a specific demon.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Running Exalted for the first time. What do I need to know?

    In my opinion, the most important thing to know in exalted is that on a given roll, a character will on average have half as many dice as he rolls in successes.

    That makes it in some way possible to judge where 'fun' points are (enemy defense wise), especially if you're new to white wolf in general. To start out, throw almost exclusively extras at the party in combat situations in order to fathom what exaclty they can do.

    It is also helpful to talk ahead of time to chat with the players. For a first time, it may be best to have everyone be at least /relatively/ similar, charmwise, in the focus of the campaign - typically combat. Makes it easier than if you intend to build a combat-focused game, and have the party's dawn caste going nuts on it while the party's eclipse twiddles his thumbs.

    But overall, have fun with it. Err on the side of neat.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Running Exalted for the first time. What do I need to know?

    I would use the house rule to subtrack Soak total from the dice the offense gets to roll prior to any damage roll occuring.

    Example
    Attacker has an attack that does 10 dice, Defender has 6 soak from stamina + armor or charms. Attacker now rolls 4 damage dice to see if he injurs anything.

    This makes soak worth something and not a crap shoot to see if someone is one shotted.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Running Exalted for the first time. What do I need to know?

    Always make sure you know what your players want to do. Ask them their plans on character generation and before every session. This is important in any game, but essential in Exalted, since even relatively new characters are powerful enough to plow through most mundane obstacles and get to doing what they want. If you're not ready for your player's plans, things won't go so well... so it's important to get a general sense of your player's current goals in advance.

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    Tengu_temp's Avatar

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    Default Re: Running Exalted for the first time. What do I need to know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hida Reju View Post
    I would use the house rule to subtrack Soak total from the dice the offense gets to roll prior to any damage roll occuring.

    Example
    Attacker has an attack that does 10 dice, Defender has 6 soak from stamina + armor or charms. Attacker now rolls 4 damage dice to see if he injurs anything.

    This makes soak worth something and not a crap shoot to see if someone is one shotted.
    You do realize that this makes soak less effective than it is by default rules, right?

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Running Exalted for the first time. What do I need to know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kantolin View Post
    a character will on average have half as many dice as he rolls in successes.
    Erm...could you clarify what you mean by that?

    Because usually it'll be 2 dice = 1 success (roughly), which is also reflected in the Excellency charms.
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    The Rose Dragon's Avatar

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    Default Re: Running Exalted for the first time. What do I need to know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengu_temp View Post
    You do realize that this makes soak less effective than it is by default rules, right?
    Wait, I fail to see how it is not the default rules. Maybe it's cause I'm not a native speaker or something, but seriously, how is it any different from RAW?

    ^ That's what he was saying, actually. 2 dice = 1 success.
    Last edited by The Rose Dragon; 2009-05-23 at 10:39 AM.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kyeudo's Avatar

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    Default Re: Running Exalted for the first time. What do I need to know?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Rose Dragon View Post
    Wait, I fail to see how it is not the default rules. Maybe it's cause I'm not a native speaker or something, but seriously, how is it any different from RAW?
    I can't see any difference either. You subtract Soak from the total damage dice of the attack, then roll the damage.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Running Exalted for the first time. What do I need to know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengu_temp View Post
    You do realize that this makes soak less effective than it is by default rules, right?
    You're probably thinking of Scion which applies soak after rolling damage. (Amusingly, because of significantly higher soak values at higher levels, many people have houseruled it back to the way Exalted has it.)

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