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    Default Tell Me About Exalted

    I'm planning to run an Exalted campaign using 4e D&D rules sometime in the near future.

    *GASP*

    I know, I know; I love Exalted's fluff but am much more comfortable with D&D's rules. Anyway the fluff is all a bit much to absorb and put into context, as I've only played a short pbp Exalted game as a heroic mortal player. So I'm hoping you all can help me put all of it into context and fill in a couple of holes. I only have the basic 2e game book, and I'm highly unlikely to make any gaming purchases in the foreseeable future.

    Q1: What's the purpose/niche of the Lunar Exalts? The book says they're the solars' warlords and mates, but those seem to be redundent roles. I mean, Day caste solars make perfect warlords and while an entire breed of harem exalts might be fun to imagine as this:
    Spoiler
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    that doesn't seem a proper justification of their inclusion.

    Q2: What's the deal with Dragon Kings? Are they oriental-style dragonborn? And how could they have died by the millions if they were all kings?

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    Default Re: Tell Me About Exalted

    First: Lunars are the Chosen of Luna. Their purpose is to be Luna's servants. Each is bonded with a Solar (and only that Solar) entirely so the Unconquered Sun will think he has the Lunars under his control.

    Second: The Dragon Kings are sentient dinosaurs. They were not all kings - they were just called that. They used to rule the humans, but don't anymore due to being mostly dead.
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    Default Re: Tell Me About Exalted

    Quote Originally Posted by Tequila Sunrise View Post
    I'm planning to run an Exalted campaign using 4e D&D rules sometime in the near future.
    You fail Exalted forever. I'm sorry, but you cannot be allowed to live.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tequila Sunrise View Post
    Q1: What's the purpose/niche of the Lunar Exalts?
    Rule of Cool. Honestly, I could answer both questions with that and be correct, but I'll give you an actual in-universe answer that makes sense:

    Solars are God-chosen Kings of Creation. They rule, they do not lead. Leading armies and being part of a harem are for people who aren't chosen by the mightiest of gods to be lord and master over all you survey. That's what Lunars do. They get their hands dirty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tequila Sunrise View Post
    Q2: What's the deal with Dragon Kings? Are they oriental-style dragonborn? And how could they have died by the millions if they were all kings?
    Rule of Cool. But no, Dragon King is poetics in this case(everything in Exalted is named by poetics, you should know this if you plan to run it!). They're a race of Sentient Dinosaurs(dragons) who predate humanity(and are thus the 'kings' of creation). They died by the millions because Sentient Dinosaurs who predate humanity and kick nine kinds of mortal butt aren't cool enough to be special in Creation. And also because the Great Contagion and She Who Lives In Her Name destroyed 90+% of Creation.

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    Default Re: Tell Me About Exalted

    I'm not really sure how you'd shift exalted into 4e, but I'm very interested in seeing the conversion. I love Exalted's fluff, but trying to get my group to try new things is like pulling teeth. We're currently playing 4e, so a good conversion might be a nice segway...

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    Default Re: Tell Me About Exalted

    To be honest, I'm not entirely sure you could capture the feel of an exalted game under 4th edition rules. If you did run it, I would advise against letting your players be anything stronger than dragonblooded (who in my opinion are about level with heroic 4th edition characters) as all the other types of exalts are just too powerful to be represented with 4th edition rules.

    To take an example from an exalted campaign I played in, 3 solars could lead a group of untrained and poorly equipped villagers against the vanguard of highly trained, professional mercenaries equipped with magitek equivilants of guns and come out on top.

    Think of lunars as like werewolves, only with other types of animal-human hybrid forms.

    I don't know much about the dragon kings sadly.

    I hope that helps some.
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    Default Re: Tell Me About Exalted

    I've played (and still play) Exalted for a long time, but I seem to not want to leave the realm of house ruled First Ed, but the fluff remains the same for the most part. So here we go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tequila Sunrise View Post

    Q1: What's the purpose/niche of the Lunar Exalts? The book says they're the solars' warlords and mates, but those seem to be redundent roles.
    That was their role in the Golden Age, when they ruled side by side with the Solar Exalted, in the Third Age, their goals vary with each one, but their niche is survival, where a Solar Exalts for being able to achieve the pinnacle of human ability, the Lunars Exalt for being able to endure the greatest Hardships.

    General Quotes about the World of Exalted that find generally awesome. (The one by Ayiekie is one of the best)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tequila Sunrise View Post
    Q2: What's the deal with Dragon Kings? Are they oriental-style dragonborn? And how could they have died by the millions if they were all kings?
    The Dragon Kings were Intelligent Dinosaurs, they were the ruling race before humanity Became the chosen of the Gods to overthrow the Pirmordials.
    When the Exalts had finished their task, they sought to better humanity, and the Dragon Kings fell to the wayside before the rise of humanity, not through war, but simply because they were the old, and the new had leaders of power to give them better.

    Dragon Kings Info

    2nd Edition Exalted Mechanics make sense to me when you put it in the context of a Console Turn-based RPG, but makes it somewhat inherently broken in some aspects, if you get your hands on a copy of the 1st ed book (which I've seen cheap in the second hand bin of my FLGS) along with a copy of the Players Guide, the revised power combat is pretty darn nifty in my opinion.

    Good luck in your endavour in anycase.
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    Default Re: Tell Me About Exalted

    Hmm, I really don't see Exalted fitting in with 4th edition mechanically.

    Mostly, it's because the fluff is designed around mechanical balance not existing - Solars are the supreme form of Exalt, they're not supposed to be balanced with Dragon-Bloods or whatever. So you either ignore fundamental assumptions of the setting, or you break 4th edition.

    A1: The Lunars didn't fail to notice their partial redundancy and lack of a really clear niche as Exalts (the ones who got their hands dirty, btw, were the soldiers and bureaucrats of the Exalts: The Dragon-Blooded). During the first age, they were only halfway involved in Creation proper, many choosing instead to stay at the borders of Creation and fight the Wyld back as hands-on protectors of Creation.

    After the Dragon Blooded overthrew the Solars, the Lunars, driven to the Wyld to survive, embraced this role more fully, and also adopted a secondary objective: To establish a civilization that did not require Exalts to function effectively.

    So now the Lunar thing is twofold: Protect Creation from its' Enemies (of which it has lots), and create a template for a better human civilization by any means necessary.

    A2: Dragon Kings were an ancient race more favored by the primordials than humanity. They sided with the Incarnae when they rebelled, though, since they worshipped the Unconquered Sun. They're basically humanoid dinosaurs - thus the 'kings'.

    In the current era, their civilization has largely crumbled. Dragon Kings are born feral and must be trained to become sentient, and the system of training them has pretty much disintegrated. Barring smaller communities, Dragon Kings are now largely feral.

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    Default Re: Tell Me About Exalted

    Quote Originally Posted by Woot Spitum View Post
    To be honest, I'm not entirely sure you could capture the feel of an exalted game under 4th edition rules. If you did run it, I would advise against letting your players be anything stronger than dragonblooded (who in my opinion are about level with heroic 4th edition characters) as all the other types of exalts are just too powerful to be represented with 4th edition rules.
    He could give stunt bonuses for damage/attack when the players describe their stuff good.
    Minions = mortals (since they are not hard to kill if not heroic ones).

    In a stereotypical D&D module, the characters might stumble upon a kingdom ruled by a corrupt tyrant, or in the grasp of a wicked vizier giving his king bad advice, and they have to cobble together a rebellion or an assassination or whatever to overthrow the tyrant.

    In Exalted, a Circle of Solars would be equally likely to stumble upon such a situation. Now, unlike a bunch of level 4 guys, the Solars, even straight out of chargen, are more than up to the task of handling this situation. They might brew up a full-scale rebellion. They might just walk right up to the castle gates, hack their way in, and toss the tyrant from the highest rampart-- whatever. Deposing the evil central government isn't really a problem.

    In the D&D module, this is probably the end of the adventure. Cue party, cue magical items as presents or loot, move on to next goblin cave.

    In Exalted, this is where the story really begins-- okay, so you got rid of the tyrant, but now the local army is without a leader, which means it's not getting paid, which means... well, it can't mean anything good. You smashed up the corrupt bureaucracy, okay, but it WAS still at least semi-functioning as a bureaucracy, and now there's no mechanism to move food around the kingdom from the storehouses to the cities. In the wake of your glorious assault on the tyrant, this place is left without a military to protect it or a government to rule it. What do you do? Do the characters feel like it's even their responsibility to address those issues at all? This is a far greater challenge than just mowing down a couple hundred soldiers.
    Exalted have a certain different feel to it.

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    Default Re: Tell Me About Exalted

    I'm still not convinced that Lunars have a specific niche, but I do like me the thought of hottie half-feral were-creatures stalking the wyld. I'm not sure how much I like sentient dinosaurs.
    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroNumerous
    You fail Exalted forever. I'm sorry, but you cannot be allowed to live.
    Dam, I knew there was a flaw in my plan somewhere.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kylarra View Post
    I'm not really sure how you'd shift exalted into 4e, but I'm very interested in seeing the conversion. I love Exalted's fluff, but trying to get my group to try new things is like pulling teeth. We're currently playing 4e, so a good conversion might be a nice segway...
    So far I only have a few generic mortals stated out as monsters, plus ten heroic tier dragon-bloods. I'd be happy to share my homebrew and get feedback if you ever get to use it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Woot Spitum
    To be honest, I'm not entirely sure you could capture the feel of an exalted game under 4th edition rules. If you did run it, I would advise against letting your players be anything stronger than dragonblooded (who in my opinion are about level with heroic 4th edition characters) as all the other types of exalts are just too powerful to be represented with 4th edition rules.
    Really? The different levels of power in Exalted's fluff seem to fit perfectly into D&D's rules; solars are PCs, other exalts are normal monsters, mortals are minions, fair folk are normal or elite (?), gods and demons are elites. Even D&D's three tier structure seems to work perfectly; mortals exist only as heroic tier monsters while most other creatures exist in different forms in all three tiers. Minor local gods are heroic monsters, regional and minor philosophical gods are paragon and the Unconquered Sun & Co. are epic. Aren't there even three 'rings' of demons that can be summoned?

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    Default Re: Tell Me About Exalted

    Gods and demons are elites? What, all of them? There are a few a heroic mortal could beat up, handily.

    Most gods are not elites. Far from it. A Solar could beat up any god around his own power level, barring particularly strong charms or Solar Circle Sorcery. A circle of Solars is unlikely to have much trouble with any god they can conceivably at least hit.

    Even the Incarnae would be no match for a circle of high-XP Solars. At 'level thirty' (Essence 10), they could probably kill Sol Himself easily enough.

    Mortals should be minions. And, barring heroic or enlightened status, level 1.

    What do you plan on doing with social combat? Mass combat can be ignored, but social combat is quite important to the system.
    Last edited by Yuki Akuma; 2009-09-06 at 09:02 PM.
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    Default Re: Tell Me About Exalted

    Quote Originally Posted by Tequila Sunrise View Post
    I'm still not convinced that Lunars have a specific niche, but I do like me the thought of hottie half-feral were-creatures stalking the wyld. I'm not sure how much I like sentient dinosaurs.
    Their Niche exists at being subtle, solars summon the blinding powers of the sun, to draw a tangent:

    A Solar will throw a dart from 2 miles away to slay a middling lord from his horseback. No-one can find him, no-one can trace him, but they know he was assassinated.

    A Lunar will kill the same lord when he goes hunting, and is accidentally thrown from his horse, breaking his neck when startled by a lion. Of course, we dont know if the Lunar was the lion or the horse. Or the lunar could simply kill the lord, drink hs heart blood and take over the lords position to martial power in a far more advantageous manner, and cannot be dectected because of the nature of Lunar Shapeshifting.

    How's that for a niche?


    Really? The different levels of power in Exalted's fluff seem to fit perfectly into D&D's rules; solars are PCs, other exalts are normal monsters, mortals are minions, fair folk are normal or elite (?), gods and demons are elites. Even D&D's three tier structure seems to work perfectly; mortals exist only as heroic tier monsters while most other creatures exist in different forms in all three tiers. Minor local gods are heroic monsters, regional and minor philosophical gods are paragon and the Unconquered Sun & Co. are epic. Aren't there even three 'rings' of demons that can be summoned?
    This could be true in a mechanical sense in 4th ed, I dont know enough about it, but I cannot agree with this in any form of the spirit of the games and settings. A Solar exalted, when he exalts, can have the full and complete knowledge of charms that can raise an army in a week, or know spells that can destroy Armies. (1st Edition, Tiger-Warrior Training Technique Charm, Death of Obsidian Butterflies, 1st Circle Sorcery), and still have room to be a Close Combat expert.

    I'm not saying you can't do it, but personally, I just cant see it, but again, I wish you luck.

    And yes, there are Three Circles of demons, each representing lesser aspects of the Primordials who have been bound in their own names outside reality. However, the Scaling of power is more than just a step up, a first Circle demon is slightly equivalent to a dragonblooded, a second circle demon can make a team of exalts sweat, third circle demons make Solars cringe and run.
    Last edited by One Step Two; 2009-09-06 at 09:15 PM.
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    Default Re: Tell Me About Exalted

    Quote Originally Posted by One Step Two View Post
    A Solar will throw a dart from 2 miles away to slay a middling lord from his horseback. No-one can find him, no-one can trace him, but they know he was assassinated.
    This is another reason Exalted wouldn't mesh well with 4E.

    Exalted characters have 'powers' that do things like auto-hit with attacks. No such thing is meant to exist in 4th edition D&D - let alone archery from miles away when range 40 in 4E is staggeringly huge.

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    Default Re: Tell Me About Exalted

    4th edition pc's could not represent solar exalted without a significant power boost. A fair challenge for 3 newly exalted solars would be 1000 trained and well-equipped soldiers led by 5 somewhat experienced dragonblooded. In fact, a battle like this might actually be kind of easy if the solars plan carefully.
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    Default Re: Tell Me About Exalted

    I dunno, taking out a thousand guys, if you didn't have a sustainable (read: extra-killin') charm selection, which at character creation would significantly dent into your total charm selection, it might run you out of Essence, at least if you did it all in one engagement.

    So I guess you're talking about a prolonged campaign.

    This leads me to another difficulty in expressing the awesomeness of Exalted in 4th edition: Exalt powers are not one-time-use affairs. Exalts only run out of tricks when they are completely exhausted, not once they've used up the relevant ones for the situation.

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    Default Re: Tell Me About Exalted

    I didn't realize the extent of a solar's 'I casually curb-stomp anything in my way' power, so now that I know: I'm not interested in reflecting that particular aspect of Exalted, at least initially. My players know nothing of Exalted, and they all like a challenging fight so they won't be disappointed with any difference between Exalted and Exalted: the D&D campaign.
    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki_Akuma View Post
    Most gods are not elites. Far from it. A Solar could beat up any god around his own power level, barring particularly strong charms or Solar Circle Sorcery. A circle of Solars is unlikely to have much trouble with any god they can conceivably at least hit.
    Okay so maybe gods will be normal monsters. What would be elite? Fair folk? Elementals? Primordials?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki_Akuma View Post
    What do you plan on doing with social combat? Mass combat can be ignored, but social combat is quite important to the system.
    Actually I already have a rough system for naval combat, and want to expand that to mass combat at some point. I'll probably deal with social combat with good ol' fashioned rp, and the occasional skill challenge when dealing with tedious challenges.

    Quote Originally Posted by One Step Two
    Their Niche exists at being subtle, solars summon the blinding powers of the sun, to draw a tangent:

    A Solar will throw a dart from 2 miles away to slay a middling lord from his horseback. No-one can find him, no-one can trace him, but they know he was assassinated.

    A Lunar will kill the same lord when he goes hunting, and is accidentally thrown from his horse, breaking his neck when startled by a lion. Of course, we dont know if the Lunar was the lion or the horse. Or the lunar could simply kill the lord, drink hs heart blood and take over the lords position to martial power in a far more advantageous manner, and cannot be dectected because of the nature of Lunar Shapeshifting.

    How's that for a niche?
    Okay, I'm officially sold on lunar awesomeness.

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    Default Re: Tell Me About Exalted

    Quote Originally Posted by Tequila Sunrise View Post
    I didn't realize the extent of a solar's 'I casually curb-stomp anything in my way' power, so now that I know: I'm not interested in reflecting that particular aspect of Exalted, at least initially. My players know nothing of Exalted, and they all like a challenging fight so they won't be disappointed with any difference between Exalted and Exalted: the D&D campaign.
    Perhaps another route of use comes to mind? Exalted has a very rich setting, rather than trying to adapt their given skills and abilites into DnD terms, make them DnD scope, your characters aren't going to be Exalted characters, just characters in the setting. Forgive my use/mis-use of DnD CR's I don't know how the maths works for appropriate level encounters prescisely, and am limited to 3.5 for the most part.

    Fighting a small troupe of bandits is mortal fare, and fairly normal as a CR 2-3 Encounter for a low level group.

    Fighting a single Fair Folk with it's mind altering attacks (Illusion spells, Mind affecting Enchantments) would be CR 5-6 and challenging at that.

    Fighting the Dragonblooded leader of the Wyld Hunt who decides you're getting above yourselves presents a pretty considerable challenge, because he sure as heck wont be alone, and these are powerful dudes. And it becomes a 12-15 Challenge given their awesome synergy and attack powers (Flaming bursts from the Fire Caste Dragonborn)

    Trying to fight off a Solar Exalt is futile in many ways as fighting a DnD 3.5 Solar, but playing hard and smart can earn you successes.

    Trying to fight the same problems as an Exalted character, such as a hord of Fair Folk, a rampaging behemoth, or the Autocthonians coming out of the gateway of Ot like a locust swarm, the rise of the First and Forsaken Lion, etc, are not appropriate for D&D characters, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the world they live in.

    Okay so maybe gods will be normal monsters. What would be elite? Fair folk? Elementals? Primordials?
    Primordials had to be beaten by Essence 10 Solars and Lunars, aided by _armies_ of Dragonblooded, with strategies made by Sidereal advisors who were gifted weapons by Autocthon the Blacksmith of Primordials who decided to side against the others. Epic level is barely enough to try and compete against them. It's like throwing a Demi-lich at 10th level characters.

    Okay, I'm officially sold on lunar awesomeness.
    As someone who wrote a fan-made Splatbook revsion for them, I should think I can
    Last edited by One Step Two; 2009-09-06 at 11:04 PM.
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    Default Re: Tell Me About Exalted

    The man is right - Lunars seem to lack the niche that the other Exalted possess. They're defined much better in 2nd ed / Lunar Book, but they still seem to have a purpose that is primarily "shapeshifting companions to the Solar". I think the original (rather cool) ideas of Lunar presented in the core rulebooks (1st and 2nd) were never really followed through.

    Personally, I'd run this as Dragonblooded PCs. Solars are Solo enemeis, Sidreal and Lunar as Elite, Gods vary from Elite to Normal, Demons vary from Normal to Solo, and so on.

    Alternatively, start out at level 11. Mortals are levels 1 - 10, Terrestial Exalts levels 11 - 20, Celestial Exalts levels 21 - 30.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woot Spitum View Post
    To be honest, I'm not entirely sure you could capture the feel of an exalted game under 4th edition rules.
    I agree. In several ways, a starting-level Exalt is more powerful than a level-30 4E character.

    For starters, range and duration of effects. In 4E, pretty much every effect has a maximum range of up to 200 feet, and a duration counted in seconds, and any semi-powerful move can be performed only once per five minutes (or once per 24 hours). Exalted breaks all three limits regularly without even breaking a sweat.

    Exalted is about being over-the-top Epic. 4E is about being carefully balanced. The two are in direct contradiction.
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    Default Re: Tell Me About Exalted

    Quote Originally Posted by Sophismata View Post
    Alternatively, start out at level 11. Mortals are levels 1 - 10, Terrestial Exalts levels 11 - 20, Celestial Exalts levels 21 - 30.
    I'd love to start at 11th level, but unfortunately my group has had a bit of trouble doing that in the past. One player in particular has trouble with too many options; he takes at least an hour just to make a 1st level character. So I'm going to start them at 1st level, level them up quickly, and treat it as a kind of prolonged exaltation. This also gives me the advantage of working in my house rules gradually -- like bonuses at every level to make up for the game's math glitch and no enhancement bonuses.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain
    Exalted is about being over-the-top Epic. 4E is about being carefully balanced. The two are in direct contradiction.
    Fortunately my group is very happy with being at-the-top epic.
    Last edited by Tequila Sunrise; 2009-09-07 at 09:37 AM.

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