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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Kobold-Bard's Avatar

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    Default [Exalted 2ed] Charms...

    Are they as complicated as they look?

    I've started an Exalted game with my group and it looks very cool, but the Charms chapter just looks unbelievably complicated, especially given the ease with which I did the first bit of char-gen (dots and whatnot).

    So are they really hard to grasp, or am I just being silly?
    Last edited by Kobold-Bard; 2009-11-02 at 07:30 PM.
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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Exalted 2ed] Charms...

    They take time to get used to. The biggest problem is looking at the charms chapter, seeing several hundred charms, and going "What the hell do I take?"

    They have the unusual factor of making the more powerful effects harder to get via more prerequisite charms and stats, rather than by making the charm itself more complicated – the 101st charm you take will be using the same XP costs as the 11th one.

    The way they're tied to skills (or attributes) makes things rather easier – work out what your character wants to do, then go and look at how they do it magically – if they're a talky character look at Presence and Performace (Or Charisma and Manipulation), if you want to make a sniper look at Archery and Stealth. Look at the skills/attributes you've got at 3+ as your first port of call.

    Do you have any specific questions about charms?

    Beyond the above, one important thing is keeping survivability. Sure you can talk the birds out of the trees with 10 charms in just performance and presence. But the archer who was too far away from you to be moved to tears will still shoot you in the head. Take a few defensive charms; if you're a Solar take a Perfect Defence.

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    Default Re: [Exalted 2ed] Charms...

    It's not really complex, any more than the Spells chapter of the D&D Player's Handbook is complex—just really, really long, with a few confusing bits here and there.

    A tip for creating a character: The Excellencies are cooler than they look. They're not as shiny as the charms that let you turn invisible, write letters that can brainwash people, or parry a meteor, but they tend to be more generally applicable—if you have a Melee Excellency, you can make yourself better at any aspect of melee combat, rather than having a single powerful attack or parry.

    Make sure you take a few of these when you make a character. They're all too easy to overlook when you're new, but they're the bread and butter of most Exalted (especially Solars), and they really are fun. When you've picked a few of those, then you can start looking at the Charm trees for your character's favorite abilities.

    Edit- And no, you don't need to bother with a perfect defense at the start—although if you're a warrior it's not a bad idea. Most Storytellers are not going to throw you up against hideously powerful enemies right at the start. It's a good idea to invest in at least a defensive Excellency of some kind (Martial Arts, Melee, or Dodge), but if you're not focused on combat you probably don't want to waste 2-3 of your starting Charms qualifying for a perfect defense.
    Last edited by The_Snark; 2009-11-02 at 11:29 PM.
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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: [Exalted 2ed] Charms...

    Charms, in and of themselves, aren't terribly complicated. There's just a LOT of them.

    The real complexity, and confusing hangups, come from creating Combos, what can go with what, the rules for creating combos are fairly complex, and lots of people mess them up...

    Especially Social combos.

    Read pg 244-245 really, really carefully. Illegal Combos can causes some serious in-game malarkey, such as complete and total, irresistible mental domination being thrown around willy-nilly by starting Solars (who can get close enough legally, but that's not the point)

    For example, an illegal combo I see frequently:
    Husband-Seducing demon Dance + Hypnotic tongue Technique (and many, many other similar combinations.)

    Illegal because: Both H-SDD and HTT are Simple type charms, a given combo may only have 1 simple type charm.
    Other, similar combos often fail because they'll have H-SDD, a Simple-Performance charm, being used with a Supplemental charm from a different ability. A simple charm may only be combo'd with a supplemental charm from the same ability unless either charm (usually the supplemental) specifically says otherwise.


    Quote Originally Posted by The_Snark View Post
    - And no, you don't need to bother with a perfect defense at the start—.
    This is 100% contingent on your ST, your familiarity with the Exalted Combat System, and the type of game you're going to be playing.

    If it's an intrigue at court type of deal, you may well NEVER need one. If it's more of a hack-n'-slasher, start with one. it only takes 2 charms.

    And a more experienced player will be able to see the gang-bangs that are coordinated attacks coming, and react appropriately to prevent them, whereas a new player might well be caught off guard.

    Then again, if you've got *that type* of storyteller that just LOVES to have high-essence Terrestrial Dragon Blooded jump out of a hidden ambush, activating their ridiculous custom-charm-combos that give them an attack pool of well over 30 dice, you'll need that perfect defense.

    In terms of least-to-most price-efficient:

    Dodge: Seven Shadow Evasion (2 charms + 1 Bonus Point.) The discount, "keep me alive" option. The bonus point is well spent (Higher dodge is always welcome) it's a fairly minimal charm investment for a P.D. and the one pre-rec charm, Shadow Over Water, while not hugely game-breaking, allows you to cheaply dodge enough arrows to blot out the sun, provided they're being shot by low skill mooks.
    If you don't know how combat works (i.e. you're likely to get hit hard) or you're playing a combat-intense game, totally worth it.

    Melee: Heavenly Guardian Defense (4 charms total, +1 Bonus Point)
    Pretty dang expensive, but synergies well with the rest of the Melee tree for combos, *especially* Solar Counterattack. If you're planning on being a Melee beat-stick, you'll end up with the charms, (and melee 4+) eventually anyway.

    Resistance: 4 charms, +2 Bonus Points (resistance 5) +7 bonus points (Essence 3)
    Easily the most expensive, though also the most versatile. You are now immune to physical damage. Can make for some awesome stunts.

    Though it's worth noting that, for the most part, Iron Skin Concentration (requires 2 total charms, and a paltry Resistance 3) Is almost as good until you're fighting high-essence targets (you'll probably have Stamina of at least 3, total of 6+ dice, average of 2-3 successes, so you'll *usually* be invincible) and at least get some soak if you fail.
    (drop 1 background point into Manse for a Stone of Breath to pretty much always pass that test if you worry about it)
    Last edited by Jakezor; 2009-11-02 at 11:50 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Exalted 2ed] Charms...

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Snark;7242424Edit- And no, you [I
    don't[/I] need to bother with a perfect defense at the start—although if you're a warrior it's not a bad idea. Most Storytellers are not going to throw you up against hideously powerful enemies right at the start. It's a good idea to invest in at least a defensive Excellency of some kind (Martial Arts, Melee, or Dodge), but if you're not focused on combat you probably don't want to waste 2-3 of your starting Charms qualifying for a perfect defens]e.
    You don't need one, it's true. And if you're not a Solar, I'd say not to bother going for one. But if you're a solar, you can get one for two charms, including the Perfect itself.

    Generally I'd say that you want to be survivable – you want to have some level of defensive charms. And taking the dodge perfect defense is the simplest way of going "I can survive... now lets take the charms to do things"

    2 charms and dodge 4 gets you very good defensive ability for relatively little investment, compared to the cost/gain of other basic defense strategies.

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    Default Re: [Exalted 2ed] Charms...

    I'd actually forgotten that Seven Shadow Evasion is easier to qualify for than the others. It's not necessarily a bad idea to pick it up, especially if you're playing a noncombatant in a potentially combat-heavy game.

    Mind you, I always seem to run out of ability dots when creating Solars—buying Dodge up to 4 isn't always a minor thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jakezor View Post
    This is 100% contingent on your ST, your familiarity with the Exalted Combat System, and the type of game you're going to be playing.
    This is very true.
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    Kobold-Bard's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Exalted 2ed] Charms...

    Thanks very much. Looking over the properly you're right, they aren't that complicated.

    Thanks for the replies, I shall diest them and convert them into an awesome character next Monday.
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    Default Re: [Exalted 2ed] Charms...

    My advice would be to understand the systems that underpin charm use... The combat system, the social combat system, and the combo building guidelines.

    Read mostly the Drama And Systems chapter, starting on page 118, with a focus on the headings detailing abilities you're interested in taking. Combat is particularly nuanced (focus on page 145 through 150), and stuff like knowing what the specific jargon means will go a long way towards understanding what charm text is talking about.

    I find it's a linguistic barrier to understanding more than a logical one.
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