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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Exalted: Trinity

    This is a project to write a fan edition of Exalted, starting with the high-level setting details. Several elements of the setting have been removed, both to save effort and to make the remaining character options more distinct. Please critique what I've written, or add your own contributions.

    Changes from Second Edition:
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    The Five Elemental Dragons are gods, and made Terrestrial Exaltations without the involvement of Gaia.
    The Five Maidens remained neutral in the Primordial War, and received no Exaltations.
    The Maidens and the Terrestrials cooperated in the Usurpation. All Lunars and Solars were killed, and all the Exaltations were trapped in the Jade Prison.
    The ghosts of some high-essence Solars and Lunars bargained with the Neverborn for vast power, becoming the Deathlords. They do not have Solar or Lunar charms and cannot use Sorcery. Only Deathlords who were Lunars can shapeshift.
    The Jade Prison could not properly contain Lunar Exaltations. One hundred leaked out over the centuries, empowering heroic mortals. The new Lunars either infiltrated the Shogunate, fled to the Wyld, or were quickly killed.
    In the Wyld, the Lunars used their powers to create their own territories and defend them from the Fair Folk.
    Lunars eventually infiltrated two-fifths of the Shogunate leadership. They were discovered, and the war to eradicate them replaces the Great Contagion, empowering the Deathlords and threatening Creation itself.
    The Lunars with Wyld territories invaded Creation to save it from the Deathlords, but allowed the Wyld and the Fair Folk to consume part of Creation so they could use their Wyld-manipulating powers.
    The Sword of Creation was used to save Creation from the Lunars, who would have turned it into a patchwork of territories in pure chaos.
    When the Jade Prison was broken, all Solar and Lunar Exaltations escaped. Abyssal and Infernal Exalts do not exist.


    Solar Exalted (Lawgivers):
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    The Solar Exalted can excel in every field of human endeavour, becoming undefeatable in almost any activity they choose to specialise in. An exception is the impersonation of specific people, where their abilities are exceeded by the Lunars. Lawgivers have the most powerful attacks and most efficient defences of all Exalts. Using their native charms, Solars may defeat entire armies in combat, radically change a society through conversation, and wring a sword from a heap of ore with their bare hands.
    Lawgiver’s abilities extend beyond extraordinary talent into the supernatural, but always have some connection to skills of mortals. A mortal swordsman may draw his weapon so fast it seems to appear from nowhere – a Solar can simply retrieve a sword from Elsewhere. A mortal may dodge a blow, but a Solar can dodge all blows, and become invulnerable to attack. But no mortal can fly, so no Solar charms allow flight. Likewise, sharing motes with others, transforming into animals, controlling the weather, and changing the aspect of a demesne cannot be accomplished with Solar charms. Lawgivers can extend their powers beyond these limits by using Sorcery, the Adamant Circle of which is exclusive to them.
    The Solar Exalted can also become immune to the dangers of the Wyld, and extend their immunity to others. They can prevent the Wyld spreading into Creation, and make land and resources conjured from the Wyld by Lunars permanent. They are unable to extend Creation into the Wyld without the cooperation of a Lunar.

    Lunar Exalted (Transcendents):
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    The Lunar Exalted transcend the limits of humanity to adapt to any situation, by stealing the shapes and abilities of nonhumans. Most Lunars start with animals - every mortal appreciates the flight of birds as an ability that is beyond him. But Lunars can take the form of spirits and fae, and even other Exalts, and mimic their abilities. They can even learn the charms of other beings, a feat impossible for other Exalts. Lunars are also unique in their ability to mimic humans, perfectly duplicating their appearance, voice and mannerisms. Eventually Lunars go beyond mimicry of surface features to the duplication of the target's mind and soul. The opposite sex is also a source of new abilities, and Lunars can easily change between male, female, androgynous, and genderless forms.
    In direct conflict with a Solar in an area both have specialised in, the Lunar will lose, since their raw power is weaker. But they have the ability to transform themselves to adapt to changing circumstances, sacrificing useless charms for the resources to develop new ones. Given time to adapt, every Lunar can become a deadly beastman in combat, an iridescent social butterfly, a transhuman intellect, or whatever else the situation demands.
    The Lunars can also adapt to and manipulate the Wyld, contrasting with the Solars who can merely become immune to its dangers. They are the only Exalt able to conjure up land and resources from the Wyld, but their creations remain ephemeral unless a Solar can stabilise them.


    Terrestrial Exalted (Dragon-Blooded):
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    The Terrestrial Exalted are the weakest of the Exalts and a single Dragon-Blooded is easily defeated in any field of endeavour by most Lunars or Solars. However, Terrestrial Exaltation is inherited rather than limited to a fixed number of Exaltations. There are tens of thousands of Dragon-Blooded to the 300 Lunars and 300 Solars, and their numbers are constantly increasing. Terrestrial charms increase the effectiveness of groups of Dragon-Blooded working together. They are the only Exalts able to magically share resources such as motes, willpower, and health levels between each other and with mortals. A sufficiently large group of Terrestrials, with the appropriate charms, can defeat any single Lunar or Solar in any field of human endeavour. The size of the group increases with the power of the opponents, but if all Dragon-Blooded in Creation cooperated against all Lunars and Solars, they would easily win.
    Using their native charms, Dragon-Blooded can defeat large groups of mortals in combat, quickly dominate any social group of mortals, and create artifacts beyond the reach of any mortal craftsman. They can also control the five elements of Creation, creating typhoons, earthquakes, and firestorms to attack their enemies or stimulating the growth of crops. Dragon-Blooded are also the only Exalts able to manipulate the geomancy of Creation with their native charms, creating, enhancing, or suppressing elemental demesnes.
    Terrestrials were created to serve Lunars and Solars. Their charms work more efficiently in the presence of those Exalts, whether following their orders or assassinating them.

    Ghosts (NPCs only):
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    Ghosts are the souls of humans who have chosen to avoid reincarnation and exist in the Underworld. Ghosts use their arcanoi to manipulate the Underworld and other ghosts, with their powers depending on the strength of personality they had in life. Other arcanoi allow ghosts to gain the attributes of the living. With sufficient power a ghost can live in Creation undetected, even able to have children, but with none of the weaknesses of a living being.
    The most powerful ghosts are the Deathlords. These are elder Solar and Lunar Exalts killed in the Usurpation. Their Exaltations fled their bodies after death to empower others, so they are unable to use Solar or Lunar charms. However, their ghosts possess shadows of the old Exaltations, as the ghost of a soldier wields the shadow of a sword. By bargaining with the Neverborn, the Deathlords have learned to use their grave-good Exaltations to wield charms. These charms are solely concerned with destruction – of living beings, relationships, talents, organisations, societies, and Creation itself. No charm improves the aim of a Deathlord’s bow, but several make the aim of his enemies worse, or make wounds from his arrows more likely to kill. A Deathlord will always be able to kill a Exalt of equal power, although he will usually not survive the battle.
    No ghost can use Sorcery, but ghosts with sufficient power can use Shadowlands and Labyrinth Circle Necromancy. Deathlords bargained with the Neverborn for the exclusive ability to use Void Circle Necromancy.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Exalted: Trinity

    I must ask, why in the world would you do this. Exalted is defined by it's setting. While I do believe that it's game mechanics could use some work, I think the setting, for the most part works great. Even if it didn't...why do this.

    You're making some huge sweeping changes to the nature of Creation, to the point where it only vaguely resembles Exalted anymore. You could just make a new setting if you wanted with a new system, using ideas from other works but otherwise starting from scratch. What you are doing right now is just gutting the mythology of Exalted, which leaves behind an unattractive corpse.
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    Default Re: Exalted: Trinity

    So you've cut out half the varieties of Exalt and shifted some minor flavors and abilities around a bit among who is left, but haven't radically redefined anything.

    Now what? What's the point or purpose behind these changes? What is it about Sidereals, Abyssals and Infernals which you believe lessens the setting? Who are the antagonists for each group? How are the Deathlords a real threat without Exalted on their side?

    It's just confusing to me because... it sure as heck can't be the system that one would like about Exalted, so if there's anything worth preserving, I'd sure expect it to be the setting. Cutting half the Exalted away to start with strikes me as odd. Essentially I'd like to see what gets plugged in rather than what is cut out or rearranged.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Exalted: Trinity

    It's just confusing to me because... it sure as heck can't be the system that one would like about Exalted, so if there's anything worth preserving, I'd sure expect it to be the setting.
    What I like is the core of the setting, the story of the Solars returning and being hunted down by the Terrestrials, but not being plaster saints themselves. That doesn't change much at all. I also like the idea of Lunars, but I don't like elder Lunars sitting around without much influence on the setting.
    As for why I'm dropping Exalt types, I discussed this a bit on the general Exalted thread. It's not that I don't like say, Infernals. It's just that it's easier to make three splats coherent and distinct than seven. I also don't think that antagonists need their own splats, since the whole point of Exalted is that your antagonist can glow the same colour as you do.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Exalted: Trinity

    Without Sidereals, how did the Solar's get overthrown? There is no way the Dragon-Bloods could have taken out the Solars and the Lunars alone, and they certainly couldn't have imprisoned the Solar Exaltation's, no Terrestial can work magic that powerful, even an Akuma

    Without Abyssals and Infernals, what is stopping the Solar's from rising back to power? There are 300 Solar exaltations, and with no enemies of their caliber(and nobody going around helping to prove some of that anathma crap true), there is nothing stopping the Solars from overthrowing the empire now that they are back.

    And don't change the setting because of the need for splats. One of the beauties of Exalted is you only need to buy the books of the Exalt types you want, and if they really wanted to they could have fit all the types into one book.

    I'll say it again, if you want to make such huge changes, just make your own setting. A lot of work was put into Exalted's setting, and changing things, especially such large things without good reason can destroy the whole thing. White Wolf may such at making mechanics, but they have great writers, they made their choices for a reason.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Exalted: Trinity

    Quote Originally Posted by gareth View Post
    What I like is the core of the setting, the story of the Solars returning and being hunted down by the Terrestrials, but not being plaster saints themselves. That doesn't change much at all. I also like the idea of Lunars, but I don't like elder Lunars sitting around without much influence on the setting.
    As for why I'm dropping Exalt types, I discussed this a bit on the general Exalted thread. It's not that I don't like say, Infernals. It's just that it's easier to make three splats coherent and distinct than seven. I also don't think that antagonists need their own splats, since the whole point of Exalted is that your antagonist can glow the same colour as you do.
    I'd say that if you changed some of the details & all of the names, then you'd have the makings of your own setting here. It'd be better to make something original than to take something that other people love & change it so drastically. That way, you can truly make it your own, without the baggage of what already exists clouding your audience's perceptions of the setting.

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    Default Re: Exalted: Trinity

    Quote Originally Posted by gareth View Post
    What I like is the core of the setting, the story of the Solars returning and being hunted down by the Terrestrials, but not being plaster saints themselves. That doesn't change much at all. I also like the idea of Lunars, but I don't like elder Lunars sitting around without much influence on the setting.
    As for why I'm dropping Exalt types, I discussed this a bit on the general Exalted thread. It's not that I don't like say, Infernals. It's just that it's easier to make three splats coherent and distinct than seven. I also don't think that antagonists need their own splats, since the whole point of Exalted is that your antagonist can glow the same colour as you do.
    Fair enough, but what is this beyond, "Exalted minus three of the Exalted types, but Solars are the tiniest bit weaker in some respects, and Lunars did stuff, but still didn't get up to anything that ended up ammounting to that much." ?

    There's no problem running games in the Exalted setting without anyone mentioning the Deathlords, the Yozi, or encountering anyone of their stripes, and the "Lunars were the Balorian Crusade and the Great Contagion all rolled into one" is kind of a zero-sum change, shifting pieces to come to the same status quo.

    Exalted's setting is relatively well constructed, with many of the splats being interrelated and tied well into the history and setting. I'd imagine taking them out would cause more problems than leaving them in. Like pulling on a thread of a knit sweater, I think pulling things out are just going to compromise the structure. I would be interested in what you would choose to add above and beyond the core you describe, I just have doubts that starting with such deep cuts is such a great idea.
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    Default Re: Exalted: Trinity

    The basic idea of "refine the setting of Exalted to remove the clunkier parts" is an interesting one.

    The way you've gone about it is largely garbage.
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Exalted: Trinity

    The basic idea of "refine the setting of Exalted to remove the clunkier parts" is an interesting one.
    The way you've gone about it is largely garbage.
    Don't hold back, tell me how you really feel.

    Seriously, I can appreciate that it might be too radical a change. What would you do to refine the setting? Would you eliminate any splat?

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    Default Re: Exalted: Trinity

    Quote Originally Posted by gareth View Post
    Seriously, I can appreciate that it might be too radical a change. What would you do to refine the setting? Would you eliminate any splat?
    I don't claim to speak for everyone, or even a majority of players, & I'm sure that other opinions exist in abundance. But I would say that the general consensus on Exalted is this:

    The setting is awesome, & most of the storyline is cool as all hell.
    The game mechanics, however, are serviceable at best, & utter stinking garbage at worst.
    Fluff = Good. Crunch = Meh.

    If you don't like the world of Exalted, then that's cool; play something else. If you only like a part of that world, then that's cool; make a different world more suited to your tastes. But I don't think that you will find much support for a radical re-write of the extant setting while keeping the Exalted name on it. People get a little touchy about name brands, what is & what is not Property X, & the like. Just ask folks what they think about D&D 4th Edition & the changes that it made to that brand.

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    Default Re: Exalted: Trinity

    Quote Originally Posted by gareth View Post
    Don't hold back, tell me how you really feel.

    Seriously, I can appreciate that it might be too radical a change. What would you do to refine the setting? Would you eliminate any splat?
    Personally, I'd remove Lunars if I were to remove any splat.

    They're the most superfluous aspect of the setting, having never done anything particularly important themselves, being disturbing mindslaves to and further emphasising the idea of Solars as the Only Important Ones, and having no real consistent tone or role. The only real defense I've ever heard for their inclusion in the setting is that people like them for personal reasons and have had fun playing them.

    The other major setting change I have is that the Scarlet Empress gave her life to shoot the Jade Prison with the Sword of Creation so that the Deathlords wouldn't get all the Solar Essences. I would also remove Chejop Kejak. There is no individual philosophical and political centerpiece to the Sidereal faction to embody their choice of backing the Usurpation, and the Immaculate Order is an outgrowth of the dogma they have about an event which is almost mythological to them as well. Speaking of which, Arcane Fate is an effect that Sidereals can don when they want through Charm Use, and the Sidereals are known to the Dragonblooded host as wise advisors. Their Secret Agent-ness is a thing they can choose to do, but not something they are doing all the time by default.

    Anyway, just throwing these out there and trying to be constructive.
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Exalted: Trinity

    Interesting. Would you give Infernals more shapeshifting powers, now that Lunars aren't using them?

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