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    Default Exalted and Warhammer. What are they like?

    Hi all.

    For over a year I've been participating in an Eberron campaign that ended prematurely last Saturday because our DM doesn't want to DM D&D games anymore . His mind is now set on Exalted and Warhammer and he is letting us players choose which system he will use. Since I (and the rest of players) currently know nothing on both of them it would mean a lot to us if you could share your opinions and experiences and point out what you like/dislike about them. Also if you have can point to some useful online materials (something like d20srd for D&D) feel free to do so.

    Cheers, Slavisa
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    Default Re: Exalted and Warhammer. What are they like?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbaddragon View Post
    Hi all.

    For over a year I've been participating in an Eberron campaign that ended prematurely last Saturday because our DM doesn't want to DM D&D games anymore . His mind is now set on Exalted and Warhammer and he is letting us players choose which system he will use. Since I (and the rest of players) currently know nothing on both of them it would mean a lot to us if you could share your opinions and experiences and point out what you like/dislike about them. Also if you have can point to some useful online materials (something like d20srd for D&D) feel free to do so.

    Cheers, Slavisa
    They are like a whole lot of awesome.

    Exalted is good if you're in the mood for over-the-top everything, and the Warhammer system is more a gritty fantasy/sci-fi(depending on setting).
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    Default Re: Exalted and Warhammer. What are they like?

    Exalted is big and epic. You play semi-divine beings that (in the core book) are embodiments of perfection itself. Your combat wombat isn't best compared to Aragorn; He's best compared to Gilgamesh. The party face is more like Loki, or Helen of Troy. An investigator would embarrass Sherlock Holmes. A Solar general would be a mystical fusion of Thrawn, Zhuge Liang, and Ender. Your enemies are almost legion, and they can threaten beings of that scale. It's an epic, pure and simple.

    I can't say too much on WFRPG or Dark Heresy, but the short of it is, if your players like /being/ higher level, and getting to do all sorts of awesome stuff, you will probably prefer Exalted. If your players prefer being lower level, and being closer to the rest of humanity, you will probably prefer WFRPG or Dark Heresy.

    Speaking from observation, DnD players go through a lot of programming about 'earning power' and the like. I suspect your group will prefer Warhammer, on its own merits.

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    Default Re: Exalted and Warhammer. What are they like?

    These systems are almost complete opposites of each other.

    Warhammer is gritty, rather realistic and low-powered (as opposed to Warhammer Battle which, while still gritty, has a much more epic feel). The rules represent that too - it's easy to die or sustain a major injury, with possibly permanent consequences, after a single enemy hit. The system is percentage-based and, in first edition, rather abusable (but fast and simple). Second edition is better, from what I hear. Fluff-wise, it's a dark world resembling very late Middle Ages' Europe where Chaos, the ultimate evil force, is slowly corrupting everyone and everything - you can try to temporarily stop its agents, but you can never win for all. There are also the once-great but now fallen and disgruntled races of Dwarves and Elves, and the Orcs are as savage as an Orc can be. It's a great system if you want a gritty story and simple mechanics.

    Exalted, on the other hand, is extremely epic and high-powered. You play the Exalted, supernatural beings infused with extremely potent powers by (more or less, let's not get into details) various divine, in a world which is: 1. Huge and 2. Full of everything, from standard fantasy kingdoms and a giant empire resembling a mix of ancient Rome and feudal Japan, to giant robots (yes, anime mecha) and dinosaurs that piss pure heroin. The funny thing is, the world is consistent and makes sense. This game is heavily anime-inspired and Rule of Cool is king - if you do something in a way which is cool, you perform better than if you did it in a mundane way. Crunch-wise, it uses the typical d10-based White Wolf system, but various Charms (supernatural abilities) make fights and other situations very interesting, requiring strategic thinking and fun. While not free from abuse, the mechanics are more or less balanced - of course, you can't expect a Solar (most powerful Exalted) to be defeated by an equally experienced Dragonblooded (the weakest, but most numerous - they're in power too, as other types of Exalted are considered abominations and hunted down), or even better, a mortal.
    This is a very fun system if you want to play epic, over the top campaigns and you don't mind anime flavours.

    There is no such thing as SRD for any of these. However, here's an Exalted Wiki for you:
    http://wiki.white-wolf.com/exalted/i...itle=Main_Page

    EDIT: Wow, only 2 ninjas.
    Last edited by Cubey; 2008-03-12 at 04:35 PM.

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    Default Re: Exalted and Warhammer. What are they like?

    I've never played the Warhammer RPG, so I don't know much about the mechanics, but what I saw in my read-through of the corebook was...unimpressive. You can wind up starting with class-equivalents like the oh-so-impressive "rat catcher", and using magic is a surefire way to guarantee that you eventually get screwed over right and proper.

    I also never cared for the Warhammer setting. The whole "oh, poor me, we're all doomed, there's nothing we can do about it, we might as well lay down and be eaten by talking goats/giant rats/green-skinned morons/zombies/whatever" theme was always too emo for my tastes. But, as with all things subjective, YMMV.


    Exalted, on the other hand, is generally a lot more optimistic, especially if you play as Solars, which I assume you will be since they're the "default". In it, the world is pretty screwed as well, but the players are the Exalted, the chosen ones of the most powerful beings anywhere*...and as such the players are actually able to do something about the situation, which goes double for Solars.

    Exalted does a really good job of making you feel powerful without breaking the game by doing two things: First, even the weakest Exalt is ridiculously powerful compared to even the most badass mortal (making you strong), and Second, this means that you rarely fight actual mortals, instead taking on foes that are just as strong as you are, like other Exalts and rogue deities and the like.

    The actual mechanics are solid enough and pretty easy to learn IMO. A plus side is that there's a LOT more rules for social interaction than in DnD (especially Exalted 2nd Edition, which has rules for outright "social combat" ), so yes, that charismatic bard with a silver tongue and a wet-noodle sword arm will actually get some time in the spotlight . What's more, the "stunt" system gives actual mechanical benefits for roleplaying: saying "I stab him" works just fine, but if you give a really cool description of how you kick off a wall, duck under an enemy's defense, and disembowel him, you can get some extra dice on the attack (meaning a higher chance to hit and more damage if you do hit).

    Personally, I've really enjoyed the Exalted campaign I've been in (which is currently on hold due to the DM being overworked )



    *Well, there's a few exceptions, but they're all either dead or in prison.




    Addendum: Geez, I hit "preview post" and find that there's a zillion replies in the time it took me to write this
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    Default Re: Exalted and Warhammer. What are they like?

    Essentially what's already been voiced:
    Warhammer and Dark Heresy are grittier and work on a percentage system where you have 6 attributes, typically rolled in order, that correspond to what they do directly and to certain skills. In order to succeed at something, you have to roll below what you have in the attribute related to the relevant skill. Starting attributes, by the way, can be anywhere from 25-45, so you aren't exactly superheroes.

    Exalted, on the other hand, uses the WW dice pools which you set up and can get bonuses for if you describe what your character is doing in detail. Compared to mere mortals, you are gods, but there are other god out who'd like to see you dead.
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    Default Re: Exalted and Warhammer. What are they like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I've never played the Warhammer RPG, so I don't know much about the mechanics, but what I saw in my read-through of the corebook was...unimpressive. You can wind up starting with class-equivalents like the oh-so-impressive "rat catcher", and using magic is a surefire way to guarantee that you eventually get screwed over right and proper.
    And that what it's all about. WFRPG is supposed to be grim, gritty and down-to-earth. And magic in WFRPG is great exactly because it's not foolproof, safe and powerful like in D&D. You can do awesome things with magic, but if you're not careful then bye-bye. If you don't like this then, well, it's not system for you.
    I can't say anything about Exalted, having never played it, but WFRPG is very fine system if you want to play something more dark and dangerous than D&D, for reasons already voiced. The biggest fault of Warhammer are weapons IMO, but it's survivable. Also, from what I've heard, the game gets much, much more interesting if you buy splatbooks. I once managed to get a look at Realms of Sorcery and it makes playing a wizard much better.
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    Default Re: Exalted and Warhammer. What are they like?

    Exalted is epicness distilled into RPG form. If you want to be Cloud Strife adventuring with Merlin and backed by Odysseus as the party face, then Exalted will give you that to start with. Then you'll get some levels, some cool gear, and start telling gods when to sit down and shut up. Here's a link to the Exalted campaign that I'm in right now, and it has been a crazy fun game.

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    Default Re: Exalted and Warhammer. What are they like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyeudo View Post
    Exalted is epicness distilled into RPG form. If you want to be Cloud Strife adventuring with Merlin and backed by Odysseus as the party face, then Exalted will give you that to start with. Then you'll get some levels, some cool gear, and start telling gods when to sit down and shut up. Here's a link to the Exalted campaign that I'm in right now, and it has been a crazy fun game.
    Well, I have to tune up the epicness of that yet. Only one god (of course, Exalted's spirits are lightly based on the Chinese system, so there are thousands of gods - but they're still mighty powerful) bites the dust so far. But then, the characters aren't really that strong yet.

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    Default Re: Exalted and Warhammer. What are they like?

    Quote Originally Posted by M0rt View Post
    And that what it's all about. WFRPG is supposed to be grim, gritty and down-to-earth. And magic in WFRPG is great exactly because it's not foolproof, safe and powerful like in D&D. You can do awesome things with magic, but if you're not careful then bye-bye. If you don't like this then, well, it's not system for you.
    I realize that that's what it's all about. And yes, I think grim and gritty can be really cool at times.

    The problem I have with Warhammer is that I feel that the WH universe goes so far in that direction that it's no longer "grim and gritty", but rather "emo and depressed".
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    Default Re: Exalted and Warhammer. What are they like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    The problem I have with Warhammer is that I feel that the WH universe goes so far in that direction that it's no longer "grim and gritty", but rather "emo and depressed".
    I never got that impression, myself. Sure, there is a feel of facing inevitable doom in Warhammer world -one day either Chaos or Greenskins(who are awesome) are likely to stomp Empire, dwarves and elves into dirt and players can't really do anything about it- and overall harshness of the world but I wouldn't call it "emo and depressed"- the world's harsh, but if you're tough enough you can carve yourself a living. Guess it depends on personal perception.
    Also, the more I hear about Exalted the more I think it's probably the direct opposite of WFRPG in terms of style.
    Last edited by Morty; 2008-03-12 at 05:12 PM.
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    Default Re: Exalted and Warhammer. What are they like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    I realize that that's what it's all about. And yes, I think grim and gritty can be really cool at times.

    The problem I have with Warhammer is that I feel that the WH universe goes so far in that direction that it's no longer "grim and gritty", but rather "emo and depressed".
    It's still non-emo compared to most of White Wolf's works. Which makes the epicness of Exalted (White Wolf!) even more unusual, not that it's a bad thing. On the contrary.

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    Default Re: Exalted and Warhammer. What are they like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cubey View Post
    Well, I have to tune up the epicness of that yet. Only one god (of course, Exalted's spirits are lightly based on the Chinese system, so there are thousands of gods - but they're still mighty powerful) bites the dust so far. But then, the characters aren't really that strong yet.
    My party's been to heaven and engaged in a court case there, as about the most epic thing they did.

    Well, there was starting an ancient city on the road to being rebuilt, but that's related.

    And my campaign is still not Exalted-level epic yet.
    Last edited by Indon; 2008-03-12 at 05:11 PM.

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    Default Re: Exalted and Warhammer. What are they like?

    Quote Originally Posted by M0rt View Post
    one day either Chaos or Greenskins(who are awesome) are likely to stomp Empire
    This is the important part here.

    In grim and gritty, the bad guys are liable - even extremely likely - to win...but the good guys still have at least a slim chance.

    In Warhammer, the good guys are f***ed. Period. Zero chance whatsoever.

    It's hard to get excited about doing your part in the battle against evil when you know it's utterly pointless because no matter what you do, you'll lose in the end
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    Default Re: Exalted and Warhammer. What are they like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    It's hard to get excited about doing your part in the battle against evil when you know it's utterly pointless because no matter what you do, you'll lose in the end
    The way I see it, in WFRPG you don't generally fight battles that change the face of the world anyway, so I wouldn't treat Empire being crushed by Orcs&Goblins or Chaos as a personal defeat, especially since it's not all that likely to happen during your character's lifetime. It's sort of like blaming yourself personally for world hunger or natural disasters. You can't do anything about it on a significant scale.
    Last edited by Morty; 2008-03-12 at 05:23 PM.
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    Default Re: Exalted and Warhammer. What are they like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    you'll lose in the end
    Lose? The Dwarfs don't lose! Those bastard greenskins may have overrun a few of our citadels, but by Bugman's frothy brews, we'll get them back. The Great Book of Grudges is long and made of the sturdiest materials, we'll be ready to exact every bit of revenge necessary that we've noted in its pages.

    You know what? That kind of accusation you make is inexcusable! I'm petitioning to have you written in my clan's book. Just you wait till we blow your petty hovel down with our cannons, and roll over you with a contingent of longbeards just waiting to stomp some greenskin loving naysayer!
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    Default Re: Exalted and Warhammer. What are they like?

    One thing that is important to notice about Exalted is that if the GM plays up the right aspects of the setting it can become an extremely depressing one. One of the major plot points was that the solars, the default type of exalts, are cursed to grow stark raving mad in time. It happened in the past causing them to commit atrocities like magically altering servants into plant beings and then planting them all over their yard, just as an experiment. Or using eugenics for a couple of thousand of years in order to breed a population that had a certain trait and then distilling those people to use them to make artifacts.

    In short there are aspects of the setting that are thoroughly disturbing and can be used to create quite the emo game. For that matter the sheer detachment from normal people the exaltation causes can be create this.

    It is not the default presentation of the game, though splatbooks reveal the setting as much more grim and the solars as much more morally dodgy than the core book does. I just thought that it was important to mention the other side of the game, it is not just about being awesome but also about the dangers that awesomeness brings.

    What else can be said about the system has been said and the setting is too interesting to be quickly summed up in a thread like this and should be read for yourself.
    Last edited by Terraoblivion; 2008-03-12 at 07:19 PM.

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    Default Re: Exalted and Warhammer. What are they like?

    Since you play D&D, perhaps the best way of explaining Exalted and Warhammer is an analogy.

    In the great wheel, there are quite a few planes. Of all those planes, Ysgard fits Exalted almost to the tee. Huge, larger than life, Epic.

    On the other hand, Warhhammer is...darker. Plain and simple. If I were to compare it to some plain, I would liken it to Gehenna, Carceri, or, especially, Hades, whose corrupting tain slowly, but surely, transforms those who enter in it to shades of themselves.

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    Default Re: Exalted and Warhammer. What are they like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Terraoblivion View Post
    One thing that is important to notice about Exalted is that if the GM plays up the right aspects of the setting it can become an extremely depressing one. One of the major plot points was that the solars, the default type of exalts, are cursed to grow stark raving mad in time. It happened in the past causing them to commit atrocities like magically altering servants into plant beings and then planting them all over their yard, just as an experiment. Or using eugenics for a couple of thousand of years in order to breed a population that had a certain trait and then distilling those people to use them to make artifacts.
    This is an extremely important point. You will want to ask your GM what interests them about Exalted. It's a Fantasy Grab Bag; It very well could be anything. Your GM will tell you what your game is like far more then me reciting the description of 'vanilla' Exalted.

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    Default Re: Exalted and Warhammer. What are they like?

    Quote Originally Posted by M0rt View Post
    You can't do anything about it on a significant scale.
    That's the problem. Most of us don't like not being in control of our destinies and also cling to the idea that the future will be better than the past.
    If a game is all about imminent doom and despair then we don't like it. We get enough of that in real life.

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