Mechanically, a character is built by spending character points to buy abilities.
All characters have:
All characters may have:
Exalted, God-Blooded, spirit, demon, fae, and Wyld-touched characters may have:
Exalted, God-Blooded, spirit, demon, and fae characters have:
You also get one specialty for each element, such as Archery for Fire or Bureacracy for Air, which lets that element count as one higher when it applies.
A score of 3 is "human normal". You must have at least 1 in each element. The upper limit for humans is about 6, and for supernatural creatures, 9.
You can add your Essence in dice to any roll, but you will glow with blatent special effects ("anima banner") when you do. You can also just glow with power at will.
Humans, beastmen, and other mortal creatures have no Essence. A Terrestrial or Infernal Exalted, Raksha (fae), or God-blooded will have an Essence of 1 as a newbie, and can work up to about 4 over the centuries. Celestial and Abyssal Exalted start at Essence 2, and can eventually reach 5 or 6.
Powers are bought like in Everway, with a cost depending on the aspects of the Power. Generally, to have a positive aspect costs 2 points, while having a negative aspect reduces the cost by 2. Some aspects also have a partial level, for 1 or -1 point, listed, but any aspect can be be bought partially at the GM's option, even if that's not listed. This is useful as a compromise when it's not clear whether the Power has enough of that aspect to count. On the other hand, a power that exceeds the bounds of even the full attribute might have the attribute multiple times.
The minimum cost for any Power is 1 point, even if it has no positive aspects and lots of negative aspects.
The cost of a Connection depends primarily on how much it can help you.
Connections are assumed to be carry with them commensurate obligations; if you can get the resources without having to follow orders or contribute anything in return, the Connection costs 2 points more.
A Connection that only provides its benefits in a small part of the campaign region is worth 1 point less, or 2 points less if it's very localized.
As with Powers, the minimum cost for a Connection is 1 point.
A passion for some concrete goal gives you extra dice for any roll made in direct pursuit of your goal. A broad passion (eg, "vow to help the downtrodden") is worth one extra die, while a narrowly-focused passion (eg, "loves Lady Kurumi") is worth two dice when it comes up. You can have more than one passion if the GM approves.
With the proper choice of specialties, this could represent any minor character from a peasant farmer to a cannibal headhunter.
|1||Connection: Family (minor, limited area)|
A Dragonblooded of the Realm, just out of school, would have attributes similar like this. Some might have fewer Powers but more Connections, or a stronger Connection to work than family, or otherwise swap points around between those three entries.
|1||Power: Destroy Surroundings with Banner (partially inconvenient)|
|4||Connection: Family (medium)|
|2||Connection: Professional Unit (minor)|
Here some examples of Exalted charms/sorcery written up as Exaltedway Powers. These are just examples; it's okay to have powers that are more or less major (maybe you can only summon really wimpy demons) or more or less versatile (maybe you can only smite your foes with the element of water) or whatever.
Generally, you don't have to roll if you aren't opposed by someone. The opposition can be indirect (like a trap), but if it's just you vs the environment and the environment isn't being directed by a significant spirit, the GM shouldn't make you roll.
As you'll see in the combat section below, two or three rolls is usually enough to resolve an entire martial arts duel. Anything less extended should be a single roll.
Each side rolls its handful of 10-sided dice (generally, equal to one Element score plus any bonus dice for Essence, Powers, etc) and compares the highest:
For optional extra fun, or if you have trouble describing the results of rolls, you can use different colors for the dice you get from base Element score, Essence, complementary rolls, bonus dice for this, bonus dice for that, etc, so you can see which factors contributed to your success. But you don't have to.
Each success on a roll can be turned into an extra die on a roll that it supports. For example, a successful roll to remember the local etiquette about which dog to wipe your hands on could add its successes as dice to your roll to make a good impression at the royal banquet. The roll doesn't have to be yours; it's just as helpful for your buddy to whisper, "No, no, the brown one!" at the critical moment.
Normally, only one roll can complement a given roll. You can chain complementary rolls (the first roll complements the second roll which complements the third roll, which etc), but if you fail a roll, the chain is broken, and if you failed the roll complementing the "real" roll, the opposing successes on the complementary roll add dice to the opposition of the real roll. Alternately, if you get several people to roll to attempt to support you, you get the effects of the single best roll. If they all failed, however, you take the smallest of the penalties.
If you really need to draw a contest out, rather than resolving the conflict immediately in favor of whichever side won the roll, have the successes accumulate against the loser. Once the number of successes against one side reaches some predetermined limit (either one of the victim's element scores, or a flat number for both sides), that side loses. Or, for extra suspense, that side must roll against the number of accumulated success to avoid being knocked out of the conflict.
Of course, if after a roll neither side is out, you roll again.
Powers, not being elements, don't have scores and aren't rolled directly. However, there are three effects they can have on rolls.
First, a Power can allow rolls to be made that were otherwise impossible. If you have the Power to speak the language of birds, you can ask a magpie if it's seen a human with lots of shinies go by, which you couldn't do without the power.
Second, a Power can make a roll unnecessary. Normally, tracking someone is a Water vs Water roll, but if the tracker has the Power to follow any trail by magic, she doesn't have to roll -- she just tracks down her prey. Likewise, if the prey has is magically untrackable, it escapes, no roll needed. However, if a Power that might otherwise trump the situation is opposed by another Power, it's back to letting the dice decide.
Finally, a Power can provide bonus dice to a roll. A Power that's not major provides 1-2 bonus dice, depending on how central it is to the task; a major Power provides 2-4 bonus dice.
The second option is more common with simple tasks like tracking someone, the third with complex tasks like combat. Few, if any, Powers can completely trump all the possibilities in a fight, but there are plenty that can help to one degree or another.
Combat is an extended contest, usually based on Fire (which covers both hitting things and dodging things). Almost any element can be complementary to a combat roll: Wood for terrifying battle cries, Water for feints, Air to remember that this sort of demon is peculiarly vulnerable to olive oil, etc. However, you generally can make only one complementary roll per exchange. If you have time to prepare, you might be able to do more, at least on the first exchange.
Once your accumulated damage reaches your Earth score, you have to roll your Earth against your damage, and if the damage wins, you're out of the fight. Even if you succeed, if you take more damage in a future exchange, you have to roll again against the new total.
Note: Essence only gives you extra dice, so it doesn't increase the amount of damage you can take before having to roll, but it does make you more likely to stay up. An appropriate Earth specialty does put off having to roll.
Note: Unnamed characters usually automatically fail their roll to stay up, and may be unconscious or dead at the attacker's option.
After the fight, you'll be in one of three states:
If you are Beaten Up and get Beaten Up again, you're Wounded. If you are Beaten Up and get Wounded, you're Wounded. If you're Wounded and get Beaten Up, you're still Wounded and you start the week of healing over again. If you're Wounded and get Wounded again, you're Grievously Wounded: three bonus dice against you, and it takes two weeks to heal to being just Wounded. If you're Grievously Wounded and get Beaten Up or Wounded, the two weeks starts over.
You never die a pointless death in Exaltedway, because what would be the point? A major character only dies when either a) they get knocked out/captured and their captor deliberately kills them, or b) they declare they are Fighting to the Death. If you decide to Fight to the Death, you get three bonus dice for all your combat rolls for the rest of the fight, but the damage you take is increased by one level: you are always at least Beaten Up after the fight, and if you had to make any rolls to stay up, you are Wounded. If you fail a roll to stay up, you may gasp out some tragic last words, and then you die. The bonus dice from Fighting to the Death never help with rolls to stay up.
Each side gets to choose whether they Fight to the Death independently, but if your opponent goes for it, they have three extra dice with which to lay the smack down on you.
Minor characters don't have the option of Fighting to the Death.
Generally, weapons and armor are just special effects. This is a game of Epic Kung Fu Combat, so a mighty fist technique is just as likely to advance the plot as a mighty sword technique.
A Power contained in a weapon, shield, suit of armor, or whatever may add dice to a combat roll, of course.
The basic combat mechanic assumes that each side has a chance of hurting the other and a chance of avoiding harm. This isn't always the case, though, such as in this contrived example where one side is standing out in the middle of a field waving swords while the other side shoots at them with implosion bows from afar. In a situation like this, successes of the side that can't hurt the other don't do damage, but they do accumulate toward changing the situation in some way: breaking off the engagement, closing to melee range, or whatever. The number of successes required is usually equal to the other side's Fire or Air, but could be any element with a clever plan.
If you're doing something that benefits from having more people working on it, and you have a buddy who would roll the same number of dice as you, together you make one roll with one bonus die. This can be applied recursively, so if you have three such buddies, you get two bonus dice (two people combine into one roll of X+1, and then those two combine into one of X+1+1).
You can use this with people of differing ability as well. For example, if you have one person rolling 5 dice and two people rolling 4 dice each, the two working together roll 5 dice, which with the better person becomes 6 for the three of them working together. However, if the weaker people were rolling only 3 dice each, they would combine to roll 4 dice, which isn't enough to give the better person a bonus.
For mooks, who generally have identical stats, this means two mooks get +1 die to beat you up, four get +2 dice, eight get +3, sixteen +4, etc. When you're beating on them, if you do damage equal to their Earth score, you take out one; damage equal to Earth+1 takes out two, and so forth. When one or more get taken out, the accumulated damage resets to 0. As the group shrinks, their bonus for numbers will also shrink.
The appeal of an algorithm that would grind the fifty numbers of an Exalted character sheet into the five Elements and Essence of Exaltedway, and a complete list of Exalted charms/spells/mutations/stances/abominations written up in Exaltedway terms, is undeniable. However, such a thing is not to be. The two systems are so different that the best you can do is rewrite your character from concept in Exaltedway.
There are a few guidelines that might be useful, though.
(14) Air: 7, +1 for First Age artifacts. He's definitely a thinky character with lots of technical skills.
(8) Earth: 4, +1 for staying up. Mediocre, although he does have a level of Ox Body.
(8) Fire: 4, +1 for archery. Also not really his strong suit.
(10) Water: 5, +1 noticing clues. Low on manipulation, but good at larceny and investigation.
(10) Wood: 4, +1 sex appeal. Need we say more.
(16) Essence: 2.
(1) Power: Anima Damage (Frequently Useful +2, Inconvenient -1) inconvenient). Mandatory for Dragonblooded.
(2) Power: Water as Air (Versatile +2) Mandatory for water-aspected Dragonblooded.
(5) Power: Wind-Carried Words (Frequently Useful +1, Major +2, No Banner +2)
(2) Power: Observer Awareness Technique (Major +1, No Banner +2)
(3) Power: Scent-of-Crime Method (Major +1, No Banner +2)
(2) Power: Hearthstone to Purify & Retain Blood (Artifact -1, No Banner +2, Versatile +1)
(2) Power: Hearthstone of Adamant Skin (Artifact -1, Frequently Useful +1, No Banner +2)
(1) Power: Dragonfly's Ranging Eye (Artifact -1, No Banner +2)
(1) Power: Cache Egg (Artifact -1, Major +1, No Banner +1)
(4) Connection: Cataloguers of the Glories of the Past (major)
(2) Connection: Peleps family (minor)
Total: 91 points. This is a lot more than the generic newbie Dragonblooded, but Viraine was built on more points initially and has some experience.
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