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Exalted

The Exalted Quickstart rules are a good and fun set of rules, which give a nice slice of background to the Exalted game and a basic-yet-useable set of rules for playing a few games of Exalted. However, the rules only cover Solar Exalted. It's long been my ambition to write a set of rules for each of the fat-splats. So I give you this. It's just rules, not any setting. But it should do.

Traits

Air is used for the intellectual pursuits: Researching ancient lores on the Anathema and the uses of Essence, recalling occult secrets about the little gods and folk belief, reading dead tongues or speaking any language like a native, and remaining undetected, like a breeze in the sky. In combat, Air is used to hurl thrown weapons.

Earth is used for more down-to-earth (pardon the pun) applications: Noticing the details in the world around that others are too busy moving to see, building lasting items from swords to castles, enduring the harshest conditions as a mighty stone, and resisting torture or the onset of poison. In combat, Earth is used to attack with the martial arts.

Fire is vibrant and kinetic actions: Basic feats of athletics including sprints and mighty leaps, twisting like a flickering flame around an opponant's blow, getting people's attentions and having them take your words favourably, and being active in social encounters of all kinds. In combat, Fire is used to attack with a melee weapon.

Water is actions that are slow but inexorable: Twisting the threads of governments and large organisations like altering the path of a stream, tracing events from clues to their source, pilfering objects and other sleights of hand, and being able to control and make best use of a sailing vessel. In combat, Water is used for brawling attacks.

Wood is actions involving life, death and the cycles of nature: Tending to wounds or knowing where best to inflict them, creating works of art or song, training a mount and riding all kinds of beasts including horses, and survival in even the harshest territory. In combat, Wood covers the use of bows.

Anima Effects

Air: 1 Essence allows the character to leap three times as far as others and ignore falling damage.

Earth: 1 Essence allows the character to ignore the added damage from weapons.

Fire: 1 Essence allows the character to burn one character he touches for +1 damage.

Water: 1 Essence allows the character to breathe water and move through water as though it were air for a scene.

Wood: 1 Essence allows the character to add +1 automatic success to all defense rolls for a turn.

Character Creation

Choose concept
Choose Caste: Note Caste ability, mark Caste trait.
Choose Favoured: Mark Favoured trait.
Rate Traits: 4,3,2,1,0. 0 = feeble, 1 = Average, 2 = Good, 3 = Superb, 4 = Human peak, 5 = Superhuman. Add 1 to both Caste and Favoured traits.

Characters start off with 10 Essence. 1 Essence may be spent to allow the character to re-roll a failed Trait roll, assuming the Trait is Favoured.

Anima

When the character spends Essence, it is channeled through his Anima, and causes the flares known as the Anima Banner. In its most resplendent form, the Anima Banner displays a form iconic to the character, which should be described at character creation.

Check the character's Essence expenditure below. This fades by 1 level/scene, save for 1 and 5.

1 The character's skin glows weakly with the colour of his element. The character can use the
Air Trait normally to hide this. This effect can persist for as long as an hour after the character has ceased to burn Essence.

2 The character’s skin glows bright enough to read by with his element's colour and will shine through anything placed over it. It is impossible to mistake the character for anything but what she is. All Air rolls for the purposes of stealth are at +2 difficulty, above and beyond any other modifiers.

3 The character is surrounded by a glowing aura which deals 1 damage per minute to everyone within three yards, and his skin is deeply hued. The light is bright and steady enough to read by out to a spearcast’s distance. Stealth is impossible.

4 The character is engulfed in a maelstrom of his element, which burns from his feet to at least a foot above the character’s head. Objects and people that come within three yards take 2 damage each minute.

5+ The character is surmounted or surrounded by an elemental image totemic to his person — a warrior might be surrounded by a great bull, a Air Caste magician by an incredibly elaborate mandala, and so on. This effect fades during any turn the character does not spend Essence, but it leaps back into existence from the maelstrom of the character’s anima if the character again spends a point of Essence.

Health Levels

Health levels and penalties: 0,0,0,-1,-1,-3,Incap

One HL heals per day of rest, no matter the source. Mortals heal 1 HL per week of rest.

Dice

Roll a number of d6 equal to your Trait against a Difficulty (usually 1, sometimes as high as 5). 1-3 fails, 4 or 5 is 1 success, 6 is 2 successes. As long as the number of successes exceeds the difficulty the roll is made. Rolls are only made in dramatic situations, not for boring things.

1 Normal (climbing a fieldstone wall, racing through the woods on horseback)
2 Hard (climbing a sheer stone wall, racing through the woods on horseback at night)
3 Extremely Hard (Walking silently when covered in bells, racing through the woods on horseback blindfolded)
4 Almost Impossible (lifting a millstone, persuading a horse to run through a field full of screaming ghosts)
5 Impossible (running across a ceiling, pulling a ship over land with a hawser)

Stunts

Describe your action in a cool way. Get an extra dice to roll. This is how you succede even in dramatic situations with your 0. If you succede, you get +1 Essence (up to 10).

Combat

Initiative is determined by what trait the character will be using to attack with (unarmed, unskilled attacks are Water). If there are ties, compare the characters' scores in Traits until one comes out ahead: Fire, Water, Earth, Wood, Air. If all else fails, dice off.

Strike: If a character chooses to strike, he rolls the appliccable Trait. The defender can defend with either his fighting Trait or with Fire (defender's choice). If the defender is carryng a shield, he gets an extra die. At range, a defender gets 2 automatic successes if the attacker is at long range, and 1 at medium range. There is no bonus at short range, but that is hand-to-hand range.

Defend: The character forgoes her action to add two successes to her defence rolls against all attackers. In addition, the dodging character gets initiative on whoever attacks her and misses next turn, unless the attacker is at medium range or further.

Running Dodge: Counted as a Defend action against a ranged attacker, the character does not get the extra successes but closes the gap by 1 range band.

Straight Run: A character can Straight Run a ranged attacker. They get no defense roll at all, but automatically close to hand-to-hand range.

Damage

A successful blow in combat deals the attacking trait in damage. A weapon like a knife or a slashing sword adds one to this. A big weapon like a Goremaul or a claymore adds two. A thrown weapon deals the successes scored in damage, an arrow the successes scored +3.

Light armour (a chain shirt) subtracts 1 damage. Heavy armour (plate) subtracts 2 damage, but also adds 2 to the difficulty of any Air or Fire rolls for stealth and athletic purposes. Armour cannot reduce damage below 1.

A damaged character can roll Earth to soak. Each success (6's count as 1 success) deducts one damage, to a base of 0.

Extras

When fighting hoards of mooks, don't worry about how much damage you do. If you hit them, they die/go down/are KOd/are captured

Sorcery

Characters who favour Air are sorcerers and can cast spells. It is up to the Storyteller to detail the spells available to starting sorcerers.

Character Sheet

EXALTED

Player Name: ____________________
Character Name: _________________
Caste: __________________________

Traits
Air:   _
Earth: _
Fire:  _
Water: _
Wood:  _

Essence
[][][][][][][][][][]

Anima Ability
_________________________________
_________________________________
_________________________________
Anima Description
_________________________________
_________________________________
_________________________________

Health
0[] 0[] 0[] -1[] -1[] -3[] Incapacitated[]

Weapons
_________________________________
_________________________________
_________________________________
Armour
_________________________________
_________________________________
_________________________________

Notes

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Comments

( 1 informant — We want information! )
coaldustcanary
Feb. 1st, 2004 12:31 am (UTC)
Not having the original book to compare, I can't speak as to the authenticity and usefulness as compared to the original, but I like it. Very neat, very good. *nods*
( 1 informant — We want information! )

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