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Sahajiya

So I'm running Exalted again...

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...Which, of course, leads me back to this little place and its small but devoted band of Exalts. :)

Hi there, all! I see some new faces alongside some old ones, so I'll reintroduce myself. I'm Sahajiya, one-time moderator of this corner of SnE. But then, that was back in the heyday of Exalted first edition, before charms and combat rules got reworked on me.

A good amount of time has passed since then, and my group has convinced me to run one last epic Exalted game before I get too busy to roleplay. I find myself playing catch-up as I relearn the mechanics of the game and search for inspiration... which is why I'm back here, inflicting my presence on this fine forum once more!

So, expect to see a lot of rules questions as I gear up to run my grand epic, along with all manner of "Is this still the same in 2nd Ed.?" type of questions. I'm relying on all of you to be my secret weapon in making a game my players will never forget! Who's up to the challenge?

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Donor

Welcome back.

Get either Glories of the Most High or The Thousand Correct Actions of the Upright Soldier (or both), depending on if you're having a more Celestial or Terrestrial focus to the game. They fill in a lot of holes that the printed books leave out, and they're really really well written to boot.

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Curator

I'll peek in from time to time ;)

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Donor

I could be convinced to help you make the transition from old-school, to new-school Exalted gaming.

Given that we both Mod'd..and then cut and run.

hahahahah

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I see familiar names! It's good to see some of the old crowd still hanging around here. :D

I've been snatching up PDFs left and right, rebuilding my Exalted collection to keep up with 2nd Edition. Of course, with the new structure that the books follow, I have no idea where to find updated information on all my first edition books. Where's all the info on the Guild? The Wyld Hunt? The Cult of Illuminated? I have a crapload of reading ahead of me.

Zenten, since my game is starting out Solar-centric, I've got my Glories of the Most High Unconquered Sun, and I've been chewing through that along with The Scavenger Lands book, since the Circle will be more or less based out of Nexus for the near future. The Wyld Hunt will eventually factor into all this, so would The Thousand Correct Actions of the Upright Soldier contribute to that?

Von Bredow, I'm always happen to have as many points of view as possible to get a well-rounded Exalted reeducation. :)

And Catatonik! I see the rumors of your demise were as greatly exaggerated as my own. ;)

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Donor

The Wyld Hunt will eventually factor into all this, so would The Thousand Correct Actions of the Upright Soldier contribute to that?

Yes. It both explains how the Dragonblooded conduct war, making things a lot easier for you, and fixes a lot of the rules problems with Dragonblooded, as well as giving them nifty new charms.

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Very nice. I'll make that my next acquisition.

Now, if only I could find updated information on the Cult of Illuminated and the NPCs who are involved with it...

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Donor

There is currently no 2nd Ed info on the Cult of the Illuminated.

Sadly.

And yeah...still alives indeed.

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There is currently no 2nd Ed info on the Cult of the Illuminated.

Sadly.

And yeah...still alives indeed.

"I've experiments to run/ There is research to be done/ On the people who are still alive." Now I need a GLaDOS smiley.

So lemme get this straight - they got around to redoing the Alchemical Exalted, one of the last books to be released for first edition if not THE last, but they haven't given us updated info on the Cult of the Illuminated and its Exalts? LAME.

Looks like I'll be doing a conversion of the stats from the first edition CotI book myself, and won't that be fun and incredibly time-consuming. *sigh*

But hey, if the players dig it, that's what matters, right?

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Truth be told, I found converting the Cult to 2nd relatively easy. There is no need to change 90% of the stuff, just replacing the Charms that didn't get reprinted with other appropriately thematic ones.

Mind you, I haven't actually run a game using the Cult as the backing, and given that I am running an Alchemicals game concurrent with an Infernals game, I doubt I will be doing so anytime soon.

That said, the Infernals book is GLORIOUS! As with all the books, there are gripes about the power levels of Artifacts and what have you, but the Charms are amongst the coolest (and most balanced) alongside to the Alchemicals. As NC Antagonists, the Infernals are so much fun, especially because they aren't necesarly the Bad-Guys (unlike the Abyssals), and can make great foils to your PC's.

Alchemicals is just amazing. The current writing team are the game-lines best, and they are slowly trying to patch the biggest holes in the system/storyline, with the utmost of care and love.

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<snip> As NC Antagonists, the Infernals are so much fun, especially because they aren't necesarly the Bad-Guys (unlike the Abyssals), and can make great foils to your PC's. <snip>

Wait, are we talking about the same twisted Exalted who want to create hell in Creation so their Yozi masters can come back? And they're NOT the bad guys? O.o

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Donor

Unlike the Abyssals, Infernals can EASILLY get away with ignoring their new Urges (if they play it right) and can become real Heroes, not just Anti-Heroes.

Yes they are designed to be the Bad-guys, but unlike Abyssals they aren't cursed, just Tainted.

HIGHLY recommend you investigate the book. Especially as none of the info was available for 1st edition.

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I'll give it a read eventually, I'm sure. Right now, my Solars will have their hands full with Abyssals and Fair Folk and city gods. (Oh my!)

I'm occupying my time right now by reading up on Nexus again, refamiliarizing myself with the city that will house the Cult's third training camp (The Underground Sanctuary, as hinted at in the CotI book), and brushing up on my Sidereal creation so I can fully stat out Joseph One-Shoe.

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Curator

I have always believed that with Exalted, anyone can be Hero or Villain regardless of type of Exaltation. Indeed, on my reading of the Infernals book I found that slightly lacking for my taste, but I'm happy to trust Catatonik if he says otherwise.

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Let me rephrase that, to clarify.

The Limit of an Infernal can be bled off by "Acts of Villainy" (Something BRILLIANTLY thought out), and are in no way cursed with each of their actions. They can in fact, with a little creative appliactions of the AoV, do whatever the Hell they please, with little to no regard to the Urges of their Yozi patrons. They are fully capable fo turning directly ON the reclamation and becoming idealistic, glorious heroes.

The Abyssals though, will ALWAYS be cursed by the Neverborns resonance, and can never shuck it (well, to be fair, there has been no indication of the what High End Abyssals are supposed to be capable of), but their very presence HAS to be accompanied by the trappings of death, and avoidance of the ways of life. Unless of course their Lunar Mate is hanging around with them (or an Orichalcum Alhcemical).

The result, is that even at their noblest, Abyssals are required to remain the dark, twisted anti-hero, wrapped in the trappings of death and forever distanced from the living.

Infernals on the other hand, can go on to Solar-like glory and adulation. Rather easily.

Yes, they ARE Creatures of Darkness.

yes they 'serve' the Yozis in the Reclamation

yes they are empowered by hell

BUT...

They are capable to choosing their own fate on a level Abyssals can only dream of in envy.

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Honestly, I always had a problem with Infernal Exalted, which is why I've never once used them in any of my games. If I need flat-out evil Exalted who want to ruin Creation for their ever-present masters, I've got Abyssals. Sure, you can play them as rebels trying to stick it to their Neverborn masters while searching for a way to redeem themselves as Solars, but let's face it, they're meant to be villains by the very circumstances of their origins. Including Infernals just seems to me like someone's regifting the Christmas present from last year in a different wrapper this year.

I also have an issue with making these "ultimate villains" playable, but this goes all the way back to White Wolf's declaration that they would never make absolute evils playable... then putting out player guides so you can make your own Baali/Nephandi/Black Spiral Dancer/etc.

Plus, and this is really petty of me (not to mention controversial), but the Infernal Exalted don't fit the "WoD mirror" concept that was present at the very start of Exalted. You know, the same concept the developers talked about on the videos that came with the Exalted Limited Edition book way back when, where each Exalted type represented an old WoD game. Yeah, I totally went there. :P

If it were up to me, I'd have the Yozis do something truly unique with all those Solar essences instead of twisting them to make their own fallen Exalted. Something that would be far more interesting and much more dangerous than more Solar clones...

I'll probably still give the book a read, tho.

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Curator

Hmm. Let's see.

The difference between Abyssals and Infernals lies in their masters' plans for the World and the gifts they've been given to do it.

The Abyssals are there to kill it stone dead. They're very good at killing things. Less good at other things. Abyssals are frightening in some ways but less so in others... they just want to kill you. Survive that and you've survived the worst of it. Not that they incapable of being Machievellian or torturing others, but there's something straightforwards about it.

The Infernals and Yozis though... the Yozis want to warp the world into being Malfeas. They want revenge. They want to torture those who tortured them. The Infernals wield a great many warped and warping powers. In many ways they're at their most dangerous in the social arena. Their intentions are in many ways a great deal more scary.

Also, the fact that every Infernal is effectively a mini Primordial is very cool imo.

Which gameline responds to which splat btw?

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While I agree Yozis are more liberated than Abyssals in terms of what they can do..

* They are part-demon, as in they have a first circle demon bound into their bodies and souls. Sure, you can oppose the reclaimation, but the voice in your head is going to whine about it. Not compulsively or with any real power, but annoying as hell depending on how vocal it is.

* Their charms are just not as suited to being heroic in the traditional mould. Their solutions tend to be a little twisted and unnatural (not necessarily the 'more harm than good' twisted of Abyssal charms, but they're often a bit.. well.. wrong, even if its just visually.) Who wants to remember the heroic tale of Bob the infernal who saved a village from starvation by summoning a swarm of edible mind control bugs.

I'll probably still give the book a read' date=' tho.[/quote']

It's a very well done book and its grown on me even if when it first came out I can't say I liked a lot of the things in it. Give it a go.

Edited by the giant mantis

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Yeah, I get where they try to differentiate between the two types by adding the little details. When you boil it down, though, each Exalted type has its own very different flavor to make it truly stand out when they're lined up side by side. The Solars are radically different from the Lunars, who are radically different from the Sidereals, etc. Abyssals, by their origins, are Solar clones, except they embody the flip side of the coin - the darkness to their light, the corruption to their purity, the yin to their yang. Infernals, by their origins (since they were made from Solar shards just like the Abyssals), are Solar clones, too, but I don't see enough difference between them and Abyssals to really make them stand on their own. The details are different, but at the end of the day, you still have an Exalt that is working for secret masters who were once Primordials and works to further the goal of "Let's blur the lines between Creation and our masters' world so they can come out and play again." Back in first edition, you could put an Abyssal in demon clothes, change some of the iconography around him, and you'd have an Infernal.

Now, that may have changed in Exalted 2nd, I dunno. I've got the PDF and I'm willing to give it a read to see what makes them so awesome. But their origin story as established in Exalted's backstory makes me consider them superfluous when you've already got Abyssals running amok, and just gives you another tainted Solar for the Exalted of Creation to redeem.

If the Yozis really wanted to exact revenge on both Creation and the Solars, they'd take those shards and forge them into some kind of Primordial super-weapon, not cook them up with a side of evil and slap them into someone who might decide one day to seek salvation. Perverting the shards by making them into weapons themselves would be so much more epically evil than simply redressing them as a "new" Exalt type. That'd sure give my Exalted a reason to wipe every demon cult from the face of Creation. But that's just me. :)

Which gameline responds to which splat btw?

If memory serves, the correlation goes like this:

Solars - Hunter: The Reckoning

Lunars - Werewolf: The Apocalypse

Sidereals - Mage: The Ascension

Abyssals - Vampire: The Masquerade

Terrestrials - Kindred of the East

Fair Folk - Changeling: The Dreaming

Wraith: The Oblivion, IIRC, was represented more through the Deathlords and the Underworld as a whole than a splat type, and at Exalted's release, I don't think Mummy: The Resurrection was in development. Demon: The Fallen definitely wasn't in development, so it can't be used to bolster the Infernal Exalted argument on that end. :)

Edited for typos, because I'm a perfectionist. :P

Edited by Sahajiya

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Curator

Well, not a lot more I can say other than give the book a read. Even as someone greatly disappointed by Infernals, there were some cool ideas there. I think you'll find them to be a great deal different.

As for the gameline/splat thing, you're right that Infernals don't fall within it... but then that doesn't particularly bother me, and I can't say I agree with all the match ups anyway.

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Donor

Kindred of the East also fits with Solars. If you read Hunter and KotE you'll see that their history is talking about the same beings.

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Donor

I have never given two shits about matching up WoD/Exalted.

I always felt it cheapened both worlds to do so.

As far as the Infernals situation goes, oce you have read it, i'd be delighted to carry on this debate further.

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I have never given two shits about matching up WoD/Exalted.

I always felt it cheapened both worlds to do so.

As far as the Infernals situation goes, oce you have read it, i'd be delighted to carry on this debate further.

And *please* don't stop at the first chapter.

Actually, just don't read the first chapter.

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Like I said, controversial. :) But keep in mind, this was all waaaaaay back in the conceptual origins of Exalted. They may have felt that their first real foray into high fantasy needed even a marginal thematic tie to their ever-popular WoD to bring the fans on board with it, so they looked to those games for inspiration when coming up with Exalted types. It doesn't necessarily mean that the Abyssals will grow up to be the Kindred, or that the Hunters and their enigmatic Messengers are the modern WoD equivalent of Solars, but there are certain themes that did carry over between the settings in the first edition, and you can still see some of the influence in 2nd Edition. I wouldn't go so far as to say it cheapens either of them, but it definitely makes sense if you think about it from the developer side, finding a way to build an audience for a new game when they're so used to the WoD themes and splats. I know it took my first Exalted group a while to get out of the WoD mindset and fully into the Exalted setting.

But that's neither here nor there. :)

Infernals aside, I'm looking forward to running my first century-spanning Exalted game. I've done this sort of thing waaaaaay back when I was still running V:tM, starting characters off in the Dark Ages setting and playing them through to modern days, but this will be the first time I've done anything like that for Exalted, The games I've been in and run never took full advantage of the very long Exalted life span, and it should be fun to gradually push them through the decades and centuries to see how their actions affect Creation over long periods of time. Has anyone else run or played in games where skipping ahead in the game was less about "okay, the travel time took you a couple months" and more of the, "okay, five years have passed, and this is the state of the world right now" variety?

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Sure have played that kind of game. My last two Dragon-Blooded campaigns have spanned 30 years, with a 15 year gap in the middle of one, and 2 five years gaps in the other.

It's a great way of coming up with side-stories that you can later explore in flashbacks or in-game stories. It also allows one to accelerate a story to the point where players begin to really get a grasp of the length of Exalted conflicts...

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