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Welcome to Exalted!

This is a rough guide to our Exalted Campaign.

Included is:

1. Some Rules.

2. A Brief History of Creation.

3. Where we will start.

4. Some words you should know.

5. Resources.

1. Some Rules.

Rule #1: Have Fun. If you’re not having fun, stop playing and do something else. If you violate Rule #1 I will send everyone home and we can pick up next week.

Rule #2: If you don’t like it, change it. Is something not working out for you with your character? The plot? The rules? We can change it. I want to make sure everyone is seeing what they want to see in this game. One of the reasons why this game is so intriguing is because it is incredibly flexible, and your options are virtually limitless. I want to know what is going well, and what isn’t.

Rule #3: Thou Shalt Do As I Say. Please keep in mind that I reserve the right to veto any ideas and stop any arguments. I am much more likely to apply beneficial things to the group. Good effects are rounded up, and bad effects are rounded down. I do this because you are the Chosen of the Gods, and sometimes they smile upon you. On the other hand, unless you can legitimately do so in the game by spending willpower or using a charm, I will not allow any rerolling of dice. Rolling dice is symbolic of the uncertainty of whether or not you can perform a task, and sometimes the outcome is more interesting if you roll badly.

Rule #4: Be Creative. I am extremely open to personal creativity, if you want to come up with your own Charms, Castes, armor or weapons, you are encouraged to do so. You should perform as many stunts as you have the creativity to narrate (A stunt is when you earn a bonus, just by describing your moves in an interesting way).

Rule#5: Don’t be late. We will be playing every Friday from 7:45-Midnight. Dinner will be ready at 7, and the idea is to be done by 7:45. Let me know if you can’t make it, if you need to go home early, etc. Please remember that most of the time I’ve not only written a story, but prepared a hot meal and if you miss either you’ll be eating cold food AND have a grumpy Storyteller.

Rule #6: Pay Attention. This means you should not have your DS, cell phone, or anything else that isn’t related to the game on the table. Please do not randomly roll dice, or stack them into pyramids and make them fall down during the game. Please do not talk unnecessarily. It’s really fun to get together with everyone, but if you’re too busy talking about other things it’s really hard to concentrate on the game. If it is not your turn, you should be listening to other players do their thing, and/or preparing for your next turn.

2. A Brief History

In the beginning, there were the Primordials and their enemies, the Fair Folk. In order to escape the Fair folk, the Primordials made Creation. Creation was incredibly complex, so the Primordials needed Gods in order to run things, thus they made a God for every single thing in Creation. Some Gods are big Gods, known as the Celestial Incarnae (such as The Unconquered Sun); other Gods are smaller, more specific gods (such as a God of one particular road). When the Primordials created the Gods, they decreed that no immortal could ever raise a hand against their Primordial masters. The Gods, chafing at their slavery, created the Exalted: mortals with god-like powers.

The Exalted overthrew the Primordials, led by the Solar Exalts. Only two Primordials were spared: Gaia who sided with the Exalted, and who gave birth to the Elemental Dragons; and Autochthon (pronounced Auto-thon) known as the Great Maker who created the blueprints of the Exalted, and inspired many to create wondrous things.

The rest of the Primordials can be split into two categories: The Neverborn and the Yozi. The Neverborn are the Primordials which were killed in the war between Exalted and Primordial. They reach up from the Underworld and whisper in the ears of the dying and the dead, seeking vengeance. The Yozi, on the other hand, are the Primordials which were taken captive, their leader, Malfeas, became another world to which they were banished. The Yozi are often referred to as Demons, and they can be summoned to Creation. In their defeat, the Primordials put a curse on all of creation.

After the fall of the Primordials, the Solar Exalted (The Chosen of the Unconquered Sun) brought about the First Age of Creation. By their side was the Lunar Exalted (The Chosen of Luna, the androgynous god of the Moon) able to take on the form of animals and known for their fierce fighting skills. The First Age was filled with wonders such as mechanical floating cities, incredible weapons (such as Essence Cannons), and now-lost sorcery. Unfortunately, this age did not last, as the curse of the Primordials fell upon the Solar Exalted the hardest.

The Solar began to go mad, once peaceful rulers were now tyrannical and cruel. The Sidereal Exalted (Chosen of the Five Maidens, who decide the fate of everyone in creation) saw this madness and decided to consult their Loom of Fate in order to take the best course of action. In this act, called the Great Divination, three visions were produced: In the first, they did nothing, and the world was destroyed; In the Second, they tried to reason with their Solar brethren and save them, which may or may not have worked; and in the Third, they guided the Dragon-Blooded Exalted (The Chosen of the Elemental Dragons and the weakest of all Exalted) to overwhelm and destroy the Solar, assuring the world would continue, but considerably diminished. They went with the third option. While the Dragon-Blooded killed off all of the Solar using their greatest weapon: superior numbers; the Sidereal locked the souls of the Solars into the Jade Prison, keeping them from Exalting. The First Age was over.

So the Shogunate Era began, and the First Age world crumbled. Soon, the Fair Folk (Sometimes called Raksha) were invading Creation. And, at the same time, the Deathlords (the servants of the Neverborn) unleashed the Great Contagion on the world, killing 9 in 10 people. The world was in a sorry state. Just as all hope was lost, the Dragon-Blooded Scarlet Empress broke into the First-Age defense system, and saved the world.

And then, she conquered it. Thus the Scarlet Dynasty began. For 800 years the Scarlet Empress ruled Creation with an iron fist. She birthed 12 royal houses, all pitted against one another. Her Realm reaches far and wide, with a few exceptions.

But 5 years ago, she disappeared without a trace. Her royal houses were left to bicker over the throne; her realm was left in chaos and disarray. The Deathlords found the Jade Prison which contained the Solar’s Essence and broke it, releasing half of the Solar souls to finally Exalt, and the other half to become the tainted souls of the Abyssal Exalted (the Chosen of the Deathlords).

3. Where we are starting:

All of you will find yourselves in the city of Great Forks to start. This is a brief description of common knowledge that most people in creation know about the city. If you want to know more details about the city, we can discuss your character’s history and how familiar he or she is with the city.

Great Forks is unique in that it was founded by 3 gods: Spinner of Glorious Tales (A god of wanderers), Weaver of Dreams of Victory (a god of dreams), and Shield of a Different Day (a god of battle). Each of these gods had led a war refugee group into the same spot, where they all came together and decided to form a city. Nearby was a Deathlord, poised to strike at the infant city. The Three weaved a tale so convincing, that the Deathlord fled from what she thought was her assured destruction.

Great Forks is known for its tolerance. Many gods and god-blooded flee he seeking sanctuary and worship in a world where worshipping the gods is frowned upon. The city’s main export is drugs and alcohol, and the fertile lands to the west are entirely drug fields tended by slaves or low-class citizens.

Some names for the city are the City of Temples, Decadence, and the House of Festivals. It has a reputation or its art, culture, parties and slavery. There is a University, where one may go to study medicine, first age technology and history. The Three (That is, the three gods that established the city) are the highest authority, but they also have a large number of Ministers to run things.

Outside of Great Forks is the Scavenger Lands or as it is also called, the Confederation of Rivers. This large area in the East is the one place the Realm does not control, because of this; it is slightly safer to be a Celestial Exalt here. Nexus is the heart of the Scavenger lands, and home to the Guild (an institution controlling most of Creation’s trade). Nexus is run by the mysterious Emissary and a Council of Entities whose word is law. Any disobedience will have the Emissary knocking on your door, and your head. Lookshy is one of the most powerful cities in the Scavenger Lands and is best known for its military might. It is happiest when locked in battle. Thorns is a ruined city now occupied by the Deathlord Mask of Winters, it is a constant reminder of the Underworld’s threat to Creation. Greyfalls is the only city in the Scavenger Lands which is controlled by the Realm. The Hundred Kingdoms are a group of small kingdoms all vying for power over each other. Lastly, Denandsor is the empty city. When the Great Contagion came, something happened in the city of Makers. Nobody is quite sure, but there are no people in the city. Those who do brave the city for too long go mad, go into a coma, or disappear. Because of this the city is a treasure trove of First Age technology and books untouched by time.

4. Some words you should know.

DV – Defense Value (A combat term)

MDV – Mental Defense Value (A combat term)

The Immaculate Order – The Official religion of the Realm and the Dragon-Blooded. This religion teaches that all Anathema are demons and cannot be trusted. Since most regions within the realm follow this religion, it can be dangerous to reveal your identity as an Exalt.

Anathema – A word used by the Immaculate Order to refer to the Celestial Exalted.

Celestial Exalted – Solar, Lunar, and Sidereal are all Celestial Exalted.

Dragon-blooded Exalted – Also known as Terrestrial Exalted. They currently rule Creation through the Scarlet Empire. They are the only Exalted who can pass along their Exaltation genetically, so they have the most superior numbers. They are also the weakest of all Exalted.

Solar Exalted – All Solar Exalted have become Exalted in the last 5 years. Because of this, they really have no place in the world, but they were the most powerful of all Exalted in the past. One could call them the once and future kings of Creation.

Lunar Exalted – When the Dragon-blooded overthrew the Solar, the Lunar fled to the edges of creation. At the edges of creation lies the Wyld. The Wyld tainted the Lunar’s Essence, causing their form to change wildly. Luckily, the Lunar sorcerers created Moonsilver tattoos to stabilize the Lunar Exalted’s form. But without a Moonsilver tattoo, a Lunar will change uncontrollably and eventually turn into an insane Chimera. Every Lunar has a human form, a spirit beast form, and a half-human half-beast form at the moment of their Exaltation. Additionally, if a Lunar drinks the heartblood of an animal (including humans) during a ritual hunt, it can take on the form of that animal.

Sidereal Exalted – The Sidereal Exalted are best known for being unknown. They are the invisible puppet masters of creation. Usually they are called in when there is a discrepancy on the Loom of Fate. They come in, fix a problem, and then they are forgotten. They are the keepers of secrets, the masters of assassination and the hands of fate. The Sidereal are split by infighting factions dating back to the time of the Great Divination. The Bronze Faction orchestrated the destruction of the Solar Exalted. They set up the Dragon-blooded as rulers of creation and they fight to maintain the status quo. The Gold Faction was a group of Sidereal who disagreed with the Bronze Faction’s actions, they fight to rescue the Solar and put them back into power. There is also a very small and secret Silver Faction who disagrees with both sides, and wishes the Lunar to have a turn at leading Creation.

Abyssal Exalted – The tainted souls of Solar which are known as Deathknights and serve the Deathlords.

Infernal Exalted – The Chosen of the Yozi.

Yozi – Banished Primordials, sometimes called Demons.

Alchemical Exalted – The Chosen of Autochthon.

Autochthon – A Primordial known as the Great Maker. He left Creation to make his own world of mechanical wonders.

Chosen – Another word for Exalt.

Anima – An Exalt’s visible aura. It can be seen only when large amounts of Essence are used.

Essence – Like Mana, the life energy that makes up Creation. Exalts can use it to invoke Charms.

Charms – A special ability. All charms are different. Some are specific combat moves, others make you better an manipulating the weak-minded, etc.

Demesne – A place where there is a great flux of Essence. It can cause people living around it to become deformed. It is like a small piece of the Wyld, which is bleeding Essence. Essence users can tune themselves to the Demesne in order to recover essence, but only while present at the Demesne.

Manse – A structure build on top of a Demesne in order to channel the essence so it does no harm to the local population. It also produces a hearthstone which will help essence users to recover essence away from his or her Manse.

The Wyld – The chaos from which creation emerged. The Fair Folk come from the Wyld. Some Fair Folk wish to tear down Creation and restore chaos.

5. Resources

To understand the themes and style of Creation, try watching:

Ninja Scroll (Movie or TV show) – Definitely a good depiction of some of the Exalted’s charms.

Howl’s Moving Castle and/or Princess Mononoke – A good example of the chaos of the Fair Folk, as well as the attitudes of the Gods.

RG Veda

X (the Movie or TV show, depicts the factionalism of the Sidereals well, as well as Charms)

Akira Kurosawa films (excellent for giving your characters a Feudal Japan feel)

Games such as:

Street Fighter II (Good for describing the awesome Charms of the Exalted, for example: Python of the Poison Blossoms feels the rush of accumulating Essence tingling from her fingertips and accumulating in her hands, the fiery essence builds and builds into a giant ball of flame which she releases at her foe with a primal fury! – This would be a good description of a fireball. This sort of description of a Charm would count as a Stunt and would earn you extra dice in order to succeed. It’s a fun one because you’re not only describing your charm, but you’re also making a reference to Street Fighter, and that’s always fun).

Dynasty Warriors (the book recommends Dynasty Warriors 5)

Breath of Fire II (my personal favorite)

Any Final Fantasy

Lastly, online resources which are EXTREMELY HELPFUL!!!!:

The Exalted Wiki

Exalted Character Sheets

Cheat sheets of all kinds

Amusing Name Generator

Online Campaign Notes will be posted here (once I finish setting it up)

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