Exalted from White Wolf

Hey, has anyone else read the materials for that game? Is it just me or did they perhaps mine their “World of Darkness” inevitable slide towards oblivion a bit much?

That’s not the main point though, does anyone else think that it would make a good strategy role-playing game ala “Birthright?” It seems to be a bit of a cross between White Wolf’s WoD and D&D Birthright settings, what with werewolves and blooddrinkers on the one hand, and politics and geomancy on the other. I just can’t imagine

Also, I think the way they named some of the characters was turnin’ your hat around, armwrasslin’ a man down and winnin’ a truck in front of your son.(Over the Top.)

I’m conflicted. It’s typical White Wolf theme, but way more action oriented and without nearly as much of the angst. Same themes of more ambiguity, etc. As with all WW settings it’s very detailed and well thought out with a lot of room for interpersonal drama.

Yeah, I agree about that stuff, I just thought having Lunar shapechangers, ghosts being turned into items, oblivion, malfeans, conflict between ordered entropy and chaotic entropy…they kinda did it all before. The Exalted characters are supposed to be huge, powerful, changing the course of events, but the materials seem to suggest that eventually, everything must fall into oblivion. I mean, they basically transported each of their game worlds into a pseudo Conan the barbarian world and changed the names of the kinds of characters people were allowed to play.

I also think that they are a little slack in defining and detailing the “Primordials” and distinguishing “Malfeans” from the “Yozi.” Is it Jello or Knox Blox? I don’t know.

The game materials explicitly are intended to make it seem like everything will spiral into oblivion if the player characters do nothing. It’s that which really sets Exalted apart from other White Wolf games. Where you are playing in the developers playground with the developers beloved characters driving the story in the old World of Darkness (they have really backed off from this in the New World of Darkness), in Exalted you are meant to run roughshod over everything and shake the pillars of heaven. Line developers have apologised when someone managed to slip in something that is invulnerable and have said to ignore that.

I dread any sort of videogame conversion of Exalted because there’s no real way to work in the stunt system, which is a huge part of the appeal of the system to me. But I have to admit that the other mechanics, like Charms and Combos, are pretty much perfect for a video game. Especially an RTS with hero characters leading armies.

It’s also a very fun setting with lost, arcane technology, airships, elementals, armies of the walking dead (lead by the carcass of a dead behemoth that is moved by giant, semi-intelligent zombie maggots that manipulate the muscle groups) and tons of huge toys to call out.

As for the whole yozi/primordial/malfean thing, to explain the cosmology for anyone who hasn’t played the game… the primordials made creation to be their playground, and made the gods to watch over creation and do all the pissant daily care and maintence. They hardwired the gods to be inable to attack them and created the Games of Divinity, which they played when they weren’t screwing with creation.

Autocthon was one of the primordials, the inventor god and very unpopular with his brothers and sisters. So he went and devised a way that a god could shed off a tiny part of his immensely powerful soul and put it into a human being. A human who could attack the primordials. The Unconquered Sun had 500 Solars who were the best and brightest at their chosen field. They were priest-kings, generals, and law-makers without compare. Luna shed 500 shards from her soul and created the Lunars, shapechangers and warriors. The Maidens of the stars made only 100 shards between them and made the Sidereals - prophets who could maniuplate the Loom of Destiny and incredible martial artists. And the 5 terrestrial dragons, who were not as powerful as the celestial gods, made tens of thousands of elementally aspected humans to be the foot soldiers of the war.

Gaia and Autocthon alone sided with the rebel gods against the primordials. The Exalted warriors of the gods slew half of the primordials. But primordials could not die, it was not part of their nature. So a twisted reflection of creation was born to house them, and they lived in their Underworld and called themselves the Malfeans – the Neverborn – and plot to this day to escape their undeath and destroy all of Creation.

Half of the Primordials surrendered, not wishing to face the same fate as the Malfeans. One of their number was turned inside out and became a prison, known as Malfeas (confusing, eh?). In their prison they gave rise to demons, shards of their own angry souls, and called themselves the Yozi. They plot to find a crack in their prison and escape back into Creation to get their vengance.

For a long time, an era called the First Age, the Solars ruled over all of Creation with their Lunar consorts, Sidereal advisors, and Terrestrial beaurucrats. It was a perfect society for a time, and many wonders were created. But unknown to all but two gods, when they Malfeans were in their death throes they hurled a curse at the gods who had betrayed them. The curse was not strong enough to take hold on the gods, but it infected every shard they had created, dooming each Exalt to excesses and anger. The shining civilization became decadent and immoral, with the greatest, the Solars, becoming the worst.

The Sidereals had a great convention and did a prophesy to see where things would lead should the Solars remain in power. They saw that the greatest chance was destruction and decided to plot with the Terrestrials to overthrow the Solars. And so they did, and locked their shards in a Jade Prison where they could not reincarnate.

Creation fell into darkness. A contagion swept over the world and killed fully 80% of the population. The sea of chaos outside of the world, known as the Wyld, swept over Creation and devoured massive chunks of it. The Terrestrials were unable to keep the technology of the First Age going and so they retreated to the center of Creation, the blessed Isle, and made that their home.

While Creation went to heck, the Yozis and Malfeans plotted together to blast open the Jade Prison. They did so and both the Yozis and Malfeans captured 50 of the Solar Shards each. Now the Terrestrials had created a society and religion that made being any kind of Exalt but Terrestrial anathema, and so they hunt the newly reborn Solars and try to kill them before they can come into their true power. The Lunars, who fled when their mates were killed, lurk on the edges of creation and fight to keep the Wyld at bay. The Sidereals stay mostly in heaven, fighting power games with each other over whether or not the Solars should rule again. The 50 shards captured by the Malfeans have been corrupted into Abyssals, frighteningly good fighters who wish to throw Creation into Oblivion. And no one knows for sure the fate of the 50 shards the Yozis took.

I know I am leaving a ton of shit out but uh, yeah. Lots of lost technology and dinosaurs that pee heroin and barbarians that hunt by dropping boulders from handgliders. And mechs and intelligent, insane jet fighters that have nukes. And Autocthon with his robot Exalts invading Creation to get new souls to power his body. It’s a kitchen sink setting where the concept is that anything can and should be cool, and that obstacles exist to make you cooler for having overcome them.

Superb setting, which the system supports poorly at best. Fans will insist that bouncing upwards of thirty d10s off the table for a single action (to be fair, if it’s an action with which a character is merely mediocre with, it’s probably “only” going to be, say, ten to twenty of them) is a feature (the dewy-eyed coo of rapturous meme of love used to defend that I’ve most often heard is that it’s, like, Exalted is so kewl, MAN, that it’s like everything they do is totally, like, a CLUSTER BOMB, d00d, and rolling the very TABLE is like wtf, pwned!!!).

Which is pretty much the kind of behavior that defines “fans”, I suppose.

The setting would support any number of neat computer games, as there’s umpty factions and they’re all morally gray enough to be made sympathetic in their own right.

Yeah, that is why I thought it’d make a great computer game, because I decided I would rather pass off the monstrous dice rolls and considerations abolut resource availability to a computer.

yeah, I played over IRC. Dicebots make Exalted run much faster.

Cool setting, but only average rules. Still, the rules are better than D&D and better than the older White Wolf Games, although like all WW stuff you should use a dice roller.

I think a strategy conquest game in such a setting would be lots of fun…

Exalted IS Hackmaster (the parodic game in Knights of the Dinner Table).
With those dicebuckets, it would be better as a computer game, preferably
with online play like VtM:R had.

We never had much of a problem with the rules in Exalted. Most stuff is so straight forward and sensible that it makes sense to be making such a roll. The setting is fantastic, and the sheer amount of shit to do is overwhelming. You can run games of rough and dirty street kings, or kill gods, or anything in between.

Yeah, I was reminded of Hackmaster as well. Nevertheless, I would like to see a Birthright-esque computer game. Or, if that game is universally recognised as sucking too much, an Actraiser-esque computer game.

Hackmaster is entirely a parody of D&D played badly, and isn’t really much like Exalted at all. You play a powerfull character in Exalted, and that’s the sum total of the similarity.

Don’t forget the wonderful imagery of literal buckets of dice required for
Hackmaster ;)

But yes, Exalted is a cool setting, with heroes being truly heroic
(I wish for easier ways to resolve combat than waking up the nighbours
three houses down the road with the rumble of your dice, though).
Excellent setting for all sorts of gametypes.

So thread resurrect.

  1. What is the opinion of Exalted 2.0

  2. I recall someone on QT3 claiming that Exalted would make a really bad computer game because the freeform nature of the stunts can’t be translated very well. Agree? Disagree? Would Exalted be a fun MUD? A good tactics game/RPG like Fire Emblem? A fun BioWare style RPG?

Exalted 2.0 is in all ways superior to Exalted 1.0, and is possibly the first WW game which has a combat system I would actually call “good” rather than, at best, “serviceable.”

As far as a computer game? I could see using the setting to do some cool stuff in other genres, but I don’t know how well an RPG would work. Player description is a big part of the game, not just in style, but in actual mechanics. I guess it could be done - an action-rpg would probably work best as Exalted has quite a bit of Diablo 2 influenced stuff in it.

It’d be fine; obviously the ruleset would need tweaking, but losing the stunting descriptions is hardly a designbreaker. The superficial glitz and sigh-inducing White Wolf attitude aside, Exalted is a pretty traditional rpg design–individual task resolution rolls, round-by-round breakdown, and so forth. It’s no Wushu, for instance.

Mechanically speaking (I’m speaking of 1.0 here; I don’t know if the second edition revised the bonuses from them), stunts serve two purposes: regaining mana points (“Essence”)–their primary purpose–and providing bonuses to rolls that aren’t that big of a deal–a three die stunt (subjectively defined by everyone at the table–virtual or solid–agreeing that, yup, that was really, really impressive) will give you three more dice to throw into the action, but when you’re already rolling upwards of twenty of them, it’s hardly a huge bonus. It’s even smaller when you consider that most stunts will be one or two dicers–the threefers are supposed to be kept rare to encourage players to keep their creative juices flowing. The mana pool regen is the most important facet, as characters tend to burn through a lot of it, and getting 1-2 points of it back every round can factor strongly into eventual staying power.

A more abstracted Exalted computer game–strategy, tactical squadding (Circling), whatever–could simply do away with it for its own version of essence regen. An actiony sort of title (Exalted of War, Exalted May Cry, etc.) would simply tie it to style bonuses, only instead of bonus score you could get bonus magic points (motes). So it’d be in the player’s best interest not to just smack even the gnat-level enemies, but to, I don’t know, juggle them between twin swords while wall-running, and finishing the combo with a boot to the head and dagger up the strap.

Take my word for it: Exalted is NOTHING like Hackmaster. Sure, there are lots of dice in Exalted, but those dice are all d10s, and you don’t even have to add them together. The Hackmaster system, overall, is written to be crude and complicated, like a goblin city in the trees. It’s supposed to simulate playing 2nd ed. D&D with a never-ending mess of stupid house rules kept in a huge grungy binder. Exalted, like all White Wolf games, occasionally demands that you add two numbers between one and five.

So little information is given about the Yozis that I prefer to just exclude them and attribute their visible influence to some other power. The Yozis are the mistake that the other factions avoid being: “Oh, those guys – they’re evil. Just, uh, have the players kill them or something, I dunno.” Thanks White Wolf. Try not to do that again.

Edit: Whoops, the thread was necroed. I thought it looked familiar…

Exalted 2nd ed.: Possibly a slight improvement in the long run, but for now that’s far outweighed by the loss of all PC types but the Solars. The new combat system is more complicated than I need, since I rarely run combat-centric games or play combat-centric characters, and the tick system can easily be made a lot more difficult than it has to be.

Really, my idea of a good RPG system, mechanically, is something like Amber. Or, more recently, Nobilis. Nevertheless, Exalted of either edition is a big step up from d20.

As for a computer game, one idea has kept coming back to me unbidden: an adventure game. With a cranky young Dragonblood Dynast as the protagonist, and her powers and enormous sword at your disposal. Part Dreamfall, part Monkey Island.

Double edit: An electronic substitute for dice can be handy, but it’s not necessary. Remember, you don’t have to add all the dice together. You just have to count how many come up seven or over, and (usually) count tens twice. It’s actually a pretty fast process.

Triple edit: IRC can be better than face-to-face in some respects. It’s nice to have a record of everything everybody has done recently right on your screen. Makes combat easier.

Exalted 2.0 is much superior to 1.0. In particular the combat mechanics are simpler, cleaner, and faster. Mostly more balanced too, with the glaring exception of the weapon stats chart (although that’s easily fixed). The setting is also laid out in a clearer fashion.

I think it’d be a great setting for a RPG, SRPG, or action adventure.

I would agree that 2.0 is pretty much universally better than 1.0 in most respects. Far less things scream out “except me in a house rule please!” and things are more fluid once you have a good mental picture of what thigns are supposed to look like. Keeping track of dice is really easy, and can be made even easier with an hours worth of time and some paint.