Aspects of the character are measured in Dot Ratings, the higher number representing greater proficiency. Dot ratings range from 0-5, with 0 being untrained, 2 average, and 5 masterful.

An online character sheet is provided here. (So long as this is the most up-to-date version of the pdf.)

Steps

  1. Choose your Exaltation and associated Caste, noting down any special abilities granted.

    Your Exaltation will influence everything about your character, from what charms they may take, so take some time exploring your options.

  2. Choose Three Intimacies, which are simple sentences that describes your relation or devotions to certain ideals, people, or places.

    Your Intimacies together should answer the questions:

    • What is a tie I have to the world around me? Why do I care whether the world is destroyed or not?

    • What pushes me to continue forward, in spite of all the hardship, danger, and anguish I will encounter?

    • Why do I stick with the party? Is there a particular character I resonate with? Do we share a common goal?

  3. Choose your character’s Great Curse, the character flaw which your Exalt struggles with day in and day out. Example Great Curses are provided with your Exaltation, as each exalt tends to follow similar themes, but they by no means need to be followed verbatim.

    Describing a Great Curse should answer these questions:

    How is the character flawed?
    How does the Curse describe your character? Are they overly compassionate, taking on the worlds ills onto themselves at their own detriment? Are they a braggart, who cannot help but show off?

    What aggravates the flaw?
    What is something that you can encounter in the world that will cause the Great Curse to rear its ugly head? Is it the sight of those in power mistreating those that they are supposed to protect?

    What happens?
    When your character cannot take the accumulated stress of their adventures anymore, what action will they (most likely) take? Do they shut themselves off from the world? Do they take action, ignoring any potential consequences

  4. Distribute 16 dots into Attributes. Each must be at least 1, and no more than 5. Attributes are your general skills, applied constantly to the world.

    Suggested Spread:
    [4, 3, 3, 3, 2, 1]

  5. Describe your specific skills, or Abilities.

    • Record any Supernatural Abilities granted from your Exaltation.

    • Choose 3 Abilities, which are your primary skills—these represent what your character is known for.

      Set them to either:
      [5, 4, 3] or [4, 4, 4]

    • Spend 15 dots in the remaining Abilities, with none being higher than 3 at this time.

      Suggested:
      [3, 3, 2, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1]

  6. Gain 3 Lesser Powers, which are situational and unique effects your character can have in the world.

    Powers can be any combination of:

    • Charms.

    • Spells

    • Martial Arts

    • Artifact Evocations.

  7. Detail out the Armor and Weapons your character uses. Any other mundane equipment the character has need not be written down—so long as it is a reasonable thing for your character to carry, it may be used.

  8. You may now spend 16 xp freely. You may use this to increase Abilities past 3.

    Keep any experience that is unspent.

Experience Costs
Attribute 4
Ability 2
Powers
Lesser 6
Greater
(Requires Essence 3)
8
Capstone
(Requires Essence 5)
10
  1. Detail the character’s Merits, which are external aspects of your character—allies, money, backgrounds, and history.

    • Write two Facts about the character’s past.

      • One should be dedicated to your history, such as the city they lived in, or if they are from an important family lineage.

      • The other should be dedicated to a past accomplishment. Often, this is directly tied to why you were chosen to be an Exalt.

    • Mark down two standard Languages: one representing your local tongue, and one common to the all the Player Characters (typically Riverspeak).

    • Gain 6 Dots of Merits, with which to purchase additional merit dots. A 4 dot merit may only be purchased with storyteller permission

      Suggested:
      [3,2,1]

Starting with a Greater Merit

With Storyteller permission, you may start with a 4-dot merit, which will place you “in debt” by 1 Keystone.

This takes the form of an unresolved story tie related to that merit. Perhaps you are on the run for stealing it. Maybe it is defective somehow, or in great danger of falling apart?

Armor

Block Modifier

Evasion Modifier

Light

+0 +1

Medium

+1

+0

Heavy

+2

-1

Mundane Weapons

Acc.

Full (Glancing)

Notes

Unarmed

+0

+0

Mundane Brawl

Close-Range Weapons (Melee)

Light

+3 +1(0)

Dexterity-only

Medium

+1

+1(1)

Heavy

+0

+2(1)

Strength-only

Ranged Weapons (Archery, Thrown)

Light

+2 +0(0)

Dexterity-only

Medium

+1

+1(0)

Heavy

+0

+2(0)

Strength -only

Finishing Touches

Once your character has been finalized, it is time to record static values. If you are using the provided character sheet, this next part will be completed automatically.

  1. Choose a name for your character and describe them. This description should include your Anima Banner, the personal soulshape of light that surrounds your character when brimming with power.
  1. Set your Essence to 1, the starting point for all Exalts. This sets you apart from most mortals who do not have an essence rating at all. (Essence 0).

  2. Start with a Mote Pool of 8, which is how you empower might charms, spells, and techniques. The pool starts completely filled.

  3. Health
    Set to 20, then add (Physique) additional points.
    In a combat scene, represents how long you may remain in the fight before collapsing from fatigue.

  4. Accuracy
    (Weapon Att. + Weapon Ability) + (Weapon Acc)
    The Attribute and Ability you use to calculate accuracy is dependent on your weapon. For example, a Heavy Maul will require Strength and Close Combat, while a Light Bow would require Dexterity and Ranged Combat. See Weapons.

  5. Damage
    Greater of (Strength, Dexterity, or Essence), and add your bonus from (Weapon).

    When attacking a foe, this is the amount of wounds you inflict upon the foe by default.

    Martial Arts or chosen weapons, can change or modify the base damage, but can never bring it lower than (Essence).

Rounding

When taking the average of numbers, always round up to the nearest whole number.

  1. Evasion
    (Dexterity + Athletics)/2 + (Armor Modifier)

  2. Block
    (Strength + Physique)/2 + (Armor Modifier)

  3. Resolve
    (Wits + Integrity)/2.
    Used to defend against anything that would sway your mind and actions, from deceptively sweet words to mind-altering Spells.

Advancement

Essence increases automatically depending on how much total xp has been gained, (+30xp) for each level.

   
Essence Total XP
1 0
2 30
3 60
4 90
5 120
6 (+) 150 (+50)

Essence 6+

Once an Exalt reaches Essence 6, they start to transcend mortal boundaries. They may push their Attributes and Abilities past rating 5, up to their current Essence Level.

Each Essence Level past 6 requires 50 xp.

Remember that each Essence Rank provides:

  • +5 Health

  • +2 Maximum Motes

  • Ensures a minimum Base Damage of (Essence)

At Essence 3 and Essence 5, the character gains access to purchasing Greater and Capstone charms, respectively.

You may only save up to One Power’s worth of experience to purchase higher level powers on reaching this milestone—e.g. you cannot reach Essence 3 and then suddenly have 5 Greater Charms in your repertoire

XP Gain

Player Characters in the same group should be kept at the same amount of experience points, so that no single character gets significantly ahead or behind others—as well, it takes the entire group to create moments, not individuals.

Players should gain Two XP as a base for each Session, and gain an additional One XP for meeting any and each of the following:

  • Creating a moment of excellent roleplay.

  • A character falling victim to their Great Curse, impeding their journey in some way. This does not need to be a Limit Break.

  • Reaching a milestone in a player character’s personal story.

  • Reaching a milestone in the overarching Story.

  • Suffering a great defeat.

Gain Two XP for any of the following:

  • Finishing a Story.

  • A Player Character being forced to cheat death, or actually dying.

Tuning Experience Gain

Consider how long you want to play the game, and adjust your base Experience gain based on how quickly you want to meet milestones. Remember that:

  • An average of 5xp will be 6 sessions a level,
    or 30 Sessions to reach Essence 6.

  • An average of 7xp will be 4 sessions a level,
    or 22 Sessions to reach Essence 6

  • An average of 10 xp will be 3 sessions a level,
    or 15 Sessions to reach Essence 6.

Gaining Resources

Project Resources should be sought out and rewarded, based on the Player’s actions in the story—it represents everything from riches, favors, or manpower gathered.

Each point of Resources is equivalent to a dot of Merits, or a scale of a World Project. However, Merits or Projects of Scale 4 or Higher must seek out a Keystone to complete the project.

Unlike Experience Points, Resources do not need to be the same between characters—deciding who gets what is completely a decision that can be done in character, if something is limited.

Alternate Starts

Higher Essence Starts

If you wish to start at higher Essence, the following are suggested paths for character advancement—you are not required to level up this way.

Follow Character Creation, and then add an additional:

         
  Ess 2 Ess 3 Ess 4 Ess 5
Attributes 1 3 4 5
Abilities 4 5 7 8
Lesser Powers 3 5 6 7
Greater Powers - 1 3 4
Capstone Powers - - - 1
Merits/Projects 5 10 15 20

Player Character Exceptionalism

Player Characters are unusual in just how quickly they progress, and are not bound by their Exaltations limits. This is unusual and not representative of the world at large.

For example, it often takes decades or even a millennia to reach Essence 5, a marker that may be reached within a year for your Player Characters.

As well, non-Player Characters are far more restricted by their Exaltation: the vast majority of Dragonbloods are at Essence 2 or lower, for example.

This is ignored for the sake of fun, and making sure each Player at the table are at the same level.

If you truly wish to exaggerate the difference between Exaltations for Player Characters (this is not recommended for new Players), use the following:

  • Dragonbloods and Liminals advance at +30xp until Essence 3, +50xp until Essence 5, then +100xp after Essence 5.

  • Most other Exalts start at Essence 2, with an extra 8xp to spend at character creation. They advance every +30xp until Essence 5, then at +50xp.

  • Solars, Abyssals, and Infernals start at Essence 3, with an extra 12xp to spend at character creation. They advance every +20xp until Essence 5, then +40xp.

Mortal Start

It is quite natural to want to start the adventure before the Exalted have become what they are. This should be taken with great care and coordination with your Players—this a game of the Exalted, not mortals, after all.

Even as a mortal, those Destined to become Exalted are heroic, above normal mortals. They follow this creation guidance:

Steps

  1. Distribute 12 dots into Attributes. Each must be at least 1, and no more than 3.

    Suggested:**
    **[3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1]

  1. Select 3 Abilities that your character is known for. One of these may be a Supernatural Ability that will be gained when Exalting, though they must take the Endowed (3) Merit to reflect this.

    Set these abilities to:
    [4, 3, 3]

  2. Distribute 9 dots in any of the remaining Abilities. None can be brought above 3.

  3. Gain one Fact dedicated to your history.

  4. Mark down two standard Languages: one representing your local tongue, and one common to the all the Player Characters (typically Riverspeak).

  5. Gain 4 dots of Merits. You may go into keystone debt to do so, and may purchase Special or Supernatural Merits.

  6. Detail out the Armor and Weapons your character uses. Any other mundane equipment the character has need not be written down—so long as it is a reasonable thing for your character to carry, it may be used.

  7. You may now spend 8 xp freely. You may use this to increase Abilities to no more than 4.

  8. Set Health to 15, then add (Physique) additional points.

  9. The remaining derived values are calculated as normal.