Character Creation

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.

Crafting Your Character

  1. Choose a name for your character. Often on the moment of Exaltation, the character takes a new name or title befitting their past deeds.

  2. 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.

  3. Choose Three Intimacies, which are simple sentences that describes your relation or devotions to certain ideals, people, or places. They should be aspects that are fundamental to your character—what shapes and drives them to do what they do. Intimacies are used to resist certain Social Influence.

    Your Intimacies 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?

  4. Describe the Anima Banner, which is the light of the very soul expressing itself to the world around it. While intensely personal, each anima Banner should have elements of their Exaltation incorporated in it—Solars will tend to the colors of gold and fire, Lunars will display their totem spirit.

    The Anima Banner will show either at will, in response to powerful expenditures of Essence, or at times of large stress.

  5. Choose your character’s Great Curse, the character flaw which your Exalt struggles with day in and day out. Often, your character’s flaw will flare up, causing them to Botch their rolls, fail their actions, or otherwise veer them off of their intended course.

    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?

    This should be an event that happens, on average, once every session. Work with your Storyteller and adjust it during play if it is occurring too often or nor showing up at all, as each story is different.

    **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

  6. Distribute 16 dots into Attributes. Each must be at least 1, and no more than 5.
    Suggested:
    [4,3,3,3,2,1]

Experience Costs

Attribute 6 Powers
Ability (Standard) 3 Lesser 4
Ability (Favored) 2 Greater
(Requires Essence 3)
6
Extra Specialty 3 Capstone
(Requires Essence 5)
8
  1. Abilities

    • Mark the Favored Ability granted from your Exaltation/Caste, and record Supernatural Abilities granted you have access to.

    • Mark 5 additional Favored Abilities. These can be any combination of Natural, Trained, or Supernatural Abilities.

    • Spend 18 dots in Favored Abilities. All Favored abilities must have at least 1 dot.
      Suggested: [5,4,3,3,2,1]

    • Spend 9 dots in non-Favored Abilities to round out your character. None can be higher than 3 at character creation.
      Suggested: [3,2,2,1,1]

    • Choose a Specialty for each Trained Ability that has at least 1 dot. Specializations are focused applications of an Ability, such as “Close Combat: Swords” or “Lore: Realm History”. If a character must work outside their specialty, they suffer a -2 dice penalty to their ability (minimum 0.)

      Example specialties are listed with each Trained ability, but you may come up with any description you prefer, so long as it is not too broad as to be practically all-encompassing.

  2. Gain 3 Lesser Powers.
    You may take Powers from the list of Universal Charms, your Exalt’s Charms, Martial Arts Techniques, Spells from Sorcery, and/or Evocations from an Artifact.

    Greater Powers require Essence 3, and Capstone Powers require Essence 5.

  3. Spend 15 xp as desired, keeping whatever remains unspent.

  4. 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.

Armor

Soak

Evasion

No Armor

+0

+0

Light

-1 +1

Medium

+1

-1

Heavy

+2

-2

Weapons

Attribute

Accuracy

Base Damage

Unarmed

Dexterity or

Strength

+0

+0

Light

Dexterity

+2

+0

Medium

Dexterity or

Strength

+1

+1

Heavy

Strength

+0

+2

  1. Merits

    • Mark down two Facts of your character, which are simple statements describing your 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 the two standard languages: one representing your local tongue, and one common to the all the Player Characters (typically the Trade tongue: Riverspeak).

    • Gain 20 Resources, with which to purchase additional merits. Keep any unspent Resources.
      Suggested: [3,2,1,1]

      With special Storyteller permission, you may start with a 4-dot merit, and in debt by 1 Keystone. This takes the form of a problem with the merit, story tie, or other plot hook that should be resolved in order to remove the Keystone debt. See Projects for more details.

Merit Cost

Merit Resources Keystones
1 2 -
2 5 -
3 10 -
4 20 1
5 40 2

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. 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).

    Essence level will increase automatically as you gain experience in the world.

  1. Record the Mote Pools of Essence: your currency for empowering your mighty charms and spells. You start with your mote pools completely filled. There are two values:

    • Personal Motes: Set to 7.
      (Essence)x2 + 5
      The first mote pool to be drawn from, but only replenishes Daily.

    • Peripheral Motes: Set to 10.
      Once the personal mote pool has been exhausted, more energy may be pulled from the world itself—though this causes the anima banner to flare. Replenishes at the start of every Scene.

Rounding
When determining static values, always round up to the nearest whole number.
  1. Health
    7 + (Essence)x3 + (Endurance)
    In a combat scene, represents how long you may remain in the fight before collapsing from fatigue.

  2. Accuracy
    (Weapon Att. + Weapon Ability)/2 + (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.

  3. *Base Damage
    **
    (Weapon Damage) + (Essence)*
    With every attack, there is a minimum, or base amount of damage that is dealt, as determined by the weapon you used in the attack and your essence level.

The following are Static Values: Attribute + Ability defense combinations that are commonly used.

  1. *Guile
    **
    (Insight + Socialize or Subterfuge)/2*
    A measure of a character’s social Defense, their ability to conceal their own intentions, motivations and methodologies.

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

  3. Evasion
    (Essence + Athletics)/2 + (Armor Modifier)
    Allows you to dodge and avoid incoming attacks. Often the best defense is to not be hit in the first place. Does nothing against certain attacks, such as room-filling explosions.

  4. Soak
    (Essence + Physique)/2 + (Armor Modifier)
    Being hit is inevitable, and the best defense is to mitigate, deflect, or otherwise absorb the damage. Does nothing against certain attacks, such as piercing attacks.

  5. Defense Value (DV)
    Greater of Evasion or Soak
    For many cases, either Evasion or Soak works well enough, and so calls for the generic value of DV.

Advancement

Essence increases automatically depending on how much total xp has been gained, (+25xp) for each level.

   
Essence Total XP
1 0
2 25
3 50
4 75
5 100
6 (+) 0

Each Essence Rank provides:

  • +3 Health

  • +1 Base Damage

  • +2 Personal Motes

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.

For each session, each player should be given Three XP and Two RES, in addition to any Extra XP or RES they may have earned.

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.

Starting Experienced

<<TODO. Just writeup what levels you expect people to be at. Stop procrastinating this, it’s not hard. >>

Extra XP

The Storyteller may grant extra xp (+2 each) for each distinctive moment of roleplay. All player characters receive this bonus—while one character may initiate it, it is a shared and cooperative experience to bring that about. Examples include:

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

  • Suffering a defeat, or otherwise being impeded in their journeys.

  • A character falling to their Great Curse, which changes the course of the story in a non-insignificant manner.

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Gaining Resources

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

Each individual Keystone must be intentionally sought out by the player, and requires anywhere from a Scene to a full Story to acquire.

Each source of Resource should be added together when combined. For example, by having access to the wealth and income of an entire City (20) for a Month (5) would result in 25 Res.

Resources

Manpower

Wealth

Time

1

Hamlet

-

Week

5

Village

Merchant

Month

10

Town

Caravan

Season

20 City City Income Year

40

Prefecture

Trading Network

Decade

The Uniqueness of Player Characters

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 +25xp until Essence 3, +50xp until Essence 5, then +100xp after Essence 5.

  • Most other Exalts start at Essence 2, with an extra 10 xp to spend at character creation. They advance every +25xp until Essence 5, then at +50xp.

  • Solars, Abyssals, and Infernals start at Essence 3, with an extra 15 xp to spend at character creation. They advance every +20xp until Essence 5, then +40xp.

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