I like giving the developers the benefit of the doubt. They do get paid to write this stuff, after all, and they've probably spent a lot more time thinking about it than I have. Still, there are a few clarifications and changes to the rules which I use in my games. Comments, especially comments pointing out situations and combinations I may not have considered, are welcome.
I take a page from RSB when I approach rules - rigorous interpretation. I fully acknowledge that the rules are made to be broken; however, the breaking of rules should only be done if you know precisely what rule you're breaking in the first place. This leads me into d20-like verbal gymnastics occasionally, but I'm a linguist by vocation, so I don't care. The list of Charms whose effects I have house-ruled is longer than my arm; most of these adjustments are very minor, just to make the wording unambiguous. Those changes are not posted here, both because I don't want to take the time to move them from the text file where they live and because of potential copyright issues. Parties interested in seeing said text file are encouraged to contact me by AIM (and by AIM ONLY) at KILO ECHO FOXTROT INDIA VICTOR.
I've only recently discovered Sol Invictus, and am currently in the process of pillaging it for ideas in the midst of 2nd Edition conversion.
Dawn Caste Solar
The Dawn Caste anima power is amended as follows:
- The Bronze Tigers also bring the wrath of the Unconquered Sun in a more focused manner. A Dawn Exalt may reflexively spend four motes of Essence to cause his caste mark to flash with brilliance for a split second as he makes an attack. The target of this attack suffers a -2 penalty to her DV against that attack only. Beings who do not see, such as automata and the blind, do not suffer this penalty, but creatures of darkness suffer the penalty regardless of whether or not they have sight.
Twilight Caste Solar
The Twilight Caste anima power is changed to read as follows:
- Solar Exalted of the Twilight Caste may channel Essence through their animas to protect themselves from the raw Essence discharges of sorcerous mishaps and Essence weapons. If, after damage from an Essence discharge has been rolled, a Twilight Exalt will lose health levels, she may instead spend five motes of Essence to strengthen her anima to resist the attack, subtracting her Essence in health levels from the damage. This effect can turn an otherwise deadly blow or reduce a weak attack to harmlessness. This effect comes into play automatically once the Solar's anima banner reaches the 11-15 mote level.
- The Copper Spiders are also unsurpassed in the use of artifacts. When a Twilight Exalt uses or attunes to an artifact and must spend motes, she pays only half of the normal cost, rounded up.
Examples of Essence discharges: the side effects of countered sorcery, "zorch" Charms such as Elemental Bolt Attack, shock pike attacks. Examples of energy attacks that are not Essence discharges: lightning from weather, firewand discharges, Death of Obsidian Butterflies
Flaws of Invulnerability
The Conviction Flaw of Invulnerability is changed to read as follows:
- The Exalt can only use this Charm when his confidence in himself and his belief in his purpose are unshaken. Storytellers and players are encouraged to take into account the character's Willpower and Virtues, as well as any tricks which have been played on him, when deciding whether a character's confidence and belief remain unshaken.
Style, Form, and Stance
Before a martial artist can learn any of the Charms of a supernatural martial arts style, he must first achieve a basic mastery of the mundane style. This costs two bonus points or four experience points if Martial Arts is not a favored or caste Ability, and one bonus point or two experience points if it is. A character with knowledge of a mundane martial arts style can enter the stance associated with that style as a diceless action. A character can only be in one stance at a time, and a character in a stance is obviously prepared for combat.
While in a style's stance, a character gains the benefits of the form weapons of the style: he may use them with his Martial Arts Ability and counts any attacks made with them as unarmed for the purposes of Charms of that style. Even if two Martial Arts styles share a form weapon, a character cannot generally gain the form weapon benefit for both styles at once; if the martial artist is in the Air Dragon Form, armed with a fighting chain, and wishes to enact the Essence Venom Strike, he must do so unarmed, despite the fact that the fighting chain is a form weapon for the Snake Style. If the character has mastered both styles, however — having learned all the Charms in both trees — this limitation is waived.
While an Exalt has a Form-type Charm active, he is considered to be in the stance associated with that Form and cannot leave it unless he allows the Form to lapse. When an Exalted martial artist learns the mundane version and all the Charms of a Martial Arts style up to and including the Form-type Charm at once — during either character creation or an in-game training montage — the cost of learning the mundane style is waived.
There is no stance or cost to learn the mundane style for styles which have no form weapons.
The form weapons for each published Second Edition style are as follows:
- Terrestrial Hero Style: Cestus, fighting gauntlet, pankrator's cestus.
- Five-Dragon Style: Sword, spear.
- Snake Style: Fighting chain, paired hook swords, seven-section staff.
- Solar Hero Style: Cestus, fighting gauntlet, khatar, tiger claws, pankrator's cestus, improvised weapons.
- Air Dragon Style: Fighting chain, chakram, shuriken.
- Earth Dragon Style: Tetsubo.
- Fire Dragon Style: Paired short swords.
- Water Dragon Style: Paired tiger claws.
- Wood Dragon Style: Bow.
The artifact versions of the above weapons are also counted as form weapons for the appropriate style(s).
Experience and Training Time
Occasionally, experiences will lead to unrelated revelations. Conversely, dogged determination can help make up for a lack of inspiration.
A character may forego either the experience point or training time cost of any Attribute, Ability, or specialty and pay an increased cost in the other. The amount of increase depends on the character's type; Solar and Abyssal Exalted pay four times the normal cost, Sidereal and Lunar Exalted pay five times, Terrestrials pay six, and mortals, God-Blooded, and ghosts pay seven. This cost multiplies after all other considerations are taken into account, such as whether or not the character has a tutor.
Note that Charms, Combos, Essence and spells must be learned the conventional way. Virtues have no training time anyway.
In Gods, Heroes, and Chicks with Eyepatches, Charms are included in the list of "swappable" Traits; however, this is just to keep continuity.
As someone who adores unambiguity, I'd love to have a copy of that text file. Perhaps you could email it to me, or put it on the web somewhere and link to it for just a while? I can provide some sort of proof that I own nearly every book if necessary (such as "the third word of page 162 in book XX). -- GreenLantern
I'd quite like to look at that too, especially since I find myself almost writing an entire new edition worth of changes, since I'm not happy with all of either 1st, PC or 2nd, and tend to be combining bits from each.
-- Darloth can provide proofs for most books, although I don't own the -entire- line
- Perhaps I shouldn't have yoinked the header text verbatim from my 1E house rules page. I'm still in the process of reviewing 2E for things I want to houserule. I haven't got very far at this point, but I'm sure things will pick up when my new game starts in a few weeks. I imagine some sort of arrangements can be made, but as the 2E textfile isn't anything like finished yet (I think I've got through about 1/3 of the Charms and maybe half of the other rules), I'll have to hold off on actually offering until I at least get all my bases covered. - Kurulham