Thus Spake Zargrabowski/EssentialSupplements

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g_c_grabowski 10-23-2003 02:18 PM

Those two books [Savage Seas and Manacle And Coin -- Ed] are technical supplements. Savage Seas extensively details sailing and ships in the Second Age. Manacle and Coin includes extensive details the Guild, particularly their trade in drugs and slaves, and provides a detailed account of the currency, insurance and banking systems of Creation. Both can be REAL important to some games but not to every game.

I think if there are "essential" supplements, you want the Storyteller's Companion (very useful all-around book), Scavenger Sons (main setting book, fans say it is very good), the Book of Three Circles (good if you have magicians) and Games of Divinity (gods, demons and elementals, you will want stats for these, especially if you have a summoner). Beyond that, what you add is what you want to detail. Even the books I mention aren't necessary, they're just the stuff I would want a copy of if I was running a Solars game and wanted to have all the handy trimmings.

(I lie, I would want Creatures of the Wyld too, because it has the stats for some handy stock foes, but you don't need it.)

Castebooks provide lots of PoV info and some handy mechanics for doing different genre stunts if you don't want to figure out your own way to do ninja kuji-kiri or drunken masters.

Hardbacks detail different mileus for playing the game in. Lunars is about playing a savage barbarian of the Wyld-tained wastelands, Dragon-Blooded is about being a noble in the big decaying empire, Abyssals is all about the Land of the Dead and playing one of the half-living all-damned servants of that realm's princes, and Sidereals is all about Heaven and being a Celestial Bureaucrat. If you don't really want to detail that specific thing, don't get the hardback.

It's easiest to think of them as installments in a CRPG franchise where there are certain strong overall themes and a shared setting, but each game is pretty different. They are interoperable so you can fight your character from the last game or have a mortal kombat tournament. You do not need them to play. You can just say the Abyssal kills every extra in sight, regains all her Essence and then rolls a bunch of dice in an attempt to maim someone greivously and replicate the Charm content of Abyssals pretty accurately, and there are guidelines for their rough powers in the main book and the Storyteller's Companion, but Abyssals makes it a fully playable character type with a detailed background.

Geoffrey C. Grabowski\\ Exalted Developer, WWGS\\

I would actually say the core is Games of Divinity, Book of Three Circles and Scavenger Sons. I would get Lunars and / or D-B to run a Lunars and / or D-B game or if I planned to use them as antagonists, but those three softback supplements I would recommend for anyone running any kind of Exalted game. If you have to get 2, I'd omit Games of Divinity, but the gods book is really illustrative of the setting.

Good luck on your national service, Jurgen. May you do your duty and come home safely.

Geoffrey C. Grabowski\\ Exalted Developer, WWGS\\

I'd suggest the Storyteller's Companion / GM's screen, because it has a little bit of everything.

Beyond that, I'd get some or all of Games of Divinity, Book of Three Circles, Scavenger Sons or the red Dragon-Blooded hardback, depending on your need. If you get all these books, you can probably skip the Storyteller's Companion.

Games of Divinity: Pretty much just get this one unless your game is set in the Realm, where fear of the Immaculates keeps the gods in their temples. Even then, if you have sorcerers as PCs or NPCs. they'll want this for summoning.

Book of Three Circles: A big bonus to sorcerers. Not necessary to run, tho. If you've got budget issues, make the player of the sorcerer(s) but this one and "borrow" it. They're really going to be the ones that benefit.

Scavenger Sons: If you're going to run your game in the Threshold, you want this book. Pretty useless for a Realm game tho.

Dragon-Blooded: A must for Realm games, or if you're going to have the Dragon-Blooded as major enemies of the PCs. If the Dragon-Blooded aren't going to play a major part in the game, and people aren't going to be on the Blessed Isle, you don't need it.

Geoffrey C. Grabowski\\ Exalted Developer, WWGS\\