From Exalted - Unofficial Wiki
- The Greco-Roman pantheon, under different names and wearing different faces, rule over most of the people of the known world, with a few additions. Five additional gods and goddesses have been spawned by the Olympians, however. The details of which, I'm still working out, but this youngest generation each hold dominion over one of the five elements (sure, I'm fudging Aristotle's four elements in five... deal). There is a progression in the nature of the power of these deities. First, the Titans, were broadly general ideas, like 'Chaos', and 'Creation'. Their children, the Olympians, were more concrete: 'Sun', 'Moon', 'Death'. The latest generation, who will eventually be given names, are even less abstract and more fundamental: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Wood. Unfortunately for the Olympians, their children follow in their parents footsteps... the ones that lead to patricide. As Jove butchered his father Saturn, these new gods, disgusted with the corruption of their parents, rose up and slew the Olypians. Many survived: the minor, insignificant gods fled to the far reaches of creation, Apollo and Diana managed to find refuge within the underworld fortress of their uncle, Hades. Many, most notably those who dwelt on Olympus or within the court of Poseidon, are dead.
Notes, Thoughts, Meanderings
- Four of the great peopls of the ancient world were founded by the Terrestrials.
- Founding Goddess: Telleria
- Element: Earth
- Peoples: Romans, Latins, Etruscans
- Founding God: Komao
- Element: Air
- Peoples: Greeks, Macedonians, Ptolemics, Egyptians
- Founding Goddess: Ek
- Element: Water
- Peoples: Carthaginians, Sicilians, Spaniards
- Founding God: Pyrkagia
- Element: Fire
- Peoples: Persians, Arabs, Indians, everything Eastern
- By this point, both the Air and Water Terrestrials (Hellenics & Phonecians) have been conquered by, absorbed into, and inter-bred with the Earth Terrestrials of Rome. There has easily been enough interaction between the Roman and Parthian empires that Fire Terrestrials are just as commonly found within Rome as Earth, Air, and Water Terrestrials and vice versa.
- It took Diana several centuries to develop Lunar Exaltation, which Apollo then spent another several centuries refining into Solar Exaltation. Pluto's efforts have been dedicated to defending his realm from the Terrestrials. When Solar Exalts pass through his realm, he snatches them up and makes them Abyssal Exalts. Don't ask me about Sidereal Exalts yet.
- After creating Lunar Exaltation, Diana left Hades to give her chosen warriors direction. Apollo doesn't have that option; granting Hades the dead Solars is his rent. Or something.
- (08/14/03) - Removed "Thought Process" notes: my opinions concerning the animi style of Exalted were distracting folks from the intended content of the page.
- (08/13/03) - I reposted my notes for this on ExaltedWiki, since there's a chance that folks there might get some use out of it.
- (04/04/03) - I've hashed out the general structure for a campaign in this setting (and have written down!). None of the blanks have been filled in, but all the blanks that need to be there (covering most of the major directions the game could go in) are there. I also just realized that Parthia is Persia, so I need to change that.
- (04/13/03) - I've been plugging away at my gaming thoughts notebook that I carry around with me, and have finished most of the Big Picture of where it should go. It's at the point where, as far as plot's concerned, I could probably start running it whenever, fleshing things out appropriately as the direction the players want to take it in becomes clearer. Now, what I really should start working on is setting stuff; what's different from Rome, Exalted, or both, and why. Also, final decision concerning Terrestrial bloodlines: why worry about finding a fifth nation to host the fifth element when five elements aren't appropriate? So, only four nations; goodbye Wood.
- 300, Frank Miller & Lynn Varley
- Ben Hur, William Wyler & Lew Wallace
- Bullfinch's Mythology, Thomas Bullfinch
- The Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon
- Gladiator, Ridley Scott
- Spartacus, Stanley Kubrik & Howard Fast
Comments / Opinions / Suggestions
- I dunno man. Without the larger-than-life cinema (Wuxia / anime) feel, I think Exalted would have little left to differentiate it from, say, D&D Epic Levels. I consider this to be a BadThing. What, people touched by gods roaming Ancient Europe? Hmm. Exalted was designed with this kind of fantastic, almost otherworldly feel to even every day events. Even the Imperial Beaurocracy has a fantastic and unique feel. There are already lots of StickAndPotatoGames out there. There are even a lot of StickAndPotatoGames with Demigods running around. Exalted stands out from the pack with such a unique fusion of western myth and eastern style. Now, I am more of an anime fan, so maybe that biases me. Leave out anime and put in "extremely stylistic." So I think that these qualities draw many people to Exalted. I know that was the case with me. Your work is quite good, and we appreciate it though, keep it up! :) -- DaveFayram
- I wouldn't call the "anime aspect" forced. It fits in my opinion, and alot of things can definitly be seen as anime, with billowing animas, and way over the top combat.
- But the beautiful thing about Exalted is that it IS more than just "Another Anime RPG." There ARE historical, ancient world aspects to it. Personally, I play my Exalted as very anime (hence, perhaps, my feelings) but I've often wondered about doing an ancient africa/aztec empire meets the power of rome, in a real ancient world/mythic battle royale. Animes become less billowing auras of Chi and more mystical, surreal totemic images of power. Daiklaves are no longer big anime weapons, but the exaggerated weapons of myth (and lo, it took 10 men to lift the blade of mighty achilles (and so on)).
- GC has written some very interesting articles on the differences and similarities between myth, epic fantasy, and anime. I think the smooth combination between all of them is what makes Exalted so universally loved :)
- I disagree that it wouldn't be any better than D&D epic without the animi feel. I think it'd still be compelling and impressive: less like Dark Schneider or Gatz and more like Sauron (in the LotR intro) or Samson. I think it's more than possible to keep that over-the-top feeling while changing the style that feeling has. If that makes any sense.
- See, I've noticed that a lot of Exalted fans scream and yell "It's not just animi!", but for every one of those, there's someone giggling excitedly because they've just converted everything in Chronotrigger to Exalted. It's a matter of taste: I don't really care for that style of animi in general, so I'm choosing to ignore it. And that's all it really is, a style. If I peel it off, I can see past a genre I don't care for to find a really neat game. :) Is there anyway to find these articles without slogging through endless forum threads? That'd actually be a good idea for a WikiPage: a compilation of GCG essays. -SoulToast
- You shouldn't be using Gatsu of Berserk as your argument though, I'm claiming Berserk has one of the best fantasy storylines of our modern time and I'm going to stick with that :). Its the kind of story that influences you, and those are quite rare. And as to the "ChronoTrigger Kidz"... I've never seen them... but I know people did and do that with most everything RPGish. I know I've seen people do it for D&D. Been done for Rifts (what hasn't?) I've seen them do it for even Ars Magica. People love to extend systems to meed their expectations. If their expectations are silly and childlike, then we don't blame the system. -- DaveFayram
- It used to happen all the time in the ExaltedCompendium forums, one of the reasons I stopped paying a whole lot of attention to them. There are some things that are built into the system, though, like the Exalted daiklaive/hearthstone vs. Final Fantasy VII weapon/materia connection. But I think at this point, we're arguing po-tay-to vs. po-tah-to at this point. We both get different things out of the game, let's leave it at that. :) BTW: thanks for the wiki... wiki kicks obscene amounts of ass, and I think that having one can only be incredible for a game like Exalted. - SoulToast
- I've personally giggled excitedly at the thought of running Exalted in various real-world historical periods, while keeping the so-called "anime feel" completely intact. One of my recurring fantasies is trying to figure out a way to translate WWII into Exalted, and next to that, the idea of Pax Romana with anima flares seems downright reasonable to me. But your idea of cool seems to be in a different equivalence class from mine, which is of course fine.\\
_Ikselam\\ (PS: I thought Lodoss War was about the most dreadfully dull thing I ever had the misfortune of viewing.)\\
- Asram (despite the really gay sounding name) was one of the coolest looking characters I've ever seen. I rather liked the series... except for the DORKY ASS main character. shudder
- However, Exalted really wasnt based on Record of Lodoss War. It's Ninja Scroll and Princess Mononoke (Be warned: slow slow movie) meets Gilgamesh.
- Really, I'm not so worked up to argue about what Exalted is and isn't or what it is or isn't based on: perceptions vary from person to person, and there's enough meat to Exatled to let anyone get pretty much whatever they want to get out of it. And there are better forums to have that discussion in, anyway. When I asked for Comments / Opinions / Suggestions, I meant Comments / Opinions / Suggestions relating to my alternate setting idea, not to what I like or dislike about Exalted itself. - SoulToast
- I notice that in one place you name the ruler of the Underworld Hades, and in another you refer to Pluto. I think it would probably be best if you chose either the Roman or Hellenic names, and then applied them uniformly to all the gods in the pantheon.
- I'm also confused as to why Pluto needs to "tax" Apollo to get Abyssal Exalted. If he's actually one of the second-generation gods, on par with Diana, Apollo, et al., then what's been keeping him from making his own Chosen all along? (I think the obvious answer to this is that he's the equivalent of canon-Exalted Saturn, but that might produce some embarassing overlap when you try to explain Abyssals. Maybe Pluto is just a greedy bastard and wants more Exalted than he already has, so he steals them from Sol?)
- Finally, I am not sure I understand the rationale for Exalted existing in this setting. Assuming that you are using the "canonical" Titanomachia, Jove and his posse killed / imprisoned the Titans without the need to work through mortals. Are you going to retcon this so that it falls into line with WW's Exalted history, or make up some new reason for Exaltation that has more basis in classical mythology?
- Good point, I was a little inconsistent with the names; they tend to blend together after a point. I'll fix that when I revise what I've got here.
- I also guess that it's a little ambiguous; a revision/clarification is going to be necessary. :) In the meantime: the second-generation gods (still working out who) spawn a third generation. Part of this third generation are the four terrestrial/elemental gods. These go out and follow in the footsteps of their parents and do their best to breed with anything that moves. Their offspring turn out different from most of the half-mortal offspring of their parents: they're more numerous, if less powerful. These guys are terrestrial Exalted. The terrestrial gods and their children pull a coup and overthrow/kill/drive into exile most of their parents and aunts & uncles. The exceptions are Pluto, who's realm remains safe from the upstarts, and Apollo and Diana, who flee to Pluto's realm. Diana and Apollo develop a way to empower mortals with divine essence over several hundred/thousand years. Diana immediately takes off and starts making Exalts. Apollo thinks there's more to be done, takes his time, and does it, and improves upon the process. Then he takes off and starts fighting against the usurpers as well. Pluto's Exalted are stolen from Apollo's dead because he's crafty and cheap with his power; that's why he's still around. It's cheaper and easier for him to take that which Apollo has already expended effort to create and twist it around to his own purposes. I guess this doesn't explain why he doesn't just do the same thing to Diana's Lunar Exalted as well, though.
- So, I guess the answer to your question is, "A little of both". It's brought a little closer to the way Exalted works, but with a new reason to get away with all of it. That said, I'm not familiar with the canon-Exalted Saturn; is he in GoD (so I can look him up)? Thanks for the comments! - SoulToast
- Canonical Saturn, aka the Maiden of Endings, is basically the real Saturn wearing his Grim Reaper hat.
- While walking the dog, I had the thought that it might be interesting to try and work other ancient religions into your cosmology. I was specifically thinking of the Egyptian pantheon (which ended up cross-pollinating with the Roman / Greek pantheons); with its emphasis on sun-worship, it could easily be painted as the "First Age" civilization of your setting. Ra could be the UCS (possibly even the "father" of the modern sun gods); Thoth could be Autochthon. Isis might be an early version of Luna, or one of the gods responsible for Sidereals. You could also easily paint Druidic practices as worship of Gaia and / or other Titans. You may or may not find these ideas useful at all, but I thought I'd throw them out.
- Some Castes of Sidereal Exalted will be pretty easy. Mars would probably map better to Athena than Ares; Mercury is obvious, as is Venus. Jupiter and Saturn will pose problems; Saturn more so than Jupiter, since you seem to be switching things around so that Jove is no longer king of the gods. But there is no way around the fact that Saturn is a Titan in your cosmology. You might wish to have Chosen of the Maiden of Endings be Exalted by Persephone, or Osiris, or something. The main problem with Jupiter is that real-life Jupiter isn't associated with stealth and knowledge at all. If you used my Egypt idea, the Maiden of Secrets might logically be Isis. (Isis cults did exist in historical Rome.)
- Going back to Egypt yet again, you could even say that all Sidereals are Exalted by Egyptian gods. Osiris (or Anubis) could be the "Maiden of Endings," Horus (or Set) could be the "Maiden of Battles," Isis (or Thoth) could be the "Maiden of Secrets," Thoth could be the "Maiden of Journeys" (leaning more on Mercury's rep as a sorcerer and thief than as a traveller -- Thoth basically is Hermes Trimegistus), and the "Maiden of Serenity" could be Ma'at (Thoth's wife, goddess of truth and balance, among other things. The coolest thing about her is the ostrich feather in her hair) or Isis.
- Doh! I should have caught that. Shame on me. : /
- As to your other comments: wow. Those are all really good ideas; I need to put some thought to them. :) - SoulToast
- What if the Sidereals are the chosen of the Fates, who are neutral and only really care about the smooth running of reality? The Sidereals aren't exactly popular because no one likes their meddling, but the other gods don't declares open war on the Fates because they're the gods who actually keep the world running. - GordonMichael