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Some consider Appearance to be the most under-utilized Attribute in the game, and many people have houseruled it. Appearance governs, canonically, how pretty a character is.
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Houserules By Author
- Blaque's Appearance Houserules (formerly located on the Appearance top-level page)
- MetalFatigue's Appearance Houserules
- Shataina's Appearance Houserules ~ she just creates a Presentation Attribute, futzes with definitions, and then has "pretty" Merits
- Violet's Visual Social Stunts ~ wherein the distinction between social Attributes lies in how the stunt is described.
- BillGarrett/AppearanceHowto - information for players and Storytellers about how to use canon Appearance
- Discussions/IsHighAppearanceADrawback - join the fight! root for winners! bring popcorn!
- AppearanceExplanation - BlackAndWhite's opinions.
-Appearance is a POS attribute in most games. It's really hard to take appearance into account, and, in general, appearance can get you ahead in the world, but it's hard to use in a lot of exaltedish situations. So, your appearance system helps a lot and is definitely one way to go. But something about it just doesn't register in my mind. When I think of appearance, I think of a quality of a person which they're stuck with, and can be altered only with cosmetics or considerable luck and work or time. I think that what appearance does best in games is serve to highlight some relatively fixed quality in a person. For example, what happens in social situations often reminds a character that he's ugly, and just has an uphill battle socially. And a beautiful person should be reminded that they are first picked, most noticed, last attacked, given the benefit of the doubt, and have an easy time with people just by keeping their mouth shut. This doesn't balance appearance in exalted, in my opinion. But I think that appearance is a valid limit to charisma and manipulation in a lot of social interractions, especially first impressions. And I flat out award automatic successes equal to the difference between 2 characters' appearances for seduction rolls. But this is all stylistic, and a good call in your direction, because it's about time that someone took the appearance system and did something with it, because it's not quite right from where I'm standing. -Morpheus
I'd like to lend my opinion here, and say that this is a very good idea. There really does need to be some better ruling on how Charisma/Manipulation/Appearance interact with each other in social situations, too. I'm also curious to see what could be done with using Appearance in non-Lunar Charms - obviously not Charms based on appearance, but Charms affecting it, to see how other beings of power treat Appearance (Abyssals especially come to mind..). I've done some experimental work with such myself, but they've yet to be playtested. Gamlain
Appearance CAN be of significant use in any game with a lot of social situations. You just have to put aside your modern, enlightened conceptions for a moment, and run NPCs who can and will make judgements based on looks.
Think about the Grand Ball. Obviously everybody who's anybody will be there, but nobody would be caught dead in anything less than their best. Guests will use makeup to either hide or accentuate their looks; depending on gender and culture, they may do other things. So START with an Appearance-based roll: one of Appearance+Presence if choosing your own wardrobe, Appearance+Socialize if trying to dress in a way that has a specific relevance to your social context, or even Appearance+Resources if you had your ballgown made by Madame Levandar. Set the difficulty according to how high-class the event is. Anyone who blows it has their subsequent Presence/Socialize difficulties increased.
Have people flock around the high-Appearance characters. Have children follow them. Let people make passes at them. Let villagers trust the character because they're obviously gorgeous. Bring in jealous (or lustful) spirits. Make Appearance a plot point. Go read the Ramayana or some other old epics if you want an idea of the lengths people will go for a good-looking member of the principal cast.
The published dramatic systems don't emphasize it, but you can. It's there on your sheet. If it goes unused, that's too bad, but it's not like there's any shortage of uses for it. Appearance is only as much a "dump stat" in a combat/adventure game as Strength is a "dump stat" in a heavily social game. Most gamers understand how to run the former, but not as many run the latter. But whose issue is that? -- BillGarrett