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Many of the most ancient in the world of exalted would have literally thousands of experience points, enough to have raised virtually everything up to obscene levels and get hundreds of charms and have points left over. Why is this you ask? Why because experience is not a permanent thing. You must use it and soon!

Without internalizing the lessons of the world (ie. spending xp) a person forgets its lessons. People such as Kejak have very little time to take off for things and are almost constantly working at something or another. Other such as elder dragon-bloods are just lazy and stagnate. Over time what they might once have turned into a hard earned lesson is forgotten.

This explains why some high essence creatues don't have huge lists of things. They were just too busy or lazy and thus forgot the lessons of life.


What about a limit of talent as well? Realistically, a person can't be good at everything, even if they had centuries or millenia to perfect their skills. Someone who is tone deaf will always be tone deaf, and 80 years of training under the world's finest musicians will not change that. -LiOfOrchid

That's not true under Exalted's system, though. I think it's holistically best to treat NPCs as much like PCs as possible, and there is absolutely nothing stopping a PC from getting absolutely everything at five. The only limiting factor is "is there something else I'd rather spend Essence on?", and, I mean, when it costs a paltry 23 Experience to get an ability to 5 from 0 -- less than a few Charms in almost any case -- ancient Exalts will eventually do so just in case they need it, and because there's no limiting factor in the rules. Of course, part of this is that Exalted's system doesn't work so well at really obscene levels, though I won't hold the fact against it. _Jabberwocky
Uh, nothing stopping a PC from getting everything at 5? I don't know. Most PCs simply wouldn't be able to have every Virtue at 5 (for most, it would be ludicrous... for most of those for whom it wasn't, it would indicate insanity). Besides, who said anything about 5 anyway? We're talking about elder Exalts here. 5 isn't thier maximum. Similarly, we're also, presumably, talking about Charms and such... not just numerically-rated things. -szilard
I'm mainly addressing Li's example. It's a simple situation for an Exalt to go from tone-death to the pinnacle of mortal talent in the course of a couple months, and the system is not designed to discourage it. There's really no upper limit provided by any of Exalted's metagame assumptions, and, in fact, limiting characters is not really an Exalted sort of thing. _Jabberwocky
I agree with the idea that limiting characters is not an Exalted kind of thing, except with the change: "limiting PLAYER characters is not really an Exalted sort of thing." If I was running an Exalted game and my PCs wanted to kick Chejop Kejak's ass in a duel, I wouldn't want to limit them by saying, "There is no possible way you could win, even if I gave you a 1000 bonus xp right now." I'd want to make Chejop Kejak beatable - not easy to beat, certainly, but beatable. And giving him 8+ in every stat isn't reasonble in those circumstances. This provides a convenient excuse. -LiOfOrchid
Limited to the necessity of the plot is generally the run of the field for Storyteller system games. Although, Chejop Kejak really isn't beatable by a Solar with a measly 1.5K experience.  ;) $.02 &Arafelis
I would say that most truly old exalts would have most abilities/attributes at 4-5 or better. However, when you start adding up the costs of raising those stats from 5 to 10, it gets expensive quick; 70 XP per (unfavored) ability, and twice that for an attribute. Does the exalt *really* want to blow the 700 extra XP to raise their unfavored abilities to 10? That's not chump change on any scale. -Toram

I'll also comment here on something related that bugs me...there seems to be a propensity of the books giving a lot of powerful NPCs (especially spirits) "Every charm they qualify for". That seems not only silly, but unfair. Do all such characters suddenly gain new abilities whenever a new charm is published? Additionally, giving them each all the charms they could have makes them less distinctive, and I'd want powerful characters like these to have strongly individualized powers. IMHO, all characters short of the Incarna, Yozis, and Malfeans should have finite (though large) lists of charms/spells. -Toram

This is actually one of my big complaints. Apart from being silly and/or unfair, it is pretty useless. I don't care if a spirit has 10,000 charms. I want to know the dozen or so it is mostl likely to use. -szilard

That doesn't bug me at all, actually. First off, we've seen a lot less new spirit Charms than anything else. Second, the answer to 'all such characters suddenly gain new abilities whenever a new charm is published?' is yes and no both- and I have problem with that. Yes, mechanically, they have new abilities. Story-wise, nope. They've always had that Charm/Spell/Artifact you now want them to have/Etc.. They've just never used it in this campaign before. *shrugs* That doesn't bother me at all. - IsawaBrian
That breaks down if that NPC has ever been in a situation where having those charms would have made a material difference in what the NPC's actions were. The Storyteller is then forced to invent a post-hoc rationalization for why the charms weren't used, and in my experience, retroactive rationalizations tend to stick out like sore thumbs and detract from the believability of the game world. - Toram
"He used a bad strategy." "He felt that you were beneath his notice." "He was testing himself." Etc. Those sound perfectly Exalted to me. IsawaBrian
Perhaps. But my usual reaction to those kinds of things is an internal sigh and a thought bubble of . o O (Storyteller's fudging again...) - Toram
"She forgot." "She was overwhelmed in the pressure of the moment." "She was under the effects of Sidereal Astrology." "She's actually a shapeshifted Lunar." "She's actually a shapeshifted Moonshadow caste!" "She's actually a shapeshifted Halfling, made to look like a lammsasu." "She had a brain fart. Those Wyld mutations'll get you every time." "She's a shapeshifted Lunar under the effects of Sidereal Astrology." "She's viewing reality through the Sea of Mind." "She's a Wyld-mutated, forgetful First Age shapeshifted Lunar under the effects of Sidereal Astrology." "She's a zombie clone." "She's a zombie pirate clone." "She's a Wyld zombie pirate ninja." And finally, "She's a Wyld zombie pirate ninja First Age shapeshifted forgetful Lunar Halfling, viewing reality through the Sea of Mind and under the effects of Sidereal Astrology, and may the Sun scorch you and Moon drive you mad, using such a (weak and insignificant/potent and valuable) Charm is (beneath her/a waste of her energy on the likes of you), you hubris-driven (Solar/ Abyssal/ Alchemical/ etc) fleas wallowing in a fouled, re-used leftover baggie of a psyche from the First Age." $.02 &Arafelis
Yeah, I get you there. While I don't theoretically have a problem with powerful characters having near-infinite Charm lists, it does get fairly boring fairly fast when every decent-XP NPC of a type has all the same capabilities as the last, and that capability set is "everything." Also, I agree with szilard that I would far prefer an actual list of the things the NPC uses -- "blah tends to use these Charms before combat, these Charms when backed into a corner, and has these Combos" and etc. -- so that I actually get a feel for his or her combat strategy besides "GM should powergame it." -- AntiVehicleRocket
The better NPC writeups - like those in the corebook, I'll note - have just this sort of Charm writeup, even though they're using pseudocharms. - willows

I think that it just gives the ST a vehicle in witch to create the NPC's tactics and pick charms without having to get picky about points spent i mean hell if the ST is doing math for hours on end to tweak an NPC with a set number of points he/she isn't working on the story the most important(IMO)aspect of the game and what i do is make a list for what this particular NPC uses( charms, combos, ect..)to match it's personality or role in my story.-issaru