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I've always been a big fan of specialities. They are an excellent way to personalize your character and make him unique. Thus, I've made a number of house rules for using them over the time I've had Exalted. My most current one solves both problems I've had, and gives characters access to more specialities than the official rules allow.

General Speciality rules

  • Specialities cost 3xp each, or 2xp for Caste or Favored specialities.
  • Characters can have a total number of specialities equal to the Relevant Ability (min 3). This limit increases by one for every point of permanent Essence you have over 5. I.e., Melee 5 is five specialities total in Melee. Melee 5, Essence 6 is six specialities.
    • Brawl and Martial Arts are the exception -- these two abilities overlap, with specialities in one applying to both. In addition, you can purchase a number of specialities equal to your (highest of Brawl or Martial Arts) + (one-half the other ability, round down). If you have the secondary ability at 4 or 5, you can raise even your Broad specialities to 3 (instead of the normal limit of 2; see below).
  • Specialities have to be specific, referring to a small sub-group of an abilities purpose. You can take a speciality more than once, depending on how specific it is. Very specific specialities can be taken three times, while fairly encompassing ones that you'll almost all of the time can only be taken twice.
    • Different specialities do NOT stack; use the highest one.
      • This applies, most especially, to Dragon-Blooded with dice-adders.
      • The only exception is a specific speciality stacking with an encompassing speciality. You can add a single specific speciality to an encompassing speciality, provided the bonus does not go higher than +3.
        • I.e., if you have Survival: Plains (x2), and Survival: Foraging, you can combine those too to gain +3 to a Foraging roll on the Plains. You couldn't combine Arctic (x2) and Plains (x2) for a +3 (much less a +4) speciality if you were on Arctic Plains.

Weapon-related Specialities

  • You cannot take a weapon or manuever as a speciality. Combat-based specialities should be 'Melee: Against Swordsmen', or 'Martial Arts: One on One Duels' and similar things. Conditional, or Situational. These are generally specific specialities.
      • You can take specialities that improve your capabilities with a given weapon, or manuever. While 'Swords' is off limit, you can take 'Swords: Accuracy +1, Defense +2' or similar. These are encompassing specialities, limiting you to two in each category.
      • Brawl and Martial arts have three specific 'broad' specialities that cover most manuevers. These include Upper Body (punches, elbow slams), Lower Body (various kicks), and Full Body (clinches, headslams).
        • Melee allows 'Accuracy', 'Defense', 'Rate', and 'Speed'. Archery allows 'Accuracy', 'Rate' and 'Range'. Brawl and Martial Arts allow you to take Punches, Kicks, Clinches. Thrown uses Archery's conventions.
          • When you increase your Speed, the first time you purchase it you get a +1 to the speed. If you increase it again, the bonus increases to +3.
          • Brawl and Martial Arts (only) allow you to increase your 'Damage' up to two steps, gaining a maximum total of +2B punches, and +5B kicks.
          • Rate can only be increased by +1, and counts as two specialities for purposes of the maximum number of specialities you can have. Non-magical weapons and manuevers have a maximum rate of 5.
          • Range adds adds 50 yards with Archery weapons, and 5 yards with Thrown weapons.


I'm assuming that, in the Melee example above, you meant with Melee 5 and Essence >5 that you can have up to 5 specialties? Maybe change the text to say something like "A character may have up to 3 specialties in a given Ability, regardless of rating. If the rating is above 3, he may have an equal number of specialties. Essence above 5 grants 1 additional "specialty slot" per additional dot of Essence" (IE: With Melee 2, you have 3 specialties. With 4, you have 4 specialties. With Melee 4, Essence 6, you have 5)." or something like that. Just a thought, but I think I made it more vauge than it is already, since I was just trying to point out what I think is a typo. :/ - Ashande