What? If you've played Nobilis, you should be familiar with the idea of a diceless game that still has a fair bit of both uncertainty and system. If you haven't, you're a bad person who should purchase and play Nobilis right now. :)\\ I am, as a mental exercise, seeing if Exalted can be made into a diceless game of resource management, and how many changes are needed for such.
Why? I'm very bored right now.
Anything else? This will also be reflecting my personal bias to Abilities being cooler than Attributes. It's being written from a Solar-Centric mindset; I'll include the basic, Antagonist-like Charm ideas for the other Splats later. I'm also going off of my Expanded Difficulty (DariusSolluman/ExpandedDifficulty) scale of success. I'm trying to change as little as possible, however.
Statistical note: Roughly, 2 dice are 1 success.
Basic Idea, Simpliest Case
Attributes and Abilities remain unchanged in name. Their purpose becomes fundamentally different, however; a character can always perform at the level of their Ability. They can also spend Attribute and Specialty points on any given action, temporarily increasing it. Attribute and Specialty levels also serve as a tiebreaker; whomever has the highest remaining Attribute+Specialty, all else being equal, wins. These Attribute and Specialty levels refresh after one scene. Both sides privately decide how much they will be spending, and declare at the same time.
Note to self- this feels... wrong. Bad. Meh.
Example: Blade Wild, a Godblooded and swordsman, is fighting against a Regular Extra. Blade has a Dexterity of 3, a Melee of 4, and a Speciality in Swords of 2. The Extra has a Dexterity of 2, a Melee of 2, and a Speciality in Swords of 1.
When they fight, Blade automatically has 4 successes for any Melee action with a sword, while the Extra has 2. Either side can spend Dexterity on a particular action- Blade can get up to 9 successes on a single attack, while the Extra can never reach higher than 5. Thus, the Extra can hit Blade, if Blade spends nothing to defend himself
Increasing Complication; Split Actions
Spliting your actions works a little differently than it does in normal Exalted, as the penelties rapidly make it impossible. Instead, all actions have the same penelty assessed against them, equal one less than the number of actions. Two actions: -1/-1. Three actions: -2/-2/-2. And so on.
Example: Blade Wild faces two Extras. To attack both of them, he'll need two actions, taking a -1 penelty to both of them- that also doesn't reserve anything for defense. To save a defensive action, he'll need to split to three or four actions, taking a -2 or -3 penelty on everything. At four actions, he'll need to spend Attribute or Speciality points just to tie- luckily, his totals are high enough that he can do so and still win on ties, for a little bit.
I've tried to do something similar two different ways, once by converting to a mutant diceless Story Engine variant, and once by just eliminating die-rolling and turn-by-turn combat. Neither one was successful enough (IMO) that I want to reexperience the pain in the course of typing it up here. Good luck with this, though. --MetalFatigue