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Chapter Four

Hidden Tomes

The Dragon-Blooded are the undisputed masters of the elements; their Charms are based on manipulating the five elements to create effects that benefit them and their allies. The purpose of the following set of alternate rules is to bring the Dragon-Blooded more firmly into alignment with their elemental nature and divorce their Charms and dynamics from the Solars. It should be noted these are non-canon rules and using them requires some work to convert from Ability-based Charms to this elementally-based system.
Dragon-Blooded characters created with this system will have more inherent flexibility in their Charm selection due to the broader nature of elements as opposed to Abilities. They will also be less likely to suffer from out-of-Element surcharges because they are more easily able to create Charms inside their element that suit their needs. This is intentional. If you feel that this gives the Terrestrial Exalted too much power, a suggested house rule would be to limit Elemental Charms to affecting dice rolls made with the Abilities associated with the element in question.

The Skills

The Charms of the Dragon-Blooded are based upon Essence alone. They are unrelated to the innate prowess or learned abilities of the Exalted. Only the raw Elemental power of the Terrestrial determines what Charms he can use. As a result of this the Charm Trees of the Dragon-Blooded are divided into twenty-five groups called Skills. There are only five Skills but each Element has a different version of the Skill. The five Skills are Commanding, Constructing, Ascending, Expanding and Improving. Through each Skill a different aspect of the Elemenets is unlocked.


Element Commanding is the Skill which manipulated the natural formations of the Element as found in Creation. These Charms allow the Exalted to control already-existing elemental material. They are the simplest, most straight-forward Charms and generally have a small range of Essence requirements. At higher levels of Essence these Charms allow the Exalted to reshape the world around them with their Element. These Charms always affect the physical embodiement of their Element rather then its metaphorical aspects.

Example: Air Commanding Charms would allow a character to change the weather around them, create breezes or storms but they would not allow the character to create lightning from nothing.


Element Constructing allows the Exalted to create the physical aspects of the Element from mere Essence. Constructing Charms can create only physical expressions of the Element. The Constructing Skill is very similar to the Commanding Skill and they are often used together to great effect. The elemental material or force brought into existance by Constructing Charms are free game for later use of Commanding Charms.

Example: Earth Constructing Charms could be used to create a boulder that would interpose itself between the character and an on-coming attack, even if the character were on a boat or in the treetops.


Element Ascending is the Skill that allows metaphorical expressions of the element's character to be created and controlled. The Charms of the Ascending Skill are the most likely to overlap with those of another Element because of conceptual overlap between the different Essences. Storytellers and players are encouraged to define how they see the different elements as working.

Example: Fire Ascending Charms might have illusionary powers based on heat mirage or seductive capabilities because of Fire's passionate and romantic connotations.


By using Elemental Expanding Charms it's possible to control the minute flows of Essence inside animate beings and alter how they feel or function. These Charms are generally metaphorical expressions of the Element but sometimes they can be Physical, most often in the case of Wood Expanding.

Example: Water Expanding Charms can allow the Exalted to observe the flow of another being's thoughts and get an impression of their feelings or intentions.


Element Improving Charms are as closely related to Element Expanding as Commanding and Constructing are. Element Improving is the Skill which allows essence to be used to manipulate internal flows and qualities of the Elements. These are Charms are equally as likely to be physical manifestations as they are metaphorical.

Example: Wood Improving Charms could improve the character's ability to survive in the wilderness by giving him a sense of where edible plants and animals are located or by allowing him to survive on sunlight as plants do.

The Elements

Each of the five Elements has its own flavor and character. The Essence of each element lends itself to certain tasks and goals. By using them properly a Terrestrial Exalted can accomplish almost any task he sets himself. The elements are flexible, able to be used for a multitude of purposes. Despite that it is a simple fact that they each have tendencies and areas of power at which they excell and others at which they fail abysmally. A well-educated Exalted learns that he must master all five Elements to have the broadest possible range of power. Fire can cure frostbite, but it can not heal a broken bone or chase away poison.


The element of Fire is destructive. It burns, consumes, damages. It resists all attempts to control it. The power of Fire is hypnotic, it dances and flickers in constant motion, never ceasing, never repeating. It provides light to illuminate, heat to warm and comfort. Whatever Fire provides, however, is given in trade for the sacrifice of something else. Fire is quixotic, turning on those who feed it without remorse. But its power is undeniable.

Converting Charms


Was going to post this on the White Wolf Exalted forums but they went down for maintenance just as I was clicking post. So I decidied to place them here.I like it, I really do. I think that its a very nice effect and a much better way to write the Terrestrial Exalted. The skills make perfect sense. They are a way to completely control the elements. I especially like the fact that a Terrestrial Exalted is going to have to learn a little in all abilities to master his natural element.

  • Where will Terrestrial Sorcery be. The Element of Air or just a general Charm.
Sorcery and by extension Martial Arts are not normal Charms. They are learned outside of this system.
  • Speaking of general charms, I think that would be a useful add-on. Something that exists no matter the elemental nature of the character. Say, Ox-Body Technique, the Excellencies (with modifciation), Sorcery, etc.
Ox-Body is an Earth Improving Charm without pre-reqs. The Excellencies and other DB basic dice-charms are also (Element) Improving Charms. These are never out of aspect for a DB anymore. There would be simple, basic Charms based on Bolt Attack and Dragon-Graced Weapon that exist for all elements under Commanding and Constructing.
  • Can a Terrestrial Exalted of, say Air, learn Fire Charms. And if so, how is that done. Is their some sought of penalty. I do think that they should be able to, cause the Terrestrial Exalted are made from all Elements but with certain ones more dominant.
Yes, they can do so the same way they did originally: by paying out-of-aspect XP rates and a surcharge when using the Charms.
  • How does these changes effect the Eclipse Caste power to learn other Exalted powers. Would it be easier because all you need is Essence, or harder cause you do not have a connection to the Elements.
This makes no difference to Eclipses other then they do not have to meet an ability requirement.

I don't have any other comments now, but I will leave with this note: I am glad that you have decided to make such a modification and that any help I could provide I gladly will. -Heru

Thanks for your questions and comments, I will get around to writing example trees for the Skills sometime. - Telgar