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Combo Houserules

The following are houserules I am planning to put into effect for combos in my games. These houserules apply exclusively to buying combos, rather than to the requirements of what Charms can or cannot go into combos.

EXPERIENCE COST: The experience cost to add a Caste or Favoured Charm into a Combo is equal to the Charm's Essence or Ability requirement, whichever is lower (almost always Essence). The cost to add a non-Favoured Charm is equal to the Charm's Ability requirement.

TRAINING TIME: The training time for the Combo is a number of days equal to the combined Ability requirement of the non-Favoured Charms in the Combo. A Combo made entirely of Favoured Charms has no training time, and can be developed even in combat.

The training time to add a non-Favoured Charm to a Combo is equal to its Ability requirement in days. There is no training time to add a Favoured Charm to a Combo.

LIMIT: No Combo may have more total Charms in it than the character's Essence x2.

ADDING CHARMS: Charms may be added to a Combo; however, Charms may NOT be removed from a Combo. Charms may not be added above the limit noted above.

OBVIOUSNESS: Combos are always obvious and fancy manuevers, physical, mental, or social. However, if none of the Charms in the Combo are Obvious, the Combo does not have to be obviously magical, just obviously special. Mortal "combos" will be put into place to help this trend.

The Effect

1) Due to the increased ease of buying Combos, the frequency of their use increases. More, younger Celestials will be using Combos in general combat (Terrestrials will use fewer Combos due to Essence cost and lack of need, so this will generally affect them less). This helps offset the 'free Reflexive' advantage of the Dragon-Blooded without impacting on anyone

2) The lack of "Obvious"ness helps combos be used a bit more often.

3) The ability to add a few Charms to Combos encourages purchase of Combos earlier in the game.

4) The limit on how many Charms can be in a Combo prevents the "every Reflexive I own" phenomenon, and encourages players to develop a few different Combos rather than relying on one bloated monstrosity; it also allows these monstrosities to exist at higher Essence levels.


Thoughts on this system? Gaping hole I've failed to consider?

I'm a little leery of allowing people to develop combos in combat. It's neat as hell, sure, but the possibility of slowing combat to a crawl as a player assembles something like that... or as the ST stops to consider the new element... slightly worries me. Granted, I've never had the opportunity to play Exalted, so maybe I'm too worried, but still... - MoonSword

But it's so terribly Exalted to suddenly discover ubar new moves in the middle of combat! In my reckoning, if a player can spontaneously come up with an engaging cinematic description for their action, looking through their Charm list and going "I want that one... and that one... oh! And this one, too!" before calling it Thousand Sage Burial or whatever shouldn't take too long...DeathBySurfeit, who likees
I don't see a problem with doing it in combat. Really, adding a charm to a combo won't take more than maybe a couple minutes, tops, and I doubt it'd be done that often. I'd see most players tossing the charm in the combo as soon as they had both the charm and the XP to put it in. It's more an option for those couple guys who didn't think about it ahead of time and then get caught with their pants down.
Otherwise, I really REALLY like it. I completely agree that favored ability charms should cost less for combos than other ability charms. I love doubly so the limit on how many charms can be in the combo (Not a limit for most people, but a cap for those who love to toss every charm they can in a combo), but the best part is how not all combos will need to be so obviously magical. I'd imagine it'd benefit the Solars most of all, but it's still useful for all exalts. If I get to run my own game soon, you can bet I'll be stealing this. Cylyria

I agree, this is really neat. I shall also probably be adopting it, although for conversion to my system, I might need to drop the charm cap to Essence charms. Hrrm. But anyway, this is great...
-- Darloth

This is very good, and just what I've been trying to think of to encourage smaller combos and more use of them. Used in conjunction with DeathBySurfeit's BonusPointExperience, I think my impending new game should flow nicely how I want it. I hope. - Trithne

Thanks for the praise! Regarding the 'in-combat' issue, that's only happened twice, and in one case the player was actually holding off creating the Combo until then. Combos don't get bought often enough to really slow things down, I find; you can always just say "have it ready, or don't buy it now." - FrivYeti

I like this, and we should hopefully be using it in dar's upcoming campaign :) FluffySquirrel

I'm linking to this since I'm planning to use it in an upcoming Lunars campaign. - MoonSword

On further reflection, I'd like to note that Terrestrials are going to have a lower expenditure of Willpower than Celestials for Combos, meaning that they have a slight edge of their own: they can spend Willpower for other things or use their 2-die stunts for motes more often. It's a subtle thing, not something telling in any individual circumstance, but an edge that a clever opponent can exploit if they're on the ball. - MoonSword