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For the most part, Essence works the same way in the System Crack as it does in normal Exalted. However, there is one alteration and two additions to the system, both of which increase the general ability of high-Essence characters to survive as compared to low-Essence characters.
Minimum damage is removed, and replaced by the Overwhelm system. Essence factors into a character's Overwhelm. Full details on this are in the Damage section of the rules.
Characters who are particularly tough cannot be injured by lesser attacks, and reduce the might of greater ones. Essence factor's into a character's Hardness. Full details of this are in the Damage section of the rules.
A character with Awakened Essence has a body which is supernaturally tough, able to shrug off blows that would cripple a lesser man. Any character with access to their Essence pools has access to this special ability. For every dot of Essence that a character has past the first, she gains an additional -0 Health Level. This is a permanent effect of high Essence.
- In other words, a character has her Essence in -0 health levels? -[Kukla]
- Yep, pretty much. Makes them a bit harder to murder. - FrivYeti