From Exalted - Unofficial Wiki
This is a list of the House rules in effect for my game sessions. Players should be aware of them.
General General house rules apply to everyone and everything. Yes, this means you, but it also means me. Dealing with large volumes of text means that even I can forget my own house rules, but I'm usually pretty good about it.
Abilities Martial Arts
Martial arts as modified by the successive caste and core books is broken. This isn't up for debate; I am the GM and I have a calculator. When I can create a Solar on 300 xp with MA that has the same general capabilities as a 700+xp Solar who uses the other four dawn abilities plus help from endurance, dodge and athletics, something is wrong. I've reviewed several possible fixes for this and only one of them satisfies me from the perspective of xp build costs and elegance of dealing with the existing system.
House Rule, Martial arts
Martial Arts does not provide a combat dice pool and it cannot be rolled in combat tests. A character who posseses only MA knows quite a bit about supernatural combat, and is learned in the lore of essence combat and mass combat. However, he does not have the conditioning to fight and MA does not add to dice pools to attack or defend. A character who attacks or defends unarmed uses Brawl+Dex; One who uses a melee weapon uses Melee+Dex, one who uses a ranged weapon uses Archery+dex, and one who is useing a thrown weapon uses Thrown+Dex.
When dealing with MA charms that add dice based on MA, the dice cap is the lesser of: The characters Exaltation dice limit, his applicable combat ability (Brawl, melee, etc) and his Martial arts skill. As an example, J. Random Terrestrial Exalt has a Wind Dragon Style charm (Theoretical) which adds dice to a thrown attack up to his MA as printed. He has dex 4, MA 5, one dot of Specialty in (Wind Dragon Style) and Thrown 4 He can add 5 dice - His thrown skill is the limit, since Dragonbloods can only add up to thrown, and one dice for his specialty as it applies.
In exchange, MA *is* rolled for combat tactics and charm identification tests. Wits or Int+MA is the roll to design or discern strategies for both personal and large scale battles.
Extras addendum: Mortals do gain some benifit from MA beyond the ability to grok essence fueled combat. Mortals who have mastered MA can stunt normally, gaining up to half their MA in stunt dice. Heroic Mortals who learn MA can regain willpower on a 2 die stunt, and do, in fact, gain essence up to 1/2 their MA or the essence granted by the stunt (which ever is less) while stunting if able to use essence.