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System Issues

Problem comes up reviewing my ooooooold copy of Hunter the Reckoning, particularly the game engine and how it worked.

In Hunter difficulty means the number that must show on your dice to count as a suxx. In Exalted it’s the number of sevens-or-higher-s you must have. Combat maneuvers were stuck at 6 plus any difficulty modifiers subtracting from the number of dice rolled by Dice Pool Penalties.

A bit of a problem. One simple solution may be to simply have the Exalted adopt the Hunter/oWoD system with the understanding difficulties add to TNs but die adders lower that. The rules for bonuses due to charms remain with a slight twist. See if you lower your difficulty to one you can’t fail at a task, ones count as successes, to zero tens count as TWO successes plus a reroll, to negative one then nines count as two successes plus a reroll and so on with the maximum bonus being the Att+Ability (at least for Solars) so under normal circumstances sixes can for the maximum effect count as two successes and rerolls. I’m not sure how this affects the probabilities and performance for Exalts and seeing as I’m using 1e, where not every ability has a cheap scaleable die adder, this may not work that well. F’rinstance in Exalted Ten Magistrate Eyes makes almost any investigation related task trivial as you automatically pass any challenging tasks plus can roll your full pool to pass further challenges or to succeed with phenomenal results. If it acts as a flat Difficulty Reducer then you could still fail at a task or as simply a success adder than it won’t offset the increased number needed to be rolled on your dice to “make the cut” It may require so much changing its not so simple anymore, f’rinstance the rather system specific combo of Precision of the Striking Raptor and Cascade of Cutting Terror. Other charms are built off the system assumptions. Its what makes Exalted the game what it is.

Moving to the Exalted system poses other problems as Imbued have, even for oWoD residents, very lacking dice pools while suffering an abundance of difficulties that aren’t easily made to go away with magic. The system and powers assumes you’re shooting for a target number of six on your dice, changing it to seven robs them of a good deal of what little power and competence they have. There is also the need to further adapt everything in the oWoD to the system.

Aaron Peori- or was it someone else-‘s suggestion is to run Exalted as oWoD mortals, most of the time, making use of the Exalted system plus stunts if the anima shows during the scene or a mote is spent in the turn. I suppose that means that we ditch Hunter’s system when essence or anima’s come into play and use Exalteds.

Possible Conversion to oWoD Ideas

  1. Any charm use to a task prevents the rise of TN treating an increased difficulty as in the Exalted system.
  2. All Die adders now subtract from the TN up to normal bonus limits. Ones can be made to count as successes and further reduction wraps around so you may count tens as two successes plus roll the dice again at an adjusted difficulty of zero. At an adjusted difficulty of negative one nines act like tens and so on.
  3. Success adders work the same.
  4. Pool Doublers like the Athletic Damage enhancement Charms or CoCT work the same but remember rule 1.
  5. Stunts are only possible if showing your anima for the scene or in a turn where one mote is spent. Stunts count as “charm use” for Rule 1, but with the caveat that the TN is now seven as in standard Exalted whatever the task IF no charm is applicable. If it is (Graceful Crane Stance and balance or other such athletic feats, f’rinstance) assume standard oWoD TN of 6
  6. Use the Exalted skillset for Exalts. Mortals or Imbued, if mentored by an Exalt, may consolidate their skills in a similar manner to that skillset. If the ST wants to make this a significant ingame event have the mortal or Imbued spend 8 xp to upgrade themselves fully or they may fold in a skill individually by raising the Exalted equivalent (even buying it) and thus begin consolidating abilities according to the guidelines set by ST or below. This upgrade is automatic if the mortal or Imbued is subject to any of the training charms (Tiger Warrior Training Technique).
  7. Computers are simply assumed to be tools used by people for whatever purpose and can be generally folded into a number of things at ST discretion.
  8. Fold Finance, Law, and Politics into Bureaucracy
  9. Fold Academic, as much Investigation as desired, as much Computer as desired, as much Demolitions as desired, Research, Science, and as much Technology as desired into Lore.
  10. Investigation can have Research, Streetwise, and Empathy (profiling and interviewing) folded in by what degree wished.
  11. Linguistics can include Expression
  12. Occult involves Awareness (psst Hunter’s version read pg 106) and can include Research and Intuition
  13. Survival is the inclusion of Animal Ken, Streetwise, or Alertness
  14. Using the 2nd Edition Exalted Craft system as basis with no peculiar crafts due to modernization, Computers and Technology can go into Craft: Air.
  15. “Demolitions”, the setting of explosives for maximum effect, is a tool like Computers and may go into any Craft but fire. Generally building a bomb is Craft Air, mixing up your explosive Craft Water (or Lore) and setting demolition charges and such Craft Earth (or Lore).
  16. Crafts from Hunter may be converted to Craft: Wood, Fire or what seems most appropriate. It can also go into Performance as it governs the composing of artworks. Some abilities in Hunter would fall under different crafts converting them to such is another option.
  17. Performance may take its namesake as well as Expression and Crafts
  18. Socialize absorbs Empathy, Subterfuge, Etiquette, and possibly Politics or Law
  19. Drive is Ride and Animal Ken can, thanks to the magic of fudging, go into it. Sail is Pilot and may absorb Technology but most Imbued just don’t know either advanced vehicle operation and must be brought up in it.
  20. Presence is Leadership, Intimidation, and, possibly, Expression
  21. Larceny is Streetwise, Subterfuge, and Security.
  22. Stealth is its namesake plus any desired amount of Subterfuge and Security.
  23. Alertness becomes Awareness and includes Intuition or Research, if desired.
  24. Thrown is special in that recently trained mortal or Imbued count their Athletics automatically as dots in Thrown. Doing so does not reduce Athletics.
  25. Any extra ability points left over from a fold in count as BPs and may be spent as such.
  26. Imbued who raise any of their any of their Abilities under the tutelage/aid of an Exalted suddenly learns to stunt. Count it the same as for heroic mortals save when Edges are used and then may gain Conviction as motes.
  27. Imbued who raise an Attribute under an Exalt start to have the health and hardiness of one. Use Exalted table/rules for Athletic feats.
  28. Training in Endurance and Resistance (abilities the Imbued don’t have) allow them to handle stress and toxins and disease as they do.

Imbued may buckle and not be eager to learn the Occult sciences of the Exalted but the benefits for if they do are vast. With the use of Second Sight they can further identify something that pings as “wrong” to greater detail and understanding for a standard difficulty Occult+Perception roll. Perception enhancing edges are even further enhanced lowering the difficulty/Target number by the Imbued’s new Occult rating or adding their Occult dice to relevant rolls. Visions from the Messengers become less painful, nor do spirit’s or demon’s voices easily deceive them as such. They gain the standard tricks from the Occult section of Exalted core page 250. They may also more freely use their powers now understanding they CAN manipulate energy, to some degree as well as instinctively know their abilities AND limitations. STs that have, under previous book printed advice, hidden information should share it freely. The Imbued can also read and understand The Code freely and near perfectly, they also know, if not the reasons or the exact mechanics, what happens if their virtues get too high though this does little to cure them it is a step. They gain the optional secondary powers from the Hunterbooks.

A first time . . . Reunion?

Hunters are quite visible to All-Encompassing Sorceror’s sight and eerily familiar to any Exalted but especially to Solars. Imbued can reflexively roll their primary virtue to gain conviction if bolstered by Solar Charms or they are under their anima. They will find any caste marks and anima’s very striking and hard to forget the experience is so intense it includes auditory perceptions. The Imbued can read an Exalt’s castemark, getting an approximation of their caste, with perception enhancing edges they can read their animas roll relevant Virtue+Perception to get their names, nature, and even know of their abilities. All Solar’s can learn Edges from an Imbued at the same cost as charms using their virtues as payments. For crossover purposes Zeal Edges ‘cost’ Valor or Conviction in whatever amount of each the Exalt wishes to use. Mercy Edges use Compassion and Temperance and Vision Edges Temperance and Conviction. Beware, though an edge-type charm costs only one mote for an Exalted to use for the scene and doesn’t count against charm usage or limits each use of them racks up limit dots in line with the virtue costs! An Exalt who uses Edges will soon find himself Limit Breaking at inconvenient times. Edges that are “always on” are worse effectively stranding an Exalt with permanent limit.

Rest Your Weary Head My Fellow, For I Am With You

The madness and the hunt, another thing Solars and Imbued share in common. Edges that “ease” the extremism or madness of Imbued or other supernaturals can in fact drain Limit out of an Exalted but they may perceive it as an attack. The madness forced on Hunters by their virtues can also be eased by Exalted using the right social skills and charms. Charms that effect emotions may work if Second Sight is off. Curing a virtue madness via counseling, even charm powered counseling, is a difficulty equal at least the virtue where the madness was acquired as well as needing five successes a week for at least a month to permanently quell the disquiet in the Imbued’s mind. Once done the Imbued may relapse with continued stress. This must be done for * each * affliction. Charms like Merciful Balm of Sleep and other directly mental healing charms may be tried but difficulty/severity of the affliction is Legendary.

I Raise You Up And Call You Brother

Can the connection between the Exalted and the Imbued be more than coincidental and one of awe or spite? Can they be equal. Maybe. IF such a thing were possible there would be three ways.

A feat at least equal as the Caste modding mess with the Lunars three or four Ages ago.

A ritual involving first training the Imbued to peaks she didn’t dream of, examining her physically and spiritually and taking her to a holy site. There you will have to apply some method to awaken her power and she shall pray or meditate for at least 24 hours. Stand guard for at this time beings come to tempt, corrupt, or kill her. Failure means death or worse. Roll combined virtues, spending 2 Conviction to lower the TN by one starting at 7. The Imbued must accrue as many successes as she has virtues or ten, whichever is less, or she dies or may, ST discretion become afflicted supernatural (f’rinstance demon possession). If she succeeds she becomes, or discovers, she is in fact an Exalted of whatever type the player so chooses save Alchemical. This chrysalis is considered an extraordinary event and the player may arrange her character’s personality attributes accordingly. There is a reason for a highly dedicated Hunter to do this though. If she accrues ten successes she not only Exalts but is free and purified of The Great Curse as well while retaining herself. She may even then proceed to make a charm of at least relevant ability five and essence three to stave and drain the limit of Exalts or equal such negative energy in others. At Essence 5 the gift to cure the afflicted permenantly for ten successes is her for the making.

Mechanically add the Imbued’s virtues and remaining conviction together then assign the numbers to Essence or Exalted Virtues. They start with all their previous Edges as custom charms of the appropriate type or, if wanted, in the form a Solar could learn them, only they do not impose Limit Penalties.

Beware spirits and demons can assault in the process of your apotheosis easily subtracting the successes you gain. You can roll once again at the top of each hour if you spend a willpower point. There is no way around the 24 hour time limit. An Imbued may in fact feel the powerful and painful last message from the Heralds. Extra successes from this ritual are spent as bonus points.

The third possible way is the most difficult and involves making all your virtues equal and over five. An Imbued must then repress all of their afflictions and meditate. They go on a type of “journey within” on three roads. Each road is a virtue. The player rolls the relevant ones for each challenge the ST cooks up. The TN for all rolls is nine; conviction can be spent for an automatic success. Once each road is travelled the Imbued wakes up before themselves and then their body arises possessed by their every dementia. The Imbued must trick this Mad Them to * botch * at least once or fail as many times as they have points of virtue and then they are Exalted To The Most High Creed Which Is a Caste that the ST chooses. IF the Imbued fails he is taken by the devil and joins rigger and potter.

Cast in the Name of God, Ye Not Guilty

Inventions. Well Artifacts. It’s all the same. Exalted find this world a boggle. In some ways it could be not be more depressing. The people know nothing of Essence. The Sun is Dead. Corpses with delusions of greatness control mankind and everything is different. Fate is MAD. Destruction and Corruption rule as to Endings. The Wyld is now one of the few sources of ‘good.’

But in others it feels far from lost. Lore and Medicine have advanced far from the Age of Sorrows in the general sense. Mortals wield power and have, though some peculiar afflictions with understanding The Truth, no lack of destiny as such. They forge their own. One Zenith has even come to embrace Deism and does his best not to speak of the lost animistic reality believing by focusing on a One True God of Virtue, Redemption, Love, and Power it shall be true and thus The World can be saved as well as himself. Without a backing on poorly understood and hard to maintain technologies they don’t even build people can operate and grow to learn about the world and themselves. Nor is the route of mysticism closed off, if very poorly practiced. Things are different but more opportunities without the rule of heaven or the patronage of indolent gods and a corrupt bureaucracy beholden to their slayers Solars reaction run the gamut even within the individual.

While the mortal crafts and disciplines aren’t perfect they have the potential to do anything that was possible in the Shogunate at the least, especially once essence manipulation is (re?)introduced. Cloned and bioengineer-ed plants and animals, head and facial swap operations, people on the moon, and automatons to the far reaches not to mention the discovery of four or more planets, technology to explore down to the points where pelegia met Exalted, long distance communication network, and the means of travel faster than the summoned chariot. Farmers can feed themselves and cities AND grow cash crops. Fuel from corn. Furnaces with heat to rival magma and the sun!

This does not come without inconveniences. Exalts ability to respire is often subject to new limits. Solars don’t regain motes naturally if its not daytime, Lunars if the moon is not out, Terrestrial Exalted aren’t adversely affected, but Abyssals respire at night and only in places where corruption or death is strong. Geomancy is difficult as is finding places of power and rearranging them to be more like Demenses, the complicated matter in an unsettled area has the normal difficulties for such but an occupied Mage Node or Garou Cairn will propose many challenges.

If a place of power is in the city expect much more difficulty. Though not as large as some of the greater metropolises of Creation, the people of Earth and their cities are large and highly complicated due to increased infrastructure due to electricity, plumbing and sewer systems, garbage routing systems, and voting districts. Often the people have the means to oppose overtly or covertly any sweeping changes needed. Even technically an Exalt will find the effort to make a Demense challenging. Building a Manse, though, with modern trained labor force and equipment, though needing some extra time to work out the right materials and design, is MUCH faster with the equivalent of a Manse of Five being constructible in less than a year, if you can keep your workers on task, well supplied, and barring, of course, interference from interested parties. Adding on charms and other magic will make it much better as well, though you can’t seem to summon demons to assist you any longer.

Artifacts are similarly challenging. Gold can still be refined into Orichalum; even is less rigmarole than before as the heating and light focusing is achievable with modern tools but no facility is often built for such, and it appears the Garou have access to moonsilver; from somewhere, but Jade can’t be found on Earth; but that horrid sandstone stuff, soulsteel provides its same old issues only there are no easy access points into the Underworld or the Labrynth but some spells not to mention a facility, perhaps some exist . . .somewhere. Oddly enough starmetal is easier to get with stores of meteoric rocks analyzed and catalogued for the taking and purchasing, though meteoric iron is rather rare. If an Exalted knows of Adamant it will be as difficult to find as Jade, even moreso, with no means to create the stuff.

Modern facilities for alloying and forging metals and materials tend to be “fixed” at certain processes but still count as the equivalent of a Shogunate Age Workshop at the worst for all forging, creation, and design of wonders and run twice as fast as facilities in the Age of Sorrows. With a little refinement they can be made to count as First Age or better, if they and their workers can be made to spiritual/mentally focus themselves or be technically refined to more aware essence manipulation to the task. Modern trained technicians and engineers with access to familiar tools and principles are the equivalent of Terrestrial Exalted Artisans and if they have the relevant skill don’t add to the difficulty in forging the wonder. The change in chemicals and such does leave an Exalted at a loss. Their first artifact of any type will have an increased difficulty to create equal of its own rating. Artifacts needing special and unique ingredients will be much harder to make without as many mythical creatures just hanging around and with the changed geomancy. Expect a quest for any Artifact above three.