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General Structure

Ability Excellences:

 Minimum Ability: 1
 Minimum Essence: 1
 Prerequisite: None
 Duration: Instant
 Type: Reflexive (Combo-OK)
  • Overwhelming (Ability) Excellence
  • Triumphant (Ability) Excellence
  • Resurgent (Ability) Excellence

Ability Masteries:

 Minimum Ability: 4
 Minimum Essence: 2
 Prerequisite: Any (Ability) Excellency
 Duration: One Scene
 Type: Reflexive (Combo-OK)
  • Infinite (Ability) Mastery
  • Transcendent (Ability) Mastery
  • Flamboyant (Ability) Mastery

Ability Essences:

 Minimum Ability: 5
 Minimum Essence: 3
 Prerequisite: Any (Ability) Mastery
 Duration: Special
 Type: Permanent
  • (Ability) Essence Flow
  • (Ability) Essence Focus
  • (Ability) Essence Understanding

Yes, I did reduce the Essence requirement for the Masteries and Essences by 1. Feel free to bump them back up again for your games. The new Masteries and Essences are explained below.

Transcendent (Ability) Mastery</b>

 <b>Cost: 3 motes per -1 Difficulty
 Duration: Indefinite
 Type: Reflexive

The Essence of the Lawgiver is such that it cannot be constrained by simple limitations. As such, the external Difficulty of all rolls pertaining to this Ability is reduced by one for every 3 motes committed, to a minimum Difficulty of 1 for any given roll. These are not bonus dice or successes, and therefore do not count against the maximum bonus awarded by any Excellency. Once the Exalt reaches Essence 4, the Exalt may negate both external and internal penalties due to blindness, lack of skill or other conditions, but may never negate multiple action or wound penalties.

Flamboyant (Ability) Mastery</b>

 <b>Cost: 2 motes per +1 Stunt die
 Duration: Indefinite
 Type: Reflexive

The Essence of Creation is such that it rewards acts of heroism, flamboyance, and style. The Solar learns to tap into this Essence, greatly amplifying his ability to work within the threads of Destiny. Aligning to this Essence costs 2 motes per die; while these motes remain committed, whenever the Ability in question is augmented by stunt dice, the Exalt may choose to forgo his Essence, Willpower or XP bonus, instead adding the Stunt Dice added to all rolls or static ratings involving the Ability in question, up to the total number of Stunt dice originally awarded. If multiple Abilities can be so augmented by Puissant Essence, the Exalt and Storyteller together must choose which Ability will be so improved, based on the nature of the Stunt in question. Once the Exalt reaches Essence 4, this limitation no longer applies, and a single Stunt may award all Abilities for which the Solar has learned Puissant Essence.

(Ability) Essence Focus</b>

 <b>Cost: none
 Duration: One Scene
 Type: Simple

Once an Exalt has begun to completely master the essential art of an Ability, he may expand outward from that knowledge into the infinite potential of individual specializations. Like Ox-Body Technique, this is not precisely a Charm as such, but a natural extension of the Solar's perfection in all things. Each purchase of this Charm grants the character one additional Specialization die of his choice to the Ability in question. However, no more Specialization dice may ever be applied to a single roll than the character's base Ability. This Charm may be purchased a maximum number of times equal to the character's Essence.

(Ability) Essence Understanding</b>

 <b>Cost: None
 Duration: Permanent
 Type: Supplemental

The (Ability) Essence Understanding Charm may only be purchased for Caste abilities. Thus, a Night Caste Solar could purchase it once each for Athletics, Awareness, Dodge, Larceny, and Stealth, while a Zenith Caste could purchase it once each for Integrity, Performance, Presence, Resistance, and Survival.

The exact effect on this Charm depends on the Caste of the Exalt taking it, as it is a natural incorporation of the Exalt's Caste anima ability and their Ability mastery.

  • Dawn Caste

The Dawn Caste Understandings allow the Dawn Caste Solar to add his Essence to his total damage with all attacks made with Charms of by the Ability in question. Additionally, Brawl and Melee Essence Understanding permanently adds his Essence to the appropriate Parry DV against all attackers (even those with Essence higher than his own) whenever his anima effect is active, and War Essence Understanding multiplies the effective range of all War Charms by his Essence while his anima effect is active.

  • Zenith Caste

The Zenith Caste Understandings allow the Zenith Caste Solar to... er, any ideas would be useful here.

  • Twilight Caste

The Twilight Caste Understandings allow the Twilight Caste Solar to shrug off dangerous and even lethal distractions when devoted to his work. When engaged in an extended dramatic action involving a Charm of the Caste Ability in question, their anima banner automatically adds their Essence to their Dodge DV for the duration of the action, and the Dodge DV Penalty of the action is reduced to 0. Note that this is not precisely the result of actual dodging; rather, their anima subtly twists the Essence of all attacks to make them more likely to miss.

  • Night Caste

The Night Caste Understandings allow the Night Caste Solar to suppress their anima when activating Charms of the Caste Ability in question for 1 mote if the Charm is Obvious, or for free if the Charm is not Obvious. This means that non-obvious Charms will never increase the Night Caste's Anima banner unless she chooses for them to.

  • Eclipse Caste

The Eclipse Caste Understandings allow the Eclipse Caste Solar to activate non-Solar Charms of the Caste Ability in question without the additional 2-mote surcharge, and reduce the cost of learning such Charms to 150% of the Favored Charm cost (usually 12 Experience).


I'm torn here. I kindof like the concept of extending the excellencies, as I think they stop too soon. I'd like to see things like the permanent -2 difficulty charm that's so often bandied about. I'd like to see the scene-long mote-reducer compatible with the non-charm-usage excellencies (allowing truly free use of the excellencies). I'd like to see pre-comboed excellencies, so that for X motes, I can by X extra dice, X/2 extra successes, or burn four motes for a reroll, all in one charm activation (and eventually, without a charm activation). I'd like to see excellencies that automatically convert part or all of your die pool into automatic successes. Perhaps even a high-Essence one that not only reduces mote cost on the first three excellencies, but the entire charm-tree (ala the Jade Hand). Sadly, I don't see these kind of linear extensions. Still, some of the ideas have merit, but I'm lost between the formatting and thematics. What makes something an excellency, a mastery, or an Essence? How does your anima make sense to resonate with things, when otherwise, all Exalts can learn all charms? Why make Caste-specific charms when the whole point of the Excellencies is to be general? What's the theme that puts that under an (Ability) Essence X, rather than a Mastery? Or an Excellency? I'm just worried these charms are good charms, that might be seen in a few places, but don't really fit the uber-simple and linear theme that the generic charms have shown. Also, I think I sounded like a mean old man in this post, and I'm sorry. - GreenLantern, not wanting to sound so dang negative

No problem at all, and these are all perfectly valid points. I'll see if I can address them.
An Excellency is a general-purpose, Instant-duration Charm, which affects a single Ability roll, and improves your performance in that Ability during that instant. Excellencies should all have the same basic mechanical goal in common, of increasing the likelihood of your roll turning out successful by an amount proportional to the Ability in question (depending on the power level of your Exaltation). Examples of Excellencies not listed here might be an Excellency that allows you to reduce target numbers for an Ability roll, or an Excellency that allows you to convert dice to successes. Excellencies are the simplest Charms possible for anyone to learn, so they always start at Ability 1 / Essence 1.
A Mastery is a general-purpose, Scene-duration Charm, which affects all rolls for a single Ability, and improves your general interaction with Creation using Ability during that scene. Masteries should all have the same basic mechanical goal in common, of augmenting a bonus or removing a penalty that could hinder your performance with that Ability. Other examples of Masteries might be reducing the mote cost for your Excellencies, reducing the willpower cost for Combos involving your Excellencies, or allowing you to pay Willpower or Health Levels in lieu of motes for your Excellencies. Terrestrial, Lunar or Sidereal Masteries would probably do completely different things, based on the Essential natures of their Exaltations (I could see Dragon-Blooded Masteries being the core of the "share and share alike" augment-my-buddy powers). Solar Masteries require a substantial amount of understanding to master, so they always require Ability 4 / Essence 2.
An Essence is a general-purpose, Permanent Charm, which serves to incorporate the core Essence of your Abilities into your very being. Essences may have different mechanical goals, but the thematic goal should be internalizing some aspect of your Excellencies - either by allowing you to use them as innate powers instead of Charms, or allowing you to pour your anima banner through them, or allowing you to surpass your limitations in the base Ability in question. Other examples of Essences might be turning the Excellencies for that Ability into innate powers, increasing the dice cap for the Excellencies (for example, a Solar one might up the dice cap to Attribute + Ability + Essence, while another might up it to Attribute + Ability + Specialty, and another to Attribute + Ability + Stunt Dice, so that all three together allowed the Solar to buy up to Attribute + Ability + Specialty + Stunt Dice + Essence extra dice (or half that many successes), or permanently reducing the difficulty for all Ability rolls. Lunar or Sidereal Essences would probably do completely different things, based on the Essential natures of their Exaltations, and Terrestrials may not even be capable of Essences (I'm still working it out as an idea). Solar Essences require complete mastery of the Ability in question, and a substantial mastery of one's personal Essence, so they always require Ability 5 / Essence 3.
Does this make sense? --Ialdabaoth

First, I really like your explanation of the three types of Excellencies and feel that you should put it at the top for it might help others who are reading the page. Second, I really like Transcendent Ability Mastery and feel that the ability to say that the problems around them do not exist is so perfectly Solar. On Flamboyant Mastery I am not so sure what you mean by the charm. In addition I do not really like the idea of not being able to use Essence or Willpower as I think that is a standard feature. Now, I can totally see the concept of being able to add Stunt dice in addition to the others, I think that makes more sense. I really like Essence Focus as I feel that Solars (and all Exalted really) should have a Charm that allows them to go beyond the normal human maximum of specialties. Heck, I can see maybe an increase from three to 5 free once they reach Essence 6+, but that is just me. Until something like that is developed your idea of the charm is perfect I think. My only problem is with Essence Understanding as I really dislike the concept of an Excellency charm that is based on caste. To me all Solars come from the same mold which is why all Abilities are open to them without any surcharge like Terrestrials have. To make an Excellency that has power based on the caste goes against that, and I gotta say I don't think I would use it. Still, all in all, these are excellent excellencies and I love your explanation of them. -Heru