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This is the home of the Trial By Fire, a tournament for Martial Artists of any stripe to prove their worth. One of the primary goals of this tournament is to showcase home-brewed Martial styles created by Wikizens. Solar combatants will be used, since Solars can learn any Martial Arts styles they wish.

Looking for a challenge? Find yourself a fight on the Trial By Fire challenge forum!

The Setup

Old Setup Archive: TrialByFire/OldSetup

  • Starting build rules unchanged.
  • 500xp may be spent as desired to make a potent fighter.
  • This trial format does not currently support uneven matches - that is, matches between exalted of different types. However, same-type Exalted of any type may be used.
  • Characters must choose one Ability which defines their combat style, and may have no more charms total in other abilities than their charms in this primary ability.
  • Martial Artists must instead be masters of at least one Martial Arts style.

The Stuff

  • No restrictions on stuff owned. However, the use of Martial Arts styles may not be restricted by stuff used in the fight.


  • No: Allies, Retainers, Tiger Warriors, Familiars, etc. You can't bring anyone in to help you fight, because these are formal duels.
  • No artifacts that are not man-portable. Nobody in creation considers these fair play in duels.


Combatants will agree on any rules disputes before moving on, taking things to the Rulings page if no easy solution presents itself. Stunts will be awarded by each combatant to his or her opponent. Combatants may agree between themselves on how dice are to be rolled and when.

The Fluff

The Age of Sorrows gives rise to many duels, especially as the Solars return. They seek to test their mettle against the best the Realm, the Immaculates, and even other returned Solars have to offer. The Trial by Fire will represent a chronicle of many such duels, showcasing a variety of fighting styles at their pinnacle as they appear at the renewed dawn of the Solar Exalted.

The Setting

  • Warm-Up Time and Location: To be determined by players through roleplaying. Social charms may matter here, to determine things more favorably for one contestant or the other.
  • Sorcery is allowed, so long as creation rules are followed appropriately.

Old Arenas Archives: TrialByFire/OldArena
Old Contestant Archives: TrialByFire/OldContestants

My competitor, Broken Wing Shun - IanPrice.
Alternate Universe Shun - IanPrice.
Upgraded and tweaked from an old campaign - TonyC.
Thrice Damned Mercurial Silk-Ambisinister


  1. The first trial: Shun versus Monkey - IanPrice vs TonyC.
  2. The Second trial: Shun versus Silk - IanPrice vs Ambisinister.


Old Comments archive: TrialByFire/OldComments

I have revamped this page for Exalted Second Edition. Entries are now open again! - IanPrice

I just want you to know that while at the moment I don't have the time to participate, I'm keeping track of this. There is potentially tons of utility in this trial, ranging from finding out rules issues all the way to how-to-munchkinize-in-twelve-steps. - TonyC

Thanks. It is an effort inspired in part by the Solars vs. Lion battle you and FrivYeti ran. :) - IanPrice

I still might participate in a 1st edition one, if there is enough interest.
-- Darloth

I'm interested in running 2E because I haven't yet, and because the rules seem much more streamlined and well integrated to me. That said, why would you prefer 1E? - IanPrice

I'm wondering about an alternate Trial by Fire "league", where the focus is more on pitting home brew styles together, rather than making 500xp fighters. I'm thinking you could define a cookie-cutter character: Schmendrik. Schmendrik would have a decent spread of fighting skills, with MA and Dodge at 5. Physical attributes at 4, some Ox Body, average other traits and that's it. Then, for a fight in this league, you pick the two MA styles that you want to compare. Find the highest essence requirement from both styles and give two Schmendriks that as an Essense rating. Give one Schmendrik all the charms of one style, the other Schmendrik all the charms of the other style. Give whatever mundane gear they want. Then have them fight. This would be a more "pure" comparison between styles. - Wordman

Yes and no. Unfortunately, the choice of MA charms (and how many) is not independent of other charm choices. Any reasonably sane Solar MA'ist might pick up a first excellency, and perhaps Essence Flow and Infinite Mastery. Then again, if their style is low on soak, they might take Iron Skin Concentration. What about the Ebon-Shadow practitioner (or even MartialArts/FourfoldPathtoReadinessStyle) that has taken the time to learn Flow Like Blood? These choices are made to complement their strengths, and ameliorate their weaknesses. In the case of a Sidereal, combo-ing dang near everything with the Essence Auspicious is a fabulous idea. My concern is that the Schmendrik won't represent what you'd see in the wild for that type of Martial Artist. As the 2E core notes, having MA charms does not a Martial Artist make - it's the complete character, even if that includes non-MA charms. Addtionally, some styles have 10 charms, others 15 - does one Schmendrik get 5 non-MA charms that the other doesn't, then? -- GreenLantern
Sure, a solar using the style might do this or that. A lunar might do the other thing. So what? Surely the standard trial by fire will showcase how such choices work. Trial by Schmendrik, on the other hand, showcases only the MA style as a self-contained unit. It is as if a combat was done where the practicioners decided the fight using only charms within the style. Is this the sole measure of the utility of a MA style? Of course not, something that trial by fire will be sure to illustrate, assuming you want to expend the effort spend 500xp to build the perfect solar war machine. With Schmendrik, though, you do not need to, so you can jump into field testing more easily and get a very good idea of where its weaknesses and strengths lie (i.e. figure out the type of thing you should spend your 500xp on in trial by fire). I hadn't even invisioned Schmendrik as a solar, actually, essentially just a "mortal" that could use supernatural martial arts. Given the terms of Trial by Schmendrik, his exalt type is mostly irrelevant. I suppose you could add some sort of arbitrary "you can add five more charms to Schmendrik" rule or something. As for balancing the number of charms, I don't really see the point. It's not supposed to be a fight between evenly matched characters. It's a comparison of martial arts styles. If two martial arts senseis were to meet to prove whose style reigned supreme, neither of them would say "wait, your walking crane style has three more techniques than my flatulent mongoose style! I demand to be able to use three techniques from curmugeonly wombat style!" - Wordman

Less talky, more fighty, people! But seriously, the idea of Schmendrick isn't bad in itself, since this would reduce work for those who wants to jump straight into the MA itself. However, I recommend letting people who wants to design their characters be allowed to do so (and what about using BPs instead of XPs? Don't worry about Charms being more expensive when using BP. If the BP is high enough, you'll have enough to get all the charms you want. And this would make "optimum starting build" irrelevant). I am also against the idea of limiting the characters to just MA charms. Green Lantern explained the reasoning well enough, but let me emphasize one point. Limiting the charms to just two specific MA charms do not actually test the robustness of the MA styles. What it does is testing whether the styles have perfects or not. MAs with perfect defenses (2e style perfects) trumps MAs without them. MAs with perfect attacks trump all other MAs without perfect defenses. To illustrate, let us suppose that we have an Righteous Devil & Violet Bier of Sorrows martial artist. I unleash a combo of Azure Abacus Meditation (perfect attack) + Caress of 1000 Hells (aggravated damage) + Life Severing Blow (damage success buyer). Now, in any regular game, this is incredibly ballsy, and stupid, since any experienced Solar will go "Heavenly Guardian Defense!" and laugh at your wasted motes and WP. But using MA only charms? No canon MAs have perfect defenses. And while I've only read a minority of the custom MAs on this wiki, there can't be many MAs with perfect defenses out there. There is also the exploration of interesting synergies between a non-MA ability and an MA style. The combination of Jade Mountain Style and EGT could be interesting (although in 2e it probably doesn't work). Or Air Dragon and Solar Thrown (invisibility and CoCT and Falling Icicle Strike?). An Invincible Sword Princess who uses a bit of VBoS and Five Dragon and CMoS is just as interesting (hey, that idea sounds familiar!). Of course, that's just using the canon styles. With the custom styles available in this wiki, the possibilities are endless. - TonyC

All that being said, I'm still running this trial this way. I believe the true strength test is to see what a character with no artificial limitations can do. I chose 500xp because that was the "experienced Solar" power level used in TonyC/SolarsVsLion (which I enjoyed immensely), but also because that seems to be a level of experience that is reasonable to expect in a "normal" game of Exalted. A weekly game at the recommended xp award level would give characters 500xp within a year or two of gaming. Therefore, I want characters. Fighting-oriented characters, of course! The idea is to juice these styles. Test their limits. See the advantages and disadvantages of each in a no-holds-barred fight. - IanPrice, who doesn't disagree with a Trial By Schmendrik, but wants to run this Trial By Fire.

I'm looking forward to seeing the results. The Trial by Fire also seems more of a "real" test to me as well. Schmendrick is more like a design shakedown of a style. Different pros and cons to both. So, as TonyC said: less talky, more fighty! -- Wordman

You know, I was wondering. Why restrict trial by fire to a martial arts competition? As I recall the original point of the thing was to field test home brew martial arts, but now that we have TrialBySchmendrick why not open up TrialByFire to all martial components? Opponents could certainly agree to martial arts themed fights, but I feel like opening it up o all comers could be interesting. I mean, heck, we could even host shaping combats here. Anyways, just a thought.- Ambisinister

Done. - IanPrice

This page has been sitting still for some months now. I still see new Martial Arts being written so why aren't people using this page? Well, maybe after Scroll of The Monk comes out we'll see renewed interest. - TonyC

I'm up for another match, either here or over at TrialBySchmendrick. I have a somewhat recently made celestial style, MartialArts/EfficaciousScrivenerStyle, that could seriously use some in play testing. I'm also interested in trying out some of the 2e versions of the Dragon styles. I think TrialBySchmendrick is more appropriate in both these instances, but I'll play out here as well.-Ambisinister