From Exalted - Unofficial Wiki
There are only ten Abilities, though only those of Heroic Mortal or greater stature may purchase them as such. Typical mortals may only take Skills, as do those small gods, common Raksha, and First Circle Demons that do not rise above their station.
The ten Abilities are Combat, War, Might, Prowess, Subterfuge, Craft, Lore, Socialize, Expression, and Natural.
In the list below, you may notice that Awareness and Investigation are not mentioned very often. By default, these two skills involve the relevant abilities. The major exception being Combat, where and applicable Awareness roll instead uses War.
Sometimes, difficulties are termed:
- Simple or Poor difficulty is a single success, representing what nearly anyone with the most minor training can perform regularly.
- Standard or Average difficulty is two successes, representing what significant training will allow for regularly. This is normally what 'Joe Average' can get to nearly without fail (~6 dice) in his specialty.
- Challenging or Good difficulty is five successes. Extreme training and a great deal of natural talent will allow for this regularly. Joe Average, in his chosen fields, may achieve this now and again.
- Exceptional or Excellent difficulty is ten successes. This is nearly impossible Joe Average, but the greatest of mortals, putting their hearts and souls into their work, can achieve this regularly.
- Legendary is twenty successes - almost unheard of for a mortal, though with drive, passion, and a lot of luck, it is possible. Naturally, legendary results are completely outside the ken of Joe Average. Only the Exalted or teams of exceptional mortals do this with any regularity.
- Exalted is fifty successes. Most Exalted do not work on such grand projects alone. Exalted successes are true objects of wonder and legend.
Beings who do not posess a skill or Ability add +1 to the difficulty of all rolls involving said trait. The Exalted, being generalists by nature, do not suffer this setback. The Jack-of-all-Trades Merit negates this penalty.
Any action involved in physically attacking someone else, or parrying their attacks. Covers Archery, Brawl, Martial Arts (Sort of), Melee, and Thrown. When dealing with inanimate objects or natural events, Might or Prowess may be more appropriate. Noticing things in combat ('combat awareness') falls under War.
Combat factors into a character's Parry Defensive Value
The art of making, repairing and evaluating things. Anything. Covers Craft (duh) some Sail (repairs), some Occult (alchemy, enchanting, some geomancy), and some Survival (building shelters, etc).
As the name. Covers most Performance, some Socialize ('life of the party' stuff), some Presence (seduction), and some Linguistics (poetry and 'expressive writing').
Raw knowledge. Covers Lore, most Occult, some Medicine (advanced remedies), most Linguistics and some Investigation (for piecing things together).
Characters with the ability to take Lore know their Native language family flawlessly, which is likely spoken across a very wide region. Their first dot of Lore lets them read and write. Characters may learn their Lore squared in language families. Language families are described inXerExaltedLite/Languages.
Physical training. Covers some Athletics (lifting weights), some Endurance (versus pain), some Presence (intimidation via muscles) and Resistance.
Each dot of Might adds health levels.
Understanding of the natural world and things - including humans. Covers most Medicine, some Survival (wilderness knowledge, animal handling), some Investigation, and Ride.
Characters with the Natural Ability heal faster.
The art of being generally cool. Covers most Athletics, most Endurance, some Sail, and Dodge. In some respects, it is the generiskill. It covers what the rest don't.
Prowess factors into a character's Dodge Defensive Value.
People skills. Covers Socialize (see a pattern yet?), some Bureaucracy, some Presence (just being all-around likeable, rather than forcing yourself on people). From 2nd Edition, Socialize eats most of Integrity.
The naughty arts. Covers most Investigation, Larceny, Stealth, and sometimes bluffing.
Exalted subtract their Subterfuge ability from their peripheral Essence pool, adding it to their personal Essence pool.
The Art of War. Covers some Presence (Leadership), some Performance (Training), some Bureaucracy (military organization) some Sail, Tactics, Strategy, Logistics, and so on. Naturally, it covers the War ability from 2e (duh).
Celestial Exalted may not purchase Specialties.
A specialty is basically an area in which a Character gets to roll an additional die. They can be Skills, or something a bit more esoteric - a haunting voice, or striking appearance, that grant bonuses to rolls in certain situations. They are not specifically tied to an ability.
Multiple Specialties may be combined, but in no case may these dice exceed a character's Essence score.