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Backgrounds come in several flavors. Many are not chosen by the player but rather the Storyteller. For this reason the Background point numbers have been removed from Character Creation - Storytellers will assign their own. Backgrounds range in potential rating from 1 to 10, and thus most backgrounds are expanded in scope, either explicitely or not.

Storyteller Assigned

Charmed: Grants one Charm per level.

Destiny: This is moved here because of the iffyness of players buying it. This functions much as the Merit in the Player's Guide does (level for level).

Experience: Grants 20 xp per level. May be spent on Attributes, Virtues, or Specialties.

Heart's Blood: This grants a set number of shapes in addition to the Lunar's Totem and corresponding True Shapes. It grants 20 shapes per level.

Inheritance: Grants 20 xp per level. Otherwise, as in the Player's Guide.

Knowledge: Grants 20 xp per level. It can be spent on any Merit or Ritual, or on Essence.

Prepped for Death: Abyssals only, grants them 5 Arcanoi per level.

Spare Parts: Autocthonian Exalts only. Grants 20 xp per level to spend on slottable Charms.

Training: Grants 20 xp per level. May be spent on anything.

Past Lives: Storytellers who want to portray the misteries of the First Age should apply difficulty penalties instead, and have Past Lives negate them. These penalties can thus range from 1 to 10. A few Blooded and mortal souls may well have a few dots in this as a background.


Arsenal: Use the special Artifact background, below.

Artifact: There are two seperate Artifact backgrounds. The simplest is the one in the core book, that any may purchase any number of times. These are limited to a single level of Scope (seeXerExaltedLite/Artificing) - thus, Warstriders, Skyships, and their ilk require multiple takings of this Background. The second kind is for those with access to great levels of wealth or power - the armories of Lookshy, elder Lunars or Deathlords, the raw wealth of Yu Shan or the Realm, or can otherwise represent larger scope artifacts. Unless the Storyteller specifies otherwise, this version of Artifact may only be taken once:

- Three dots of Artifacts, none higher than
- Six dots of Artifacts, none higher than
- Nine dots of Artifacts, none higher than
- Twelve dots of Artifacts, none higher than
- Fifteen dots of Artifacts, none higher than
- Eighteen dots of Artifacts, none higher than
- Twenty-One dots of Artifacts, none higher than
- Twenty-Four dots of Artifacts, none higher than
- Twenty-Seven dots of Artifacts, none higher than
- Thirty dots of Artifacts, none higher than

For the normal Artifact background, an 'Artifact 6' costs 7 dots, and an 'Artifact 7' costs 10. The former still get produced once every few centuries by elder Sidereals or Lunars, while the latter hasn't happenned since the Usurpation.

Familiar: The Familiar background has gained a bit more detail. SeeXerExaltedLite/Familiars for details.

Manse: Like Artifact, Manse comes in two varieties. The basic Manse package buys a Manse in Creation, the Underworld or Yu Shan, depending on the character type, at one level per Background dot. Certain characters have access to multiple Manses, due to being innately wealthy or for some other reason. Like the special Artifact background, this special background may only be purchased once.

- Two Hearthstones of Manse , or one of
- Four levels of Hearthstones, of up to rating.
- Six levels of Hearthstones, of up to rating
- Eight levels of Hearthstones, of up to rating
- Ten levels of Hearthstones, of up to rating
- Twelve levels of Hearthstones, of up to rating
- Fourteen levels of Hearthstones, of up to rating
- Sixteen levels of Hearthstones, of up to rating
- Eighteen levels of Hearthstones, of up to rating
- Twenty levels of Hearthstones, of up to rating

For the normal Manse background, a 'Manse 6' costs 7 dots, and a 'Manse 7' costs 10. The only known instance of the latter, outside of Yu Shan, is the Imperial Manse.

Resources: Somewhat like the core rules, except more spread out, going up to ten dots. Only a few individuals posess Resources 10, however.

Some Storytellers may wish to introduce various types of Resources - 'Jade, Silver, Ambrosia, Quintessence, Commodities, Armory, Land, Property'... This can allow for a somewhat more refined Resources system. As the examples suggest, it should not be limited to Jade and Silver. It represents bartering wealth on several levels, and can also be considered as a representation of say, weapons collections.

Salary: Like the rules in Sidereals. If multiple Resource backgrounds are in use, Salary should provide its raw level in all Resource backgrounds.


Acquaintances: As in Sidereals.

Allies: As per core rules, rating from one to ten. 1 is still a starting character, while 10 would be something on the order of an Incarna.

Backing: Similar to core rules, with rank going from one to ten.

Connections: As per Dragon-Blooded and Sidereals rules.

Contacts: As per core rules.

Family: Replace 'Distant Relative' with 'second cousin'. The rest should be as described in the Dragon-Blooded book, with the mechanics adding automatic successes instead of dice.

Influence: An area of Influence needs to be specified. Cube the rating and divide by 10 to determine the percentage of support you gain from the people in the area.

Leige: This is replaced by Mentor and Training.

Mentor: Per core rules, but rates from 1 to 10.

Renown: Just use Reputation.

Reputation: As per the Dragon-Blooded book, but it's largely specific to a Direction. It can also apply in either Yu Shan, Autocthonia, The Wyld, or the Underworld as a whole, allowing this Background to be purchased nine times (if someone could somehow be famous in both Creation and Autocthonia). You cube your Reputation Rank and divide by ten to determine the % of the populace who knows about you.

Sifu: As in Sidereals.


Abyssal Command: Abyssal Command is a combination of the Command and Retainer Backgrounds.

Class: As per Autocthonians. Alchemicals gain an equal ranking in Vat (minus the spare Charms).

Command: Command is for characters that have sole access to a personal army. It functions like Followers, below, except that characters have one of two options when purchasing this Background. They can have masses of trained troops with the Experience Background, ensuring that they have 8-die pools, Valor, Conviction and Temperance 3, and so on, or they can have masses of dregs - each 'Follower' is in fact 5 Extras, making upXerExaltedLite/BruteSquads. Alternatively, the numbers can be divided by five to represent super-elite troops.

Followers: Followers are commonfolk - be they mortals, ghosts, raksha or beastmen. The numbers listed are for stock minor characters - quintuple the numbers for lowly extras, or divide by five for exceptionally trained characters. The Followers Background may be purchased multiple times - each time, it refers to a different type of Follower (Beastmen, mortals, raksha, etc). These individuals directly serve the character - additional Followers are best assigned to Henchmen, Retainers and Lieutenants.


Henchmen: Henchmen only provide two heroic mortals (or heroic ghosts) per level. These individuals may, however, acquire Experience, Training and Knowledge backgrounds as the Storyteller deems fit. This Background may be purchased multiple times, though if bought at character creation, must be purchased to level five first.

Lieutenant: Lieutenants are other Essence-weilders of note in the character's service. Lieutenants are demonstratably weaker than their superiors - heroic mortals typically don't purchase this kind of thing. This Background may be purchased multiple times.

- A very powerful mortal Thaumaturge, a weaker Spirit-Blooded, or Ghost.
- A Spirit-Blooded or Ghost of note
- A powerful Spirit-Blood, a potent Ghost, a young Dragon King
- An extremely powerful Spirit-Blood, an ancient Ghost, a young Dragon-Blooded or ancient Dragon-King
- An experienced Dragon-Blooded.

Retainers: Retainers are mercenaries and other folk who, while loyal to the Character, have a higher loyalty - be it their own well being or to the organization they work for. Retainers provide three people per level, and may already be Trained, Experienced, or Knowledgable. This Background may be purchased multiple times.

Spies: Spies are available to most characters, and function much like Reputation - you purchase a direction, and you cube your rank and divide by ten to determine just how much information you can have peiced together. Storytellers should place limits on such things (knowing even an eighth of what happens in almost any direction is a full time job).

Tiger Warriors: Uses Command.

Vats: Subsumed into Class.


Ancestor Cult: Uses Cult rules, below.

Breeding: Breeding measures how much Terrestrial blood you hold. It has no affect on actually -being- a Terrestrial, though it is used for further tests for Terrestrial Exaltation (through Celestial or better Sorcery or Endowment). When parents have a child, they average their Breeding ratings together (round down if different castes, round up if the same) to determine the child's own Breeding and the number of dice he will roll while his Dragon Blood attempts to Exalt him.

  • One attempt is made per year from the ages 8 to 16. The difficulty is set by the Storyteller, and should depend on the number of Terrestrials in Existance. 6 is not out of line. A very early Exaltation (8 or 9) adds +1 to the character's Breeding (maximum 10).
  • Add half the Character's Breeding and Family Backgrounds together. This is the character's base level of Resources.

Cult: Every two ranks in Cult allows the character to regain one point of Willpower per day, at a time of their choosing when the background is gained. In addition, the Cult's Rank gets added to the character's hourly Essence Regeneration rate.

  • In order to qualify for a given rank in Cult, a character must have a minimum of Cult^4 (Cult Tesseracted!) Priests/Priestesses, and (Cult/2)^2 (half Cult, squared, round down) High Priests. The Incarna are a bit of an exception to this, as Exalted priests count for a bit more.

Illuminated: Acts as one third Cult, two thirds Connections.

Necromancy: This Background is not limited to Abyssals, though other characters must have an appropriate source for the knowledge. Each level purchases two spells of either the Shadowlands Circle, or, if they are capable, of the Labyrinth Circle.

Savant: Use Past Lives, above, instead.

Sorcery: Sorcery purchases spells akin to the Necromancy Background. Any character who knows Sorcery may purchase it, though characters must still have had a place to learn it from. 'Past Lives' may be acceptable. Each level purchases two spells of either the Terrestrial Circle, or, if they are capable, of the Celestial Circle.

Whispers: As in Abyssals.