House rules and setting changesFlat XP
For this game, instead of the XP costs found in the core book, we'll be using this table for flat XP costs.Mortals, enlightenment and charms
Since their conception, mortals have lived in Creation alongside gods, elementals and other enlightened races. In particular, gods have endowed many mortals throughout history and the Wyld exposure has caused them to achieve enlightenment. These occurrences have been going on for thousands of years, causing the potential for enlightenment to be carried down through mortal bloodlines.
As such, enlightenment isn't entirely rare in the Age of Sorrows. Most mortals never realize their potential, but a large number of them do. Charms usable by mortals have existed since before anyone can remember. Mortals possess the weakest charms of any Essence-wielding individual in existence, but with the sheer number of mortals in Creation, they can even the playing field when mortals face off against beasts and supernatural creatures.
Surges and mortal charms based on a favored ability cost 12 XP to learn and (Minimum Ability/Attribute) days to train. Mortal charms not based on a favored ability cost 14 XP and (Minimum Ability + Minimum Essence) days to train. Mortal charms cost 5 BP to buy at character creation. Eclipse Caste Solars can learn mortal charms for the same cost and training time as other charms.
Enlightened mortals who earn Exaltation retain their charms after Exalting. An Enlightened mortal with Essence 1 or 2 will have Essence 2 upon Exalting, and if they've reached Essence 3 then they retain that rating after Exaltation.
Minimums: Essence 1, (Attribute) 2
This charm is the closest equivalent to Exalted Excellencies that a mortal can attain. This charm increases the value of the relevant Attribute by 1, even if it goes over the mortal's normal cap for the attribute, for an instant. This charm can only be used once per tick to enhance an Attribute.
Precise Warrior's Strike
Minimums: Essence 1, Melee 2
This charm enhances Melee-based attack by the character, allowing the attack to ignore (Essence) points of Soak from the target's armor.
Cost: 6m, 1wp
Minimums: Essence 2, Occult 2
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Sacrificing setup for speed, an enlightened mortal may invoke this charm by spending 6 motes of essence and 1 willpower. Roll Wits+Occult+applicable specialty]. If the air is still and the mortal isn't moving, the difficulty is 1. Increase this if the air is moving (+1 for a breeze, +2 for noticeable wind, +3 for gales, increase the difficulty further if the wind is blowing in a direction other than from behind his back) and/or if the mortal is moving (+1 for move, +2 for dash, etc). Supernatural opposition that affects the air makes this fail automatically.
If this roll is successful, the mortal successfully invests a patch of air in front of himself with Essence and stirs up a burst of wind. Roll [Wits+Thrown] for Accuracy. The attack is Speed 5, +0 Accuracy, Rate 1 and deals [Essence]B. The minimum damage from this attack is
0, but it cannot be parried and may be difficult to see, imposing an external penalty of (Extra successes/2) to the target's Dodge DV. Range equals ([Wits+Occult+applicable specialty]*Essence) yards.
Wind Elemental Blast
Cost: 12m, 1wp
Minimums: Essence 2, Occult 3
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Prerequisites: Invoke: Wind
This charm is a series of Speed 6 actions. Roll [Intelligence+Occult+applicable specialty]. The difficulty is calculated like with Invoke Wind. If successful, the mortal suffuses the air with his essence and gets a sense of the air currents around him. On his next action, the mortal shapes this essence into a charm to stir and focus the air.
If the air is still, he must spend 3 more actions - rolling [Intelligence+Occult+applicable specialty] each time at the same difficulty as the first activation roll - guiding the still forming effects of the charm. Decrease the number of actions necessary by 1 if there is a natural wind and by 2 if there is a gale. Save any successes made over the threshold on any of these rolls. Once complete, the mortal may elect to continue to make those rolls and save more successes, at +1 difficulty each time, or make an Invoke Wind action, rolling Intelligence in place of Wits for Accuracy.
If the attack hits, it explodes and deals [Essence+3+Saved Successes]L dice to everyone within ([Intelligence+Occult]*Essence) yards of the blast. Dodge and Parry are rendered inapplicable. This deals a minimum of [Essence]L damage.
Skillful Encouragement Technique
Minimums: Essence 1, Presence 2
Keywords: Combo-OK, Social, Touch
An experienced conversationalist is capable of convincing even the staunchest worker to return home to his loving family. When the character makes a social attack in support of one of the target's intimacies, their MDVs are reduced by 1.
Minimums: Essence 1, Integrity 2
Keywords: Combo-OK, Social
This charm defends the character against a Manipulation-based social attack made against them, imposing an internal penalty equal to the character's [Integrity/2] on the attack.
Flawless Memory Enhancement
Minimums: Essence 1, Lore 1
This charm enhances any (Intelligence + Lore) roll regarding academic knowledge, adding a number of automatic successes equal to the character's Essence.
Thaumaturgy can still be taken multiple times as an Occult specialty, as per normal, but now costs the same as a normal specialty. That is, 1 BP at character creation if Occult isn't a favored or caste ability, and 2 dots for 1 BP if Occult is caste/favored. After the game starts new Degrees can be learned for 3 XP each, with Initiate Degrees taking one month to learn, Adept two months and Master three months.Backgrounds from other Exalt types
If they can justify it conceptually, characters are allowed to use backgrounds normally available to other Exalt types. For example, a Solar in the Cult of the Illuminated might have access to the Sifu background, a Lunar who has sworn loyalty to a Deathlord might have an Underworld Manse, and a Southern Eclipse hiding his Exalted status working for the Guild might have Connections (Southern Guild).Dragon Kings
Dragon Kings can soak lethal damage with Stamina and their natural lethal soak equals Stamina/2, as normal for supernatural beings. They also heal at the same rate as Exalted characters.
During the beginning years of the First Age, there was a lot of cultural sharing between the Exalted and the Dragon Kings, and knowledge was passed between the two races. The biggest effect of this exchange is a Exalted versions of Dragon King artifacts being created. Green Jade Warclubs, Starmetal Thorn Throwers and Bracers of Orichalcum Bolts were inspired by the original Dragon King versions for Exalted use. Similarly, Exalted artifacts were also adapted for Dragon King use, resulting in Orichalcum Daiklaves that Mosoks and Pteroks could wield without incurring the usual -1 penalty for using a human tool.
Moonsilver weapons and armor, though Dragon Kings still have to pay twice the attunement cost to wield them, didn't require such adaptations. A Dragon King can attune to a Moonsilver Short Daiklave made for human hands without incurring a penalty: the weapon reshapes itself to better fit in their hands.
All Exalted versions of Dragon King artifacts add 1 to their usual rating, to reflect the added complication of their construction: making a Green Jade Warclub required the crafted to harmonize the Jade with the crystals that provide most of the weapon's powers, and so on. Exalted artifacts adapted for Dragon King use also add 1 to their rating, denoting the increased cost of materials to resize the weapon as well as redesigning them to fit in Dragon King hands.
I'm also adding a number of artifacts that were originally cut from the Scroll of Fallen Races:
Healing Orchid (Artifact ••)
The Dragon Kings bred the rare and potent emerald orchid from the life flowers found in the far East. This plant is designed to grow on living flesh and can be easily used any being with Enlightened Essence. The wearer must commit 3 motes of Essence to keep this plant healthy.
This plant is a finger-thick vine bearing several dozen thumb-sized leaves and half a dozen small emerald green flowers. It is designed to encircle the wearer's arm. It sends many small roots painlessly into the wearer's flesh. Exalts and creatures that heal as rapidly as the Exalted who wear this flower heal one level of bashing damage per hour or one level of lethal damage every three hours. This flower also allows other Essence users who heal more slowly to heal as rapidly as one of the Exalted. The flower also allows Exalts or Dragon Kings to roll two additional dice to resist poison, disease or infection. As long as the wearer is alive, the plant survives and functions normally, although it loses its flowers in extremely cold climates.
Belt of Crystal Adaptation (Artifact •••)
This belt of flat rectangular crystals allows the wearer to exist in almost any natural environment. He can remain comfortable in a blazing desert, walking barefoot through a frigid arctic blizzard or even underwater. This artifact even allows the wearer to comfortably swim in freezing water or in the far extremes of the North or South. However, this item only protects the wearer against harsh environments, it does not protect him from elementally-based attacks or other environmental effects like poisons or the energies of the Wyld. In addition, while this device negates the wearers need to breathe, she still requires food and water. To attune this item, the wearer must expend 6 motes of Essence. Once attuned, the belt sizes to fit the wearer. A single large flat circular crystal forms the belt's buckle, this crystal has a setting for a single hearthstone.
Crystal of Protection (Artifact ••••)
These items are fist-sized clear crystals usually carved in the form of some sort of statue, often of a large animal. When the user places it on a solid surface and expends 7 motes of Essence, it creates a hemispheric dome of softly glowing sunfire. This dome is four yards in diameter and eight feet high and provides light equal to late twilight. This Essence dome prevents wind, rain and cold from affecting anyone inside and provides a warm and comfortable environment for them. In addition, anyone from outside of the dome that attempts to enter takes five dice of lethal damage from Essence burns. Armor does not protect against these burns, only the character’s natural soak. This dome also provides protection against ranged attacks equal to 75% cover (increase the DV anyone inside the dome by +3 for ranged attacks). However, it provides no protection against hand-to-hand attacks. The dome lasts until the character who activated it leaves or until a full day passes. As soon as either happens, the dome collapses and cannot be used again until the crystal has been exposed to sunlight for at least one hour. Users often tie these crystals to their saddles or wear them as large pendants.
As well as one more of my own making:
Merits and Flaws
Bracelet of Legendary Adroitness (Artifact •••)
A prismatic crystal bracelet with bright red cabochons lining the center that costs 4m to attune. When worn by Dragon Kings, it eliminates the -1 penalty most Dragon Kings suffer when using weapons and tools or for fine manipulation. When worn by other creatures, it adds two automatic successes to any physical action involving precision of finesse. To all wearers it reduces the speed of all melee and ranged attacks by 1.
The Root of the Perfect Lotus merit only requires the mortal to have Essence 2. All other requirements stay the same.Dragon-blooded
Dragon-blooded characters no longer have to pay a one-mote surcharge for out-of-Aspect charms. However, they still have to pay the surcharge for martial arts charms from a style not of their own Aspect. Water Aspected Dragon-blooded still don't pay the extra mote for martial arts charms of any Aspect.LunarsNew Keyword: Bond(rating)
~ Charms and Knacks with this keyword draw on the link between a Lunar and their Mate, utilizing the bond for their own ends, instead of merely as a means of control for their Mate. A Charm or Knack with this keyword can only be purchased by a lunar with the appropriate rating in the Solar Bond background, and often possess slightly differing effects depending on what sort of Exalt the Lunar's bondmate is (though most Lunar exalted are not yet aware these differences exist). These Charms function as long as the Exaltation of the Lunar's Mate exists, but may only be trained while that Exaltation is actually in use.
Fair Folk Artifacts
New Lunar Charm: Mate-Tracking Solution
Minimums: Wits 3, Essence 2
Prerequisite Charms: None
The Lunar Exalted were meant to protect their mates, and it would be rather difficult to carry out this duty if they could not find those mates, would it not? This charm permanently enhances the Lunar's senses, allowing them to unerringly locate their Mate. As long as the Lunar and their Mate are in the same realm of existence (and the solar is not hidden by charms or other magic), the Lunar always knows exactly what direction their mate is in, a sixth sense pointing toward their other half with all the precision of a compass. Additionally, the Lunar may spend a single die from the pool provided by Solar Bond to gain (Essence) automatic successes on any roll made to locate their mate.
New Knack: Reflecting off the Moon
Minimums: Perception 4, Essence 4
Prerequisite Knacks: Taste of Luna’s Champions
Having mastered the sharing of power with their fellow Lunars, some Moonchildren turn then toward the other obvious source of untapped power, one even closer to them than the rest of the Silver Pact. After all, how hard can it be to reflect a bit of brilliance from the one their very souls are bound to? This Knack allows the Lunar to shift their very Anima into another form temporarily, infusing their blows with a portion of their Mate's power.
Solar: By drawing on the Solar Essence that empowers their Mate, the Lunar learns to strike with the Holy wrath of the Unconquered Sun. For three motes per attack, the Lunar may cause their attacks to gain the Holy keyword, inflicting Aggravated damage to Creatures of Darkness.
Abyssal: The deathly touch of the Neverborn flows over the Bond in the instant the Lunar learns this Knack, but they are fortunately too far removed to do more than unnerve an unsuspecting Lunar. For three motes per attack, the Lunar may infuse their blows with the icy cold they felt from this touch, draining motes equal to the lesser of damage dealt or (Solar Bond Rating) from the target's mote pool on a successful blow (the Lunar does not gain these motes, they are simply lost to the Void).
Infernal: The tainted essence of the Yozi being felt from across the bond will no doubt shock some Lunars in coming days, but the raw power granted is no lesser for it, and perhaps even more brutal. For three motes, the Lunar may double their post-soak damage on one attack.
A second purchase of this Knack draws even more power through the bond, reducing the cost to activate any of the first purchase’s effects to two motes. Additionally, the Lunar’s Anima Banner is permanently changed to reflect, at least in part, the Iconic imagery of their Mate’s. At the Lunar’s choice, this may enact an even deeper change, replacing their previous anima power with that of their Mate. (Under no circumstances may this allow the Lunar to learn non-lunar charms, though all other powers are shared.)
New Knack: Spirit and Soul
Minimums: Int 2, Essence 3
Prerequisite Knacks: None
Which are the Lunar Exalted more closely bound to, the beasts of creation, or the Exaltation they were intended to protect above all else? Upon learning this knack, the Lunar permanently gains a second Spirit Shape that better reflects their Mate.
Solar: As this Knack was originally intended to function, it does not grant an entirely different Spirit Shape, instead merely allowing their original shape to be taken with more 'perfect' qualities. Flaws are smoothed over, they seem to shine with an inner light, and the Lunar is permanently considered to be acting with Solar sanction under the laws of heaven. This form is clearly supernatural, but increases all attributes by one for as long as it is held.
Abyssal: To become one with the Underworld is not for the faint of heart, but in the end it is little different from creation. The Lunar gains the form of one of the underworld’s plasmic animals as a second Spirit Shape, often (but not always) a plasmic version of their original shape.
Infernal: Allowing the Essence of hell itself to resonate with their very souls, the Lunar gains the Spirit Shape of any of the first circle demons of their Mate’s Patron (if the Infernal’s Patron ever changes, this secondary spirit shape re-adjusts itself to match).
This Knack provides an explicit exception to Lunars' usual restriction on non-animal spirit shapes, and they also don't have to acquire Knacks to allow them to take the shape of demons or plasmic animals in order to attain a second Spirit Shape via this Knack.
New Lunar Charm: Silver Nectar Release
Minimums: Stamina 5, Essence 4
Keywords: Combo-OK, Poison
Prerequisite Charms: Scorpion and Toad Assumption
At times, Lunars are forced to take more subtle approaches to protecting their Solar mates or their stewardship. A crafty Lunar might have to seduce an enemy, bringing them under their thrall and then neutralizing them or turning them into an asset. As such, Lunars developed this charm to make all who would dare threaten those under their protection kneel between their legs.
Subtly manipulating the Essence running through her body, the Lunar transforms her sexual fluids to an ambrosial and redolent nectar that is worthy of the gods and as addictive as it is rapturous. Letting a target taste her sacrosanct fluids, the Lunar instills a craving in her target that only she can sate.
For the Lunar to spend the motes to activate Silver Nectar Release, her target must be in a position to taste her sexual fluids as they are released from her body. Any being whose Essence is lower than the Lunar, is instantly addicted to the fluids. Beings whose Essence are equal to or higher than the Lunar's must roll (Stamina + Resistance) against a difficulty equal to the Lunar's Essence. On a success, the target suffers no ill effects. If the roll fails, the target submits to addiction.
Once addicted to the taste of Lunar's sexual fluids, the target will start to suffer withdrawal if he is denied it. Every day that he goes without tasting the Lunar's sexual fluids the target suffers a cumulative -1 penalty on all actions (the penalty caps at -5). The target can resist the effects of withdrawal for one scene by paying a point of Willpower.
The target kicks the addiction once he has spent a total of (Lunar's Appearance+Essence) points of Willpower to resist the effects of withdrawal. Applying a Lunar Appearance excellency at the time this charm is used does affect the required Willpower points to kick the addiction.
Ring-made artifacts created by Fair Folk confer their own bonuses akin to magical material bonuses when attuned by Raksha: melee and ranged artifact weapons add +1 to Accuracy, Damage and Rate. Artifact armor receives two points to subtract from mobility penalty or fatigue value, either subtracting 2 points from one of them, or 1 point from both of them.Sorcery and Necromancy
Buying a [X] Circle Sorcery/Necromancy charm gives the character one free spell of that circle. The character must still have the means and the training time to learn that spell, and if they don't at the time they buy the charm then the spell is considered "on hold" until they can learn it.Martial arts initiation charms
Raksha who buy the charms Root of the Perfected Lotus and Bulb of the Perfect Lotus gain one free charm in a martial arts of that level. They must still meet the selected charm's prerequisites, and have a tutor and the training time in order to learn them. If they don't have those requisites when they buy the initiation charms, the free charm is considered "on hold" until they can learn it.
Similarly, Dragon-blooded who learn an Enlightenment charm gain one free charm in a Celestial martial art, with the same conditions as outlined above for Raksha.Even Blade Style changes
We'll be using Jon Chung's Even Blade Style rewrite found here: http://fixalted.bazzalisk.org/index.php?title=Even_Blade_StyleCrafting
Each dot bought in the Craft ability gives a character access to one purview. So a character with Craft 1 would have a score of one in Craft (Earth), and a character with Craft 2 would have 2 in both Earth and another craft of their choosing, let's say Water. Characters can gain all five elemental crafts and one esoteric craft of their choosing this way. So a character with Craft 6 would be ranked at 6 in Water, Earth, Fire, Wood, Air and, for example, Magitech. If a character wants to learn a second esoteric Craft, they have to buy it separately, one dot at a time, as per normal. Ability requirements still apply, so a character wanting to learn Magitech still has to have Fire, Air and another Craft first.
As for the Craft houserule, the way it works is, you buy Craft 1, and you have Craft (an elemental craft of your choosing, let's say Fire) 1. Buy Craft 2, and you can expand it to another Craft, so you get Craft (Fire, Water) 2. Buy Craft 3 and you can also add one esoteric Craft this way provided you meet its requirements, so you could get Craft (Fire, Water, Genesis) 3. And so on. Until you buy Craft 6, at which point you have Craft (Fire, Water, Genesis, Earth, Wood, Air) 6. You can still raise the ability afterward, but it won't give you more crafts.
New house rules may be added as the game progresses, but I don't intend to change anything that has already been in play.