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Author Topic: Exalted: The Game of Divinity  (Read 811 times)

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Offline The Great TriangleTopic starter

Exalted: The Game of Divinity
« on: January 28, 2010, 11:16:52 AM »
I'm interested in running an Exalted game where the characters play as medium ranked terrestrial gods, meaning that they'll be the gods of cities, professions, and cultures.

The game will take place in the nation of Yorinzan in the east, a couple of hundred miles east of the scavenger lands.  Yorinzan is a small nation of 325,000 people, and a nominal realm satrap of house Ragara that sees very little intervention by outside forces if it pays its (somewhat considerable) tribute.  After the incident at Thorns though, the nation is in an uproar, thanks to the slowly expanding shadowlands in the west of the country. 

Yorinzan has seven provinces, each ruled by a local feudal lord. 

-The central province is the capital city of Lu-Ko-Nu, an ancient city founded by the dragon kings and inhabited by over 100,000 people.  Tensions between the humans and dragon kings in the city are a constant concern, though the ancient terrace farms feed the population handily. 

-Holinwa lies near Lu-Ko-Nu, and is a modestly productive agricultural province that grows food for the other provinces.  It is populated by about 75,000 people, mostly somewhat restless peasants. 

-The Verdant Province is to the south of Yorinzan, and is an overgrown district with many demesnes from which the logging that provides Yorinzan's primary exports gets conducted.  Arranging peace between the wood elemental courts and the loggers is a constant concern for gods in the region.  It is populated by about 35,000 people.

-Ophidia lies to the east of the Verdant province, and is a hilly region of mills and monasteries.  It is the center of the local immaculate faith, and something of a taboo region for gods to operate.  House Ragara maintains several manses in the region, which has a population of 20,000

-Razor Jungle sits on the extreme east of the territory of Yorinzan, and is an extremely inhospitable forest, whose spirit courts do not hesitate to murder anyone who tries to cross the jungle.  Small populations of half crazed tribesmen living together with dragon kings live in the jungle, which caravans travel to a few times a year to trade shiny baubles for strange magical talismans.  The tribesmen also grow a number of exotic and interesting drugs, which are occasionally sold to house Cynis.  The Imperial census estimates the population of razor jungle to be about 10,000.

-Erodise makes up the north of Yorinzan, and is yet another farming province at the foot of mount Erodise, a mountain with a particularly lascivious god that the locals make constant sacrifices to.  Erodise is the center of a vast immaculate missionary effort, but the god blooded tribal leaders make great efforts to push the immaculates away.  The region has a population of 60,000.

-Shadowvale sits to the west of Yorinzan, and is slowly dying thanks to an expanding shadowland.  The region was once the most productive region of the country, but a strange and exotic disease killed a great portion of the population over 100 years ago, and since then, ghosts have been haunting communities on the edge of the shadowlands.  Ever since the rise of the deathlords, shadowvale has been the center of the nation's anxieties.  25,000 brave souls still live in Shadowvale, though the dead outnumber the living.

Offline The Great TriangleTopic starter

Re: Exalted: The Game of Divinity
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2010, 11:30:20 AM »
As for the character creation system I'll be using:

(Most rules for gods and divine charms can be found in the Book of Sorcery 4: Roll of Terrestrial Divinity)

Begin by choosing your god's motivation and domain.  This will be very important in determining what its abilities will be.


Attributes start at 1; add 20 Attribute Dots plus 3 per cult dot you possess

You can raise an attribute to a maximum of 8.

Pick one favored ability

Abilities start at 0, you get 40 Ability Dots, and can raise abilities to a maximum of 5 before bonus points.  With bonus points, you can raise abilities to a maximum of 8, but you may only raise abilities related to your domain over 5.

Assign 9 Virtue Dots.  This will affect your charm selection.  You may choose to have fewer virtue dots if you wish.

Select 18 charms + 2 additional charms per cult dot.  Most divine charms must have some kind of restriction unless you purchase an all encompassing variant of the charm, which is more expensive to use.   You must have charms associated with your virtues; each divine charm is associated with a particular virtue.  (If you have 4 valor, you need 4 charm associated with valor, and so on for all your virtues)  You also may select terrestrial martial arts, celestial martial arts from the four arguments of virtue, trade charms for thamuturgy degrees (1 charm = 1 degree), and trade charms for terrestrial sorcery spells or shadowlands circle necromancy spells.

When purchasing charms, you trade 3 charms for 1 portfolio dot.  Portfolio dots are collections of charms designed to simplify the process of purchasing charms.  You do not need to meet the prerequisites for charms gotten through a portfolio, but must still observe the restriction of having charms based on your virtues.

Begin at Essence 4.

Assign 7 background dots, each background going to a maximum of 3 before bonus points.

Available Backgrounds:
 -Allies
 -Artifact (cannot select magitech, the first 4 dots of artifacts are your divine panoply and cost 0 to attune.  You may attune to starmetal and any magical material you have affinity for.  Elementals don't receive the benefits of a panoply)
 -Backing
 -Connections
 -Command
 -Contacts
 -Destiny
 -Followers
 -Henchmen
 -Influence
 -Library
 -Manse (You can have a manse in your sanctum)
 -Patron
 -Resources
 -Retainers
 -Sanctum
 -Spies


15 Bonus Points

You may use bonus points to purchase charms (which cost 5 points), abilities, willpower, backgrounds, and specialties.

If you wish to play as an Elemental, you must spend 7 bonus points to get dragon's suspire, elemental expression, and elemental rejuvenation.  An Elemental's domain is its element (fire, earth, air, water, or wood).  Elementals may have no more than three dots in cult.  They cannot get the sanctum background and do not receive the benefits of a divine panoply.  (no free attunement)  Elementals are subject to summoning and binding by sorcerers unless they have 4 or more dots in Backing (Celestial Bureaucracy)


Portfolios:

Reminder: to make a restricted charm all encompassing, you must increase minimum essence by 2 and increase activation cost by 5m 1wp or more.

You may receive any charm in a portfolio as a standard version of the charm or an all encompassing version, if you meet the prerequisites.

*: Charm is all encompassing without any additional cost
**: Charm is not all encompassing and may not be made all encompassing

(numbers in parenthesis are page references)


Omnipotence:

o: Hurry Home* (143), Materialize* (143; dematerialize for elementals), Principle of Motion* (144), Sense Domain* (149)
oo: Intrusion Sensing Method (149),  Landscape Travel (157), Loom Stride* (157), Call (150)
ooo: Host of Spirits (155), Natural Prognostication (149), Domain Manipulation Scenario (154), Material Tribulation Divestment (164)
oooo: Emergency Prayer Relocation (156), Divine Prerogative* (164), Amethyst Awareness* (148), Storm Shuttle Passport (157)
ooooo: Destiny Sponsorship (164), Regalia of Authority (159), Fortell the Future (148), Words of Power (167)


Blessings:

o: Benefaction (144), Touch of Divinity (146), Signet of Authority (146), Eye of Inspiration (146)
oo: Touch of Eternity (147), Touch of Grace (147), Endowment** (146), Tracking*  (149)
ooo:  Chrysalis of Preservation (152), Impromptu Messenger (151), Divine Decree (153), Spice of Custodial Delectation** (162)
oooo: [Element] Dragon's Embrace (144), Calculated Order of Immediate Action (152), Creation of Perfection (153), Melodious Diagnostic Report (149)


Trickery:

o: Mirror of the Infinite Wardrobe (155), Subtle Whisper (159), Landscape Hide (161), Paper Tiger Arrangement (155)
oo: Dreamscape (150), Fruit of Living Essence (162),  Animating Management (160), Stoke the Flame (159),
ooo: Possession (161), Harrow the Mind (158), Wine of Infinite Heartbreak (163), Shapechange (155)
oooo: Hoodwink (158), Memory Mirror (149),  Hollow Out the Soul (160), Worldly Illusion (151)



Curses:

o: Malediction (165),  Claws of the Angry Dragon* (165), Essence Bite (166), Bread of Weak Spirit (162)
oo: Spirit-Cutting* (167), Scourge** (166), Bane Weapon** (166), Sheathing the Material Form (164)
ooo: Paralyze (167), Banish (156), Plague of Menaces (165), Meat of Broken Flesh (162)
oooo: Weather Control (154), Shatter (167), Mind-Knife Sacrament (159), Touch of Saturn (166)


Excellencies:

o: Three First Excellencies, Two Second Excellencies (142)
oo: One First Excellency, Two Second Excellencies, Two third Excellencies
ooo: One First Excellency, One Second Excellencies, Two third Excellencies, Infinite (Ability) Mastery
oooo: One First Excellency, One Second Excellency, Two Third excellencies, One Infinite (Ability) Mastery
ooooo: Five Ability charms of choice, two of which may be Divine (Ability) Subordination

Spirit Charms not in portfolios:

Essence Plethora* (143), Measure the Wind (144), Reserve of Will* (144), Hand of Destiny (148), Affinity [Element] Control (151), Form Reduction Technique (154), Capture (156), Portal (157), Commandeer (160), Ride (161), Blessed [Element] Body (163), Ox-Body Technique* (164), Symbol of Invincible Authority (164), Dreaded Embrace of Mundanity* (165), Taste of Mortality (166), Shattered Adamant Attack (167)
« Last Edit: January 28, 2010, 12:54:31 PM by The Great Triangle »

Offline Matthew

Re: Exalted: The Game of Divinity
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2010, 01:44:29 PM »
I'm at work at the moment, so I can't be sure, but I'm 90% sure that I have the right book for this, and it sounds as though it could be rather interesting!

Offline Muse

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Re: Exalted: The Game of Divinity
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2010, 03:52:13 PM »
Oh, Damn, that's a cool idea Triangle! 

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Re: Exalted: The Game of Divinity
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2010, 01:52:37 AM »
THis seems quite interesting, I just wish I understood the mechanics more.

Offline The Great TriangleTopic starter

Re: Exalted: The Game of Divinity
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2010, 03:59:00 AM »
I'm very happy to answer any questions about the game's mechanics.  :-)  Since it's Exalted, it is at base fairly complicated, but the Spirit charm set is very flexible for creating a god with nearly any kind of powers as long as you approach things from a story based perspective and not a powergame based one.

One important thing to remember is that the cult background doesn't give you a ready supply of people willing to die for you, but instead gives you a religion of worshippers who think you owe them something.  Protecting one's cult will be a very major part of gameplay, though playing a god without a cult is completely viable.  (this means you're worshipped by the immaculate order, and have just enough rituals performed in your name to ensure you're not going to be forgotten and that you have enough essence to fulfill your duties.)


Gods in Exalted are neither transcendant nor omniscient.  They're very humanlike beings with desires, fears, hungers, and a prodigious capacity to make mistakes.  On the other hand, gods are in fact immortal, and they've been around since the creation of the universe.  It's very hard for a god to die to anything other than the attack of another god or a supernatural being such as an Exalt.  The celestial bureaucracy that assigns gods their jobs can also arrest and execute a god for corruption, though in the modern age it does so only for very serious offenses like plotting genocide and conspiracy with hell.  The other way a god can die is by being forgotten.  If nobody in creation remembers the god's domain, if no book records the god's name, and no prayer to the god is on the lips of anyone in creation, a god fades out of existence.  This fate is a major source of anxiety to many gods, especially unemployed ones.

A god's natural form is as an immaterial spirit, untouchable by mortal means, and incapable of being seen by those without spiritual senses.  Gods can make their presence felt through their native charms, and can assume material form to interact with mortals and use martial arts and sorcery.  A common way gods interact with mortals is to breed with them; a god breeding with a mortal results in a mortal of uncanny health and spiritual power, who inherits some of the powers of his parent god.  Certain gods have the ability to elevate remarkable mortals to divine status, most commonly the children of gods, since they already have a head start on climbing the rungs of spiritual power. 

Every place, thing, concept, and phenomenon which has a name in a mortal language has a god associated with it.  The gods are as numerous as the stars in the sky, but most of them are constantly engaged with the business of maintaining their domain.  Only the smallest fraction of gods, who represent the most important concepts and things, receive mortal worship or a salary from the celestial bureaucracy that enables them to hire subordinates and have leisure to increase their holdings by attracting mortal worshippers and scheming to promote their domain.  These gods are who you will be playing, trying to improve the status of your domain.


Another option for player characters is to play as an Elemental.  Elementals don't have any particular domain, but they work to keep nature in balance.  Occasionally, they're also hired to do minor jobs for the Terrestrial Bureaucracy, though more often they end up doing the dirty work of some god or other thanks to their technical status being close to that of demons.  An elemental offers certain challenges to play, but also gives you a lot more flexibility than a god has.  The five kinds of elemental are fire, earth, air, water, and wood.

Finally, demons, god bloods, and fair folk could offer viable character types for this game, but PM me if you actually plan on playing one of those.  You'll need to use custom chargen to be balanced with the rest of the PCs.  (And you certainly don't need to be allied with the PCs either.)

Offline Drivestort

Re: Exalted: The Game of Divinity
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2010, 08:11:02 AM »
Sounds interesting, but what would be the style of the game, and the ultimate goal?

Offline The Great TriangleTopic starter

Re: Exalted: The Game of Divinity
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2010, 08:27:17 AM »
The style would basically be about dealing with various crisises that affect your territory (mostly fair folk incursions and yozi cults trying to break it from the inside, and immaculate missionaries trying to break things from the inside)  And the ultimate goal would be to make your character's domain so important that the vast majority of people in creation know about it and your character ascends into heaven. 

(the game could then either continue to play in heaven, or that would be the end of things.)   

Other character goals are valid, of course; raising god blooded heroes to exalt and save creation could be a worthy goal, as could a deep desire to become as powerful as possible in creation without getting smited by heaven.  (or even try to blatantly betray heaven to the cause of hell or the underworld) 

The default, and reccomended goal though, is to try to get promoted by keeping your domain as healthy and efficient as possible.  I'll fill in the conflicts of the setting after I have a good handle on who the PCs are.  (for example, an epidemic of home forclosures would be a poor challenge for a bunch of war gods, but would make an interesting challenge for gods of home and hearth.  Similarly, a barbarian tribe raping women in outlying villages would be an interesting challenge for gods of love, but a lousy challenge for gods of artifice.)

Offline Drivestort

Re: Exalted: The Game of Divinity
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2010, 08:29:35 AM »
Doesn't sound like my kind of thing, but good luck with it!

Offline DeviantMunster

Re: Exalted: The Game of Divinity
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2010, 06:15:22 PM »
I might be interested in this! Though probably no as a terrestrial god. I'm unsure if I could completely pull that off well. I'm researching the other types though, and I'll PM you once I find enough information on them. Unfortunately, at the moment I only have the primary Exalted book, and Infernals.

Offline The Great TriangleTopic starter

Re: Exalted: The Game of Divinity
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2010, 04:39:42 PM »
At the moment we have a dragon blooded dynast who represents the interests of the Realm in the area, but no terrestrial divinities.  I'm willing to open up the game a bit, and allow more diverse character concepts, if people aren't interested in playing gods.  The current list of things I'm willing to allow:   (listed in decreasing ease of integration into the game)

-Heroic Mortals
-Wyld Mutants
-God Blooded
-Demon Blooded
-Ghost Blooded
-Dragon Kings
-Fae Blooded
-Terrestrial Gods
-Ghosts
-1st Circle Demons
-Dragon Bloods
-Mortal Akuma
-Fair Folk
-Sidereal Exalted
-Terrestrial Akuma
-Abyssal Exalted